Well, we have arrived! It is the Friday before the premiere! We’re almost there! We can do this! And we have arrived at the FINAL COUNTDOWN! Well, at least for now, because I think it would be a ton of fun to keep score during the season. So we’ll see how it goes. But from this point, who will triumph? Who is our champion? For whom will the Christmas magic materialize the most effect? Shall we find out who the winner is? Okay! Onward! LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!!!!!

S7E1: HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

LUCAS:
+2 He created a beautiful carnival
-1 Putting Nathan on the chopping block about the “No crowds at Christmas”
+1 Talks about his travels with his parents
+1 Talks to Jack about making memories
+1 “Hope Valley deserves its reputation”
+1 Planning the lanterns
+1 Executing the lanterns
+1 “Breathtaking”
+1 Gives credit to “elves”
+1 Shared glance after the lanterns
+1 He opened up about reasons for the carnival & accepting new traditions idea

Photo credit: etonline.com  

NATHAN:
-1 The “shut up look” at Lucas with Christmas crowds.
+1 Bracelet
+1 Sweet surprise at Elizabeth being willing to take them to get a tree. “Would you?”
-1 Lying that everything is fine
+1 The glance after “When it’s right you can just feel it.”
+1 Empathizing with Elizabeth about parenting alone
+1 “There’s nowhere I’d rather be”
+1 About to tell Elizabeth about the promotion until Allie interrupted
+1 The glance after “That’s the key, Allie”
+1 Inviting Elizabeth to decorate
+1 Helping Elizabeth with the bird ornament
+2 That MOMENT!
-1 He didn’t tell Elizabeth they were leaving when asked again
-1 Foot in mouth – “There’s nothing holding us back”
+1 The decision to stay
+1 He wanted to tell Elizabeth himself
-1 He didn’t tell her
-2 He walked away twice

GRAND TOTAL FROM ALL 5 ROUNDS! DRUM ROLL PLEASE! ……………………………………………………………………

Photo credit: pinterest.com 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

LUCAS – 37, NATHAN – 34

 

Photo Credit: ©2019 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen

WOW! The debonair businessman of mystery has won it! I honestly thought the Constable would prevail since the Christmas special focused much more on him, but looks like he walked away one too many times! Well, there you have it! Is this a foreshadowing of what’s to come? Or will Nathan find a way to stop sprinkling salt on his boot to make it taste better? Only time will tell!

And now, I leave you. Things will be changing up a bit on Hooked Heartie with the new season beginning; this is my first season as a podcaster. 🙂 But my plan is, (and plans do change, I know,) to write my own #MondayMusings for the blog, review movies every once in a while on Wednesdays, and probably do #FaceOffFriday every other week or so. I’m also going to be recapping the episodes on the podcast, so I’ll include the links on the blogs, and you can hear perspectives other than mine. 😉 There will still be two posts a week, unless life gets in the way…which it probably will several times. But I’ll do my darndest! As always, I really appreciate likes, shares, retweets, comments, clicking on ads, and shopping on Amazon through this site. It sure helps me keep writing! Until next week, after we’ve all seen our Season 7 premiere! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

How did that title not make it in the movie somewhere?? 

Anyway…Hello, hello my lovelies! Not that anyone is paying attention, but if you’re slightly curious…3 DAYS TO GO! If we don’t count today, there are only 3 days left until the premiere! That means only 4 days until…my Season 7 Heartie Party! So remember, if you’re around on the evening of the 24th, come on over, we’ll do some watching…and VERY girlish giggling! If this schedule keeps up, I might have to change my hashtag to a Thursday! 😉

For now, I’ve got a little treat for you: a new movie review. Plus, there’s a little something at the end for super Heartie fans, which you obviously are if you’re reading my blog. 😀 I told you on Monday I was leaving it a mystery. Hint, hint! If you can’t tell from the context clues of the title, today’s pick is “Picture Perfect Mysteries: Dead Over Diamonds”. There are several actors with whom we are VERY familiar. POstables have three members present: 1) Jesse Moss (Topper from Lost Without You), 2) Karen Holness (Hattie from Higher Ground), and thanks to my rewatching habit I found, 3) MacKenzie Gray (Trevor from Something Good).

Hearties will once again recognize Paul McGillion who played the fraudulent Pastor Frank Hogan. Here he returns as Detective Acosta’s very understanding partner. And …(trumpet fanfare)! We have a newcomer to Picture Perfect Mysteries, but not to Hallmark, and certainly not to Hearties. One of my favorite people, Mr. Milo Shandel, who played the now-former bank manager, Mr. Jenkins. But here, he’s really rolling in the big bucks as James Risand, the necklace owner. So, does having one’s character name on a banner and in gold-lettering on an invitation equate having one’s own name in lights? Hmm…as a actress, I would have to say no! But nice try! However, that moment when Allie performed the “open mouth insert foot” maneuver, unknowingly calling him a recluse to his face? That comes pretty close.

Photo credit: baronessbooktrove.com 

Milo shared lots of fun details with me about filming this movie. For the full interview, find it on the Hallmarkies Podcast or on my #WonderWednesday blog from February 12th. One thing in particular that he shared is the mood director Ron Oliver created on set. He apparently dressed in a full suit everyday, and played music to set the tone needed for the scene being shot that day. His thematic vision was that they were in an old James Bond movie. That was my favorite part of the whole thing! The costumes, the set pieces in the mansion, the intro; all reminiscent of James Bond, Charlie’s Angels, and the like. And give it up for Lori Letzler and Steven Davis, because their music was AWESOME! Every time those cymbals started going, I wanted to start jamming. I expected to see Allie start to jam too.

I found lots of fun moments! I’ll just mention 3 to save on time. The first is when the police are questioning Patrick Risand. James comes in a takes over the whole situation, then storms out. But without looking back, he knows Nick has itchy fingers, and asserts, “Don’t touch!” For someone so “touchy” about others touching his priceless artifacts, he let a lot of people lay their hands on those glitzy jewels; didn’t you Mr. Mastermind? Who would have thunk it?!

Next has to do with my theater background, so I loved watching all the acting antics. I get a huge kick out of actors pretending to be actors; or better still, actors bristling at actors. So hearing Alexa Pena Vega, someone who makes a living by acting, asking, “Are you ALL like that?” – GOLDEN! Classic moment!

Last would have to be when Sam tells his uncle the one thing he HAS knocked off the to-do is the sink. The next thing we see is water drip-drip-dripping from the faucet.

Speaking of Uncle Luis, hello Erik Estrada! How long has it been since we’ve clapped our eyes on him? He lit up the screen, and added quite the twist to the team chemistry. His waking up before 5:00 am, dancing to his salsa music, and cooking eggs was very giggle worthy! I loved the breath of fresh air he breathed into the cast. One admission I will make is he seemed a little stiff, maybe because he’s a little out of practice? It doesn’t keep me from wanting to see more of him in later films. I just think he needed a chance to warm up a little, and get back in the game.

While we’re on things I’d like to see differently, there’s only one additional thing. Since there was such an emphasis on Sam calling her “Miss Adams”, and her insisting he call her “Allie”, I would have liked to see her react a bit bigger when he did just that.

That being said, I had no complaints whatsoever with their chemistry, or the brilliance of their interactions. Just knowing they’re married makes the awkward moments that much more fun to watch. Speaking of awkward, what about “I was on the varsity swim team.” 😀 I gotta say, I’m with Allie on this one. If her hands had been duct taped or something, I wouldn’t question Sam jumping in after her. It’s adorable that he did it, but wouldn’t a grown woman be okay if she’s merely tossed into the water? Regardless, that line was hysterical!

Even as I write that, I almost take it back. Seeing that Sam was once engaged to a fiery Assistant District Attorney whose car was found at the bottom of a lake, I can understand why seeing a woman he cared for in the water at all would prompt a spontaneous rescue.

Well, this is where I leave you. But not before I give you the promised bonus: the Hallmarkies Podcast preview for Season 7! And here’s a fun bit of trivia if you didn’t know: the Taylor Twins, Lincoln and Gunner (Baby Jack) turned 2 yesterday (February 19th)! Let’s hope they don’t turn terrible! 😉 Impossible, right?

Photo credit: etonline.com   

 

I’ll see you tomorrow for the ultimate #FaceOffFriday, the last one before the premiere of Season 7. Not long now! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Happy Monday, and Happy President’s Day! And Happy Week-Before-Premiere! Can you believe we get to return to Hope Valley in less than a week? I’m so excited!!! Now remember, if you’re in the Austin, TX area on Monday the 24th, let me know, and you are cordially invited to our Season 7 premiere party.

I know what you’re thinking. “Who are you, and what have you done with Kami? Hooked Heartie never posts on Mondays anymore.” Right? Well, the fact that we’re coming up on the premiere, that calls for some special posts this week! Wouldn’t you agree? So today is something we haven’t be able to do in a while – a #MeetYouMonday. We’re taking a different angle on it though – you get a whole group! May I present the South Texas Hearties, some of us anyway. And yes, I have their permission.

 

So there’s me, of course. You know me. But if there’s anything you want to know, just ask. On the right is Yvonne Davila, the amazing admin of the group. She is the real deal! When I first started this blog, SHE posted all over the group page to promote it. She likened me to Dottie, forging ahead with a new business venture.

She organized this whole meeting, and brought us together. We met at Panera Bread in San Antonio, so I had some incredible broccoli cheese soup, thanks to her! She also encouraged us to bring a favorite teacup or cookie recipe, and asked us to share the story behind it. Mine is the Swiss Miss cup, and I love it because I won it. I entered a contest to win a walk-on role in a Hallmark movie, and got a mug instead. 😀 But that was fun getting it anyway. I previously did not own a Hallmark mug. So thank you, Swiss Miss.

 

Behind Yvonne is Kay Kay Schiebel, a total delight! This was her first South Texas Hearties meeting, and she was so excited to be there. She went to a chocolate shop and bought all of us chocolate hearts. Then when there were extras, she asked me how many children I had. When I told her 4, she handed me all the extras. My children were VERY happy! The heart cookie was my own purchase at Panera Bread to mark the occasion.

 

 

In the back corner is Mary Jean Stolhandske, a true fan! Her teacup is the beautiful china one. Look closely! Seem familiar? It’s the very same set in Abigail’s café. She found it on Ebay, and snatched it up. Smart lady! I had never met her before this day, and by the end of a two-hour meeting, she was hugging me, telling me she would pray for my husband and me in our house hunting. Don’t you just LOVE Hearties???

Finally, right behind me is Riahn Ball, the lucky one of the group. She lived out every Heartie’s dream of attending the Hearties Family Reunion, number 5 to be exact. It was her first international flight. She documented the entire trip, then put all of her pictures in a beautiful album created by Shutterfly. She shared all kinds of stories from her experience, and we lapped it all up! I didn’t want to take any pictures of her book, but here’s how we decorated with our cups.

 

Well, me Hearties, there is your first #MeetYouMonday in a long while. And since it IS the week before the premiere, I’ve decided to post all three days this week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday. So watch out for a new movie review on Wednesday! Which one, you ask? I don’t know. I guess it remains…a mystery. 😉 This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Hearties! And today being what it is, I’ll make this short and sweet. And I hope that no matter what kind of love you’re celebrating today: romantic, parent/child, sibling, best friends, aunt/uncle/nephews/nieces, between cousins, Heartie love, or between yourself and Deity, I hope you do indeed feel loved, and you’re able to do something special to mark the day.

And speaking of love, we are neck-deep in this race for Elizabeth’s love! So, shall we? Round 4! LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE!

 

 

E9: A CALL FROM THE PAST

LUCAS:
+1 The plan to cut the library ribbon together
-1 Curt way he left town
+1 Tried to pull gun to protect Elizabeth
+1 Asking Amos to let Elizabeth go.
+1 Promising Amos every penny in his safe if he will let Elizabeth go
+1 Tiger reflex when Amos hurt Elizabeth’s arm
+1 Trying to pull the gun from the safe to protect Elizabeth
+1 Apologizing for getting her into the situation (even though it was not well received)
+5 Wrestling the gun away from Amos
+1 Attempt at putting coat on Elizabeth’s shoulders (although it was flat-out rejected!)
-2 It was unintentional, but the man DID get her kidnapped

NATHAN:
+1 Comes at Elizabeth’s cry
+1 Helps pick up the books and offers to fix shelf.
+1 Compliments her – “You’re quite the teacher.”
+1 Hands brush!
+10 He saved her life!

*This is an interaction, but I left it neutral because I didn’t see it as positive or negative: Elizabeth coming to Nathan to report Lucas leaving town.

 

 

E10: TWO OF HEARTS
LUCAS:
+1 Wouldn’t have let anything happen to her
-1 Arrogantly declaring being a hero is his “thing” now
+1 His hand over hers for ribbon-cutting
+1 Sharing the book with Baby Jack
-1 The smug look at Nathan
+1 Winning Jack a teddy bear
-1 Trying to show Nathan up at the strong man competition
+2 He won the dance with Elizabeth

NATHAN:
+1 Made her that beautiful plaque
+1 Remembered Emerson was Elizabeth’s favorite poet
+1 Offered to watch Jack at the after-party.
+2 THOSE FUNNY FACES FOR BABY JACK!
-1 Showing off for Elizabeth at the strong man competition
-1 “The founders…would be proud”
+1 Got that final glance

 

GRAND TOTAL: LUCAS – 27, NATHAN – 28. (Accumulative)

 

So Nathan is in the lead again, but just by a hair. This is a pretty close race! I’m sweating just writing about it! And next week? Our final countdown: Home for Christmas. The grand finale before our season premiere! Who will prevail? Find out…next Friday! Happy Valentine’s Day again! Just remember that Elizabeth is honoring Jack’s final wish in this “competition”.

 

 

This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

 

Photo credits: Crown Media 

Editing credits: Sarah Nitsch and Randi Elkins 

Happy Hump Day once again, lovelies! How’s everyone? Have a good weekend and start to the week? Well, I hope you enjoyed the movie from last Saturday, “A Valentine’s Match” because…(trumpet fanfare), that’s what we’re chatting about today. Admittedly, the connection is a very thin thread, but that thread popped through the needle of our show just recently, so it’s fresh in our heads. That thread’s name is Ken Tremblett. You remember him, right? That poor Mountie, Patrick O’Reilly, who gets roped into babysitting Julie Thatcher in Season 1? But then, what does he turn out to be six seasons later? A superintendent! He put in his time, that’s for sure.

But in this movie, he’s a dad, the best role a man can have! It’s funny, I was starting to get worried about how little he was in the film. I kept thinking that couldn’t be right, somehow. He’s someone we all have seen very frequently on Hallmark. But then I realized they were saving it all up for the best part of the movie: the father/daughter walk and talk.

This scene was super special to me for so many reasons. First of all, it had me in tears! I lost my own father to cancer 8 years ago, but he became ill while I was away at my sophomore year at college. So I didn’t really get the chance to have that kind of relationship with him as an adult. It was difficult seeing him reduced to such a tired old man because all my life, he had been such a powerhouse who hardly got sick a day in HIS life. But if I had had the chance, I’d like to think my dad would have been that insightful.

Another reason I loved this scene so much was the analogy of the ruined art project. Lately, some events have occurred in my life that have made me question choices, look to the past with regret, think badly of my current situation, and wonder if I’ll get out of the rut. But that story of Natalie taking a wrecked mass of paint and leaves and transforming it into something exquisite that won her first prize…that was truly inspiring. To quote another part of the movie, but in a very different context: “It’s a cliché because it’s true.” We really need to take the sour lemons life gives to us, and make a delicious libation that refreshes and cheers us. We can grab life and run with it, make what we want of it; we just have to put in the effort, and wait it out.

Okay, enough “gush”, as Zach put it. Let’s talk about something hysterical, like the fact that this movie wins Most Awkward for the next Hallmarkies Podcast Awards! 😀 Oh my gosh! I’ve never seen that much awkwardness in a film that didn’t involve teenagers! I thought about counting and naming them, but I lost track. I’ll just name one. The Jess and Eric “fry bite” right in front of a broken up couple in the diner where they had their first, and many subsequent dates? I would have stepped outside too!

Even Natalie was awkward in the beginning! When she was doing her intro for the reality TV show, I actually wrote in my notes, “Is she SUPPOSED to be that fake?!” A few minutes later, my question was answered when her boss criticized her for losing her “authenticity”, but I was legitimately worried for a moment that I was supposed to think she was a good host.

Now, I can’t go on without awarding big-time kudos to Hal Beckett, who wrote the music! I always knew when an uncomfortable moment was coming up because of the brilliant music. The melodies fit the mood exceptionally with their light staccato tones! In fact, I have the best testimonial! When the four of them were talking about going out to eat, and Eric says they can’t take Natalie because of all the stuff in the back; the foreboding music came up, and my 3-year-old said, “Mommy, I scared!” So, yeah, the music did its job! And speaking of music, WAY TO BRING BACK THE 80’s! That was amazing! Use what we already have! Good move!

Photo Credit: ©2020 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: David Dolsen

Time to chat about Brooks. He’s not quite as bad as some of the dead-end boyfriends I’ve seen in the past, but he chalked up 4-5 major strikes! Natalie called him “a good boyfriend”. Yeah…how? He:

1. Forgot she hated chocolate ice cream.
2. Sent her lilies when she was allergic. (HILARIOUS moment when she inhales deeply, then has to stifle her sniffles.)
3. Thought a job was a good Valentine’s present.
4. Actually TOLD her he came to visit because he was nearby scouting for free.
5. The worst of all! He didn’t even know her birthday!

 

By contrast, now we’ll mention the 3 simple ways Natalie lists, (angrily at the time,) that make Zach a perfect guy.
A. “Tending to everyone’s emotions”
B. “Making sure everything’s okay”
C. “Noticing every detail”

 

Not that hard, right? 😉 Well, to wrap up, I think this movie was pretty cute. We’ll have to see how it measures up to the rest of Love Ever After. And for your bonus entertainment and enjoyment, below is the link to my latest interview with the awesome Milo Shandel, who we get to enjoy on BOTH Hallmark channels this month! You probably already saw “Matching Hearts”, but don’t forget to set your DVR or tune in this Sunday for “Dead Over Diamonds: A Picture Perfect Mystery”.

 

https://www.breaker.audio/hallmarkies-podcast/e/57772520

 

And with that, goodbye until our next #FaceOffFriday! 😀 This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!