House Is Not a Home: A B-Boy Blues Novel

Overview

In this final chapter in James Earl Hardy's groundbreaking B-Boy Blues series, Mitchell "Little Bit" Crawford and Raheim "Pooquie" Rivers are all grown up. Mitchell is a stay-at-home dad renovating his dream house, writing, and raising his godson and half-sister in Brooklyn's up-and-coming Fort Greene neighborhood. He's fairly happy, but he can't help feeling that something — or someone — is missing from his life.

Fresh from rehab for a gambling addiction, Raheim has a new lease...

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A House Is Not a Home: A B-Boy Blues Novel

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Overview

In this final chapter in James Earl Hardy's groundbreaking B-Boy Blues series, Mitchell "Little Bit" Crawford and Raheim "Pooquie" Rivers are all grown up. Mitchell is a stay-at-home dad renovating his dream house, writing, and raising his godson and half-sister in Brooklyn's up-and-coming Fort Greene neighborhood. He's fairly happy, but he can't help feeling that something — or someone — is missing from his life.

Fresh from rehab for a gambling addiction, Raheim has a new lease on life, but it's precarious — his career as an actor has stalled, he hasn't seen his son in years, and the short-lived sexual trysts that punctuated his life no longer satisfy him. Hell-bent on change, Raheim has finally figured out who he wants to be with forever. But will Mitchell give Raheim the second chance he so desperately wants?

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Editorial Reviews

-- E. Lynn Harris
“A House Is Not A Home is so good you won’t want it—or the series—to end.”
--J.L. King
“I have been a fan of his work from his very first novel.”
E. Lynn Harris
"A House Is Not A Home is so good you won’t want it—or the series—to end."
J.L. King
"I have been a fan of his work from his very first novel."
— E. Lynn Harris
“A House Is Not A Home is so good you won’t want it—or the series—to end.”
—J.L. King
“I have been a fan of his work from his very first novel.”
Booklist
“Hardy’s sexy, romantic soaper is sure to please present fans and garner more.”
Booklist
“Hardy’s sexy, romantic soaper is sure to please present fans and garner more.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060936600
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/23/2006
  • Series: B-Boy Blues Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,390,620
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

James Earl Hardy has written for Essence, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly, the Washington Post, the Advocate, and the Source. The recipient of many prestigious honors and awards, he lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Read an Excerpt

A House Is Not a Home

A B-Boy Blues Novel
By James Hardy

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 James Hardy
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060936606

Chapter One

Friday,
June 6, 2003

The routine is so familiar that Mitchell doesn't have to look at the clock to know what time it is.

At 5:45 A.M., he wakes up when he hears the hall bathroom door close. The toilet flushes at 5:47. The water faucet comes on at 5:48; when it's shut off, it's 5:55. Then the door opens and Errol's footsteps travel pass Mitchell's bedroom door and upstairs to the fourth floor, where Errol hits the treadmill and works out. When he hears Errol's footsteps coming back down the stairway, it's 6:45. Mitchell rises and heads into his own bathroom to wash up as the hall bathroom door closes again. After showering, Errol heads out of the bathroom and continues heading down the hall at 6:57.

Knock, Knock.

The voice is a mumble since Errol isn't within earshot, but Mitchell knows what Errol is saying. . . .

"Destiny? Time to get up."

Errol closes his bedroom door at seven. That's when Mitchell makes sure Destiny is up.

It took her a while to get used to rising so early. When the school year began, she'd ignore the wake-up call and turn over. After being forced out of bed by Mitchell, she'd sleepwalk to the bathroom.Sometimes she'd fall asleep while sitting on the toilet, so he'd have to watch her scrub and brush up. But now she needs no prodding or pushing. Just as he opens his own bedroom door and steps outside, she's marching into the bathroom.

At 7:01, Mitchell reaches Destiny's bedroom. He eyes the clothing hung over her rocking chair. She didn't change the outfit he chose for her the night before (let the weather warm up just a little like it has over the past few days, and she wants to wear a summer dress). He makes her bed. As he reaches Errol's room, Mitchell hears Errol's current Great Day 'N' Da Mornin' song: "Give It to Me While It's Hot," by TLC. Errol chooses a new one every week. The only artist granted more than a five-day run was Aaliyah; after her death in August 2001, she reigned with "More Than a Woman" for the entire month of September.

Mitchell puts on the coffee at 7:04 and gets The New York Times, which is usually stuck in one of the holes of their front gate. What he fixes for breakfast depends on what day it is. Monday is bacon, scrambled eggs, and cinammon toast. Tuesday is cereal and corn muffins. Wednesday is blueberry pancakes and turkey sausage. Thursday is oatmeal and fruit salad. On this day, Friday, "anything goes." He surprises them with one of their favorite combos: buttermilk biscuits and cheese omelets.

By the time the meal is prepared, it's 7:30. Errol is pouring their chocolate milk as Destiny enters the kitchen. "Jood morning," she sings.

"Jood morning," Mitchell and Errol respond.

As she's done so many times before, she proceeds to switch the thirteen-inch color TV that sits on the island from the Today show to Little Bill. She peers at Mitchell. "May I turn the channel?"

And, as he's done so many times before, Mitchell answers: "Yes, you may."

This is the first weekend of the month, which means Destiny will be visiting her grandparents. Errol, who normally heads up to Harlem to stay with his mother and stepfather, will remain in Brooklyn; he'll be having a party Saturday night to celebrate his fifteenth birthday.

"Are you gonna save me a piece of birthday cake?" she asks.

"Of course," Errol matter-of-factly declares, pinching her right cheek as he sits next to her.

She giggles. "Thank you."

Mitchell places their plates in front of them. He and Errol turn to Destiny, who takes both of their hands. They all bow their heads.

"God is great, God is good, thank You for our food, A-men," she sings.

"Amen," Mitchell and Errol reply together.

As Destiny laughs along with Little Bill, Mitchell and Errol talk about the party.

"Did you get ahold of that other deejay?" Mitchell asks.

"Yeah. He's got another party at midnight but it's in Crown Heights, so he can do it. He'll only charge us two hundred dollars."

"Jood."

Errol glances at the list Mitchell is making. "Oh, don't forget the blue bulbs."

"I won't. Are Sidney and Monroe coming over after school to help you set up the basement?"

"Nah, we'll do it tomorrow."

Mitchell pours himself a second cup of coffee. "You all should do it before you go to Monroe's tonight."

"Why?"

"You're going to the matinee tomorrow, right?"

"Yeah."

"That means you won't be back here until three." He examines one of Errol's twists; they've grown several inches over the past year. "It'll take at least an hour for me to touch up your hair."

Destiny pats her own 'do. "Are you gonna touch up mine, too?" She also has twists, which are shoulder-length.

"No. Yours will hold up for another week."

"Okay."

Errol takes his last bite. "But there's not that much work to do. Sweep, set up the chairs, make a space for the deejay."

He sighs. "Okay. And what about your room?"

"What about it?"

"Knowing you, it's a mess."

Errol shrugs. "It might be, but it's a manageable one."

"Yeah, I know, it may look a mess but you know where everything is."

"Right."

"At least clear a path so I can see the floor. And make up your bed."

Errol nods, turning his attention to The New York Times. Mitchell continues going over the shopping list; he'll make his first bimonthly trek to the supermarket at 10 A.M.

At 8:05, Destiny and Errol rise from the table. Errol takes their dishes, rinses them off in the sink, then places them in the dishwasher. She puts on her backpack; he picks up his duffel bag, placing the paper under his left arm.

"You two have a jood day," Mitchell advises.

"We will," they respond together.

Continues...


Excerpted from A House Is Not a Home by James Hardy Copyright © 2006 by James Hardy. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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