Haaaapy Friyay, Hearties! We’re inching closer to the first weekend in May! I got all excited, thinking it was this weekend, then I looked at my WCTH calendar, and realized I had miscounted my days! Sadness! But I’ll live…somehow. 😉

Okay, I won’t keep you from the story any longer! Will anyone else get sick? Will Bill, Henry, and Mike succeed on their mission? Will Faith figure out how to make everyone well? Find out now! (At least in part.) And if you’ve missed parts 1 and 2, simply go to the 2 previous #FanFictionFriday posts. 😀 Enjoy Romance: Quarantined Part 3 by Sarah Nitsch and Kami Clements.

 

 

“Are you trying to hit every hole in the road? I think my backside has bounced into my throat by now!” Bill complained.

“Well, you and your backside had better become accustomed to a few bumps, Bill, because there is no way I’m letting you get behind this wheel,” Henry grumbled.

Bill still wasn’t the least bit pleased with the prospect of countless hours in the same vehicle as Henry Gowen. It had already been eight, and he was exhausted! He didn’t like the feeling of not being in control of a dire situation, so to cover, he had to think of a way to fire back. “You let Rosemary Coulter in that driver’s seat at Christmas.”

Henry grimaced, and inwardly cursed himself. He knew that decision would come back to bite him. He’d had his reasons, but they weren’t for Bill’s ears. He had to retaliate, but he crafted his words carefully. “Would you have had me deny a pregnant woman a pram, and the whole town their Christmas dinner entrée?”

Mike sat in the back seat shaking his head and sighing. He rubbed a hand over his worn out face, then switched to massaging his sore neck. He’d tried to refrain from looking back and forth between the two bulls locking horns, but to no avail; and it was beginning to take its toll…in the form of whiplash. After the first two hours, he’d tried breaking things up by talking about how great the weather was for the drive, and that they hadn’t gotten stuck in any mud, not even once. That had been fruitless; Bill had just waved a lazy hand in his general direction, and plunged right back into whatever they’d been arguing about. Maybe he should try again. Well, no time like the present!

Mike put a smile on his face, and scooted up in his seat, trying to put some distance between the two, hoping to get a word in edgewise. “Bill!” he began cheerfully, clapping him on the shoulder.

Bill turned his glare to Mike, then Mike’s hand on his shoulder, then Mike’s face again. Mike timidly cleared his throat, and slid his fingers down the back of the seat until they met with his other hand, and clutched both together for dear life. He continued, but in a much more subdued tone. “Um…did you hear about…the new head saw Mr. Coulter ordered? It came in just before we left.”

“Is that a fact?” Bill asked unenthusiastically.

“Yes, it did,” Henry proclaimed. “I installed it with a team myself, and it runs twice as fast. We’ll be able to double our production,”

“It’s a miracle the engine didn’t burn out before we left!” Bill quipped snidely.

“And you think the town won’t burn down with the  brand new Mountie you left in charge?” Henry retorted.

Mike blew his breath out his silent lips, realizing how futile his attempts were. He sat back in the seat, trying to get comfortable, resigned to tuning out the two carrying on. His head rested on his hand, and he groaned softly as he watched the scenery passing. “I should have brought a book!”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Faith sat beside Dorothy’s cot, holding her little hand in her left, and wiping at tears with the back of her right. Gently and reverently, she let go of Dorothy’s tiny fingers, laid them at her side, then covered her face with the sheet. The back of her hand returned to her face, this time to muffle the sound of her crying. She was careful not to let her fingers touch her skin and spread germs, but felt she would explode if some of this emotion wasn’t released!

Faith felt another hand ease onto her shoulder and instinctively grasped it tightly. “She’s gone,” she said, more clarifying it out loud for herself than anything else. She couldn’t believe it! A soft whimper escaped with the declaration.

“You did everything you could,” came Molly’s soothing reply.

But Faith wasn’t soothed. “And yet, I still lost her!” Her voice was tinged with anger. In her entire career, she had only lost a handful of patients; certainly none of them were as young as four years old! Her hands balled into fists, and smacked her thighs. “If only I had figured it out sooner!”

“Faith, calm down,” Florence advised somewhat sternly. She and Rosemary had joined them. “You won’t do your other patients any good by making yourself upset.”

Rosemary piped up, but a little softer. “Faith, you can’t do that to yourself. You’ll go crazy, and you know it.” She knelt to be closer to eye level with Faith, so she could make sure she was heard. “You are a smart, capable, wonderful nurse, and you are doing an incredible job of caring for everyone, especially with Carson sick too.”

Faith emitted a small moan at the mention of Carson’s name, and let her eyes wander to his still and weakened form. All three women followed her gaze.

“Faith, go!” Molly urged. Faith looked up at her. “Really, it’s alright. We know you want to so badly. Go sit with him, even just for a little while.” Molly looked to Rosemary and Florence to make sure that was agreeable with them, and both nodded eagerly.

Faith looked longingly at Carson, and even took a step in his direction. But she shook her head, shaking herself from that dream. “I’ll give him his medication, but then I need to get back to work. We all should do the same.”

A brief look of concern passed between the other three. They recognized the signs of a woman staying busy to keep herself from worrying. At this point, however, it was better not to stop her.

“I’ll have Jesse and Constable Grant take care of little Dorothy,” Rosemary volunteered.

“I’ll go inform her parents…poor things,” Florence chimed in.

“And I’ll help you administer the medication to everyone,” Molly said on her way to the bar. She came back with the two bottles of quinine, and Faith was shocked to see how little was left. “It’s almost gone,” Molly noted nervously.

“I know,” Faith said with just as much concern. “We’ll be lucky if we make it two more days.” As long as no one else gets sick, her mind added.

Everyone dispersed, leaving her standing there, anxiously rubbing the bottle in her hands. She only hoped the men would come back soon…before she lost anyone else.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Are you sure we’re going the right way?” Henry asked skeptically. He, Bill, and Mike dodged their way in and out of people’s paths as they made their way down the streets of Toronto.

“Of course I am,” Bill said indignantly. “The grocer said it was a right turn at the church, then straight down the street a ways. WE just needs to keep walking.” The three men were exhausted from the long train ride, but the adrenaline of being so close to the cure kept their feet moving.

Still, Henry continued his interrogation. “I just think we should be able to see it by now.”

Bill’s blood was starting to boil. He was just about to take a swing at Henry on a public street when Mike said from behind them, “Well, what man hasn’t gotten lost in a big city a time…” Bill and Henry stared him into submissive silence, but not before he finished with, “or two.”

They forged ahead about twenty more minutes before arriving at a large stone marquee that read “University of Toronto: School of Medicine”.

“Aha!” Bill gloated. “I knew we’d find it. Now all we need is to find the stables.” He started charging at the first person he saw, which happened to be a young female student.

Henry caught him by the arm, and smiled smugly. “You’ll frighten the poor girl off. Allow me.” Henry made his way over to the young woman.

Bill and Mike watched Henry tip his hat politely, and engage her in conversation. Bill huffed. “We don’t have time for niceties.” He watched Henry a moment longer, then scoffed. “He thinks he’s such a charmer.”

“Well…” Mike began, but Bill gave him the look that could freeze fire. “Never mind.”

Henry tipped his hat to the young lady again, then rejoined the other two. “It’s just around this way,” he pointed.

They walked around the campus until they came to a large, weather-beaten, barn with a smaller side door. Bill heaved the door open, and stepped inside to find several people in aprons and lab coats, as well as many horses. Henry and Mike entered behind him.

“Excuse me!” Bill called out, and everyone looked up. “We’re looking for Dr. John FitzGerald.”

A man came out of a stall in the middle of the barn, wiping his hands on a yellowed cloth. “I’m Dr. FitzGerald. How may I help you?”

 

 

 

Alrighty! We’ll see you next week Hearties! Ive got some great surprises in store! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Hello again, #Hearties, and welcome to #WonderWednesday. Given the fact that we just celebrated Easter, I thought “Easter Under Wraps” was an appropriate choice for a movie review today. Plus it’s Hallmark’s very first Easter movie! It HAS to be discussed! WCTH connection is a little thin, but there’s a fun chain of events. I feel a little silly that I didn’t see these things before; it’s amazing what hair color and style do to a person’s appearance! Most of them were brought to my attention by my dear friend. Yes, that one; none other than Sarah. Thank you, Sarah!

There are two WCTH actors. One is Blair Penner. I didn’t recognize him until my second time through, but at least I recognized Jim on my own. His hairstyle and facial hair made him look completely different! He plays Chaz, one of the flashy, modern, competing chocolate makers. In WCTH, he’s Peter, Faith’s fiancé.

The second is Aaron Craven, who plays Carter in this film, portrayed half of the devious duo who drove off with Rosemary in the back of the car in Season 2. Remember how Jack ran off to rescue her? He is married to Kate Isaac. Kate played Eleanor Roberts in Season 5, Lee’s late silent business partner’s wife, (try saying that 5 times fast!), who tried to get Henry to fall back into his evil ways, and cheat the sawmill. She was also in “Bottled with Love”, as Nick’s (Andrew Walker) sister. “Bottled with Love” premiered the Saturday before “Easter Under Wraps”, then re-aired right before “Easter” premiered. Just a fun little Easter egg for you, if you’ll pardon the pun. 🙂

While we’re on Easter eggs, I’ll keep going with the Florence Easter egg. Did you hear it? “Florence, but you can call me Flo”. 🙂 I tweeted “We’ve got another Flo people!” I was looking for a Molly, but alas! 😉

Speaking of tweeting, I realized on my second run-through just how much I missed while I was LIVE tweeting. I thought the chemistry was a little lacking, then I realized that I hadn’t been paying attention! Brendan Penny and Fiona Gubelmann had some amazing moments! With his sweet strength and her infectious smile, (and how adorable she looked in that “Katniss braid”,) there was something almost tangible in those scenes. Probably one of my favorites is toward the beginning, when Bryan first starts to realize he’s attracted to Erin/Veronica. He’s trying to teach her the true art of chocolate. He says, “Chocolate is beauty to all the senses,” he even shows her how you can hear the best chocolate. But let’s be honest. With the way his eyes were boring into hers, he was NOT talking about the candy.

There were also lots of fun, flirty, and clever moments. Like when Bryan was complaining that all the executives “sit in their corporate towers” and “never come down to consult”…open mouth, insert foot! If he’d only known with whom he was sitting! Or when Bryan told Erin to close her eyes to help focus her taste buds. She says, “I’m getting strong notes of…chocolate, then almost winks when she peeks out and smiles at him. Bryan, if you’re going to tell a girl to close her eyes so you can stare at her, just put a big, soft, wet one right on her lips! 😀

There was the montage of making the Cavandish Egg, where there were two magical things being made. Don’t you agree? That egg, with the BEAUTIFUL butterfly and gold glitter was breathtaking! Fiona said in a Facebook LIVE interview that she actually got to make a butterfly, at least partially. And when I tweeted about the montage, she ANSWERED me, and said it was “so much fun to make”.

And I really loved how many times Erin had to keep her identity a secret. She never seemed to get a break. She caught herself very cleverly with the cough when she almost said her last name. But she had to think even more quickly on her feet when Carter showed up, and refused to take the hint that she was being clandestine. The only one she couldn’t talk her way out with was Bryan.

While I’m on Bryan, I’ve never seen Brendan Penny as a dad before, have you? It reminded me of the first time I saw Andrew Walker play a dad: different and unexpected, but completely genuine and heartwarming. And that little Sophia Reid-Gantzert is so enchanting! I thought she was very natural and authentic, and SO sweet! Bryan makes a cute little quip about her being a method actor because she’s staying around bunnies so much when she’s playing the Easter bunny in the pageant. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Sophia was really that way in life because that sunny personality was shining through so brightly. I actually tweeted “The actress playing Madison is just adorable!” I didn’t know her name. Literally two minutes later, I get a reply of, “Thank you Kami”. Such a pleasant surprise!

Well, I’m off to go make dinner. I hope all of you enjoy the rest of your week, and that there’s enough time in the day for you to get your work done. 😀 So “hop to it” because you’ll want some free time this Friday…wink, wink, nudge, nudge. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Hi, everyone! As promised, here is part two of Sarah Nitsch’s and Kami Clements’s dramatic story of Faith saving the day. Can she do it?! Find out! And for Part 1, go to last Friday’s post.

 

 

Faith hastily exchanged little Dorothy’s old blanket for a fresh one, then dropped it in the large laundry hamper on her way to grab the quinine from the bar. It was time to administer another dose to everyone. Rosemary grabbed the other bottle to help out. Faith saw that that bottle was already half empty, and the bottle she herself held was past that. She was worried. She tried to think as she started giving everyone the quinine. If I don’t figure out what this disease is, and fast, I’m going to run out of medication. Fiona had informed her that some of the surrounding towns had gotten wind of some kind of epidemic in Hope Valley. They’d stopped all trains and stagecoaches, so Faith couldn’t order more medicine and expect delivery. What do I do?!

Breathe, she ordered herself, as she gave Carson his portion of quinine. He took it, but by reflex only. He’d gone in and out of a fevered sleep since he’d collapsed that morning, and he’d been unresponsive to anything Faith said. She lingered just a moment longer to dab his sweaty brow with a cool cloth. “I will figure this out!” she whispered determinedly as she tenderly traced his cheek with her finger. “I’ll make you and everyone else here well. I promise!”

His only reply was a shallow inhale and exhale. Faith blinked several times to keep from crying, then tore herself away from his side. Florence was there. She looked very sympathetic for her situation. “Why don’t you sit with him for a few minutes. We can handle things.”

Faith gazed longingly at the face of the man she cared for so deeply, but stubbornly shook her head, and insisted, “My patients need me.”

She stood in the center of the room where she could have a good view of all said patients, and concentrated on each in turn. She wasn’t a doctor, but she’d certainly been studying. Surely she could discern what sickness this was if she just stopped moving for a few moments and focused. Alright, her mind told her as she threw herself into the thought process, everyone has a high fever. Everyone has a sore throat, but not the same kind. Opal’s and Dorothy’s are red and enflamed; Maggie, Emily, and Mrs. McCormick have gray spots in their throats; Ned has gray spots, and gray film is starting to form; Cody’s and Robert’s film is starting to coat their throats…so is Carson’s. And Mr. Bartlett is the worst: his entire throat is so coated, he can hardly breathe. Everyone else is either at these stages, or somewhere in between.

Faith put her fist to her mouth, thinking hard. “Sore throat, high fever, gray film, shallow breath…” Faith’s hands flew up, and her eyes bulged with sudden enlightenment. That had to be it! She frantically scanned the room, and found Rosemary giving quinine to Benjamin Davis. “Rosemary! Can you ladies handle things here for just a moment? Mr. Bartlett and Robert are my only two left who need quinine.”

Yes, of course…” Rosemary assured her, but Faith was already racing out the door. “Don’t forget to scrub your hands well if one of you does laundry.”

Faith was running to the infirmary as fast as her legs would carry her when she heard Elizabeth calling to her. “Faith!” They were both gasping for breath as Elizabeth approached. “How is everyone in there? It breaks my heart that so many of my students are ill! Is there anything I can do to…?”

“ Don’t come any closer, Elizabeth!” Faith warned. “I know you want to help, and I’m truly grateful; but we can’t risk you getting exposed, and taking this home to Jack Jr. I don’t know that he’d live through it, and I can’t bear the thought of you losing him too. Please, go home. I’ll let you know if you can help in any way.” Then she kept running.

“But what…” Elizabeth started to yell, but Faith had disappeared inside, “…is it?” she finished to herself. Well, she’d find out soon enough. Right now, Elizabeth gave into the sudden urge to go home, and hold her son close.

Faith closed the door to the infirmary, reached for the medical encyclopedia, and tore through the pages until she found what she was looking for. “I was right!” She slammed the book down, and reached for the telephone, frantically jiggling the switch hook, and hoping Fiona wasn’t taking a break.

“Hope Valley Central. Number, please?” came the voice. Faith had never been so happy to hear someone speak.

“Fiona! This is Faith Carter. Please connect me to Dr. Burns at the Union City Hospital.”

“Of course, Faith. Did you figure it out?”

“Feel free to listen in, and find out.”

“Alright. Trying that number now.”

The line seemed to ring endlessly, but someone finally picked up on the 5th ring. “Dr. Burns’s office, this is Nurse Everston. May I help you?”

“I have a call for Dr. Burns from Hope Valley.”

“Oh, please put it through.”

“Melinda? Is that you?” Faith asked.

“Faith! Hello! I certainly do miss you here! How are things in Hope Valley?”

“Not so good at the moment, Melinda,” Faith answered impatiently. “I need to speak to Dr. Burns right away.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Faith, but he’s making his rounds right now.”

“Right now?” Tears sprang to Faith’s eyes, and panic seized her heart. “But this is an emergency! Isn’t there anything you can do?”

“I’m sorry, but you know there’s no way I can reach him when he’s on rounds.”

“Oh!” Faith whimpered. The walls of her composure were cracking. Every moment ticking away was precious time wasted. What could she do?

“Oh, wait a moment, Faith! He just arrived back.” Faith wanted to sob with relief, but she held her ground, and strained to hear the exchange in the background. “For you, Doctor. It’s Nurse Carter.” Then some noisy feedback as he picked up the receiver.

“Nurse Carter! Faith! How are you faring with Doctor Shepherd?”

“Doctor, I…”

“You know, we had a new arrival from your dear little town not too long ago: Mrs. Ramsey and her lovely dress shop. My wife frequents it quite often.”

“Dr. Burns! I’m in a huge predicament, and I need your help.”

Dr. Burns’s tone immediately sobered. “What’s the matter, Faith?”

Her lip quivered, knowing she was about to admit it out loud. “We have an epidemic…of diphtheria.”

Faith heard a female gasp on the line. She’d almost forgotten that Fiona was listening. She would talk to her later. Right now, she had work to do. “Doctor, I need to know what the latest and most effective treatment is, because it’s been around too long already. I don’t know how much longer my patients can last.”

“What do you mean, ‘your’ patients? What’s happened to Dr. Shepherd?”

“He caught it as well. One of the patients coughed directly in his face then his resistance was low when he was trying to care for everyone.” Faith bit her lip to control her tears before she added, “He’s quite ill, actually.”

“Oh, Faith, I’m so sorry! If I could, I would come help, but I’m afraid I just can’t get away right…”

“No, Doctor, I wouldn’t dream of asking. The town is pulling together. I just need to know the treatment. Has something new been found in the last three years or so?” Faith rolled her eyes at the insanity of her question. That was highly unlikely.

“ Actually, there is,” he revealed, and Faith wanted to scream in delight. She allowed herself a little silent hop instead.

“As you know, there’s been an anti-toxin since the 1890’s using the blood of horses, but it’s always been so expensive to get into Canada.”

“Of course, I remember! We couldn’t even keep it stocked in Hamilton.”

“Well in May of 1914, a Dr. John Fitzgerald created a kind of ‘Anti-toxin Laboratory’ at the University of Toronto, in a stable of all places! Can you send someone to Toronto to retrieve some for you?”

“I will find someone. Thank you, Dr. Burns. Oh, and the next time you see Dottie, please tell her not to come home for a visit until this is all over.”

“I will. Good luck, Nurse Carter. Faith…you’re very good at what you do. You’ll get through this.”

“Thank you, Doctor. That means more than I can say. Goodbye. “

He hung up after giving her one more well wish. “Fiona?” Faith asked. “Are you still there?”

“I’m here,” Fiona’s voice was shaking. “Diphtheria?”

“It’s alright, we’re going to make it through. Will you please call Sheriff Avery and tell him to meet me in front of the saloon?”

“Of course! Anything else I can do?”

“Stay by the telephone. We need to make sure we don’t miss any calls, and we need you to stay healthy. And Fiona? Pray!”

Fiona was quiet a moment, as if considering the concept for the first time. “Sure thing.”

Faith hung up, and scurried back to the saloon. She found Rosemary bathing Mr. Bartlett’s face. “Rosemary, where’s Lee?”

Rosemary looked a little confused. “He’s on a traveling business trip for the mill. He’s been gone for a week.”

“Where?”

“I won’t know where he is until he calls to check in. I told you all this four days ago. Remember?”

Faith dug her knuckles into her forehead. She did now. One more thing in the way. “I need someone with an automobile,” she muttered.

“Did you say ‘automobile’, Faith? Henry Gowen has one. What do you need it for?”

Faith opened her mouth to explain, but saw Bill through the window. “I’ll explain later,” she said, and headed out the door.

“Sheriff! Thank you for coming so quickly. Don’t come any closer. We don’t want you exposed.”

Bill stopped just short I found the steps, and put his hands on his hips. “Did you figure out what it is?”

“Yes, it’s diphtheria; which is why I need your help. Do you think Mr. Gowen is willing to drive you somewhere?”

“And where might that be, young lady?” Henry Gowen appeared only a few yards to her right. She hadn’t heard him approach.

“ Oh! Mr. Gowen! Stay back please. Thank you. There’s an anti-toxin for diphtheria at the University of Toronto that we need right away. There are no trains or stages coming or going from Hope Valley, and I thought the safest way to pick it up would be with a law enforcement officer. And neither of you have been exposed. You could drive to Hamilton, then take a train to Toronto, maybe?”

“I can drive myself. I’m not going on a road trip with Henry,” Bill insisted.

“If my automobile is involved, Sheriff, there’s no way I’m staying behind,” Henry fired back.

Faith watched the interchange, wondering if maybe she made a mistake. Fortunately, at that moment, Rosemary opened the door, and stood beside her. “I couldn’t help but overhear. I telephoned Hickam, and he should be right over.”

“What for?” But just then, the door to Lee’s office opened, and Mike made his way across the street.

“What’s going on?” he asked. “How is everyone in there?”

“Everyone is very ill, actually,” Faith answered. “But that’s going to change very soon. Sheriff Avery has kindly agreed to go get a diphtheria anti-toxin from the University of Toronto, and Mr. Gowen has graciously offered to drive him.” She was careful to not have her tone turn too skeptical. She needed them to do this, and as quickly as possible. “And Mike, you’re going to…?” Faith didn’t know that part, so she looked at Rosemary.

“You’re going to make sure these two don’t kill each other,” Rosemary finished. Both men turned to her in protest. “Oh, don’t look at me like that! You know perfectly well you two need a chaperone, and who better?”

That’s when Mike inquired, “How much do we need to get?”

Faith thought a moment, then said, “Better get enough for twenty-five. We have fifteen sick now, and it might go up. I can see how much money is in the infirmary…”

“We can settle that when we get back,” Bill grumbled, still not excited to travel with Henry.

Mike looked very hesitant, but dutifully said, “Well, alright! When should we go?” He clapped his hands together, trying to look certain.

“The sooner, the better,” Faith said. Rosemary took it a step further, and actually shooed them away, flicking her hand at them. “Go on now, get going.” The men dispersed to get ready to leave.

Then Florence opened the door, and shot her head out. “Faith,” she urgently beckoned, “we need you in here.”

Florence led them back inside, and over to Old Man Bartlett’s cot. He was lying still…deathly still. Florence began to stammer nervously. “I…I….I…I don’t understand. I was giving him a sip of water, and he started choking. That’s when I came to get you.”

Faith felt his neck for a pulse. She closed her eyes, and shook her head. “He’s gone,” she whispered. “I lost him.” A wave of fear overcame her. Now what would she do?

 

 

I hope you all have a marvelous Easter, or whatever you’ll be celebrating this weekend! See you next week! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

SEASON 7!!! YIPPEE!!! #Season7WillBeHeaven! Are you thrilled?! We get yet another year with some of our favorite characters! I cannot contain my excitement! I will, however, hold off on my predictions, at least until Season 6 gets a chance to finish. 😉 And boy, did they pick a GREAT movie in which to make the announcement! Wouldn’t you agree?

I was talking to a friend who missed the premiere of Bottled With Love. She asked if it was going to re-air sometime this week so she could catch it, and I said, “Oh, undoubtedly!” I then told her that the film lived up to ALL the hype, and that it was FANTASTIC! She asked what separated it from all the rest, and what caused Hallmark to treat it like a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. I had that classic “about to say something then nothing comes out” look, the “trying to think of something to say” look. For the life of me, I couldn’t pinpoint what made it so different, that incredible! So I went back and watched it again, (oh darn!) to find out. While I still can’t quite put my finger on what makes it “different” from other Hallmark movies like it, (my best guess is everything was just stepped up a notch,) I definitely reminded myself what I loved, and saw several things I missed from tweeting. 😀

To start off, it had Jill Morrison in it. (Carla) Who doesn’t love a surprise pop-up of her?! And you can’t get much happier than playing an ice cream parlor owner!

Alright, let’s move to the characters of Nick and Abby. To start off with THEM, I really enjoyed how easy they were with each other once they got past their dislike for each other. This is only full blown in one scene, but it’s precious! She hands him coffee, he reaches around to help her pull on her jacket while they’re walking, they’re going over the plan, (actually agreeing,) and they’re finishing one another’s sentence as they move…it was just so natural and genuine!

Okay, usually I save this for last, but I just can’t this time. YOWZA! That man can KISS! When he went in for the kiss on the cheek, I completely lost my breath. With the way his eyes were searing into her soul, the way he moved in like he was TOTALLY aiming for her mouth but respectfully goes for her cheek at the last possible moment…HELLO! Pass me an oxygen tank! I’ve always thought that Andrew Walker, like Daniel Lissing, is an actor who could have chemistry with a block of wood; he’s that good of an actor. Fortunately, when you have a costar like Bethany Joy Lenz, who gives 100% in reactions, chemistry, and material, it makes it THAT much better. Did you see her face when he went for her cheek??? Holy moly!

And that takes me to the final scene. First of all, who did the totally cliché “Aww!” while trying to fan away the tears? Me! I admit it! A completely Jack-esque candlelit path, a note on a silver platter, the coveted three-word sentence that is not used often enough…and that LETTER! Now that I think about it, (writing really does clear the brain!), I think that was the missing piece of the puzzle in all the other movies with this kind of plot. We see the man find out, we see the big reveal, we see them fall in love; but we don’t see the man open up and be vulnerable. And then to hear Nick say all the ways Abby had inspired him, ending with, “You opened your heart, and now you’ve opened mine too.” Who WOULDN’T fall in love with that???

Then to top it off, THAT KISS! Neither one of them was holding anything back, (in an appropriate way, of course); you could feel the passion. Even though it was a “one-kiss wonder”, it sure didn’t feel like it! I have to admit, as much as I love Hallmark movies, sometimes the kisses can be a tiny bit on the stiff side. Uh…yeah, not a problem here!

Wow! Um, give me a moment to get my heart rate back to normal. Phew! I’m good now. Now let’s backtrack a bit. One aspect that I think made the plot so different was that both characters are from a corporate company. We’re so used to “Save the Garden,” “Save the Bookstore,” “Save the House,” or whatever lost cause is there in the story. But these two are from a big company. We get the perspective of those kinds of employees, employees who are working just as hard to excel in the field they believe in…even if their opinions don’t always match on which deals to make. 😉

Something else I really loved is all the hilarious one-liners, and heartfelt words, especially the letters. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:
1. Someone who’s flawed but open
2. This is ridiculous! Technically I’m about to pollute.
3. Who pollutes nowadays?
4. You had a few things bottled up there.
5. Both your letter and the sentiments inside are safe with me
6. I’m a guy. I’m supposed to be tough. Was I supposed to admit that?
7. I’m a hugger!
8. Nothing great comes without a little risk

Here’s my final thought for the night: giddiness. When was the last time you watched a TV show or a movie when a character who wasn’t a child was legitimately giddy? And I’m not just talking about excited; I mean giddy to the max. Think about it. Bethany Joy Lenz had this down so perfectly. She was completely relieved, then totally tickled when she found out ReelTraveler was 36. She was practically dancing in her seat. I especially enjoyed the way she blended giddiness with trepidation when she screamed as she hit “Send” agreeing to meet him the next day. Then the pancakes! Have you ever seen anything sweeter than Abby’s reaction to pancakes? Hallmark Channel tweeted out the question asking the fans what are your pancakes? What makes you that happy any time? They wouldn’t have been able to ask that if Bethany Joy Lenz hadn’t been spot on. So what’s yours?

Not only was she giddy, HE was! You don’t see a grown man actually get giddy very often, even in a Hallmark movie. But Nick went into full-blown giddiness. He was giddy at the thought of meeting mlbeantown until he realized who she was; but it’s REALLY noticeable at the estate. When Abby comes up with the idea of him running the place, Nick looked like a child looking into a candy store window and seeing Santa sitting below a shelf of sweets. And then he actually jumped up a down a little bit when Mr. Wilmore said he liked the idea of Nick running his operation. Giddiness is such a child-like and genuine reaction that it can b e ruined if it isn’t done right. And this #Heartie and #Hallmarkie says 10 out of 10!

Well, I think I answered my friend’s question! Yahoo! It wasn’t even my intention. I think I got a little giddy writing about the movie. 😉 Must have cleared the cobwebs. Have a wonderful night and day tomorrow, everyone! See you Friday for Part 2 of Romance: Quarantined. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Hello, Hearties! Welcome to #FanFictionFriday! But before we get to that, I think it only fitting to mention that extremely important announcement Erin made on Wednesday! YAY!!!! We’re all going back to Hope Valley in less than a month! Are you excited? Because I’m THRILLED! That also means that Sarah and I have less than a month to bring you our next story before we’re proven wrong by the real plot lines. 😀

One note about this story: When I interviewed the birthday twins, Ben and Andrea, one of the questions was, “If you could write one storyline for your character, what would it be?” Apparently Ben’s idea for her was “BRILLIANT”, because she wanted it for her own answer:

“I’m envisioning an episode in which an outbreak of some illness renders many in the town out of commission — including Dr. Carson! Now Faith has to rally the healthy members of the town and organize the medical response to save the day!”

(For both of the full interviews, go to the links in the comments.)

Well, Andrea, (and Ben,) WISH GRANTED! We bring you our version of that dream’s fulfillment. Sarah thought of this fantastic idea, and we wrote it together. And with the hiatus, we had just enough time to tell it to all of you! So, may I present “Romance: Quarantined” Part 1 by Sarah Nitsch and Kami Clements.

 

 

Carson peered into the dark abyss that was Old Man Bartlett’s mouth, trying to deduce the reason for his ailing throat and fevered brow. It was definitely enflamed. And what was that right…

A cough erupted out of nowhere from the older gentleman’s throat. Carson squinted his eyes shut, and snapped his head back, but too late. Well, it wasn’t the first time he’d been coughed on; it certainly wouldn’t be the last. He made a mental note to give his face a thorough washing later.

“Sorry, Doc. Didn’t feel that one coming.”

“That’s quite alright, Mr. Bartlett. Just part of the job.” Carson reached for his clipboard, and started making notes in the old man’s already-full file. “Well, you certainly have a sore throat,” Carson observed lightly. “When did this start?”

“ ‘Bout two days ago,” was the answer.

Too early for any diagnosis, Carson thought, but he nodded. “We’ll give you something to help bring that fever down, and some tablets to ease your throat. Nurse Carter, would you bundle those up please?”

Faith immediately scooted her chair back from her paperwork, and cheerfully began collecting the medication. Carson smiled, and stopped to watch her a moment, then shook himself back to the present with Mr. Bartlett. “Careful not to take more than one tablet a day for your throat,” he warned, “or you might start to crave it. I also saw some phlegm. With your history of weak lungs, we’ll want to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t build up, and obstruct your breathing.”

Faith appeared beside him with the package, and held them out with her signature smile. “That will be $0.45 for both. And that includes the visit too,” she said as she handed it over.

Old Man Bartlett’s face became drawn with worry. He dug through his pockets, and studied its contents. “Would it be alright for me to give you $0.20 now, and the rest later?”

Carson gave an understanding smile, and held out his hand for the coins. “Of course.”

“Thanks, Doc,” Mr. Bartlett said, and dropped the money into Carson’s waiting hand. With that, he got to his feet, a little unsteady, and made his way out the door. “See ya soon,” he called, without turning his head.

Faith closed the door behind him, then turned with an admiring smile. “Well done,” she complimented as she coyly approached Carson.

“Well, I do have a way with the elderly,” he playfully responded. Faith reached up on tiptoe to kiss him. He gently pushed her shoulder back down, but his eyes glowed with her attempt. “You may not want to. Old Man Bartlett just coughed all over my face. I need to wash up.”

“Oh. Well, we can’t be responsible for starting an epidemic now, can we?” she smoothed the arms of his white coat. “It’ll be worth the wait.” She smiled again, and went back to her paperwork, her eyes not leaving his until the last possible moment.

Carson sighed happily, and went to clean his face. Life couldn’t get any better!

 

FIVE DAYS LATER

Could things be any worse?! Carson and Faith scurried from patient to patient, administering quinine to keep their fevers down, and trying to make everyone comfortable. Carson rubbed at the soreness in his throat, and wiped the sweat from his brow as he knelt and tried to look down Maggie Lawson’s throat, despite her feverish tossing and turning. “ I’m fine,” he insisted to himself. He sorrowfully looked at Maggie’s pained face. He’d saved this little angel when he’d first come to town from a runaway wagon. He couldn’t let her die now!

What was this illness? Carson tried to concentrate, but his head ached, and his brain felt addled. In the last five days, fourteen people had been reported sick. The school had been closed, and Lucas Bouchard had generously offered the saloon as a makeshift hospital with the number of invalids continuing to rise. Carson accepted instantly, and quarantined the place, hoping to stop it spreading.

He looked around to see Opal, Emily, Cody, Robert, Ned Yost, Mr. Bartlett, and Mrs. McCormick among so many others. Opal had come two days ago with an enflamed throat. Mrs. McCormick had been here four; she had the same gray spot he’d seen in Mr. Bartlett before he…Carson’s eyes grew wide as he slowly stood up. Before he’d coughed on him! Now there was a gray film coating his entire mouth. And most of the ill were either children, or getting on in years.

He knew! He knew what it was! He also knew how to cure it. They had to act fast! Carson almost turned to go tell Faith what was plaguing everyone, but stopped cold. His hand went to his throat as the pain flared. The room swam before his eyes, his breath was short, and he tasted filmy residue in his mouth. Faith’s voice echoed in his ears, asking if he was alright. He took a shallow breath to answer her, then collapsed.

 

 

And with that, we leave you hanging on the cliff. 😀 What’s the disease? Come back next Friday and find out! Have a happy weekend with the knowledge that you’ll be seeing these lovely characters on your TV screens very soon. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!