“A SEASON FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES … AND MURDER & MAYHEM!!” (Episode 8)

Ever wonder what would happen if you combined a Hallmark Christmas movie with a Telenovela? Well, wonder no more!! Here is EXACTLY what happens, in “A Season For Magic & Miracles, And Mayhem & Murder,” (Episode 8)!!

Here’s what happens when you combine a Hallmark Christmas Movie and a Telenovela!

It’s been awhile, between travelling and other interruptions! So Sorry!!!

But here’s the latest episode, and you can find Episodes 1-7 here, and on my blog, lagringanovelera.me!

“A SEASON FOR MAGIC AND MIRACLES, AND MURDER AND MAYHEM!”

Episode 8:

But first a few flashbacks!

(((( When we last left the crime scene of Roberto’s (or maybe Pablo’s???) murder, LAS COLOMBIANAS, Special Assistant Deputies of Crime (And Arepas), had just announced that ROBERTO had been poisoned before he was ever shot, based upon tasting the white powder substance at the corner of Roberto’s mouth. This news stunned the Coroner, DOC FA LA LA LA LA, who was still counting the bullet holes in Roberto’s body. An even bigger surprise was the appearance of TWO TWIN ORPHAN children, JUAN CARLOS and GERARDO, who claimed they were Roberto’s Secret Sons. -Meanwhile, LUPITA and JAYCEE were falling in love while POLICE CHIEF RICARDO and MAYOR LUIS were interrogating them, even though the jury is still out on whether or not they are brother and sister.

-Meanwhile, GINA and VERONICA were in the kitchen preparing trays of Hot Cider and Christmas Cookies for the long night ahead, where it was clear that with Roberto gone, Veronica is very much in favor of selling Roberto’s store, Ye Old La Casa de Christmas of Ciderville, to The Career Woman Who Is Too Busy To Love Christmas, And In Fact Hates Christmas, and Wants To Buy Ciderville To Destroy It, who Veronica is sure is Lupita. Gina is worried for Lupita and Ciderville, and had to remind Veronica that the store isn’t theirs to sell, and Lupita has not yet said she is THAT WOMAN.

-Meanwhile, back at the Old Abandoned Mansion, FERNANDA has freed SANDRITA and ANTONIO from the locked bedroom, which Sandrita wasn’t too thrilled about, to be honest. Sandrita announces she’s with Interpol and has been following Antonio, and Antonio discovers the Santa mask in Fernanda’s pocket – could it be the same Santa mask worn by whoever killed Roberto?

-Meanwhile, BLANCA, PABLO’S wife, is not so sure her husband Pablo really is Pablo, The Surviving Twin.

-Meanwhile, no one is more confused by this story than me.)))

That’s enough flashbacks.

As Dr. Dre says, “Let’s Chill, ‘til the Next Episode…” (Which is this one!)

BACK AT THE CRIME SCENE…

Doc Fa La La La La, stunned at Las Colombianas’ conclusion that Roberto was poisoned, tries the powdery substance at the corner of Roberto’s mouth. Smiling, he opens Roberto’s clenched, rigor-mortis fist, where he finds the remains of a half-eaten Christmas Cookie. “This powder isn’t poison – it’s powder sugar!” The crowd cheers because now they can go back to the easier mystery of “Who Shot Roberto In A Santa Mask?” But Las Colombianas, not to be outdone, announce that Sugar IS Poison!

Doc suggests to Mayor Luis and Sheriff Ricardo give their girlfriends something else to do on the case. Luis and Ricardo have to agree, reluctantly, but since they have never settled on which one of them is La Colombiana’s boyfriend, and which one of them is The Other Colombiana’s boyfriend, the four of them link arms, like the cast of “White Christmas, and return inside the Ciderville Gingerbread Village Hall, where the deputized Las Colombianas are given the task of reviewing surveillance video.

When Mayor Luis suggests to them that they look for anything suspicious, La Colombiana announces that “EVERYONE IS A SUSPECT!” The Other Colombiana adds, “Even you two! Do you have an alibi? It seems to us that nothing in the Christmas Town of Ciderville is as it seems… , and everyone is Under Suspicion. Don’t leave town.”

The four of them stare at each other in a Very Tense Moment…

MEANWHILE, Lupita and Jaycee take a stroll in the moonlight, in Ciderville Christmas Park, a park filled with decorated Christmas trees, twinkling lights, covered bridges, an ice-skating rink, and a food truck giving away Hot Cider and Christmas Cookies. Jaycee and Lupita get a hot cider, and take a seat to watch the ice-skaters. Jaycee pulls the mistletoe out of his pocket, and holds it over their heads. Lupita’s fear that there is still a remote possibility that they may be brother and sister does not stop her from participating in a Full-Metal makeout. When they finally come up for air, JayCee asks Lupita if it’s true – Has she come to Ciderville to buy it and destroy it? Lupita takes her hands from his, and a single Telenovela Tear runs down her cheek. She rises, and walks towards the ice-skating rink, watching the skaters, one tear still running down her cheek. No tear from the other eye – like a Telenovela miracle.

Lupita then turns back to face JayCee and tells him “Let me tell you a story… A Christmas Story…”

MEANWHILE, back at the Ciderville Village hall made entirely of gingerbread, a worried Francesca worriedly watches the Twin Orphans, Juan Carlos and Gerardo eat some of the gingerbread counters in the Clerk’s office, and drink hot cider. These boys are hungry.

When they finish, Francesca asks them where have they been living all this time, and what happened to their mother? The boys look at each other, terrified, and won’t answer.

Francesca opens her purse, which is always an evening bag, and slowly removes a gun, a knife, and a bottle labeled “Poison,” and places the items on the table, in between their plates piled high with gingerbread. The boys’ four identical eyes veer between the weapons and Francesca’s intense stare and cigarette holder, which seems like it could be a weapon too. Juan Carlos yells “Matame! ¡¡¡Mátanos!!! La vida no vale nada!!!” (Kill me! Kill us! Life is worth nothing!!) Gerardo is silent, (to save money on the production). Francesca smiles and then suddenly jumps up and starts hugging them so tightly she might suffocate both of them. “No, mis amors!!! I love you and will protect you from now on!! If anyone tries to hurt you ever again, they will have to go through me – and my little friends!!” (pointing at the table loaded with weapons. And Gingerbread. ). “Now, how about some Christmas cookies for dessert! And more hot cider!!”

MEANWHILE, back at the Old Abandoned Mansion On The Outskirts of Town, Sandrita has Fernanda at gunpoint, while Antonio does the questioning, which is a pretty effective interrogation technique, even in Ciderville.

Antonio demands to know what Fernanda is doing at the Old Mansion, who was shot in the mansion earlier, and what is she doing with a Santa mask in her pocket?

Fernanda insists she will tell them everything, if they promise to help her. She directs Antonio to go to her purse, where he will find the answers to what he is looking for. Antonio does as Fernanda asks, and finds an Interpol badge in her purse! Sheepishly, Antonio then pulls out his own badge – He is with Interpol too! The three of them agree that since they are all on individual secret missions, they cannot reveal those missions to anyone, even each other. But they agree to help each other as much as possible. Sandrita is still suspicious of Fernanda, and demands to know what was she doing with the Santa mask? Fernanda tells them that she found it outside, on the road leading away from the Gingerbread Village Hall, and thought it would be something fun to wear at the Fundraiser For The Orphanage, coming up on Christmas Eve.

Antonio still wants to know who was shot earlier in the mansion.

Fernanda says she’ll tell them everything – but why don’t they do it over Christmas Carols and Hot Cider at the Ciderville Christmas Cafe? Antonio and Sandrita agree and as Antonio walks out of the room, Sandrita stops Fernanda in her tracks and says, “Antonio is MINE! MINE!! Do you hear me?!?! MINE!!! And I am sitting on his side of the booth at the Christmas Cafe!” Sandrita then caresses Fernanda’s face with the barrel of her gun and reminds her that she saw Antonio first, and called “Shotgun!!”

With a diabolical laugh, Sandrita runs out after Antonio.

A worried Fernanda walks over to the mirror and talks to herself, asking herself “What have you gotten yourself into now, Fernanda??”

She then removes a photo from her wallet and stares at it – It looks like a photo of Fernanda and Lupita together, taken a few years before, dressed in matching outfits – TWINS!!! And the man in the middle? ROBERTO or PABLO! (Too hard to tell!!)

Antonio calls for Fernanda from the stairs, and Fernanda hurries to join him and Sandrita for Christmas Carols and Hot Cider at the Ciderville Christmas Cafe…

… Until Next Time – Stay Tuned!!

“A SEASON FOR MAGIC & Miracles … AND MURDER & MAYHEM!! (Episode 6)

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you mashed up a Telenovela with a Hallmark Christmas Movie? Well here ya go: “A Season For Magic & Miracles.., And Murder & Mayhem…”

“A SEASON FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES… AND MURDER & MAYHEM” – (EPISODE 6)

A TELENOVELA WRAPPED UP IN A HALLMARK CHRISTMAS MOVIE!

CIDERVILLE VILLAGE HALL…

When we last left Ciderville, ANTONIO had startled MAYOR LUIS, when he appeared at the back of the Gingerbread Hall, and all eyes follow MAYOR LUIS as he and the handsome new stranger stare at each other. ANTONIO pulls out his gun and everyone ducks.

Then suddenly, he takes a big bite of the chocolate barrel and a big grin spreads all over his face and Mayor Luis starts laughing. All eyes are on the two old friends as they meet and hug. FERNANDA, who has watched the entire scene unfold from her hiding place in the back of the hall, finds Antonio’s real gun that he buried in a nearby gigantic Advent calendar, and takes it, hiding it in her purse. Antonio watches Fernanda as she does that while he’s hugging Mayor Luis, but doesn’t say anything as he watches her scurry away. Luis introduces Antonio to the residents of Ciderville, and he asks them to welcome him as warmly as they welcomed him. The townspeople welcome Antonio, and he gets a lot of compliments on his Christmas sweater. SHERIFF RICARDO introduces himself to Antonio, but there is immediate tension between the two of them. (Could it be that Sheriff Ricardo knows something Antonio does not – specifically, that there are only two LAS COLOMBIANAS??)

We leave Antonio and Ricardo sizing each other up, for a battle that is inevitable…

MEANWHILE …

Antonio tells Luis he’s got to run, and will find him in town tomorrow and they can catch up. Antonio escapes from the Gingerbread Village Hall in search of Fernanda, the beautiful, mysterious woman who stole his gun out of the Advent Calendar and ran away.

Antonio finds Fernanda running away down Main Street and follows her to an old, abandoned Victorian mansion. The gate is off it’s hinges, most of the windows are broken, and the gingerbread trim is falling off. A lone candle sits in the window at the top. Antonio watches from the alley nearby as Fernanda take out his gun,and enter the house carefully. He watches the top window, and within a moment sees her shadow bending over a figure he cannot make out. He pulls out a cigarette and a lighter lights up next to him, startling him. It’s SANDRITA, the beautiful, mysterious woman from the alley in Point Unpleasant, who had asked Antonio to set her on fire, figuratively speaking. Not only is she in a Christmas sweater – her earrings are mini-Rudolphs who’s noses light up. Antonio quickly pulls off her earrings – someone might see them! “QUE HACES AQUI?!?!?” Antonio demands to know. Sandrita tells him that she’s here to help him… Suddenly, they hear gunfire coming from the abandoned Victorian Fernanda slipped into, and they watch as a figure in the window collapses…

MEANWHILE…

Back at the Ciderville Village Hall, Mayor Luis is just concluding the town meeting about The Busy Career Woman From The Big City Who Hates Christmas And Wants To Buy Ciderville So She Can Destory It. LUPITA, looking extra-Christmas-y, is still getting glares and stares from most of the citizens of the town who are convinced it’s her. Then Mayor Luis throws a monkey-wrench into his presentation, when he suggests that maybe Ciderville should do the Opposite of Every Christmas Town in America and just SELL CIDERVILLE for as much money as they can get! He points out the ‘Pro’s’ of such a move – first and foremost, they can stop wearing Christmas sweaters and listening to Christmas music non-stop.

Luis is unnerved by the hard looks he’s getting, but it’s clear that a few people find the idea appealing. Luis studies the faces across from him, and asks them to just think about it. “Meanwhile, it’s time for some hot cider and homemade Christmas Cookies, and just like we do every year, you are welcome to eat parts of the Gingerbread Village Hall, but please avoid the retaining walls and support beams until closer to New Year’s. “. A loud cheer goes up as the audience rises and starts eating, drinking and dancing to Christmas music.

MEANWHILE… Back at the Abandoned Mansion…

After the gunfire stops, Antonio orders Sandrita to stay put, he’s going to investigate. Sandrita pulls out her badge and announces she’s with Interpol, and her Christmas vacation is over. She’s going with. Sandrita also warns Antonio to “not leave town – you’ll never find a Christmas town as beautiful and Christmas-y as Ciderfalls.” They run to the Mansion together to find out what happened …

MEANWHILE … Back at the Ciderville Village Hall…in the hallway next to the Meeting Hall…

LAS COLOMBIANAS have been spying on the meeting and what Mayor Luis is telling the crowd. La Colombiana listens closely, while The Other Colombiana takes notes. When Luis tells the crowd maybe they should sell Ciderville – they could all make a lot of money – Las Colombianas are outraged, and as soon as Luis leaves the stage and walks past them, The Other Colombiana breaks a Christmas vase over his head and they drag his body into a nearby office, while …

Francesca has been spying on Las Colombianas spying on Luis and also sees them drag his unconscious body into the nearest office. Francesca quickly makes a phone call, telling the person who answers – “I have got some news for you. Meet me at the Christmas Cantina. NO! The OTHER Christmas Cantina!!!

MEANWHILE…Back at the Abandoned Mansion, Antonio and Sandrita finally make the long climb to the top floor of the mansion, only to find the still-lit candle, shell cases, but No Body and No Fernanda. However, they do find something interesting – A Document that appears extremely ancient. We can’t see what it is but when they read it, their eyes open very wide, as if they are in shock.

Then, a breeze slams the door shut and blows the candle out, and they are suddenly plunged into darkness… Sandrita lights the lone candle in the room again, and tells Antonio that Las Colombianas have the right idea – Christmas sweaters with candles built right into them.

Antonio tries the door – they are LOCKED IN! And they can’t get any service on their cell-phones.

Sandrita and Antonio look around the room – there’s only an old-fashioned Christmas tree thankfully strung with popcorn, a rocking chair, and one bed covered in down Christmas blankets… Are you thinking what Sandrita is thinking?????

MEANWHILE… Back in the Ciderville Village Hall…

People continue to hang around and celebrate Christmas, and Luis possibly excellent idea, with hot cider and Christmas Cookies. GABI and GINA meet over the hot cider punch bowl when they reach for the ladle at the same time.

Gabi wants to know from Gina “QUE HACES AQUI?!?!?”

Gina responds that she could ask Gabi the same thing – for all anyone knows, Leonardo is the person who wants to buy Ciderville – he never appreciated the living, breathing heart of Ciderville, and the idea of a year-round, 24-hours a day ChristmasTown…

They are joined at the punchbowl by ROBERTO & PABLO, who confront each other in their matching Christmas sweaters. Roberto insists his is of a better quality – that they only sell the best of Christmas at “Ye Olde Ciderville Chrismas Shop,” while Pablo insists their stuff is junk, and that he, and his store The Ciderville General “El Generalissimo” Store are where all Christmas wishes come true – even the ones you never knew you had. They begin shoving each other over who has the better Christmas store, and when someone yells for Mayor Luis, Sheriff Ricardo finally realizes Luis is missing!

MEANWHILE… In the tiny office of the Village Hall where all non-Christmas supplies are kept…

Luis wakes up from being knocked out, looks around the store-room filled with boring office supplies, and looks at his captors who are still eating Arepas, Las Colombianas, and asks “QUE ESTOY HACIENDO AQUI?!?!” (“What Am I Doing Here?!?”)

Las Colombianas really give Mayor Luis an earful about his idea to go along with the sale of the town and stop living Christmas around-the-clock. Their very fast talking and extremely unusual accents are not making Luis’ headache any better, but as everyone knows, there is nothing that an Arepa can’t cure, so he eats a few and listens to their objections. Since they are very against waste, and have devoted their lives to fighting Global Warming, it is their opinion that destroying the town of Ciderville, no matter who much money everyone can make, will be very harmful. They add that they hit him over the head really hard to help make their point. They beg Luis to save the town of Ciderville, as only Las Colombianas can…

MEANWHILE… Back in the Village Hall…

The residents of Ciderville continue arguing with one another-

JOSE & JOSUE confront Oscar about trying to steal NADIA away from her husband, but Nadia insists to Oscar that she no longer loves JOSUE, and was going to leave him anyway. Jose and Josue find this admission very interesting, because Nadia is married to JOSE, not JOSUE. Nadia bursts into tears, and protests that it is not her fault – it’s their fault because they insist of wearing very similar Christmas sweaters and she can no longer tell them apart…

LEONARDO happily watches all of the bickering between the residents of Ciderville, and FRANCESCA, still smoking with her cigarette holder, is enjoying it just as much. The two of them bond over the Christmas discord and share a piece of the Gingerbread Town Hall. Francesca makes The Cigarette Move on Leonardo, but it’s less effective with a cigarette in a cigarette holder because it’s further away and not as intimate. Nonetheless, LUPITA, from across the room, sees it and doesn’t like it. Lupita walks right up to Leonardo, pulls him away from Francesca, and demands to know “QUE HACES AQUI?!?!? I am your wife!!” Francesca bursts out laughing, and Leonardo reminds Lupita that she didn’t even know they were married until he told her. He hands her a gigantic gumdrop as a Christmas peace offering, and strolls off with Francesca.

Lupita stands in the midst of the Ciderville citizens’ bickering and looks lost, because she has no one to argue with. JAYCEE strolls up, and very seductively, he asks Lupita “Que Haces Aqui?!” He then points up, and reminds her she is standing under the mistletoe. As he goes in for a kiss, Lupita stops him, and asks “Are you sure we are not brother and sister?”

Jaycee responds with one of the scariest phrases in Telenovelaville – “Confiar en mi.” – “Trust me.”

Jaycee goes in for the kiss again- but this time he’s stopped by a bloodcurdling scream from his mother, BLANCA!!

Blanca is standing outside, just outside of the front door of the Village Hall.

And someone is dead at her feet.

It could be her husband PABLO, or it could be his brother ROBERTO…

It’s impossible to tell which one is dead and which one is alive because they are identical twins in matching Christmas sweaters…

But either way, it’s bad…

To be continued…

“A SEASON FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES & MURDER & MAYHEM – Episode 5

Have you ever wished a Hallmark Christmas Movie could be more like a telenovela? Have you ever wondered what would happen if you mashed-up a Telenovela with a Hallmark Christmas Movie?? Well, now’s your chance… Look for a new episode every day of my telenovela “A Season for Magic & Miracles, and Murder & Mayhem… “

EPISODE 5 – “A TIME FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES … AND MURDER & MAYHEM”. — Yet Another Stranger Comes To Town

(A TELENOVELA COMBINED WITH A HALLMARK CHRISTMAS MOVIE)

We are in a dark alley. There are remnants of snow around, but basically, the snow is so old and dirty that the alley looks like a dirty ashtray. A caption tells us we are “Unpleasant Point,” New York.” Suddenly, we hear the footsteps of someone being chased – it’s a very handsome and mysterious man (“ANTONIO”). He stops at the edge of the alley – maybe he has escaped. He is scruffy and kind of beat-up, which somehow makes him look even more handsome.

As he catches his breath, he puts his gun back in his jeans pocket and looks around. Except for the sound of a dirty sax playing “Marry Christmas Baby,” coming from a nearby strip club, there is nothing at all Christmas-y about this dark, damp alley. Antonio hears the voices of the men who have been chasing him, so he begins to run towards a neon blinking “Unpleasant Point Bus Terminal.” He is stopped by a beautiful and mysterious woman who emerges from the shadows, and asks him for a light. This woman is “SANDRITA,” and she does not have a cigarette, which Antonio points out to her. “What is it you want me to light,” Antonio asks Sandrita. “My heart, mi amor – set me on fire.” Antonio ponders this odd yet intriguing response, assumes that this beautiful and mysterious woman was speaking figuratively, and excuses himself because there are men chasing him who want to kill him.

Sandrita watches Antonio run into the bus station, lights a cigarette and says to herself, “See you in Ciderville, mi amor.” Under her coat, we can what looks like the collar of a Christmas sweater.

The inside of the Unpleasant Point Bus Depot is even more grim and less Christmas-y than the alley, if such a thing is even metaphysically possible. Antonio makes his way to the lone cashier, who is dozing and eating at the same time. A small portable TV behind him plays “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol.” Antonio comments that he’s happy to see something for the holidays here – for awhile he thought Unpleasant Point didn’t celebrate Christmas. At first the cashier is confused, then tells Antonio it’s the only tv station they can get this deep into the mountains of upstate New York – the signal comes from a town called “Ciderville,” and they show Christmas movies 24-hours a day. He only has the TV on to keep his dinner warm – and points to a casserole dish sitting on top of the TV. Antonio, who keeps looking over his shoulder, asks for a bus ticket for the next bus out of town – doesn’t care where it’s going. Without missing a beat the cashier tells him “You’re in luck Santa – you’re going to Ciderville.” He takes Antonio’s cash, hands him a ticket, and points to the lone bus sitting in the terminal. “It’s just about to leave – better hurry up.”

Antonio takes the ticket, runs to the bus, but stops to give an elderly blind man with a red bucket some money. After Antonio drops a big wad of cash into the bucket, he wishes the old man a Merry Christmas and hurries to the bus. The elderly blind man removes his sunglasses, looks at the cash in the bucket and watches Antonio get on the bus.

The two men who have been chasing Antonio arrive just as the bus pulls away. They ask the old (not really blind) man where that bus is going, and the old man tells them “Sacramento.” Defeated for now, the two men shoulders’ slump and ask where the nearest rental car business is. The old man points to the car rental office in the terminal, but adds that it’s closed for the night, and they had better make themselves comfortable …

MEANWHILE…

Back in CIDERVILLE, LUPITA runs up Main Street, where she runs into OSCAR, who is running towards her. They both have to dodge groups of carolers dressed like Dickens characters handing out cups of hot cider and Christmas cookies to passers-by. Lupita has just escaped the Ciderville “El Generalissimo” General Store, while Oscar has just escaped the Ciderville Christmas Candle-Inn. They have never been so happy to see each other, and bring each other up to date on the lunatics they have just managed to escape from. The two of them compare notes:

In a flashback, Lupita describes the disturbing encounter with the very handsome LEONARDO, who is GABI’s brother, and apparently one of GINA’s enemies. Lupita tells Oscar how Leonardo made a beeline for her, and insisted she was his wife! Oscar interrupts to ask her if this Leonardo thinks she is this FERNANDA too, but Lupita says, “NO!! HE CALLED ME LUPITA AND INSISTS WE ARE MARRIED!!”

Oscar is very surprised at this, and tries to ask Lupita if it’s possible that she married this LEONARDO somewhere and forgot? Lupita agrees that anything is possible during the magic of Christmas, but she’s pretty sure she’d remember marrying a man as handsome as Leonardo. Lupita adds that when she tried to convince Leonardo that they are not married, Leonardo confessed to her that Lupita was in a “Conscious Coma” when they got married, and that is why she doesn’t remember.

Oscar then shares his story with her – we see it unfold in flashback – that he had really fallen hard for this NADIA, and confesses he allowed her to puncture the tires to the car so he could spend the night with her, but then tells Lupita that while he and Nadia were in the cantina, two very dangerous criminal-types came in, JOSUE and JOSE, and that one of the criminals (Oscar doesn’t know which one because their names are vey similar and they were both wearing Christmas sweaters) announced that Nadia is his wife. Oscar says that Nadia insisted it is not true, but when the man broke a beer bottle on the bar, after crushing a glass in his hand, Oscar thought he had better leave, with Jose, Josue and Nadia chasing him down Main Street. He adds he was only able to get away because a group of very small people dressed as elves were walking up Main Street looking for Santa’s Village, which Osar wants to visit before they leave.

Oscar looks down at Lupita’s brightly colored Christmas shopping bag that reads “HAVE A MERRY CIDERVILLE CHRISTMAS – FOR ALL OF THE WISHES YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD!!!” Oscar asks “What’s in the bag?!” Lupita answers his question by pulling two Christmas sweaters out of the bag – His and Hers.” Oscar shakes his head NO, but Lupita insists – they need to wear them to blend into the big town meeting tonight at the Gingerbread Village Hall. Lupita reminds him that this is why they came all this way – they have to wear these sweaters tonight – they have to be at the big meeting!! Plus, Lupita adds that there will be hot cider and homemade cookies. And that Nadia will certainly be there, since she owns the Bed and Breakfast in town! Lupita promises Oscar that she will keep Jose and Josue busy so Oscar can talk to Nadia and straighten the whole married/not married issue out. Oscar reminds Lupita that she has the same issue to figure out for herself, but agrees to go to the meeting, and wear the Christmas sweater.

As Lupita and Oscar hash out the details of their plan, GINA hovers nearby, spying on them from the side of the building they are next to. In fact, it’s hard to see how Lupita can’t see her, but if she would just look a few more inches to her right, or pay attention to all of the people wishing Gina a “Merry Christmas” as they walk by her, Lupita might realize that Gina has overheard everything she and Oscar said…

As Oscar and Lupita walk away in search of a room somewhere other than Nadia’s Bed and Breakfast, and a place to try on their Christmas sweaters, Gina emerges from the shadows and watches them walk away. “Be careful, mi amor,” she whispers. LEONARDO has been spying on them too, from the other side of the building, and when he hears Gina say “Be Careful, Mi Amor,” he stops, and approaches her very seductively. “Are you talking to me?” he asks. “Well who else would I be talking to?” responds Gina. Leonardo offers Gina his arm and asks her if she’ll join him for a hot cider. Gina accepts with pleasure, and they two of them sashay down Main Street together. As they pass by the window of the Ciderville “El Generalissimo” General Store, GABI watches her brother walk arm-in-arm with her archenemy, takes a chocolate Santa Clause off of the tree, and bites off the head.

MEANWHILE … Back at the Ciderville Village Hall…

LAS COLOMBIANAS are very busy chatting, chattering, and decorating the Town Hall, getting ready for the big meeting tonight. They have brought Arepas for everyone, claiming that since they are Colombian, they can’t live on Hot Cider and Cookies alone. Somehow, they are able to dance while they work, but once Maluma’s version of “(Baby Please) Come Home For Christmas” starts playing, all work stops as the two lead a Zumba lesson.

MAYOR LUIS and SHERIFF RICARDO watch Las Colombianas and agree they are in love with them, even though they can’t understand most of what they say, and they would feel a lot more confident if they knew who this “Parce” fellow was.

They toast each other with an Arepa and watch the Christmas Zumba lesson Las Colombianas give to the rest of the group.

MEANWHILE… Back on the bus to Cedarville…

Antonio watches the towns roll by as the bus travels towards Ciderville. A big happy family at the front of the bus sings Chrismas Carols, while another woman hands out homemade Christmas Cookies, and pours everyone a little hot cider from her gigantic thermos.

Antonio realizes his seatmate, an older woman wearing a headband with reindeer ears and a Christmas sweater pulls an apple out of her bag and offers it to Antonio. He refuses it at first, but she tells him she has an extra-one and he looks like he could use it. She reminds him it’s a long way to Cedarville and he needs to eat. This woman is CLARA. Antonio gratefully accepts the apple and they start talking. Clara suggests that Antonio buys a Christmas sweater as soon as he gets to town, or else he’ll stick out, and whoever is chasing him will be able to find him. Antonio asks Clara what makes her think he’s being chased, but Clara just gives him a knowing look and tells him that unless that gun in his waistband is made of chocolate, which are the only guns allowed in Cedarville, he better stash it somewhere before he goes into town.

Antonio sheepishly looks down at his fun, stuffs it deep in his pocket, and joins in with Clara and the Carolers, as they belt out “Feliz Navidad.”

The bus rolls through the dark New York hills… It’s snowing, but when the bus pulls into Cedarville, there is no snow anywhere…

MEANWHILE… Back at the Ciderville Village Hall…

Mayor Luis and Sheriff Ricardo help Las Colombianas as they build a Kissing Booth. The Kissing Booth is creating tension between Las Colombianas and Luis and Ricardo, because Luis and Ricardo do not want Las Colombianas kissing anyone but them. And another thing creating tension is that neither Luis or Ricardo can remember either one of their names, and now it’s too late to ask, so they refer to them as LA COLOMBIANA and THE OTHER COLOMBIANA, and to make matters worse, they’re are not even sure which Colombiana they are talking about at any given time, nor can either one of the two men remember which Colombiana they like. And the tension definitely increases when the girls begin talking about a guy named “Parcero,” who Luis and Ricardo are pretty sure is “Parce’s” hermano (“Brother”).

As Luis and Ricardo watch Las Colombianas prepare themselves for the kissing booth by repeatedly checking their lipstick, and blowing out the tiny candles on their crop-top Christmas sweaters so they can light them again, an anxious Fernanda spies on them from around the gingerbread corner, smoking with one hand and eating bits of the buttercream windowsill with the other…

As the crowd begins to pour into the Meeting Hall of the Village Hall, the atmosphere is festive, EXTREMELY CHRISTMAS-Y, and ripe for some very big hijinx…

Lupita and Oscar stroll in in their new Christmas sweaters… Lupita wears a crown of garland covered in tinsel, so she clearly thinks there is some kind of prize for “Best Costume,” – not realizing this is a pretty standard look for the women of Ciderville. There’s Nadia, flanked by Josue and Jose… She has thrown caution and tradition to the wind by wearing a red mini-dress a la Scarlett O’Hara at the Ball in Atlanta…

In strolls ROBERTO flanked by Gina and Veronica, followed quickly by JAYCEE, flanked by his parents BLANCA and PABLO. When Pablo and Roberto face-off, not only are they identical twins, but to add to the confusion, they are wearing identical Christmas sweaters… In comes Leonardo escorting his sister Gabi – he has traded his finely-tailored Italian suit for a Christmas sweater too. Gabi wears a Christmas sweater-dress, which every woman in the Hall is envious of.

Fernanda is wearing a silver mini-dress with tiny Christmas sweaters sewn all over it, and because she thinks this is a formal event, she has placed her cigarette in a holder.

The room is buzzing with competing Christmas get-ups, hot cider, Christmas cookies, and even though it looks like a party, they are all there for a very important purpose – to discuss what to do about “The Busy Career Woman From The Big City Who Wants To Buy Ciderville To Destroy It Because She Hates Christmas.”

As Mayor Luis tries to call the meeting to order, he bangs on the gavel and people gradually take their seats, except for Las Colombianas and the men (and a few women) lined up at the Kissing Booth.

An angry Sheriff Ricardo breaks up the line at the Kissing Booth, declares it officially “Closed,” and order everyone to their seats. For the first order of Village Business, Mayor Luis moves to ban Kissing Booths, Sheriff Ricardo “Seconds” the motion, and Mayor Luis orders Las Colombianas to his office to await further instructions from him and Sheriff Ricardo.

The room finally begins to quiet down, when Mayor Luis, still at the podium, sees Antonio standing at the back of the room. All eyes follow, and the room goes very quiet, as everyone stares at yet ANOTHER stranger who’s come to town. Finally, from the podium, Mayor Luis yells, “ANTONIO, QUE HACES AQUII?!?!?!?!?” (“Antonio, what are you doing here?!?!?!”)

Antonio stares at Luis for a moment, and then pulls out his gun… Everyone ducks…

And no one sees FERNANDA, standing right behind him…

… To Be Continued…

EPISODE 4

“A SEASON FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES … AND MURDER & MAYHEM!”

When we last left off yesterday, GINA was at the door of the Ciderville ‘El Generalissimo’ General Store, and GABI was not happy to see her, while LUPITA was still reeling from the events of the day so far,and she had only been in town for a few hours!

Gina is holding a snowglobe filled with Dalmation puppies, and still in her Christmas sweater.

An angry Gabi asks her “QUE HACES AQUI?!?!? (What are you doing here?!?)”

Gina responds that she is there to see FERNANDA. Lupita insists she is not Fernanda, and wants to know why everyone keeps calling her ‘Fernanda.’

For the umpteenth time that day (so far) she tells Gina in no uncertain terms that she is NOT this ‘Fernanda,’ and adds for good measure, that she is not here to buy the town of Ciderville, either.

She then adds, to both Gina and Gabi, that she is NEVER going to wear a Christmas Sweater, and that when people in The Big City wear them, they wear them as jokes, for ‘Ugly Sweater’ contests.

Gina and Gabi bless themselves.

Gina asks Gabi for a moment of privacy with ‘Lupita.’ Gabi is reluctant to do so, but Lupita insists it’s ok, and so Gabi goes to the store-room to unpack more Christmas sweaters, which is also an excellent listening post.

Before she goes, she asks if anyone wants any hot cider, but no one does.

Gabi pretends to go into the store-room, but she stands in the doorway, where she can hear everything.

Lupita asks Gina what she wants, and demands that Gina explains why Gina, Veronica and Roberto kidnapped her earlier that day.

Gina reminds her it was more in the nature of an “Unlawful Restraint,” and not a full-blown Kidnapping, but agrees it was wrong and apologizes and begs Lupita for her forgiveness. Lupita says she forgives them, but wants to know WHY??? Gina tells her that the Town of Ciderville is very important to all of them, and they heard that a Busy Career Woman From The Big City Who Hates Christmas was coming to Ciderville to buy the town to destroy, and that she and her partners had decided to hold The Career Woman hostage until after Christmas, so that Ciderville could have “One Last Christmas,” but that when they saw the Career Woman was Fernanda, they just couldn’t do it.

In the middle of the conversation, they hear the screech of tires, and Gabi, Gina and Lupita run to the windows of the shop, where they see the long, black limo we saw at the end of yesterday’s episode has stopped in front of the store. The tall, very handsome, elegant man in a perfectly tailored Italian suit emerges from the back of the car, and again removes his photo of “Fernanda” from his wallet, then looks directly at the faces of the three women in the window. Lupita shows no emotion, Gabi’s face breaks into a big smile, and a stunned Gina drops the Dalmation snow-globe, shattering it into a thousand pieces. And then faints in case anyone missed the point.

The man – LEONARDO – begins walking up the Candy Cane Lane to the shop… Taking his time… Enjoying this moment…

MEANWHILE…

NADIA and OSCAR are still day-drinking, at a different Cantina in town, the “Ciderville Christmas Candle-Inn.”

The Cande-Inn has no artificial lights, is entirely lit by Christmas candles, and the bartender dresses like Santa Clause, the Bar-backs dress as elves, and the waitresses dress like Mrs. Clause. But not a “Naughty’ Mrs Clause – more like a Hallmark Mrs Clause.

It’s one of the most popular places in town, because everyone looks great in candlelight.

In between steamy embraces, in their corner booth, Oscar asks Nadia about the town – specifically, what’s with the cider, and where’s the snow? Nadia is about to answer some of his questions, but changes her mind when “La Murga” comes on the jukebox, and she can’t resist the Christmas salsa music. She pulls Oscar onto the dance floor, and even though the two of them have been drinking all day, they don’t miss a step.

Everyone in the bar begins to clap around them as they take over the floor, yelling “Eso!!”

Just like Mark Anthony.

The music ends with an abrupt scratching-sound, when the doors to the bar open, letting in daylight and two figures of two men standing in the doorway, whose faces are blocked by the sun.

The two men come towards Oscar & Nadia.

Nadia’s eyes open in terror when she realizes it’s JOSE and JOSUE, now in matching Christmas Sweaters.

Jose says to Nadia – “Mira Nada Más” (“Well, Well, Well, Look Who’s Here…”) “Go on, my love, why don’t you tell your new lover about the cider?”

Josue adds, and “And don’t forget to tell him about the snow, too!”

Jose and Josue laugh diabolically and crowd Nadia, who pulls herself up bravely to her full height (approximately 5’3”) and demands to know “QUE HACES AQUI?!?!?”

Josue brings his face very close to Nadia’s, and tells her “We’re here for you.”

“And for some hot cider,” Jose adds.

Oscar believes this a good time for him to leave the bar, to go find his Patrona Lupita, but Jose and Josue block his exit, which leads Oscar to rethink his exit, and instead orders “Hot Cider all around!!” This breaks the tension, and everyone has a good laugh, until Josue leans right into Oscar’s face, demanding to know “Que Haces Aqui?!?!?!?!?”

Oscar replies that he’s only passing through town with his Patrona,

but Jose corrects him and says “No, I mean what are you doing here with MY WIFE?!?!?”

He then crushes the cider goblet in his hand, never losing eye contact with Oscar…

MEANWHILE-

Back at the Ciderville Village Hall made entirely out of gingerbread, MAYOR LUIS and and SHERIFF RICARDO walk into the small conference room where LAS COLOMBIANAS wait for them, drumming their extremely decorated and very long nails on the table. They are wearing Christmas Sweaters, but because they are Colombian, the sweaters are actually crop-tops that just look like Christmas Sweaters.

The crop-tops are also decorated with small candles that are actually lit, but because Las Colombianas are Colombian, they are not afraid of wearing lit candles.

When Luis and Ricardo walk into the room, Las Colombianos demand to know “QUE HACES AQUI?!?”

To which Luis responds “I work here. The better question is “QUE ESTAN HACIENDO AQUI??!” (Which means, “What are you doing here, (plural)?!?!?”)

Ricardo then tells them to put their sweaters out, because this is a “No Smoking” building.

LA COLOMBIANA points at LA FRANCESCA, The Deputy Mayor and Chief Deputy of the Ciderville Police Department, who is spying on them from the doorway, and smoking. La Colombiana demands to know why La Francesca is allowed to smoke, and Luis explains that La Francesca’s grandmother founded the town, so she’s grandfathered in on smoking. And Ricardo reminds them that Francesca is also the Deputy Mayor and Chief Deputy of the Ciderville Police Department, so she can pretty much do whatever she wants. THE OTHER COLOMBIANA objects to the corruption of the Ciderville town government, and also wants to know if she and La Colombiana can have some more hot cider please.

Luis tells them that they can have as much cider as they want once they explain what they are doing there without an appointment.

Las Colombianas explain (In very fast Spanish, in a very strong Colombian dialect that sounds kind of Chinese to an untrained ear, like mine) that they are there in the spirit of Christmas, and want to work with Ciderville to end waste, and to that end, they have a suggestion: After Christmas, they volunteer to take whatever is left of the Gingerbread Town Hall and ship it all to starving children.

Their organization is called “A Nosh for Los Ninos.”

The ladies add that they want to create a Christmas Talent Competition to raise funds for the organization, which will take place on Christmas Eve, and that since they are very talented themselves, they should not be excluded from the competition.

Luis and Ricardo try to catch their breath from the long and fast verbal assault from Las Colombianas, which is just how they talk. But the Mayor and Chief like the idea.

And they like Las Colombianas.

Luis calls for Francesca to bring more hot cider for everyone, and while the four of them toast happier days ahead for their relationship, Francesca watches from the doorway, smoking, and pulls out her phone.

When whoever she is calling answers, Francesca says “My love, I have some very interesting news for you… But it will cost you… Meet me at the Christmas Cantina. …

No! Not that one, the other one!”

MEANWHILE…

Back at the Ciderville “El Generalissimo” General Store, Lupita is trying to revive Gina, while Gabi fusses over LEONARDO with hot cider and cookies, and she holds different Christmas sweaters up to him, trying to decide what will suit him best.

Leonardo really likes those cookies, and doesn’t stop eating them.

He eats and waits for Gina to wake up, and stares at Lupita. Lupita finally revives Gina, and when Gina comes to, she asks Leonardo, “Leonardo, Que Haces Aqui?!?!?”

Gabi reminds GIna that Leonardo is family – her brother – and the better question to Gina is “What are you still doing here?”

Lupita watches them while they argue, and Leonardo interrupts them both with a “Shut Up,” which they obey immediately.

Leonardo begins walking towards a nervous Lupita, who walks backward as he walks forwards, and she nervously asks him what he wants.

Leonardo responds “You, Lupita, I want you – my wife!”

Gina and Gabi bless themselves, and Lupita slaps Leonardo, hard.

And then slaps him once more, in case he didn’t get it the first time.

STAY TUNED FOR EPISODE 5!!

#Telenovelas

#HallmarkChristmasMovies

I Make Mistakes In México So You Don’t Have To…

I had never before been to Mexico,

I don’t speak much Spanish,

I don’t know The Metric System.

So why not move to Mexico from Chicago to write the Telenovela of my dreams?

What could go wrong….

Listen to my podcast to learn all about my mistake-filled life here, and please give it a great rating even if you have to lie!!

Gracias!!

#podcasts

#mexico

#telenovelas

#travel

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/my-mexican-mistake-s/id1474401635

I Make Mistakes in Mexico City So You Don’t Have To…

I had never before been to Mexico,

I don’t speak much Spanish,

I don’t know The Metric System.

So why not move to Mexico from Chicago to write the Telenovela of my dreams?

What could go wrong?????

Listen to my podcast, NOW ON APPLE PODCASTS, to learn all about my mistake-filled life here, and please give it a great rating even if you have to lie!!

Gracias!!

#podcasts

#mexico

#telenovelas

#travel

podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/my-mexican-mistake-s/id1474401635

My Mexican Mistake(s)

I moved here to Mexico City on June 1, 2019, inspired by my love of telenovelas!

And I’d never been to Mexico before a day in my life!

And now I’m making lots of mistakes here, so you don’t have to!

The podcast is now on Apple, Spotify, Anchor and lots of other platforms. It’s somewhat awkward, very silly, occasionally funny, and always commercial-free!

Please give it a listen and a high rating, even if you have to lie.

podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/my-mexican-mistake-s/id1474401635

Not One Decorating Or Travel Tip Here. No Recipes Either.

Why You Need to Stop Decorating And Watch “La Reina del Sur 2” on Netflix

One of my favorite series, “La Reina del Sur 2” is now on @netflix everywhere, and coming soon to @telemundointl here in Mexico!

Only GOT beats it in the ratings, which isn’t surprising because basically LRDS is a NarcoNovela GOT, with it’s own cool acronym too.

There is a lot of driving in #lrds2 – and oddly some of it is by a ten-year old girl driving a Cadillac through the winding streets of Tuscany.

You’ll see things in this great series you’ve never seen before, including American actor (and Julia Roberts’ brother) Eric Roberts, speaking worse Spanish than I do.

The show has a wonderful cast, great music (thanks to @flaviomedinal and his back-up singers @robertowoficial & @lincpal) and is a lot of fun and a Truly Excellent Adventure. @calvatwitt as

“Batmancito” is going to break your heart, plus there’s nothing more fun than watching him argue with a ten-year old. Humberto Zurito is a blast as “The Narco Who Would Be President.”

The only real danger of his Presidency would be that Cabinet meetings could get confusing because he calls everyone “Mijo.”

Watch @reinadelsurtv on @Netflix for a very good time!!

#lrds #netflix #gringanovelera

Maybe The Aztecs Should Have Been A Little Nicer…

Listen to the most recent episode of my podcast: “The Mistakes Of The Aztecs!” https://anchor.fm/karen-kerbis/episodes/The-Mistakes-Of-The-Aztecs-e5022r

The Most Meta- Moment In My Life? Easy. I Was A Character In A Telenovela!!

All I wanted to do was learn Spanish from watching a telenovela- and somehow I became a character in one!!

As the hit FashionRomanceTelenovela “Betty En New York” has come to an end with SPECTACULAR ratings, things are just starting to heat up here in Mexico City, where the ratings for this fun and funny show are always #1 in it’s time slot.

Could these fantastic ratings be because I am actually a character in the show, thanks to Sandra Velasco, Luis Mi, Alejandro Vergara, Valentina Del Rosario Parraga and Lizandra Parra!

Yes, “Sofia” is represented in her divorce by Marcela’s good friend, “the Best Lawyer in the USA, “Karen Kerbis from Chicago!”

My favorite part of being a lawyer in this Novela is that just as it was when I actually was a lawyer in Chicago, my advice comes from watching telenovelas, because “Law and Order” was too unrealistic.

Here I am!!

I’m “Karen Kerbis, the Lawyer from Chicago!!”

Of course, I was very lucky to be played by the wonderful actress Lizandra Parra!

And doubly-lucky to have Amaranta Ruiz for my client!!! ❤️❤️

I will never forget that this happened to me!!

Muchas muchas gracias!!

😘😘😘😘