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Visible Lives

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Three Stories in Tribute to E. Lynn Harris

Bestselling author and literary icon E. Lynn Harris captivated millions of readers with his powerful, groundbreaking stories of black men searching for love in a taboo world. Now three outstanding writers and friends honor the late author with this trio of original novellas in the genre E. Lynn helped create--each accompanied by a special personal tribute remembering the important role he played in their lives. Evoking the hope, ...

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Visible Lives

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Overview

Three Stories in Tribute to E. Lynn Harris

Bestselling author and literary icon E. Lynn Harris captivated millions of readers with his powerful, groundbreaking stories of black men searching for love in a taboo world. Now three outstanding writers and friends honor the late author with this trio of original novellas in the genre E. Lynn helped create--each accompanied by a special personal tribute remembering the important role he played in their lives. Evoking the hope, romance, and complexity of this gifted writer, this unique collection will serve as a living legacy for fans old and new.

"A creative way to pay homage to a writer who paved the way for so many other authors. . .something I'm sure E. Lynn would have appreciated." -ZANE, New York Times Bestselling Author

Terrance Dean is the author of the Essence® bestselling memoir Hiding in Hip Hop as well as Reclaim Your Power! He has worked in the entertainment industry for many years as a producer and is the founder/creator of Men's Empowerment, Inc.

James Earl Hardy was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and is an honors graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of the bestselling B-Boy Blues series, including Love the One You're With, A House is Not a Home, and a short story collection, The Freak Filez: An Erotic Anthology

Stanley Bennett Clay is the author of three novels: Diva, In Search of Pretty Young Black Men, and Looker. A former editor for both Black Beat and SBC Magazine, he is also an award-winning playwright and actor.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758255754
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 6/1/2010
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Terrance Dean
Terrance Dean
Literary soul writer Terrance Dean is a motivational speaker and the creator and founder of Men’s Empowerment, Inc., an organization dedicated to empowering, encouraging, and enriching the lives of men of color. He lives in New York City. To find out more about both Dean and Reclaim Your Power!, including book events and news, visit www.terrancedean.com.
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Read an Excerpt

Visible Lives

Three Stories in Tribute to E. LYNN HARRIS
By Terrance Dean James Earl Hardy Stanley Bennett Clay

DAFINA BOOKS

Copyright © 2010 Kensington Publishing Corp.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-5575-4


Chapter One

I really want the noise to stop.

I mean, must the construction workers start so early in the morning?

Sheesh!

New York, love it or hate it, they don't give a fuck about your space and your sleep. This is the city that never sleeps.

And, they refuse to let me get any while I enjoy getting my dick sucked.

Slurp.

Slurp.

Lick.

Eric's head is slowly moving up and down the shaft, swallowing every inch of my dick.

There is a steady stream of pounding on the thick hard walls.

BAM!

BAM!

BAM!

Wait a minute.

Those sounds are really close.

Nearby.

As if someone is actually drumming on the door, doing an African tribal war call.

It grows louder.

Louder.

Rat-a-tat-tat.

Rat-a-tat-tat.

A brief pause.

Then BOOM!

BOOM!

BOOM!

"I know your ass is in there! Your car is outside. Open up this motherfucking door!" a woman yells.

I push Eric's moist lips off my dick.

I sit up in shock.

We stare at one another.

BOOM!

BOOM!

BOOM!

I jump out of the bed naked.

Crust in my eyes.

My semi-erect dick swinging in the air.

I frantically rush around the bed scooping up my shirt and pants.

Shit!

I can't find my underwear.

I toss the comforter off the bed.

Damn!

Where are my drawers!?!

Fuck it!

I struggle and wrestle putting on my Antik jeans.

Come on.

Come on.

One leg at a time.

I swing my arms into my white linen oxford button-down shirt.

I skip buttons.

No time for perfection.

I drop to the floor and hunt for my underwear under the bed.

I do a quick scan and sweep with my hand.

There they are.

Next to my Nike Air Jordans.

I snatch my Sean John boxer briefs and stuff them into my back pocket.

"Chase! Shush! Be quiet," Eric says, bug-eyed, with his finger to his mouth. "Just calm down, she doesn't know I'm really here and she can't get in."

"Calm down! Calm down!" I'm jamming my feet into my sneakers. "There is a woman banging on the door and you're telling me to calm down." I grab my Apple iPhone off the nightstand.

Eric pushes me and I fall back onto the bed.

"Just stay here in the bedroom. If we keep quiet she will go away," Eric says. He's in his blue and gray plaid boxers. His six-foot-four, two-hundred-thirty-five-pound, pure muscle body is standing sheepishly hunched over, peering out the doorway.

His olive brown skin is rich and silky.

His thighs are massive and muscular.

His enormous biceps are like ripe cantaloupes.

Chest broad and solid.

His body has me going.

Okay, focus.

Regroup.

"What!?! Man, you're bugging." I push past Eric and storm toward the living room.

"Please, don't go out there." Eric rushes after me and tries to grab my arm, but I slip out of his reach.

As soon as I get to the door there is a loud BANG!

It sounds like a gunshot.

Frightened, I dive to the floor.

Eric runs and cowers next to me. "Come on!" He grabs me by the arm.

We both run back to the bedroom with our arms over our heads.

"Yo, get in the closet," Eric says.

"What?" I look at him like he is crazy. "What the hell I look like, cowering in a closet?"

"Chase, please, get in the closet," Eric says, his hazel eyes pleading as they always do when he wants to suck my dick.

Eat my ass.

Fuck.

And, I give in.

"Man, this is some fucked-up shit," I say and hurry into the closet.

"I'll handle it."

"You better handle this shit."

I crouch in the closet and crack the door open.

I see Eric easing out the bedroom on his tiptoes.

"I'm calling the police!" he yells with his phone in his hands.

I see him pushing the buttons.

"I don't give a fuck! Call the motherfucking police," the woman screams.

BANG!

BANG!

"Hello! Hello! Yes, this is Eric Sanderfield. I play for the New York Giants. There is a woman trying to break down my door. Please get the cops here fast!"

There is a pause.

"I am at Twenty-seven East Seventy-seventh Street. The penthouse apartment."

Another pause.

A long pause.

Then BAM!

BAM!

"Please hurry!" he yells.

"I know you got another woman in there. Does she know you got a wife and three kids?"

I know she didn't say wife and three kids. He told me he was divorced, I say to myself.

I crack the door wider and peek around Eric's massive bedroom for any signs or pictures of a family.

There is nothing.

No pictures on the maroon-colored walls.

The nightstand.

The long cherry oak wood dresser.

The windowsill of the ten-foot windows.

No pictures anywhere.

The only thing prominently displayed is the team autographed brown pigskin football in the center of the dresser.

Encased.

When I met Eric four months ago he presented himself as a recent divorcé trying to get custody of his three kids from an angry and drug-addicted baby momma.

"It's been a long battle in the courts. The system doesn't look out for men. I just want to take care of my children," Eric told me with sadness in his eyes.

Commendable.

Upstanding.

He had his shit together.

I fell for it.

Why would he lie? He had nothing to prove to me.

Besides, he was a tight end for the New York Giants.

Whatever that is.

I am not a football fan.

I only know the basics about the sport, and if given the choice I'd rather watch the Cartoon Network on Monday nights.

Family Guy.

American Dad.

Hell, even King of the Hill.

But, it was his dazzling smile.

Thick succulent lips.

Beautiful perfect white teeth.

And charming personality that won me over.

We were at the New York Urban League's annual dinner. He asked one of his down-low friends, Omar, to introduce him to someone.

Someone nice.

Cool.

Easy-going.

Omar called me.

Me and Omar have been friends for a little over three years. I met him when I used to date the reality television star Dexter Holmur. He was a contestant on the show Survivor. He almost won, too, but in the end it came down to him and the beautiful blonde from Oklahoma. America, and the other Survivor contestants, decided to give the bubbly, breast-enhanced blonde the million dollars.

"Okay, Omar. I trust you. I hope this is not some favor you're doing for a lonely, depressed, and bitter gay man. I can't do it anymore. I am not at that place in my life."

"No, trust me, you will like him."

Omar refused to give me any details about Eric.

I begged.

Pleaded.

"Just show up. I guarantee you'll thank me," Omar said.

Yes, oh yes, oh yes.

When Eric walked in.

No, he strolled.

That black man confident walk.

Slight pep in his step with a pimp.

Hands controlled.

Dipping slightly behind his back.

I felt my body shiver.

Every reactive hormonal cell in my body cheered.

Standing ovation.

Eric was everything I'd been praying for in a man ever since I knew I was gay.

Fine.

Fine.

Fine.

His tailored black Armani suit hugged his body.

Clinging to each of his muscles.

His eyes pierced me from across the room.

Calling my name, "Chase, Chase, Chase."

Omar had done well.

Very well.

I knew Eric was the one for me.

I could tell.

It's like you know what you know that you know.

And, I knowed.

Eric made his way over and introduced himself.

"Hello. Eric Sanderfield. Nice to meet you." His thick burly hands gripped mine.

"Chase Kennedy," I replied. "It's nice to meet you as well." My insides flipped outside.

Oozing with lust.

I smiled cordially. Trying to conceal my sexual thoughts.

Eric smiled with his eyes.

I noticed the glint as he winked.

The entire night we talked.

In his car.

On the way to his penthouse apartment.

In his living room.

In his bed.

In my ear.

His hard rough voice reverberated inside me just as I pumped inside him.

Slowly.

Tenderly.

Easily.

I took my time.

"I just want you to stay in me," Eric whispered.

And I wanted to.

I was caught up in Eric. So fucking caught up I am now crawling on top of a pile of football cleats and running shoes.

Hiding in a closet hoping this ordeal will be over soon.

I can't believe this shit! What the fuck am I doing? This has nothing to do with me. He fucked up. She is mad at him, not me.

I then quickly assess the situation over my loud, rapidly beating heart.

Okay, so maybe I'd rather be in the closet than going toe-totoe with an angry, neglected, dejected and hostile black woman.

With my back against the wall I pull out my Apple iPhone.

Palms sweaty.

Fingers shaking.

I push the speed dial button of the only person I can call in a crisis like this.

My best friend, Ashley Colby.

"Come on, Ashley, pick up, pick up."

"Hey boy," Ashley sings in the phone.

"Ashley, you're not going to believe this. I'm trapped in the closet," I whisper.

"What!?! What's going on?"

"I'm at Eric's and his wife is trying to break down the door to get in."

"Oh no, Chase. You are R. Kelly right now!" she laughs.

"Ha, ha, very funny. What should I do?"

"Boy, get out of there."

"I can't. She is screaming at the top of her lungs and won't leave. She thinks he's in here with another woman. I doubt very seriously things are going to go well if she sees me."

"Wait a minute. Did you say his wife? I thought he was divorced."

"I know. That's what he told me."

"Hold up. Let me turn off The View. This is much better than the drama between these bitches."

"Shit. I need to come up with something quick."

"Well, I suggest you get out of the closet, introduce yourself, and tell her the beef she has is not with you, but with him. And then you get the hell out of there."

"I don't think she is the reasoning type."

"Where's Eric?" Ashley asks.

"I don't know," I say and peek my head out of the door. "I can't see him. I am so sick of this shit."

"You need to pull yourself together."

"Why do I keep getting the fucked-up types? Just when I think everything is going well it all goes downhill. What did I do to piss off God?"

"Well, right now is not the time to ..."

"Shhh," I cut Ashley off. "I hear someone coming into the room." I inch further into the closet.

Cleats in my ass.

Pants and shirts blocking my view.

The door flings open. I scream and drop my phone.

"Chase! Chase! What's going on?" I hear Ashley yelling.

A black shiny shoe steps inside.

I notice a navy blue pant leg.

I hear some voices coming from a walkie.

I sigh as the policeman reaches out his hand and pulls me to my feet.

I reach down and pick up my Apple iPhone. "Ashley, I'll call you back. The police are here."

Chapter Two

I spend a grueling hour in Eric's apartment with the police. They want us to recount the story of what happened. I know this is it. We are about to be exposed.

Revealed.

Our secret splashed across the newspapers.

Newsday.

The Daily News.

The New York Times.

News broadcasts will feature us on the five o'clock news.

I will be the joke of every comedian's late-night rant.

Conan O'Brien.

Jimmy Fallon.

Jay Leno.

David Letterman.

I keep wringing my hands. Wiping them on my jeans.

I nervously bite my bottom lip.

I am not going down for him, I say to myself.

I glance over at Eric. He is calm.

Cool.

Collected.

"We had a late night with some girls," Eric tells the police officer. "I am in the middle of a divorce. Me and my boy just wanted to party and have some fun. You know what I mean?" he joked and smiled at the officer.

The tall dark policeman grinned. "Where are the girls?" He asks, staring at me. I look over at Eric. My heart is attempting to leap out of my chest. I can feel the perspiration dripping from under my arm.

"The girls ..." I say. I start biting my bottom lip again.

"They left early this morning," Eric jumps in, stammering. "I put them in a cab for the airport because they had to get back to Atlanta."

"Yeah, Atlanta," I mumble. Damn, he is good, I think. The policeman grins at me and winks.

My head drops. I won't allow myself to look in his eyes. I know he knows the truth.

It's obvious.

There are no signs of women being here.

It's just two men.

Alone in an apartment.

And me, hiding in the closet.

Yeah, we had some girls last night.

Bullshit.

I take a few deep breaths and lift my head. For the first time I get a look at Eric's wife. She is stunning. Her freshly curled hair, manicured nails, and fabulously done make-up does not give the impression of a drug-addicted woman.

The police have her in handcuffs. She's jumping up and down, stomping her feet, and spewing curses toward everyone, especially Eric. "With your no-good trifling ass. This ain't over," she screams repeatedly as the police lead her into the elevator.

"Can I leave now?" I ask the policeman.

"Uhm, yeah. I think we have everything we need." He smiles wider at me. His dark lips reveal his dark gums. I stand and make my way toward the door, walking past him. He flips through his small black notepad. "If we need anything further we have your contact information."

Chapter Three

I hop into a yellow cab in front of Eric's building.

"I need to get uptown to One-hundred Thirty-ninth Street and Adam Clayton Powell!" I bark at the cab driver. "And make it fast." I slam the door as Eric is speaking to me. He is relentless.

Begging for forgiveness.

"Chase, I'm sorry about this. I'll call you later."

I can't believe this big-ass football player is in the middle of the street pleading with me.

The cab squeals off and I sink into the seat. The driver is dodging and weaving through traffic.

I am flustered.

My head is starting to ache.

My stomach is flipping with bile that needs to be released.

I rest my head against the window.

I am dog-tired of men. As much as I want to believe in love and finding the right man, I never seem to be lucky in getting either.

Before I started dating Eric I had my fair share of men. Terrell was a man I met while I was in Stew Leonard's grocery store in Yonkers. We kept giving one another the eye before he brushed up against me.

I knew this game.

I was a willing participant.

You see me.

I see you.

You make a move.

I do too.

We were in the produce aisle and he asked if I could help him pick out a ripe watermelon. "I've been trying for twenty minutes to get the right one," he said. His muscular arms were protruding through his T-shirt.

Horny, I obliged.

Ten minutes into our "selecting" watermelons, Terrell was rapping his game.

"Listen, I just moved to New York from Atlanta." His southern twang danced in my ears. "It would be great to have some company for dinner tonight."

I thought about it for a second. His pick-up line wasn't original, but he was. "Sure, I can make it."

I was smitten.

The Georgia Peach was looking to mingle with a BIG New York Apple.

After Terrell made a wonderful dinner of sautéed chicken with pasta and asparagus, he topped it off with a strip tease show for dessert. I love a man who can move his body, especially in bed.

After a few in-home dates I asked Terrell why we never went out for an official date. "I like to entertain at home," Terrell responded. "I'm not much of a social person." True indeed, he wasn't. After enough pestering, Terrell relented and we went to the movies. While we were watching the upcoming previews a couple in front of us was engaged in a conversation. "I hope these motherfuckers don't talk during the movie," Terrell said, agitated. I jerked my head toward Terrell in shock. "They heard me." He stood and balled his fists. His large knuckles were darker than his light brown skin and looked like they had met many faces in a fight. "They better shut the fuck up. I'm trying to enjoy the movie." I sunk in my seat and put my head down. Lord, just let me make it through this night. This is over, I said in a prayer to myself.

Then of course there was Carlton.

A flashy dresser.

Drove a black Lexus.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Visible Lives by Terrance Dean James Earl Hardy Stanley Bennett Clay Copyright © 2010 by Kensington Publishing Corp.. 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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Table of Contents

Contents

FOREWORD Victoria Christopher Murray....................vii
A TRIBUTE Terrance Dean....................1
THE INTERN Terrance Dean....................5
A TRIBUTE James Earl Hardy....................123
IS IT STILL JOOD TO YA? James Earl Hardy....................127
A TRIBUTE Stanley Bennett Clay....................223
HOUSE OF JOHN Stanley Bennett Clay....................227
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(10)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Most Fitting Tribute to an Innovative Mentor

    VISIBLE LIVES: THREE STORIES IN TRIBUTE TO E. LYNN HARRIS is a treasure. Even if the initial concept for the production of this book weren't so worthy (and WORTHY it is!) this little triptych of novellas is by three superb writers whose works stand well on their own past glories, but whose spirits are elevated by this homage to the man who in many ways introduced the quality of literature about African American sexuality to a new and higher level. Before E. Lynn Harris there were authors who embraced stories about both bisexual and gay black men (James Baldwin is probably the progenitor), but none so honestly and so free of sterotypes as E. Lynn Harris. Harris' first daring step into the open light was his novel 'INVISIBLE LIVES', a book he self-published and sold from his trunk, a well written novel that opened the public's eyes to the trait of living on the down low (DL) - and this was only as recently as 1991 (the book was later published by a firm in 1994).

    The three stories here are excellent and reflect the maturity of voice that Harris introduced. Each story is introduced by a moving tribute from each author. The stories that follow are frank love stories, stories that just happen to have as their protagonists gay black men. The content is different (all good) and the technique of story telling varies as well it should. Terrance Dean, James Earl Hardy and Stanley Bennett Clay are polished veterans of writing. For this reader the story 'House of John' is the most complex and involving, but then this may be because of prior commitment to the extraordinary skill of author Stanley Bennett Clay. Writing of this quality on the part of all three authors is rare to find in a collection of stories written as a tribute. But that again shows the power in the literary world that was, and will continue to be, E. Lynn Harris.

    Grady Harp

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A book all of Mr. Harris's readers should read!!!!!

    If any authors can write a tribute to e Lynn Harris are Terrance Dean, James Earl Hardy and Stanley Bennett Clay! After reading the outsatanding honors to Mr. Harris that Victoria Christopher Murray wrote! I could not put this book down. These Authors wrote some outstanding stories in Tribute to Mr. Harris. If you are looking for a good book to read buy "Visible Lives! I know Mr. Harris is smiling at these outstanding stories by his friends!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    "Visible Lives depicts three enticing stories that compliments E. Lynn Harris' exclusive signature style."

    "Visible Lives, Three Stories In Tribute To E. Lynn Harris is an incredible read that does an outstanding job rendering three amazing novellas, illustrating a remarkable homage to the late and great E. Lynn Harris."

    "In House of John, Jesse Templeton a freelance photographer takes a trip to Santo Domingo to get over his recent break up with his boyfriend Sean. He ends up meeting and falling for the devastatingly handsome E`tie."

    "In the second novella, The Intern, Chase Kennedy a successful television executive finds himself attracted to his intern, Quincy Thornberry. Quincy is a star basketball player and college student interning for the summer. Chase and Quincy embrace their attraction and are eventually blind sighted by a past relationship that could ultimately challenge their relationship."

    "Lastly, in Is It Still Jood To Ya?, actor Raheim Rivers is eagerly anticipating reuniting with his past love, Mitchell Crawford. A summer blackout in New York, strands them together and forces them to be honest and confront issues that are threatening their relationship."

    "Visible Lives depicts three enticing stories that compliments E. Lynn Harris' exclusive signature style."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 12, 2010

    GREAT!!!!!!!!

    A WONDERFUL TRIBUTE TO OUR FRIEND E. LYNN HARRIS. AMAZING TO SEE THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY HE JUST LOVED LIFE AND PEOPLE TO THE FULLIEST.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    There's nothing like SGL stories!

    A great tribute to the incomparable E. Lynn Harris and a nice sampling of writings from three very talented writers. Mr. Harris broke many barriers in providing tasteful insight into the lives of SGLs and these writers I'm sure, have made him proud. Each story was skillfully crafted and offered a very romantic view of SGL love. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and didn't want the stories to end. Kudos to you Mssrs. Dean, Hardy and Clay.

    Your best is yet to come!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A book all of E Lynn Harris' readers needs to buy!!!

    There will never be a Writer like Mr. Harris! His book title The Invisible Life is the story of many young black men. Helping us to understand our life and letting us know we are not along! I have every book Mr. Harris wrote! If you are looking for a outstanding book to read, please buy a copy of the "Visible lives". If any Author(s) can write a tribute to him are Terrance Dean, James Earl Hardy and Stanley Bennett Clay! After reading what Victorica Christopher Murray wrote giving honors to him, I could not put this book down. Outstanding writing Guys!!!

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