The Smallest Part

smallSometimes I read a book, and it goes beyond my expectations. I want to share the wonder (which I will at the end of this post in a giveaway). I’m an avid reader and love books for the sake of a good story. So even if it’s not the best book ever written, I still appreciate the time, skill, and imagination the author put into it. Stories feed my soul. I rarely read one I don’t like.

But then there are authors like Amy Harmon. My hero. Every book she puts out is like the most divine, decadent feast I can imagine. Her stories are not just dessert. They are solid food for my heart and soul. Nourishing. Filling. I don’t finish them and hunger. They linger in my heart for weeks, months, even years. Their messages change me. Inspire me. Make me want to be kinder, stronger, braver.

I still will read A Different Blue by Harmon when I yearn for a good redemption story, even though I’ve read it many times. My daughter too. Her books are THAT good. Amy’s newest book is no exception. The Smallest Part made me fall in love all over again. I loved the words, and kept highlighting passages the whole way through to return and savor later.

My Review

A literary FEASTA 5 is NOT high enough to rate this book. On a 5 scale it is a 6. Mercedes, Cora, and Noah have been friends since childhood. Mercedes has always been the glue that kept them all together, and she ignores her feelings for Noah in order to let broken Cora grab onto happiness when Cora admits she’s in love with him. I adored Mer’s character. She’s seriously amazing. So strong, yet sweet and giving. A gem among women. And Noah. Sigh. He’s had a tough life, but he’s a good man. A patient man. I loved each and every character, even the broken ones.

Themes in The Smallest Part included suicide, depression, and the homeless problem. The setting is Salt Lake City, where I have witnessed the homeless problem myself. I loved how sensitively, yet bluntly Amy Harmon portrayed the grief and challenges these issues bring. How suicide not only affects the victim, but their families and friends for years or even the rest of their lives. It leaves painful, ugly gouges in their hearts and souls. I loved how the book promoted kindness, even simple acts we might not think much about, and to people we usually are tempted to shun. Small, kind acts can change lives!

I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so suffice it to say that Harmon is the master at surprising you. Her stories always take a twist I never imagined, and leave me almost breathless at the discovery. I loved this book. It seriously took my breath away and was either yanking on my tear chain, or messing with my laughing box. Keep a box of Kleenex next to you for this one.

CAVEAT: For those who like squeaky clean romance, there is some language and sex scenes. But I will say that I don’t like those things in books either, but the way Amy Harmon used those didn’t offend me at all. The sex is not detailed or graphic, and is a strategic part of the story in the character growth from the emotions and demons it builds. The language felt very true to life for the characters involved, and the F-bomb I despise wasn’t used. So those issues did not affect my reading experience.

Favorite Quotes

In the end, only three things matter: How much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” – Unknown


Even Abuela’s ailments were turned into cause for gratitude. “I have a tickle in my throat today. I think it is because you made me laugh so hard last night. We are lucky to laugh together, don’t you think?” They were words that meant nothing and everything. Words that made Mercedes feel safe and reminded her that life would go on beyond a temporary pain. Mercedes tried to give the same kind of words to Cora, hopeful that she would be soothed by the inanities and anchored by their normalcy.


It may be a small part, but you’ll kill it,” Noah promised. “I know you will. Sometimes it’s the smallest part that steals the show.”


Everyone deserves compassion. And I know suicide isn’t always a conscious act. Most of the time it’s sheer desperation. It’s a moment of weakness that we can’t come back from. But regardless of illness or weakness, if we don’t own our actions and don’t demand that others own theirs, then what’s the point? We might as well give up now. We have to expect better of ourselves. We have to. I expect more of my patients, and when I expect more—lovingly, patiently—they tend to rise to that expectation. Maybe not all the way up, but they rise. They improve because I believe they can, and I believe they must.” –Noah


You may not be where you want to be in your life, Mer. But I’m so glad you’re in my life.” –Noah


Life wasn’t about getting what you deserved. It was about enduring what you didn’t and not letting it destroy you.


Because this book is about kindness and love, to enter the drawing, tell me about an act of kindness someone else did for you. It can be big or small (this book is called The Smallest Part). I’ll give away a copy of Amy’s book at the end of the month (3/31) to a random commenter. Have a great week, and reach out and do something kind today. Be a small part of someone else’s good day.


My Fav Feb Reads

GIVEAWAY OVER: Winner is Kayli Garvin. YEA!!!

It’s time to play a little catch-up (not to be confused with ketchup). Here are a few of my favorite February reads. Most of these I rated 5’s on Amazon & Goodreads, but my Sweet Scale is a little more critical, so a lot are 4’s on here.

GIVEAWAY: I’m giving away a copy of the winner’s choice among these, so leave a comment to enter the drawing for March 16th.

Blemish by Jewel Allen

blemishThis historical fiction takes place in the Philippines (early 1900’s) in the Phillipines. The heroine has lived a life of luxury and has a beau ready to propose to her. But one blemish changes everything. Leprosy! Banished to a forsaken island with other lepers, Maristella must learn how to work and live in more primitive conditions as she adjusts to losing everything she cared for—family, privilege, love. As she meets Basilio, another leper in the colony, her heart opens to him. But lepers are forbidden to fall in love and marry. Continue reading

Love’s Journey Home

LoveJourneyHome_CVR_MEDHey, hey! I have a great book to tell you about, and the author is giving away 3 prizes, so enter the rafflecopter at the end of this post to get into the drawing.

Love’s Journey Home by Julie Coulter Bellon was a great book I enjoyed reading. Here’s the blurb, and my review below. Enjoy getting to know her better…and don’t forget to enter her drawing! Continue reading

Luck of the Irish Giveaway

Hey, hey! I’m one of the sponsors of this new giveaway for March.

If you’re interested, enter the rafflecopter at the end of this post to get your name in the drawing as many times as you’d like.

It’s pretty easy. All you have to do (for my entry, for example) is subscribe to my Stuck on Love newsletter (so if you already do that, check that one off for an easy giveaway entry). Continue reading

Stars Above Northumberland

The Stars Above Northumberland BannerHere’s a great book I’m excited to tell you about, and there’s a giveaway with it (so don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter at the end to get your name in the drawing). I just finished The Stars Above Northumberland by Anita Stansfield yesterday, and it was one of those breezy books to read. By that I mean I turned the pages so fast in my quest to finish and figure out what would happen that there was a steady breeze blowing on my face the whole time. Too bad it’s winter. I had to put on a jacket it was getting so chilly. Continue reading

Romance in the Air: Weaver & Montpetit

February is almost over. Just two more authors to tell you about, and then I’ll be back to posting regular reviews for a while. I hope you’ve gotten your name into the Romance in the Air Giveaway lots of times so you have a better chance at winning. Today’s giveaway if at the end of the post. Good luck!

Today I’m featuring both of our last two authors. Donna K. Weaver and Kimberly Montpetit. First off, let’s learn more about Donna K. Weaver and her newest book. Continue reading