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 interludepress.com/content-warnings
All buy links or pre-order links:
Interlude Press: store.interludepress.com
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 1:
Joaquim’s body is beautifully settled into the rhythms of his deep, sleeping breaths. Reid is no longer angry. Well, he’s a little angry at himself. If I wake Joaquim with kisses, will that be enough? Will he remember the apology from last night and let it stand?
Eyes closed, Reid scoots closer to Joaquim and puts a hand on his hip. He promised to talk to Joaquim. And even without that promise, they should talk. Joaquim is the potential for a healthy relationship, finally.
When Reid’s body heat comes into contact with his, Joaquim stills and then stretches. Joaquim’s body is a luxury: muscles tensing and loosening, all stunning bones and inviting skin. Reid wants. He wants to glut himself on this man, to soak up every moment with him while he can.
Teaser Excerpt 2:
“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.
Teaser Excerpt 3:
“Come on,” Joaquim pulls the back of Reid’s tank top when Reid doesn’t get out of the car fast enough.
“Joaquim,” Reid protests. “I bought some stuff; I wanna grab it.” Joaquim’s hands are on Reid’s ass as he bends over to retrieve the grocery bag in the backseat. Desperation followed them from the club all the way home, especially with Joaquim’s hands all over him while driving.
Reid’s car is a two-door, so he has to pull the driver’s seat forward to get the bag. When he stands, he lets Joaquim press him against the car and kiss him.
“Trust me, you want me to grab this,” Reid says when Joaquim pulls away. He takes Joaquim’s hand and pulls him to the condo. Joaquim is biting and sucking at the back of his neck as Reid unlocks the door. And while he senses that Joaquim would do this anywhere in the condo, including at the front door, Reid pulls him to the bedroom.
Joaquim shuts the door behind them. Reid wants to joke about it—who’s going to catch them?—but then he turns the lights on and pushes Reid against the door. His hands are already at the button of Reid’s shorts. Panic cuts through Reid’s desire. He doesn’t want to lose this, the wave of easy wanting, of not over-thinking, of being.
He turns the lights off.
Joaquim stops, and Reid stills.
“Please?” Reid is asking for more than just having the lights off: he’s asking for the absence of questions, for Joaquim to keep touching him as if he’s unbroken, is not fragile, and has beautiful, unmarred skin.
“Sure,” Joaquim says. Reid kisses him hard and asks with his touch for Joaquim to take him back to where they were. The bag he’s been holding falls to the floor. “Reid, what’s in the bag?” Joaquim asks against the skin of Reid’s neck that he’s marking up pretty well.
“Lube. Condoms. Fuck, oh—do not stop,” he begs when Joaquim starts to pull away. “Fuck me like you mean it, J,” he speaks into the darkness, into the space where it’s just the two of them and unbreakable pleasure.
“I always fuck like I mean it.” Joaquim’s got Reid’s shorts off now and helps get Reid’s shirt off.
Teaser Excerpt 4:
“Reid!” Joaquim stands a few steps down, not wanting to have to go all the way to the beach only to climb back up.
By the time Reid’s all the way up, he’s slightly out of breath but smiling. “I am ready for my surprise. You didn’t install a sex swing in my grandma’s condo, did you? I’d have a hard time explaining that away.”
“No, you pervert.” Joaquim takes Reid’s hand. The sun is setting, leaving a lovely glow at their backs and a slightly dimmed living room. It lends the perfect ambiance. He covers Reid’s eyes.
Joaquim glances behind himself as he walks backward while leading Reid in.
“Okay, we’re going to die like this,” he mutters. “Close your eyes.” He comes around Reid, covers his eyes with his palms, and then leads him forward. “Sit,” he whispers once they’re in the middle of the living room.
“On a chair?” Reid waves a hand around blindly.
“No, on the floor.”
Joaquim kneels and helps Reid onto the floor. Once they’re down, he presses himself against Reid’s back and whispers into his ear, “Now.”
“J…” Reid says. All around them are small white candles in glass jars. Joaquim bought out the store with his measly savings. More than a hundred candles are on the table to their right, on the shelves by the TV, and surrounding the carefully laid, soft plaid blanket beneath them. Their light butters the hush of sunset through the glass doors at their backs. Strewn everywhere are rose petals and shells. Joaquim painstakingly removed the petals from the flowers, trying not to bruise or tear them; his fingers bear pinpricks from their thorns. At Shell World, he endured Delia’s teasing after exacting a promise not to say anything to Reid about what he was planning. The stillness of Reid’s body, though, speaks of the worth of the time spent.
“I’ve never…” Joaquim starts.
“No one has ever—” Reid breaks off, his voice is thick and unsteady. He turns his face to tuck it into Joaquim’s neck. “How did you know?”
“That you’re a hopeless romantic even though you try to hide it?”
“Because you’re terrible at hiding it,” Joaquim says. He holds Reid’s hand in tender counterpoint to the light amusement in his voice.
“Fuck. I guess my cover is blown.” His eyes, bright with tears, don’t shy from Joaquim’s.
“I hope,” Joaquim says, and touches Reid’s cheek, “that you know you don’t need a cover with me.”
Reid smiles, but looks away. Too much? Joaquim isn’t pressuring. He’s offering. He’s laying something bare.
“I do.” Reid kisses him.
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 Hush, What it Takes, and Idlewild, a contemporary LGBT romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews.
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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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A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra | Out: May 17, 2018
“A Tiny Piece of Something Greater is a beautiful, sun-soaked summer of a romance and I never wanted it to end.”
—Roan Parrish, author of the Middle of Somewhere series
“A Tiny Piece of Something Greater is a wonderfully beautiful and hopeful book. It’s real and raw, but so full of light. Jude Seirra’s writing is dream-like, and so calming. Highly recommended.”
—Anna Zabo, author of Syncopation and Daily Grind