Thursday, May 17, 2018

Release Day Blitz: A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra (Review, Excerpt + Giveaway)

A Tiny Piece of Something Greater

Publisher: Interlude Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): May 17, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): 258 Pages

Subgenre: LGBT, Interracial/Multicultural, New Adult

Editor's Note: Some readers may find some of the scenes in this book difficult to read. We have compiled a list of content warnings, which you can access at

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Book blurb: 

Reid Watsford has a lot of secrets and a past he can’t quite escape. While staying at his grandmother’s condo in Key Largo, he signs up for introductory dive classes, where he meets Joaquim Oliveira, a Brazilian dive instructor with wanderlust. Driven by an instant, magnetic pull, what could have been just a hookup quickly deepens. As their relationship evolves, they must learn to navigate the challenges of Reid’s mental illness—on their own and with each other.

Jude Sierra talks A Tiny Piece of Something Greater: I want readers to walk away with a deeper appreciation and understanding of what it is like to thrive with mental illness—or strive toward it—and what it is like for two people to be and fall in love in these situations. I’d love for readers to come away knowing that love doesn’t cure mental illness, nor should it. Reid and Joaquim love each other as they are.

Teaser Excerpt:

“All right,” Reid says. “Close your eyes.”

“Oh, is it my turn now?”

“Yep. Please try not to fall; we’re aiming for romantic.” Reid guides him with one hand on his shoulder and the other at the small of his back, trusting Joaquim to keep his eyes closed. “Hand out,” Reid says. He takes Joaquim’s hand, puts it on the back of a chair, and lets Joaquim fumble into it. A whispered kiss to his lips, then two more to his eyelids and Reid’s soft command to open his eyes make him viscerally aware of love, as if Reid’s touch has become a living thing, something curled inside Joaquim, something he can cherish and hold and keep.

The table is set with candles Joaquim recognizes. There’s also a beautiful charcuterie plate, chocolate-dipped strawberries dewing from the humidity, and tall drinks garnished with lime wheels.

“I’m breaking some rules with these. I did some research online and thought I’d try to make something that might remind you of home,” Reid explains. He’s twisting his hands nervously. “Also, we’re eating on the pool deck, although no one really pays attention to that.”

“Reid.” Joaquim turns and presses his cheek against Reid’s belly, closes his eyes into Reid’s fingers ruffling through his hair.

“I had a plan for something else, but I fucked it up. Um, so the drinks don’t match but, yeah. Caipirinhas?” Reid tests the word out slowly, fumbling over the pronunciation.

“Hey, hey,” Joaquim says, catching Reid’s fingers and kissing them. “This is wonderful.” It also explains the cupcakes. “Thank you.”

Reid’s eyes are bright, and his smile is shy, sweet in a way Joaquim never could have expected when they first met. “You are so welcome.” His next kiss is somehow even sweeter. It lingers, it promises, though it’s not about the heat that so often sparks between them. It’s love, is all. It is simple and full.

“Let’s eat.” Reid pulls up a chair. “Tell me what you like.”

“I want to try it all.”

“Well, then, here.” Reid selects an olive, “These are my favorite.” Joaquim allows him to slip it between his lips. He holds Reid’s wrist carefully and nips at his fingers.

“Delicious.” Joaquim doesn’t let go. Reid cups his cheek briefly and smiles again.
They eat slowly, moving to the strawberries eventually. Night begins her sweet slide across the sky, slipping over the light.

3.5 Stars

Reid has moved from his parents home in Wisconsin, to his grandmother’s condo in Key Largo, to escape the vicious cycle of a bad relationship with his ex-boyfriend, Felix. Reid suffers from mental illness and is trying to learn to balance life on his own, while living with his mental illness. In Key Largo he takes a diving class and meets diving instructor, Joaquim. The two flirt a bit and even go on a date, but as their feelings deepen, Reid has to decide whether to trust Joaquim with his truths.

I have mixed feelings about this book. Although told from dual POV’s, I felt this was much more Reid’s story, his personal journey. I thought the author did a great job at explaining Reid’s mental illness and the battles he faces with it in his everyday life and my heart went out to him. This portion of the story is handled well, but I found the romance portion a bit lacking, for me.

I didn’t really connect with Joaquim and I didn’t find a chemistry between him and Reid. I actually felt more of a spark between Reid and his ex, Felix, who I really would have loved to know more about. At the end of the story, I’m left wondering what became of Felix and what exactly his issue/story was. His mental health is eluded to, but no clear explanation is given about it. This was one of my issues with the story, I felt certain thoughts and situations warranted more of an explanation than I was given.

Reid and Joaquim were both likable, as were the secondary characters in this story. The story was heavy at times and deals with triggers of self-harm and past suicide attempts, so proceed with caution if these are triggers for you.

The story was well-written, but in the end, I walked away wanting a bit more, still, it’s recommendable.

*copy provided by author/publisher for my reading pleasure, a review was not a requirement*

About Jude Sierra: Jude Sierra is a Latinx poet, author, academic and mother working toward her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, looking at the intersections of Queer, Feminist and Pop Culture Studies. She also works as an LGBTQAI+ book reviewer for From Top to Bottom Reviews. Her novels include HushWhat it Takes, and Idlewild, a contemporary LGBT romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews.

Connect with Jude: Site | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest

Giveaway Prize of A TINY PIECE OF SOMETHING GREATER by Jude Sierra (5 eBooks + $25 IP Web Store credit Grand Prize):

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