It’s Friday, Hearties! And more than that, it’s the Friday before a long weekend! Yahoo! I’ll do my best to get a blog up on Monday with the holiday and all, but I hope all of you are having so much fun that you can’t read it until Tuesday. You won’t want to miss it, though! Next week is special! And no, I’m not revealing why. 😀

And speaking of special, we’re doing something a little different today. Anybody ever watch Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman? I remembered this was something they did in an episode once. Colleen (the teenage girl in the series,) would rush to the telegraph office with her friends to read the latest piece of a story published in the newspaper. And every week, they would read the next part of the story until it was finished. How about we give that a try here? I’ll give you the first installment of my latest #FanFictionFriday story: A New Arrival; then next Friday, I’ll give a little bit more. How’s that sound? Now remember, it’s a short story, so the installments won’t be very long, but I hope you enjoy them. So…here…we…GO!

 

 

Nate slowed his mount Rusty to a walk as he reluctantly approached the wooden sign that named the town of Hope Valley. Sweat beaded on his brow, and his breath came in short, gasping huffs. Nate nervously gripped the reins tighter; Rusty nickered, and tossed his head anxiously as he took a few staggering steps backward.

“Sorry, boy,” Nate apologized as he patted the horse’s neck, trying to slow his own pulse. Rusty had always been a calming influence in Nate’s life, but not even his magic was working today; there was just too much at stake! With a forceful, determined exhale, Nate clicked his tongue, and nudged Rusty forward into the center of the frontier town. His face appeared calm, but his heart was pounding with every clip-clop of the horse’s hooves as the two plodded down the packed-dirt road. The astonished stares he was getting from a few scattered townsfolk wasn’t helping.

“Calm down,” Nate urged himself in a barely discernable whisper. “You know this has to be done! Just get it over with!” He found the jail with little trouble, and decided he should probably report to the sheriff before gallivanting about on his…other quest. He dismounted, tethered Rusty’s reins to the post, straightened his red serge jacket, and ascended the steps.

 

 

Well, that’s it. That’ll tide you over until next week, right? Have an absolutely FABULOUS Labor Day weekend, Hearties! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!

           

Hi, there! Wow! Halfway through the week! Well, no reason to stand on ceremony, right? Let’s cut to the chase. This being the final Wednesday in August, (sigh! Goodbye, August!), and this was Garage Sale Mystery month, we’ll talk about…the final chapter of Garage Sale Mystery: Murder in D Minor. No additional WCTH cast and crew beyond the core family, Frank, and Neill Fearnley, (I’m telling you, they’ve GOT to have Sarah Strange guest star, and “complete the ring” so to speak,) there was a new character I really like. That character is Dean. Isn’t he fantastic? I laugh so hard every time he is on the screen! Since this is the first time we’ve seen him, I suspect this is his only appearance in a GSM movie, but does his character light up a room! When Jenn finds him lying unconscious on the floor, I was so upset! I was certain he was dead, and that seemed like a HUGE loss! I was quite relieved to find out he hadn’t been killed. Then I cracked up all over again when he shows up at Rags to Riches in all his glory on wheels. Favorite line has to be when he’s talking to Jenn: “Take it easy? What do you know about that?!” To which Jenn must reply, “Touché.” But it is a toss-up between that and his reaction to Howie saying it’s time to go. His huge groan with something to the effect of “Just when it’s getting good!” He is just a joy to watch, and you can’t help but smile when you catch a glimpse of him.

I want to talk about Jenn herself for a minute. It occurred to me I don’t talk about just her much. First of all, that blue blouse she was in is STUNNING! That was a FANTASTIC costume choice! Tasteful, elegant, flattering, shimmering…it made her even more lovely, and she’s rather lovely already. Character-wise, there were some fun things with this plot. One thing I noticed is when she and Frank go see Mr. Siles together. Frank asks her to go along because she knows antiques and the lingo that goes with them. Lots of times I wonder why she’s going along on an investigation, and would that be entirely appropriate. But the writers and Lori gave her presence a real purpose…and a magnifying glass in her purse. I’d never seen that before, had you? She becomes more Holmes-like with every passing installment.

One other aspect about Jenn was her lack of pride. Not lack in confidence, mind you, just pride. Several times in these types of movies, we see the main female character get a little puffed up, refuse outside help, then get in over her head, and need help anyway. Even though Jenn takes chances she shouldn’t sometimes, she’s VERY quick to call Frank when she’s threatened, or feels so. And unlike many other characters like her, she doesn’t turn down Frank’s offer to have a unit stationed outside her store AND home. I honestly thought she would, and I was pleasantly surprised when she accepted.

Kids’ turn! I was proud of Logan using his strength to help improve a weakness; we need more teenagers like that in the world! That coach was ticking me off though. What’s wrong with a student having a good idea to improve the team? He redeems himself at the end by scarfing down a huge slice of humble pie, and I’m glad he was smart enough to give Logan the chance he deserves. And the way he starts the whole “Look at me” campaign is just hilarious!

And Hannah. Hannah, Hannah, Hannah. She’s quite the powerhouse in this film, isn’t she? She really speaks that athlete’s language, telling him about her “game plan”, and makes him listen. And even though she smiles and giggles at him a little, (WHERE WAS BRETT?!), she doesn’t let him charm her into letting him off easy. Their best interaction is: “You sure you can stand me 3 hours a day?” “As long as they’re paying me.” You go, girl! And the bangs are grown out. I think I like her better without, what do you think?

Okay, plot talk! The opening was superb! I was instantly drawn in. The melancholy piano music, which I can only guess is Fantasia in D Minor is an instant mood-setter. I was confused by the whole note-and-code thing though. I’m a piano player, a piano TEACHER, and I could NOT follow that conversation. Maybe because I’m not a code breaker as well as a musician. Speaking of the piano, did any of you catch the WCTH Easter egg? The piano itself. It’s a 1910 player piano. Hmm… 😉

There was one plot point that I had to chuckle at was Frank finding Siles. Frank NEVER finds the body! Yeah for being a police detective! AND he arrested TWO criminals! Busy boy! Man, I really didn’t know who the killer was going to be, and they held out until the bitter end! I did suspect the granddaughter, but I thought that choice was too obvious; they’d been moving away from the obvious choice, so I thought there was no way. Oops!

Well, time to fly! Have a great rest of your week, Hearties. I really hope it turns out well and enjoyable, and not too stressful. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom.

                                                                           

Hello, hello, hellooooooo, Hearties! How is everybody doing on this fine, sunny, and HOT Monday? Did anyone have the first day of school today, or will you at some point this week? Well, good luck if you do! Before we begin, I just HAVE to put a plug in for the Hallmark Summer Nights movie Season for Love. It doesn’t have any of the WCTH cast or crew (that I saw), so I can’t review it. But please watch it when it airs again. It’s PRECIOUS! I haven’t finished watching it yet, but I really like what I see. And it takes place in TEXAS, so ya’ll can’t go wrong! 😉

Now for our lovely lady being spotlighted on this beautiful #MeetYouMonday. Her name is Belinda Rangel. She’s ALSO from Texas, so once again, you can’t go wrong! 😀 Wait until you hear about her! Take it away Belinda!

1. Where are you from? If you’re living elsewhere, where are you living now?
            • I was born in Brownsville, TX, and I’m currently living in Cleveland, TX.

2. Tell us about your family.
            • I’m single. I have a younger sister and brother. My parents have been married for 44 years. My sister got married on the same day as my parents four years ago, and now she’s waiting on baby #1 to make an entrance to the world!

3. What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies? What are you studying/did you study in school?
           • I am in the Logistics industry. I expedite oilfield cargo all over the world. I actually just started a new additional job  about two weeks ago. I enjoy working my DS (direct sales) business; Damsel in Defense, where I get to equip, empower, and educate women with safety protection products.

4. How did you find/discover WCTH?
           • I was already enjoying the Hallmark Channel when I saw it promoted; movie first, of course, then the series.

5. What is your favorite episode? Season?
          • I’m not sure about my favorite episode, but the first season is one of my favorites!

6. Who is your favorite character? Star of the show?
          • I’d say, the town. It’s a character all on its own. You can see how even though there’s a spotlight on someone, the town still lives on. You see how they work together to make their lives better.

7. Why are you a Heartie? Why do you love the show?
          • I can enjoy a Sunday night without profanity, nudity, or violence. I also get to see that there are other people in the world who just want something clean, family-oriented, and family-friendly to watch.

8. Anything else you enjoy, or anything you’d like to add?
          • I’m not ready for the next season…Season 6. Maybe if I watch it again, I’ll see that nothing tragic happened in our little  town. 🙂

                                                               

Thank you so much Belinda! “Damsels in Defense”? That has got to be the coolest name for a business EVER! And I love your insight of the town itself being a character; it sure does seem to come alive. I know that even the most loyal of Hearties are approaching Season 6 with a measure of trepidation, so don’t feel bad saying you’re not ready. It will definitely be a change we’ll have to get used to. But we’ll soldier on, won’t we?

Well, everybody, thanks for joining me once again. Just a few reminders: please feel free to repost, retweet, share, and talk about the blog so we can get the word out. And don’t forget about the survey so I can give you more of what YOU want to read. Have a fantastic day, and we’ll see you Wednesday. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!

Hello, hello, everyone! Thanks for your patience yesterday; the day just got away from me. So now we’re going to review The Mask Murder, for real! So let’s not stand on ceremony, let’s get to it! First step, as usual: the WCTH (and SSD) actors. We have the usual suspects: Lori Loughlin, Steve Bacic, Eva Bourne, Connor Stanhope, and now Kevin O’Grady. Then for this installment, we have Jeffrey Ballard (Danny the artist from SSD), Hannah Pederson (Francine the fellow teacher from WCTH,) and Mel Damski (WCTH) directed.

Second step: Reviewing. I want to start with Jason and Jenn’s relationship. Since they’ve been married for a while, and bringing them together isn’t the focus of series, their romance takes a backseat in the plot. But I love how they have cute little ways to keep their spark ignited. Their running joke of the silence being golden was so funny to me. I don’t get a lot of quiet time with 4 small children, and I keep thinking that that time will increase; but obviously grown kids can create havoc too, just a different sort. Then your heart just melts into a puddle when Jason says, “Silence is only golden if I spend it with you.” So adorable! The only statement that could possibly rival that one is Jason’s stereotypical husband remark: “Honey, can I go?” after declaring he doesn’t need Jenn’s permission to help Hannah with her charity project. And let’s not forget Jason’s other endearing comment about silence later in the movie: “Besides your laughter, my favorite sound.” Aww! In my opinion, that’s right up there with, “I know you’re there Elizabeth, I know your perfume.” It’s just so sweet seeing a stable marriage featured with both parties trying their hardest to keep the flame of romance lit.

Then there are the two brand new relationships featured: Hannah and Brett, and Dani and Drew. Do you think they did that on purpose? Jenn and Jason, Dani and Drew? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s cute no matter what. Anyway, I’m really glad they brought back the good Officer Brett Ryan; it makes for great continuity in the story, and Hannah needs a nice guy in her life. And let’s be honest, he’s just really handsome! Right, ladies? 😉

Then we have Dani and Drew. Nice to finally have one of her boyfriends stick for a change, and he’s a nice guy to boot! Wow, imagine that! Dani is seeing someone who is in more than one movie, does not turn out to be the murderer, and obviously adores her. Too bad he’s shorter than she is when wearing heels, but oh well. 😀 One thing I really like about them as a couple is how secure they are. They’re not afraid to take a stroll down memory lane, and revisit all those past times. On the other hand, they’re emotionally mature enough to not live in the past, thus preventing them from making a real connection in the present time.

The non-romantic chemistry ain’t too shabby either. I never get tired of watching Frank and Jenn quibbling about case details over pancakes, especially Frank mentioning his “dad bod”, and Jenn assuring him that he looks great, so he SHOULD have the pancakes. He has those signature lines like “Here we go”, “Should I even ask why you’re here?”, and “Is it safe to assume…” Then there’s Dani in her beautiful green coat trying to be the voice of reason; and when that doesn’t work, she says in her carefree tone, “Promise me you’ll be careful.”

I still can’t believe it was the ex-boyfriend’s girlfriend who committed the murder. Maybe it’s because I’m no good at figuring out mysteries, but I think they do a great job of keeping a person guessing until the very end. The confusion is definitely heightened when the innocent people are so confrontational. Did any Postables notice that the character of Grey seemed to be something of an artist in this series like his character in SSD? Maybe it’s a talent of his in real life?

Last thing I want to mention is something from the locker Jenn and Dani buy. When they look through their newly-purchased merchandise, the ladies find a crate of mason jars from the 1900’s. So THAT’S what happened to all the jars Jack used to propose! 😀

Third step: Saying good night. Thanks for coming again, everyone. And once again, thank you SO MUCH for your lovely and thoughtful birthday wishes. They really made my day. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Continue reading “#WonderWednesday Part 2 – The Boyfriend Didn’t Do It”

Happy day, Hearties! And Postables! And, yes, it is my birthday! I’m (mumble mumble mumble)…No, I’m kidding. I’m 25…uh, plus 10. Thank you so much to all of you who have wished me a happy birthday on Facebook or Twitter, etc. Just you reading and sharing my blog, getting the word out there, is a wonderful birthday tribute. So thank you!

My husband sure did get my day off to a great start! He gave me a wonderful present that I’m sure many of you will appreciate. You can see the picture at the end of the post. And tonight, he’s keeping the kids while I go to a fiction writing class at our library. So excited! It’s the 3rd installment, and I’m learning so much about becoming a better writer! That way I can write better stories for #FanFictionFriday, and eventually write a great book. Yes, my friend Sarah and I are taking the plunge into writing a novel just for people who love quality entertainment like yourselves. It’ll take time since we’re both moms and women with busy lives, but you’ll be among the first to know when we achieve that goal!

Now down to business! If you joined us on Monday, you know that I asked for a vote as to which Garage Sale Mystery movie you wanted reviewed since there were two I hadn’t posted about yet. And the winner is, with a 67% vote…The Mask Murder. But unfortunately, with all the birthday well-wishes, my nutty children needing supervision as they “do my chores for me”, and my class, time has just run out to do the movie any justice. So please tune in tomorrow as I review Garage Sale Mystery: The Mask Murder.

And a HUGE shout-out to Ben Rosenbaum (Mike Hickam) for wishing me a happy birthday on Twitter! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off. May your heart let your hope blossom!