32 CommentsAuthors, Books, Guest Contributor, Writing/Blogging


It’s my pleasure today, to be hosting fellow blogger, author Guilie Castillo Oriard, in support of her first solo book, THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS. To celebrate the e-book release, she is doing a virtual tour throughout November to talk about writing, the book itself, its island setting and its characters — including a 100-lb. monster dog rescued from the streets — and some of the issues MIRACLE touches on, such as the role of large and small dogs things in the realignment of our values, and the power of place in our definition of self. Guilie and I first met two years ago, during the April A to Z Blogging Challenge and share a love of dogs, travel and music. We also both participate in a recurring contest, known as Battle of the Bands” More about that in a minute but first, let me introduce you to this captivating book and its talented author:

Miracle of Small Things

Mexican tax lawyer Luis Villalobos is lured to the tiny island of Curaçao anticipating a fast track to the cusp of an already stellar career. But the paradise we expect is so rarely the paradise we find

The author, Guilie Castillo Oriard, is a Mexican export herself; she transferred to Curaçao “for six months” — and, twelve years later, has yet to find a reason to leave. Her work has been published online and in print anthologies, such as Pure Slush’s 2014 A Year In Stories and gorge. THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS is her first book.

Last week’s edition of “Battle of the Bands” featured “MacArthur Park”, originally recorded by Richard Harris and famously covered by Donna Summer. It looks like Guilie and Luis got into quite a discussion about it! Let’s listen in…..

Guilie and Luis, On “MacArthur Park” and Relationships
by Guilie Castillo Oriard

Whoa, Debbie… That was quite a battle last week! Can you believe Luis Villalobos (main character in THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS) had never heard the Richard Harris original? He might’ve known the Donna Summer version was a cover, but that’s the only one he knew. And he probably never bothered to find out—
Oh, come on. That’s unfair. And a little insulting.
Why? You’re not exactly the world’s most avid music fan.
Maybe, but the way you worded this, “never bothered to find out”… You could’ve said the same thing in a less confrontational way.
You lawyers, jeez. It wasn’t confrontational, okay?
It sounded confrontational
Fine. I apologize. Can we move on? (I’m sorry, Debbie.) I mentioned before that MacArthur Park has a special meaning for Luis, mainly because—
Not true.
because he’s spent his adult—
Don’t say it.
his adult life as a—
I’m warning you. Stop. Right now.
as a SERIAL MONOGAMIST. There. I said it.

footrints in the Curacao sand Just because I happen to like a song doesn’t mean—No, seriously. I do not appreciate being spoken of this way.
Which part do you object to? The “serial”? Or the “monogamist”?
Ha. Ha. What a freakin’ hoot.

Dude, really. I’m being kind. And more than fair.
You’re oversimplifying. You make me sound like some sort of—of—
Don Juan?
And you think that’s not accurate?
Absolutely not.
How many women have you been with?
No gentleman is ever going to answer that. And no lady would ask.
I’ll rephrase, your Honor. Please tell the court, Mr. Hotshot Tax Attorney, how many relationships you’ve been in.
Define relationship.
That, right there, is what I’m talking about.
What? I’m only asking for clarification. Do you mean romantic relationships, or employer-employee relationships, or client-attorney relationships, or co-worker relationships, or—
I’ll define ‘relationship’ for you. Mónica.
Come on! That was in college, man. That’s off-bounds.
I’ll start at law school, then. Wasn’t there a Rita? And Sandra, the redhead? And the gorgeous Jessica, the year you graduated?
That sounds like Mambo Number Five.
My point exactly. And Alyssa in Georgetown, and Janice in Toronto. San Francisco, Josephine and Alana and Sofiya. Sandra #2 in Zurich. Jackie in Hong Kong. Luisa and Jing in New York. Adela in Buenos Aires, those six months you spent there.

Curacao coastline It wasn’t like that.
Like what?
A list. A lumping together of names. These women were unique. Each relationship was also unique. And beautiful. And—anyway, I thought this was supposed to be about the song.
Well, yeah. Because MacArthur Park reflects your emotional reticence toward—
You authors, man. You think your characters are like some guinea pig that you can cut open in front of an audience and lecture everyone on—
I’m not lecturing. I’m trying to make a point.
That I’m a ‘serial monogamist.’ Yeah. We got that. What I don’t get is why you find it so shocking.
I don’t. I’m just—
Was I supposed to marry my high-school sweetheart? Or Mónica? I would’ve made their lives miserable. Dragging them all over the world, working 18-hour days, 7 days a week… They didn’t want that, and if they said they did, they were lying.
Or they were in love.
Right. ‘Cause that’s what love does. It makes you make decisions you’ll regret once the warm-and-fuzzies fade. And they do fade. They always fade.
You don’t know that.
I do, actually. If your list proves anything, it’s that nothing is forever. I loved those women. But—
You wouldn’t commit.
I committed just fine! I was faithful and honest—so much so that from the beginning I made sure they all understood I was leaving in a year or however long. That the relationship had a built-in ending.

Curacao street“Spring was never waiting for us.”
And yet, that’s not the line of MacArthur Park that touches you deepest.
It’s a great song. Lots of great lines.
Like, “After all the loves of my life, I’ll be thinking of you—and wondering why”?
Yeah. [Clears throat]
You need a minute?
No, just—the dust, you know? It’s windy, here in Curaçao.
I’m curious, Luis. Who will you be thinking of, after all the loves of your life?
No, it’s okay. Take your time.
[Sniffles] You got me good.
I’m sorry. I didn’t mean—
It’s okay. [Blows nose] Who do I think of? You know, it’s weird, but I don’t think I’ve met her yet.
Why the emotion, then?
Because… Maybe I think I’ll meet her, and I’ll never realize how deeply she touched me, how important she was, until I’ve lost her.

the big black dog named Al

Sorry, all. Luis is… He, uh, needed to go home and check on Al. Al’s the huge black dog he found on his porch not long ago, all ratty skin and pointy bones. The one he named after Alfred Prufrock. The one I keep hoping will show him that some things are forever, even when they don’t last. Thank you so much for hosting us, Debbie. It’s been an honor, and a pleasure.

Author Guilie Castillo Oriard

Likewise, Guilie. 🙂  I’m sure everyone wants to know more about Luis, the dog and Curaçao. Not only is this a compelling story, it also paints a vivid portraitof an island paradise few people are even aware of.


The book was released in paperback this past August, and has received enthusiastic feedback:

The combination of money and sex always creates an irresistible dynamic. Add more than a few dogs to the mix, and Guilie Castillo Oriard has created a tale as beguiling as the seductive ambiance of Curaçao itself.” ~ Peggy Vincent, author of Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife

Curaçao is lovingly rendered, past and present, as a character itself — post-colonial, starkly beautiful, and captivating. You cannot read this book without checking airfares to Curaçao.” ~ John Wentworth Chapin, author of Alexandrite and founder of 52|250 A Year of Flash

A richly enchanting story of lives and loves unfolding against the backdrop of the Caribbean.” ~ Silvia Villalobos, author of Stranger or Friend

Read more feedback at the publisher’s website, or read a full-length review by Lynne Hinkey at the Internet Review of Books.

Also available in KINDLE
epub, iBook, and Kobo formats.
Find it on Goodreads and Facebook


Guilie Castillo-OriardGuilie Castillo Oriard is a Mexican writer and dog rescuer living in Curaçao. She misses Mexican food and Mexican amabilidad, but the laissez-faire attitude (and the beaches) are fair exchange. And the island’s diversity provides great fodder for her obsession with culture clashes.

Her work has appeared online and, in print, as part of several anthologies. Her first book, The Miracle of Small Things (Truth Serum Press) was published in August 2015. She’s currently working on a full-length novel.

She blogs about life and writing at Quiet Laughter  and about dogs
Life In Dogs.  Author page on Facebook / Author on Twitter

Do you feel sorry for Luis?

Would you like to visit Curaçao?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
Debbie D. on FacebookDebbie D. on GoogleDebbie D. on InstagramDebbie D. on LinkedinDebbie D. on PinterestDebbie D. on RssDebbie D. on TwitterDebbie D. on WordpressDebbie D. on Youtube


  1. “But the paradise we expect is so rarely the paradise we find.“ You captured me right off with that line. Your interview was an interesting twist in presenting Luis. Very entertaining! Congratulations to your first book!

    1. That is a great line, isn’t it? 😀 Guilie’s book is both entertaining and educational. Makes me want to fly off to Curaçao!
      Thanks for dropping in, Angelika. Looking forward to reading your new book, as well.

  2. scintillating conversations, thank you both! No, I don’t feel sorry for Luis, he held his own very well! Yes please, would LOVE to visit Curaçoa – is that an open invite? 🙂 Am looking forward to reading the book!

  3. Oh I would love to visit Curacao. My cousins recently moved there, so I intend to visit them soon. I so envy all the sun they are getting, especially when I am staring in the face of winter here.

    1. That’s so cool that your cousins moved to Curaçao! You definitely have to come for a visit, and soon, too, to help you build up winter resistance 😉 And please look me up when you do! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  4. I contend that “MacArthur Park” is the greatest love song ever written. I rode around today, listening to the Richard Harris version, on repeat play, which I do often.

    The exchange here is absolutely brilliant.

    1. I know someone who would agree with you, Myke 🙂 That Richard Harris original is a category of its own. Glad you enjoyed the exchange here, and thanks for visiting!

    2. Glad you enjoyed the dialogue, Myke. Guilie is brilliant! 🙂
      I love the Richard Harris version more than any other. It brings back so many memories. Thanks for dropping in. 🙂

  5. That was engaging:) I guess I’m not lady cos I asked my hubby that question and knew he was full of beans when he tried to say he was only with 7 women in his lifetime until he met me. Great post and glad Guilie is being hosted here and soon at Tossing It Out

    1. I think, Birgit, that it’s the Don Juans who came up with the “No lady would ever ask” 😀 Though… I don’t know how much benefit can be reaped by knowing the exact number. (I guess in real life it boils down, kind of like it did here with Luis, to proving honesty.)

      Thanks so much for visiting, Birgit! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      1. Hahaha! That’s a question many people wouldn’t answer truthfully, but what does it matter, really? The main thing is, that person is with you in the here and now. 🙂 Thanks for dropping in, Birgit and I’m so glad you enjoyed Guilie’s post!

  6. You kept me engaged with this exchange. Luis gets around. Guilie will be at Tossing It Out this coming Wednesday.

    Great way to tie in Battle of the Bands.

    Arlee Bird

    1. Ditto what Debbie said: so glad you enjoyed it, Lee. And we owe the BoTB tie-in idea to you—glad you liked that, too 🙂 Very much looking forward to your posts, Lee… The one today, the guest post on Wed, your BoTB on the 15th to bring everything together, and finally your BoTB results… I’m dying to see who wins that one 😀

      Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Gracias, Suzanne! 😀 (My Spanish is very limited 😛 ) That’s Benny, one of Guilie’s 7 (!) rescued dogs. Her book paints a wonderful picture of Curaçao, but it’s also a good story.

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