I Say a Little Prayer

I Say a Little Prayer

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by E. Lynn Harris
     
 

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A USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post BestsellerChauncey Greer, the suave and successful owner of the Cute Boy Greeting Card Company, never wants for the attention of guys just as hot as he is. After a couple of bad dates Chauncey finds himself in church, where the minister’s message inspires him to return to the singing career he had…  See more details below

Overview

A USA Today, New York Times, Washington Post BestsellerChauncey Greer, the suave and successful owner of the Cute Boy Greeting Card Company, never wants for the attention of guys just as hot as he is. After a couple of bad dates Chauncey finds himself in church, where the minister’s message inspires him to return to the singing career he had launched as a teenager. Things heat up when Chauncey’s rediscovered singing talent lands him in the middle of a protest over homophobia in the black church, and Chauncey’s old singing partner–and former lover–makes a dramatic and unexpected entrance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Harris takes a sympathetic look at the difficulty of reconciling homosexuality and faith in the black church in his lively ninth novel. Thirty-eight-year old Chauncey Greer classifies his heft sexual appetite as basically bi with a gay leaning; but also needs a personal relationship with God. Once a member of a boy band called Reunion (his deeply felt love affair with fellow bandmate Sweet D precipitated its breakup), Chauncey now owns a successful Atlanta-based greeting card company. Chauncey is a regular at the progressive Abundant Joy Baptist Church, where Pastor Kenneth s inspired preaching reignites his dreams of a singing career. After Chauncey sings a soul-stirring solo at church, the pastor invites him to perform at an upcoming revival led by the fundamentalist Bishop Upchurch and his vindictive wife Grayson. But Chauncey s friends plan to boycott the revival because of the Upchurches gay-bashing, and Chauncey must decide between his passion for singing and his personal identity a decision complicated by the reappearance of a figure from his past. Though supporting characters remain flat, Harris (A Love of My Own) illuminates a divide in the black church while exploring the universal theme of broken love. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
On the brink, Chauncey returns to church and is inspired to resume his music career-which leads straight to thoughts of the man who inspired his old songs. Then he discovers that the forthcoming revival meeting is turning into an antigay rally. With a national tour. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A gay Atlanta businessman struggles to make peace with his faith and sexuality when his first love unexpectedly reappears. With a successful greeting-card company, chic apartment and no shortage of handsome male admirers, Chauncey Greer has much to be thankful for. And he shows his gratitude every Sunday by attending services at Abundant Joy, a moderately sized church where he feels accepted, "measured by the love I have in my heart and not the lust I have in my head." It is during one rousing service that he finds himself haunted by his past, and the singing career he gave up far too soon. As a teenage member of R&B boy band Reunion, Chauncey briefly tasted fame, until his close relationship with bandmate Sweet D tore the group apart. Ready for a comeback, Chauncey is understandably excited when his pastor taps him to sing at a revival headlined by up-and-coming minister and senatorial candidate Bishop Damien Upchurch. His joy turns to dismay when he finds out that the young bishop is none other than Sweet D, all grown up and running on a conservative-and rabidly anti-gay-platform. Chauncey is then torn between outing the hypocritical preacher and keeping his private life private. To add to this stress, Chauncey is menaced by a studly wannabe-be blackmailer and confronted by Damien's nasty shrew of a wife, Grayson, who wants to make sure that nothing stands in the way of her Election Day plans. Harris's addictive latest (A Love of My Own, 2003, etc.) manages to capture both the erotic heat and spiritual fervor of Chauncey's world, as the man is forced to face the choices he has made, and the fact that he has been unable to enjoy a committed relationship since parting with Sweet D. Thestory ends somewhat quickly with a silly soap opera twist that does little to cloud its inspiring message of spiritual love and inclusion. Moving and honest exploration of sex, sin and redemption.
From the Publisher
“Vintage Harris...A story filled with sex, humor and plenty of plot twists.”—Ebony“From naked cocktail parties to religious conundrums, the “Godfather of the Down Low” gives you just the right amount of raunchiness and redemption in his latest.” —Upscale “Heartfelt.” —Essence“Harris’s addictive latest...capture[s] both the erotic heat and spiritual fervor of Chauncey’s world....[A] moving and honest exploration of sex, sin, and redemption.” —Kirkus“What’s got audiences hooked? Harris’s unique spin on the ever-fascinating topics of identity, class, intimacy, sexuality, and friendship.” —Vibe“Thank God for E. Lynn Harris.” —Philadelphia Inquirer“The man who helped put the down low on the cultural map returns with another sexy page-turner.” —Out

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385512725
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/02/2006
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.34(w) x 7.76(h) x 1.01(d)

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I Say a Little Prayer


By E. Lynn Harris

Random House

E. Lynn Harris
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0385512724


Chapter One

Prologue

There are times when I think that I, Chauncey Dion Greer, am passing through this life on my way to the life God really planned for me. Then, at other times, I think that God must have a wicked sense of humor. Who knew? How else could you explain me sitting here in the green room at CNN on Election Eve, sweating like a fat man in a sauna wearing a warm-up suit, and staring at a tray of sliced melons? I don't know if I'm about to do something noble or if I'm about to get P-I-M-P-E-D.

It's not like my life has been without its good moments. Whenever I'm stressed out, I think back to the days when I went fishing with my daddy, and I begin to smile inside. We'd stop at Reverend Nick's Bait and Tackle with our fishing gear, purchase our supplies, and then pack it all together with the peanut butter and homemade straw-
berry jam sandwiches that my mother would make for our lunch. All the way to Blue Lake, we'd brag about the fish we were going to catch. I also remember when I won my first songwriting contest when I was sixteen. And, of course, I'll never forget when I met him.

Still, something happens to your soul when the expiration date on your love life comes and goes before you turn twenty-five. Was I getting ready to share that love life with the world because I thought it mattered, or because Iwanted to finally get revenge? Was I trying to do the right thing, or just wanting to settle the score with the person I had once loved the most but I now despised?

I stood up, glanced at the mirror on the wall, and straightened my tie. I stared at my reflection, checking to see if the makeup artist hadn't applied too much powder to my mink-colored skin and if it would really prevent me from shining once the studio lights hit my face.

Just as I picked up a small paper plate and headed for some melon, a high, annoying voice whispered into my ear.

"Mr. Greer, we have a small problem."

I turned and faced the tall, thin, pale woman with freckles dominating her oval face. Her strawberry-blond hair was pulled back in a cheerleader's ponytail.

"Excuse me," I said.

"I'm Lauren Masterson, the executive producer of Larry King Live. Thank you for coming," she said as she extended her ringless hand.

"What happened to Mr. Gains?" I asked.

"He's coming down in a few, but I need to explain something." She motioned toward the red leather couch, and we sat down. Lowering her voice so the other guests in the green room couldn't hear her, she continued. "I think you spoke with one of our associate producers, Dana Wynn, and she agreed to interview you with your face in shadow and your voice disguised," she said.

I nodded. "Yes, both she and Mr. Gains promised me that we'd do it that way. That's the only reason I agreed to do the interview."

"Yes, Mr. Greer, and I know this is a very private matter for you, but I just don't think the interview will have the punch we need if you're not willing to reveal your identity. These are very serious charges that you are alleging against a man who could be elected U.S. senator within the next twenty-four hours and tip the scales as to who controls the Senate. The repercussions could be far-reaching."

"I understand that, but I only agreed to do the interview one way," I said firmly.

She shook her head, unwavering. "I'm sorry about what you were promised, but we simply can't do it that way." She paused. "Mr. Greer, this is live television, and I need to know if you're going to go on and tell your story just as you are."

For what seemed like an exceedingly long moment, we sat face-to-face in total silence. I pondered my choices. Either decision would change my life as I knew it.

What should I do?

What would I do?


Excerpted from I Say a Little Prayer by E. Lynn Harris 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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Meet the Author

E. Lynn Harris was born in Flint, Michigan and raised, along with three sisters, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Harris sold computers for IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and AT&T for 13 years while living in Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. He finally quit his sales job to write his first novel, Invisible Life, and, failing to find a publisher, he published it himself in 1991 before he was "discovered" by Anchor Books. Anchor published Invisible Life as a trade paperback in 1994. Invisible Life was followed by Just As I Am (1994), And This Too Shall Pass (1996), If This World Were Mine (1997), and Abide With Me (1999), all published by Doubleday. Harris's sixth novel, Not A Day Goes By (July 2000) debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. His seventh novel, Any Way the Wind Blows (July 2001), also debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list. His most recent novel, A Love of My Own (July 2002), was a national bestseller as well. What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted (July 2003), Harris's first non fiction work, debuted at #6 on the New York Times bestseller list making E. Lynn the first African American male to appear on both the fiction and non-fiction lists. Currently, there are over three million copies of Harris's novels in print. For more: www.elynnharris.com

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Brief Biography

Hometown:
Chicago, Illinois
Date of Birth:
June 20, 1955
Date of Death:
July 23, 2009
Place of Birth:
Flint, Michigan
Place of Death:
Los Angeles, California
Education:
B.A. in journalism, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, 1977
Website:
http://www.randomhouse.com/features/elynnharris/home.html

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I Say a Little Prayer 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was required to read this book for a class and i absolutely loved it! I kept my copy and lend it out to all my friends!
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIS BOOK WAS INTERESTING... IT WASN'T THE BEST I'VE READ BUT IT KEPT ME HUNGRY FOR MORE...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me on my toes, and also taught me a few things about myself. A MUST read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good reab it make u think bout what u would do r how u would feel
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The availability of book should be received. My account was credited & I had to reorder. The book is still showing available by seller. Please remove.
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DCNightwolf More than 1 year ago
I didn't like the ghetto language from the sample... The writer knows the subject matter and has a compelling story line...
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rolltide13 More than 1 year ago
I am a great fan of E. Lynn Harris' books! This is a page turner like all the rest!!
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