Good morning, #Hearties and #Hallmarkies…well, at least for a few more minutes in my time zone. Here we are, last day of September. Break out the Halloween decorations! While you’re decking out your homes, I have here, for your enjoyment, the latest #Hallmarkies podcast, featuring episode 6 of When Hope Calls. We get to hear all about the youthful exploits of the prim and proper Miss Lillian. But here’s the really fun part: we’ve got ourselves a crossover! Another resident of Hope Valley made an appearance in Brookfield, and the surrounding areas. If you’ve seen the episode, you know who it is. If not, let’s just say his wavy brown hair has grown out a bit, but his blue eyes were as clear as ever. So have a listen, and enjoy!

Don’t forget to come back! October has more fun surprises. It’s Mystery Month! And a little friendly reminder: with online holiday shopping starting to pick up speed, the site and I would sure appreciate it if you use us. If you plan to shop on Amazon, please come onto the site, scroll to the bottom, and click on any Amazon link. Then buy anything you want, and we’ll get a percentage. That would sure help keep the lights on. I would sure appreciate it! Happy listening and happy shopping! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!


Happy Friday, #Hearties! Well, here we are at the end of another week, and at the end of another month! Phew! It’s a strange feeling when a month has passed so quickly, yet the last week or 2 seem to drag on and on. Have you ever felt that? Well, I have a feeling that time is going to start flying REALLY quickly as we do a landslide into the holidays; and I’m including Halloween!

So as the month closes out, so does our spotlight week on Laura Bertram. I still can’t thank her enough for taking time out of her busy mom and acting schedule to give us fans of hers these fun little details about her and her life. She was a true pleasure to get to know.

Now! Her favorite Mary moment on When Calls the Heart! Any guesses? It’s actually not one you would think of: it’s not when Mary met DeWitt, or the dance. It’s not when Caleb brings DeWitt home for pie, the announcement of their engagement, or even the wedding. No, she picked a very little moment that proved to have a lot of depth in it! Here are her words:

“DeWitt fell in the tug of war, and Caleb went off another way. It felt like it was a crossroads for Mary. DeWitt was her future, and Caleb was…not necessarily her past because he’s her future too. But he’s what her life had been. So she had to make the choice, ‘Who do I follow?’ That moment really illustrated her inner turmoil.”

Blink, and you just might miss it, but it’s there! In S1E6, “These Games”, Caleb cheers, “Come on, red!” Mary is obviously perturbed by those words, because she vehemently claps louder, and shouts, “Come on, blue!” Then Caleb runs off. Mary’s head snaps to the side to see him go, but she makes her choice, and stands firm. The point is only enhanced further when Mary runs to DeWitt’s side, asking if he’s hurt after the fall, then reprimanding her son for speaking disrespectfully to him. Right before the scene fades to black, we see the aftermath of that decision. Caleb has walked away. Although it looks like Mary’s following after her son, her course is heading in a slightly different direction; illustrating the very tight rope she is walking. And of course, even if we don’t cognitively grasp all of this while watching, we feel the essence of the tension. That’s thanks to Laura’s amazing talent!

As I said last Friday, good thing we know everything turns out alright in the end.

Photo credit: mydevotionalthoughts  


Well, that’s a wrap, Hearties! Have a fabulous weekend! Don’t forget the When Hope Calls tweet fest tonight at 5:00 PST, as well as the encore presentation of All of My Heart: The Wedding to see the line-up of #FallHarvest movies. Then there’s Ruby Herring Mysteries: Her Last Breath on Sunday. I wonder if I’ll be able to review them; we’ll have to see if a WCTH or WHC member makes an appearance. This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Happy Hump Day, Hearties! Wow! Try saying THAT ten times fast! And a special welcome to the #POstables! I’m very glad all of you are here!

Well, hello! I am SO excited to share a wonderful experience I had with you! I was given a rare and lovely opportunity that only wonderful people like you, my dear readers, would truly appreciate. Remember my #FlashbackFriday post last week, the one featuring the scene of Mary Dunbar asking to borrow one of Elizabeth’s dresses? There was a method to my madness. 😉 The link is in the comments if you’d like to go back and read the article. And you recall that both Erin Krakow and Carter Evancic have early September birthdays? Well, there is someone else who shares Erin’s birthday… besides my son. It is THIS lovely lady!






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Yes, I had such a fun time with my first-ever Skype interview with both WCTH and SSD alumni member, the beautiful, talented and INCREDIBLY kind Laura Bertram. She very graciously agreed to meet with me, and we had a fabulous conversation! She is so easy going; her open nature immediately put at rest all the nerves I was experiencing. I was also awed, but not surprised, by how down-to-earth and family-oriented she is. So are you ready to get to know this wonderful woman a little better for her birthday spotlight week? Here we go!


1. You’ve had roles in historical, contemporary, and futuristic time periods. Which one is your favorite?
• Oh, historical! I have a degree in History. I’ve always been very drawn to the past. I love the costumes, the nuances, the way you have to change your carriage to be correct in the way you present yourself.
• I played a teacher in a western who didn’t have a name because the part started out smaller. But I started getting more dialogue, and really felt she should be named. They let ME name her, so I did a whole bunch of research on what names were popular in the 1860’s, and settled on Alice. It was so fun. 


2. My husband loves Andromeda, and I watched a few episodes. How long was that makeup job?
• The first day, it took four to five hours. Probably right in between at four and a half. When we got the routine down, we got it down to 3 hours 45 minutes. Luckily, I got along with my makeup artist really well. We passed the time by constantly bringing in new tunes on CD, lots of conversation, and mentally going to Tahiti. You can’t really read a book when you’re makeup is being done.
• When we had our 100th episode party, Kevin Sorbo had done the math: he said that the hours I had spent in the makeup chair up to that point was equal to the amount of hours a civil servant worked in a year!

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3. Any projects coming up you can chat about?
• I’m in an episode of the reboot limited series of Are You Afraid of the Dark on Nickelodeon. It airs on October 11th, 18th, and 25th.
• I also booked an audition this week, but I’m not at liberty to discuss it yet.


4. What is your ideal vacation? Favorite way to spend down time? Do you have any hobbies?
• I love being with my family. I purposely only work a few times a year so I can be with them. We love to hike and bike.
• I love being in the wilderness, so going to a cabin by the ocean AND mountains to decompress is ideal. My husband Jonathan (my son’s name!) prefers a beach in Hawaii.


5. What is your favorite place to go out to eat, and what dish are you usually found ordering there?
• I don’t have a favorite place or dish, although some girl friends did take me to this amazing Japanese/Peruvian fusion place called Ancora for my birthday. I more see food as a great connector of people, so I like bistro-style restaurants to share great food, conversation, and company.


6. What did you do for your birthday?
• Besides the restaurant, we had a family dinner. I made a cake. My husband only ate one piece because I made him, so I spent a lot of my birthday pawning the cake off on neighbors.


7. Any possibility of Mary Dunbar Graves making another appearance like Tom Trevoy?
• It’s been a long time, so I’m guessing probably not. The storyline of Mary and DeWitt actually went on longer than expected because of audience response, and it was left open, so I guess we’ll see. I had a great experience, and I would happily go back!




8. Tell us about your family, past and/or present. Where were you born? Still live in the same city?
• I was born and raised in Toronto, but I live in Vancouver now. I have 2 sisters, I’m the oldest, we’re each 3 years apart. The middle sister is Heather, and the youngest is Jennifer. Jon and I have been together 13 years, and married 10 of those years. My son, Kaleb, is 6; my daughter, Keira, is 4. (That’s MY daughter’s name, only spelled differently!) I got to pick my son’s name, but my husband got to pick the spelling.


9. What is your favorite role you’ve ever had? Hallmark and non-Hallmark?
• Hallmark would have to be Mary, she gave me a lot of meat and potatoes to work with. She’s a woman who struggled, but didn’t let on, and she had to deal with her son’s very raw emotions. She was needy, and had to deal with a lot, but she made it happen for the sake of Caleb.
• Non-Hallmark is a pilot that never got taken to series. It was a Canadian CBC series called The Cult. I was a cult member, but I read the synopsis, and it turned out my character was an undercover cop who actually gets offed.
• I also really liked Trance because I channeled my inner child to become her. I played hopscotch, I ate lots of chocolate. It was fun!


10. What role would you love to have one day? Who would you love to work with?
• Someone in the French Revolution, or that period in Europe. The storytelling would be very raw, and the costumes would be amazing! And I love history!
• I would have loved to work with the late Alan Rickman. I was sold after I saw him on Sense & Sensibility. But in his other projects, I was amazed at his ability to morph, and become whatever he needed to be.


11. How did you get started in acting?
• I was part of a children’s choir called the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus. We did a lot of musical theater songs. An actress from Toronto was the director of the choir, and introduced me to her agent. That led me to getting my first job, Ready or Not, which turned into a 5-year series.

12. Was it as easy to act with Derek Hamilton and Will Verchere-Gopaulsingh as you made it look?
• Since my real son’s name is Kaleb, that made that part easy, even though he was MUCH younger than Will. But Will is just such a nice boy! And Derek is so lovely! He’s very approachable, on and off screen. And he’s handsome too, so that made THAT easy.

Photo credit: Crown Media  


13. What was your best and hardest scene to perform as Mary?
• The best was when Mary and DeWitt meet in the street after the incident at the mercantile, and he asks her to supper.

• The hardest on the heart was Caleb interrupting the dance. I felt like my heart was breaking! The tears didn’t come because of a dramatic choice, I was actually sobbing!
• The hardest one that was actually hard to do was the knitting circle. I CAN’T KNIT! So I’m trying to move my hands, and make it look like I know what I’m doing, hoping no one is looking too hard.


14. Your performance in Signed Sealed Delivered was amazing! What were the pros and cons of being involved with the #POstables?  I’m betting it was super difficult to be such an angry person when you seem so happy and kind. (It’s called “acting”, right?) 😉
• Well, the easy part was being the oldest of 3 sisters, since I already am. The best part was getting to meet Kristin (Booth), and actually work with her. I had been in a Hallmark project that she and her husband wrote: Winter’s Dream with Dean Cain and Kristy Swanson. She was just a lovely woman.
• A funny story is that Sienna (the actress who played Mary Louise) and I thought we’d go practice our fight in one of the tents on set. By the time we came out, everybody was looking at us, very concerned. Our voices had escalated, and they thought we were really fighting.
• I think the important thing is to understand where the character is coming from, then don’t fake the emotions. Feel them. Wear a heavy heart. Peggy had a chip on her shoulder because her perspective is she’s managing everything, and thinks her sister ditched her. So her anger is understandable.


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And there you have it, Hearties and POstables! The voice and heart of our very dear Mary and Peggy. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it. Now all we gotta do is campaign to get Mary back WCTH, right? Tune in on Friday for Laura’s favorite Mary moment, and her very deep thoughts regarding the feelings of the scene. See you then! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!


Afternoon, everyone! Recovered from your long, crazy weekend? And those of you who tuned in, how did you enjoy the first two episodes of When Hope Calls on Saturday night? I know the special presentation hooked several people, and now they’re #Hopefuls as well as #Hearties. Well, if you’re new to the series, be sure to visit the blog from Wednesday, August 28th for the #WonderWednesday preview podcast of speculations; then every Monday afterward for our #MondayMusings recap and review of each episode.


And speaking of which, here is the review for Episode 5, A House United. I don’t know about you, but I really liked this one! As I said in the podcast, “There was something special about this one!” So give a listen and enjoy, or you can watch the video of our goofy expressions from the link in the comments.


The one thing we didn’t get to was the makeshift rope work belt. Whether it was historically researched and accurately portrayed, or just a really clever idea from the prop department, it was a nice touch! So wstch for it the next time, or first time, you watch the episode.

See you all Wednesday! And as promised, I’ve got another big surprise this week! So come check it out! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

It’s Friyay, Hearties! That means another episode of When Hope Calls! I confess, I’ve already watched the episode because I thought I had an event tonight. The event got canceled, but can’t be too careful, right? Let me just say, YOU’LL LOVE IT!

Now, on to #FlashbackFriday! I’ve mentioned that I made a new friend, Lara, when she answered my “cattle call” to watch WCTH from the beginning. Well, as I suspected, she’s “hooked”, of course! And instead of watching it on her own, she wants to witness the unfolding of events with me! So I have a perfectly legitimate excuse to watch the entire series over again, and watch the happenings transpire with fresh eyes.

We recently watched S1E5 “The Dance”, and I was struck anew by the scene when Mary Dunbar asks Elizabeth if she can borrow a dress. First off, it becomes readily apparent just how much this evening with DeWitt means to Mary – she is not the type to ask such a favor on a whim. You can see in her body language when she approaches the row house just how hesitant she is. But her desire to look beautiful and make it a special night wins over her pride.

We see a new kind of hesitation when Elizabeth brings her gowns out of the closet for inspection – Mary is completely overwhelmed! In her little world, nothing this fine has ever existed. She illustrates that shock when she cradles the dress like it’s made of porcelain, and declares, “I’ve never worn anything like this in my whole life!” She probably hasn’t seen anything like it either, judging by her reaction.

Then Elizabeth reluctantly brings up the subject of Caleb’s discomfort, and we get one of (in my opinion,) the most beautiful performances that Laura Bertram gave in her time on the show. The tears in her eyes, the tremor in her voice, it’s all so honest and deeply felt. Nothing surface about it! It brings me to tears every time I watch. Mary is such a quiet, private, reserved person, that the fact that she is opening up at all is mind-blowing. But she is, and she reveals just how amazed she is, (and how emotional she feels,) that any man is attracted to her again since her. She also manages to voice her fear that a chance like this probably won’t come around again, and she needs to secure Caleb’s future; she believes she’d be a fool not to.

But when one is set on a path, it’s hard to hear words of caution…from anyone. And even though Elizabeth is an objective voice in this matter, and has heard Caleb’s side of the story, Mary knows he’s “too young to see the whole picture.” Therefore, she has to convince herself that she’s doing the right thing for all concerned, and Elizabeth’s words of warning get in the way. It would be a pretty hard pill to swallow, borrowing a dress from someone with whom you’d had a disagreement, no matter how gorgeous. So Mary puts on her mask of pride again, and informs Miss Thatcher, “I’ll make one of my own work.” And she did.

Photo credit: Crown Media (from  


We all know that everything turns out okay, but the uncertainty both of them portray in this scene is just one of the reasons I love this show. They deal with issues, big and small, and aren’t afraid to express honest emotions dealing with those issues.

Well, time to go, and get ready for the When Hope Calls tweet fest. Have a wonderful weekend, and come back on Monday for the episode review podcast. And be sure to keep coming back, because the surprises aren’t over! Love to you all! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!