a taste of ‘The Miracle of Small Things’

from the novella by Guilie Castillo Oriard, published August 2015

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

The Miracle of Small Things is a novel in stories, a portrait of the power of place in our definition of self. Author Guilie Castillo Oriard is a Mexican import herself who transferred to Curaçao “for six months”—and, twelve years and a magical story of love later, is still there.

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ISBN (paperback) 978-1-925101-73-7

ISBN (eBook) 978-1-925101-74-4

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“Luigi, I’ve been looking forward to this.” Luigi. And he felt like Rudolph Valentino while his self-esteem—and his keys—fell to the carpet, unnoticed.  from The Miracle of Small Things

It’s on purpose, all of it: the skirt riding up, the twist from the waist so her ass looks rounder and her cleavage shows just enough swell.  from The Chablis and Sushi Miracle

“Your dog?” “Yes.” Luis tastes tears in his throat, wants to kick his wimpy self.  from The Hunt for Pélagie Solak

The question isn’t will she know; it’s what will she do with the knowledge. Luis’s career is in her hands. He put it there, seven months ago to the fucking day.  from Hot Water

“It’s the only reason he came here. To be MD. He’ll have nothing to stay for.” And he’ll blame her. He’ll think it’s because of that stupid fight. Her tantrum over that woman.  from Quixote Always Loses

“I’m right here. Just stretching my legs.” He lowers all the windows and opens the doors on the downwind side, in the unlikely case Al decides the world isn’t as scary as it seems.  from The Hunt for Pélagie Solak

Al barrels onto Luis, all drool and wet, sandy paws. All unreserved worship and joy, too, which is why Luis smiles instead of grimacing.  from When the Sunset

Stepan leans back in his swiveling chair, stretches his arms up above his prematurely balding head. “Faulty structures are our daily bread, bicho. I mean that literally. Fixing them brings in good revenue.”  from The Chablis and Sushi Miracle

“Dengue.” There’s a certain pride in not being vulnerable to just any common virus. He kind of wishes it was malaria now.  from Hot Water

He’s lived alone for twenty years, more often than not without housekeeping, and his pads were always spotless. Maybe too spotless, too far up the Architectural Digest scale of un-lived-in-ness.  from Epilogue

“Listen to you.” She chuckles, smooths the edge of the towel. “Treaties. Defer taxes. Five minutes with you and I feel like I need a tailored suit and a briefcase.”  from When the Sunset

Luis gets the feeling she has no qualms of politeness; he won’t be the first, or the last, to whom she refuses the honor of her handshake.  from The Hunt for Pélagie Solak

She pulls the Samsonite’s zipper open like an old-school cabaret stripper and throws him what looks like a very thick checkbook, but isn’t. It’s a brick of twenty-dollar bills.  from A Cause for Celebration

In the stillness, the fading rain polka-dots his shirt and kisses his face, his arms. It makes the flat surface of the bay whisper; a sshhh that feels more like commiseration than admonition.  from The Inevitable

“You could come to Singapore.” He laughs too. These things are best approached disguised in humor. “As your lapdog? Enticing.”  from The Chablis and Sushi Miracle

Luis is expected to survive underwater in boots, a wetsuit that—regardless of what size the tag says—still feels too tight, and an inflatable lifesaver that requires more assistance than Marie Antoinette’s corsets.  from Dive

A knock at the door. He closes his eyes, already mourning the solitude he’s about to lose.  from A Cause for Celebration

She’s been surprisingly mature about it. Until Saturday, when she apparently lost it. Forty-three missed calls over the weekend.  from The Bonaire Feel-Good

Her stomach turns a triple axel, lands wrong, doesn’t quite recover. “What about Luis?” Rowan shrugs. “A little competition won’t hurt him.”  from Quixote Always Loses

“Eww, morning breath.” She grins, and the sunshine glows brighter. “Kiss me anyway.”  from Illusions, Lethal Weapons, and a Can of Maggots

In a different time zone, would she wake up at six Curaçao time? Or does her body tune into the ebb and flow of day, like a radio?  from Illusions, Lethal Weapons, and a Can of Maggots

He must have shaved just before leaving his house. For reasons I’m not prepared to explore, that makes me want to cry.  from The Miracle of Small Things

He’ll drop off his things in his office and go find her, find out what killer bee got into her designer bonnet, and tell her, nicely, to calm the fuck down.  from The Bonaire Feel-Good

“So…” she says, in that unique, drawn-out way the Dutch have, which always reminds Luis of Maria teaching the von Trapp children the notes on an Austrian mountaintop.  from The Inevitable

She’s big on the fact of coincidence, not its significance. The self-serving ego-trip junkie in him insists she’s right.  from The Bonaire Feel-Good

Every kiss, every orgasm, every time he makes her smile; it’s all just another turn in the unwinding of their clock.  from Illusions, Lethal Weapons, and a Can of Maggots

Anger is nothing but hurt; revealing it makes us vulnerable. And I’m done being vulnerable.  from The Miracle of Small Things

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