A View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey takes a look at our friends from Jasper’s Cafe On The Boulevard five years later.
Life makes the distinction between lasting or lust and forever or not. Nearly five years ago, the contrasting lives of these unlikely friends became cemented. Through all their differences, they toiled through the grit of building friendships and finding love. Now it truly begins. Perry and Robert Nichols have finally transitioned from living a lie into living that life. Despite her once-pretentious facade, Perry now touts a coveted life—one she never apologizes for. What matters is her marriage, her two children, and the success of her upscale business, Lux Body & Soul. Perry’s wrath abruptly becomes unleashed once being betrayed, causing her life to quickly unravel. When everything she holds dear is put at risk, Perry must call on Harlem Brooks.
Harlem Brooks, the good boy gone bad, has returned to the city. He has cleaned up his act and is no longer the judge’s prodigal son. Harlem is back at the firm, committed and living a more suitable life. As his determination increases to spare Perry from ending up behind bars and keeping her family intact, he is unknowingly blind-sided by what is awaiting his own. When he returns to the office late one night seeking any crucial evidence to turn around a plummeting trial, Harlem makes a shattering discovery. Now more than ever he longs for what his brother has . . . his own family. Like many men, Harlem hasn’t quenched his insatiable needs. What he desires most is the one thing he can’t have. Erika Townsend’s beauty is alluring to Harlem, but what intrigues him most is her resilience. That unshakable strength is what Harlem needs now more than ever.
Torie Matthews is finally settled and happy after marrying Quinn, her best friend and kindred spirit. In the face of their marital bliss, there has been immense heartbreak. When their marriage receives yet another devastating blow, Torie questions whether their bond is strong enough to endure.
EXCERPT: View from Harlem by Tracey Fagan Danzey
“Sooo, are you coming?”
“Are you going to let me smoke my weed?” she asks in a lowered voice as if there’s a tap on our phone. Simone starts laughing at her request. “I know ya’ll hussies got me on speaker. Who is that—Simone?”
“Yes, yes, yes! I don’t even care, just get here! Auntie, are you really still smoking?” I laugh at the visual of her pulling from a roach at her age, while catching me up on her always so eventful relationships.
“You still freak’n on that fine husband of yours? Uh-huh, let’s not forget that I found your big girl box of tricks, toy chest or whatever you call it. Yep, I saw it tucked in the back of the guest room closet on my last visit.” Her laughter quickly transforms into gasps and no longer audible words other than, “Oh Jesus, I can’t breathe . . . ha, ha, ha . . . oh Jesus! Ree, what you call those silver balls in that box again? Wait . . . and you put them in where?” Aunt Dot’s now laughing and probably pissing all over herself, or at least I hope so, for laughing at me and reminding me of how humiliated I was.
“Anyway Ree, it’s not like Quinn’s still the mayor . . . Hasn’t he completed his four-year term?”
“Yes, but seriously Auntie, when are you gonna give that up? You can’t have grown-up diapers and still smoke blunts,” I giggle along with Simone as I chastise her.
“I can do whatever I want! Besides, they’re panty liners and when I do get to the point of needing grown up diapers, you better be pulling that damn plug!”
“Oh, here we go!” I roll my eyes at the phone while looking over at Simone.
“Oh no, hussy, we had a deal! Have you forgotten? It’s a deal that you negotiated. I got you that mangy little kitten that Nana and your mommy frowned on in exchange for you pulling the plug the day that my body commits treason. Remember that?”
“I was SIX!” I defend as I take her off speaker.
“Nah you don’t . . . you don’t get to renege. You were old enough and precocious enough to conjure up that deal. ‘Auntie, I’ll pull the plug for you when you get old if you get me my cat.’ Let’s not forget that I’ve still got your signature and your peanut butter thumbprint.”
“Auntie, you made me SIGN and then you stuck my finger into the peanut butter jar,” I defend while standing in the middle of the barbecue with people passing by talking, laughing and simply having a good time.
“With your consent! Anyway, I got you the cat right? Didn’t that grungy cat live for twenty years? Well, that’s long enough for you to have realized your commitment.”
“You can’t be serious, Auntie?”
“See, this is exactly why I like your brother more than your ass!” She’s clearly up and indulging in her morning ritual, I can hear her inhaling through her intended insult.
“Auntie, you know that I don’t have a brother,” I reply completely humored by her selective craziness.
“Yes, I do know that! What I’m saying is . . . if you were to have one, I’d surely like him better!” We’re both laughing uncontrollably.
“Oh Auntie . . . I can’t . . . I can’t do this with you now, I’m at a barbecue,” I answer laughing even harder.
( Continued… )
© 2017 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Tracey Fagan Danzey. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.
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About the Author
Tracey Fagan-Danzey is an author, occasional blogger and has been described more than once, as a natural storyteller. A long story short is rarely an option for Tracey. It is her craft that allows her to create an experience, conjure emotions and share vivid views for her readers through her careful selection of words, which has produced her thoughtful writing as shown in her debut novel “Jasper’s Café On The Boulevard”.