Happy Hump Day…plus 1! Life again, but I appreciate your indulgence.

How is everyone? I’m personally having one of those out-of-body experiences when it feels like forever since New Year’s Day, but on the other hand, the end of the month is rushing up on me without warning! I can’t believe it’s already time to prepare for Valentine’s Day, but we are! But of course, what seems very far away is the premiere date of When Calls the Heart. Hopefully our busy lives will be filled so the day will approach quickly!

In the meantime, I’ve got a special treat for you! In the coming weeks, I’ll have something extra fun every Friday until the premiere. I’m actually really excited about this, and I think you’ll find it as fun and entertaining as I do…at least I hope! 😀 But you have to come back tomorrow on Friday to see what we’re doing! It’s going to be wild!

As for today, we are DEFINITELY going to be entertained! I trust most of you have seen the latest Gourmet Detective film by now? I’m so glad it’s back! And to make matters even better, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries aired a marathon of every Gourmet Detective movie in existence beforehand; which was the perfect way to set the tone, and get us in the mood. I recorded the entire run! I considered watching all the old ones before watching the latest installment, but I didn’t want to wait! So I watched Roux the Day early Monday morning, and I’m trying to get through the others. It’s just hard when you have to do things like clean dishes, help with homework, cook dinner, and share the television with four children. 😉

First of all, I’ve included the link to the Hallmarkies Podcast interview with Dylan Neal down below, of which I got to take part. He is such a riot! I’ll let him do the talking for any subject we cover; just block out some time because he was quite the talker. And he mentions a certain twist. Can you identify it? Just copy and paste in your browser.

Second, I’m going to quickly list the things I didn’t care for. I’m doing them first because it’s like vegetables: good to have, but let’s get them out of the way, and move on to dessert!

                   • I really missed Marc Senior as Bailey and Brenda Crichlow as Nolan. I know there are a million reasons why they couldn’t/didn’t come back; I just missed the amazing and hysterical banter that had been present in the other movies between Bailey and Munro. I also am a huge fan of character consistency. But things happen that are beyond control, so no use crying over spilled milk.

                  • While I loved the comfort level of Maggie’s and Henry’s relationship, it was a little TOO much like an old married couple for me. We only got 2 kisses, and one was in front of dear old Dad. Even though I totally understand why they didn’t, I would have LOVED to see them get engaged.

 

Okay, enough of the yucky stuff! So now let’s talk about the parts that I loved!

                   • Even though I would have liked to see a bit more romance, I do love watching a cute couple in an easy, ongoing relationship. Henry and Maggie aren’t your typical, touchy-feely pair. So I did enjoy watching the little ways they were sweet to each other. My favorite was him calling her “Honey” when he’s lecturing her on the state of her car. She also called him “Hon” when she thanked him for the “stale, black coffee”.

                    • The best shot in the WHOLE FILM was the hose and the gun simultaneously pointed at Nicholas Belvedere!

                     • That was the best shot. The best PART was when Jim Ross showed up at Milo’s (book binder) house to provide the distraction for the search behind his mirror. Classic!
                     • There were SO MANY When Calls the Heart actors in here! More than have been in one movie in a long time! It would be too difficult to “discuss” all of them, but here’s the list.

1. Bruce Boxleitner (BRILLIANT move any time he’s involved!)
• Jim Ross
• Gentleman Johnny Boone (S6)
2. Lane Edwards
• Nicholas Belvedere
• Man who caused Jack to suspect Rosemary’s kidnapping (S2)
3. Jennifer Copping
• Elsa Edwards
• Matilda Grady, Bo’s mother (S1)
4. Noel Johansen
• Eric the lawyer
• Roger Tower, wants to buy the café (S2)
5. Billy Wickman
• Daniel the theif and 1st murderer
• Jeb the thieving stagecoach driver (S6)
6. Ali Skovbye
• Maggie’s daughter Abby, (even if she wasn’t in there for long due to her filming schedule.)
• Becky Hastings Stanton

 

One more thing I’ll mention. Dylan does an EXCELLENT job with fear, and Brooke does an equally amazing job with the forging ahead of a cop. Many times, the amateur in these mysteries doesn’t show nearly enough fear at the thought of being shot dead. And if they do, the more movies they film, the less fear they project. But as Henry is crawling through the greenhouses, he’s panting, he’s sweating. He’s trying to think of ideas to take Nick down, but nothing works! And when Nick has him, he attempts bravery by telling Maggie not to come out; but in reality, he’s terrified! I’m so glad Dylan took that path with the character. It fits the situation so much better!

Maggie, on the other hand, never falters, as she shouldn’t. Of course cops get scared, but they’re trained to deal with it, and handle the situation at hand. Brooke does a fabulous job of reacting to danger, but hiding that reaction and taking control of the problem in a sort of “female James Bond” kind of way.

Okay, everyone. Enjoy the interview! I’ll see you tomorrow! You won’t want to miss it! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

 

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Evening, all! We’ve got quite the treat for you today! As most of you know, a certain someone had a very special day on Friday. And he was kind enough to chat with me in honor of it. So without further ado, here is our very own Robert, aka Jaiven Natt, to celebrate his 15th birthday!

Hi, Jaiven! Happy birthday! Thanks for coming on the blog!
Jaiven: Thank YOU for this opportunity! It means a lot.

Okay! Let’s dive right in!

1. Where were you born? Do you still call the same city home?
I was born in Surrey, British Columbia.

2. Tell us about your family.
I live with my parents and my sister, Saija, who is 11, and little brother, Jextin. My family camps, and we do lots of family trips and get-togethers.

3. What is your absolute favorite place to go out to eat, and what dish would you get there?
Cactus Club 100%. I always get root beer and chicken strips and fries, extra Ketchup 😊

4. Did you do any historical research to prep to play Robert? Were you given lots of direction on his character, or given free rein? Somewhere in the middle?
Actually, I just went in and was myself.

5. How old were you when you first started WCTH?
I was nine years old when I booked When Calls the Heart.😁

6. Describe your first day on set.
Oh wow! My first day on set was pretty fun. I met Carter🎥😆 and Erin. I got to work with a stunt guy that helped us with our fight scene. Haha so fun, Cody and Robert meet and have a fight on my first day😂

7. Do you have any hidden talents the Hearties might not know about?
I am a dancer and football player. I love basketball also. But nothing crazy

8. What kind of fan interaction experiences have you had, especially from HFR? Any stories stand out?
My fan experience has been so cool! I can’t believe how lucky I am to have so many kind people support the show and Robert. I feel so lucky to have the positive energy from all the Heartie fans. I actually enjoy meeting all of them it’s so much fun.

9. What is your favorite non-WCTH role you’ve done?
I would say my favorite non-WCTH role would be Adam on X-Files. Because again I got to do something I’ve never done before. Wearing prosthetics was super challenging but fun at the same time. It was a little spooky. But I like to try new things as a actor.

10. When your filming schedule bleeds into the school year, how do YOU balance school with work?
I just try to stay on top of my work so after auditions come in, I’ll be home with my schoolwork. And even when I get a few auditions that are overlapping I just try to make sure I’m really good with my time management so I can balance them both.

11. We’ve seen you post pictures of you and the other young actors from WCTH, on and off set. You all seem to get along well. What do you like to do together when you’re not working? How have you passed the time on set when you have to sit and wait, alone or together?

When the cast kids are together on set we have so much fun. We play games, talk and do our school work together onset. But we also hang out and have so much fun offset also. We usually get together and watch When Calls the Heart when the new season comes out. I really consider them all my very close friends.

15. If you could play any character currently in existence, who would that be?
I can’t believe I still want to be Spider-Man but if I had the chance to play any character, that’s it. ** SpiderMan**

16. Who’s your favorite character on the show, besides Robert?
That is a hard one because I have a few. But I think the funniest character would definitely be Rosemary. Just watching her when she’s in character makes you laugh. She is so good at her role😊

17. Who would you love to work with someday?
Ryan Reynolds would be really cool.

18. What did you do for your birthday? Anything special?
It was my friend’s birthday also, so we celebrated at his house. I’m having my birthday party at the end of the month. It’s going to be fun … Pizza, football and a sleepover lots of school friends…

19. Anything else you’d like to share? Maybe any future projects you’re allowed to share, or things happening in your own life that are special to you?
I am just auditioning right now so fingers crossed and good vibes I book something🤞🏻 I am going to start basketball soon so that will be fun. 

And there you have it, Hearties! Come back Friday for the rest! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom! 

Happy New Year, my dear friends! How are all the Hearties on this fine, fresh, first day of a new decade? Did you do something fun last night, and/or today? For photographic evidence of the Clements family shenanigans, scroll down to the bottom. 😉 We had snacks and sparklers, noisemakers and nail polish, and of course, our 2020 adornments! 😀 And both my girls even made it to midnight for the first time!

This morning, naturally, we watched the Rose Parade on Hallmark Channel, our jaws dropping at all the incredible detail on those magnificent floats. We’ll be like Jack and Elizabeth a little later today, and set our New Year’s resolutions.

Well, here we are! We’ve arrived at our final holiday post for the season. Sigh! It was lovely while it lasted, and as Elizabeth declared in “Home for Christmas”: “No one wants Christmas to end.” But if it was around all the time, it wouldn’t be special. I really struggled with which movie to review for the last Christmas movie we’d discuss. Four components helped me make the decision: 1. It’s #WisemanWednesday, and this film literally used the words, “wise man”. Logical decision. 😉 2. I know the director, so that kind of obligates me to talk about it. Only kidding, Maclain! 😛 3. This movie would be fresh in everyone’s minds today, because there was an encore presentation last night. Last, but CERTAINLY not least needs only two words: 4. Andrew. Walker. Am I right?

Andrew sure was a busy bee this season! Several actors were in multiple Christmas movies this year, but very few were the leads in each movie they were in! And there’s no doubt that he gave a flawless performance in both. There’s just one thing, and I’m taking an official poll, so either put your answer on the Twitter poll, or in comments here, or a comment on Facebook. A) Andrew Walker WITH facial hair in “Christmas on My Mind”, or B) Andrew Walker WITHOUT facial hair in “Merry Bright”? My vote? I’ll cast the first one. Definitely B! I’m a sucker for a clean shaven handsome face; there are few men I prefer with a beard. I definitely wasn’t feeling that huge mustache in WCTH Season 1.

Speaking of which, let’s pinpoint the WCTH actors in this one. There are actually quite a few. There’s Andrew himself. Clayton James (Brad the fiancé,) is off and on as Kevin Townsend the blacksmith, the one Fiona likes. I hope they keep that up because I think they’re adorable! Sebastian Billingsley-Rodriguez (Ryan the art student) was that adorable boy, Adam, who Rosemary helped during the carnival at the end of S5. But my favorite other than Andrew is none other than Preston Vanderslice (Beau) was that sweet Mountie who took a message from Elizabeth to Jack back in S4.

Andrew and Ashley were cute together, but my absolute favorite couple to watch in this movie was Andrew and Preston as brothers! I couldn’t take my eyes off them; they played off each other so well, and were very easy with one another. I can’t pick the best of my two favorite parts involving them. It’s a toss-up between all their “family discount” banter, and Beau’s first interaction with Lucy. Zac informs her they broke up two years ago. Lucy looks to Beau as if for confirmation, and his confused but affirmative nod just made me crack up! Those are two actors I never tire of watching, and they were being guided by my favorite director. It’s a win-win-win! 😀

I had never seen Ashley Greene in a project before; I’m one of THOSE people that did not get aboard the Twilight train. This is also her first Hallmark movie. I think she did a good job. She and Andrew were well paired. You’d never know there’s an 8-year difference between them. The premise here was complicated at best! Can you imagine thinking you’re engaged to a guy you’ve been broken up with for two years, who’s dating someone you don’t really care for, and you’re engaged to a man who don’t remember at all! Try to keep all that straight after a head injury! Then poor Zac! The horrible position he’s in, trying to remain neutral when he’s obviously still in love with her! Awkward!

My favorite scene between the two of them has to be when Zac finally procures a Christmas tree with “the family discount”, i.e. taking without paying, and they decorate it together. Like “a wise man” told Lucy long ago, “finding the right tree should not be rushed.” The decorating isn’t rushed either. There’s lots of comfortable yet flirtatious touching, and plenty of playful banter. And to top it all off, Lucy puts Zac’s lost Christmas sweater under the tree with a big red bow.

There is one part that is unsurpassed, I’ll admit. The final kiss. Talk about heat! I’ve always thought Andrew was a great screen kisser, and that blocking was very moving. There’s something about a man rushing toward you ready to sweep you into his arms. It was a pretty amazing kiss! Well done, team!

So, we’ve officially arrived at New Year. Happy 2020, all! See you next week! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Well, it seems #WisemanWednesday has the magical touch for me being able to post to all you wonderful people! We’re coming up on the big day, big for a lot of reasons! Only two of those reasons being that two wonderful men in red will be stopping by our homes soon! And just so all you #TeamLucas fans out there don’t think I’m giving him his fair share, this is for you: It’s a mere six sleeps (if you’re a “Muppet Christmas Carol” fan like me,) until two very generous givers will make their presence known in our cozy houses. 😉

So for today, I have another fun podcast for you to listen to, or watch, if you prefer. It’ll help pass the time as you’re driving, shopping, wrapping, baking…making all that Christmas magic. I know it’s been a tough few days in the Hallmark world, but hopefully this can help you sit back, relax, and laugh a little.

This past weekend’s line-up has several When Calls the Heart players in it. AND!!!!!!! We had our first sighing of a When Hope Calls actor! I was wondering when that was going to happen! It’s Rob Stewart, who played Tom Clay. He’s featured in, not one, but two of the four, and he was great! Even the #POstables get represented with Peter Benson in “Holiday Date”. That one took the cake on using WCTH alumni! There was Ava Grace Cooper, Bruce Boxleitner, Christine Chatelain, and Ken Tremblett, all in the same film! But the designated “Wiseman” for this week is definitely Eric Close from “Angel Falls: A Novel Holiday.

One reminder before I let you loose. If you’re doing that last minute online shopping, I’d consider it the best Christmas present if you’d go through the links here on the blog. Then there’s always the ads. Every little click helps! 😀 Well, that’s enough plugs. 😉 This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

Oh my gosh, everyone! I’m so sorry about the silent streak! I’ve been running, running, running between my boys having a relapse in sickness, and multiple Christmas events; some of which I was partially in charge. In fact, I was actually composing this post as I sat behind the scenes at our church’s Nativity display event; I was part of the musical numbers, and I was in charge of costumes for the monitors watching over the scenes. We had literally hundreds of displays (just over 400) from all over the world! So amazing!

Now for today’s movie. I thought about doing part two of Christmas Town, but as a die hard Heartie, I would be remiss if I didn’t review the Yuletide film of our leading lady. Plus, for #WisemanWednesday, it’s a perfect choice, because the main man sure THOUGHT he was wise. That’s right! I’m speaking about “Sense, Sensibility, and Snowmen”. I’m certain I’m the only blogger who’s covering it. HA HA! But I wouldn’t consider myself a true fan if it didn’t go on here. And in addition to Erin, there are two other WCTH actors in this movie! Did you catch all of them? There’s Jan Bos; he was Edward’s dad, and the mining company lawyer in WCTH. There’s Jason McKinnon, who had the nerve to be on the screen at the same time as Erin! 😉 Just teasing, Jason! You’re a wonderful actor! In SSS, he played the sweet lawyer Brandon; but in WCTH, he’s that sniveling and conniving, (not to mention “shockingly bold”. Thank you, Rosemary!) Thomas Higgins. And BONUS! We have Gary Peterman and Emma Pedersen from Signed Sealed Delivered. He played Mr. Roberts on the episode “The Masterpiece”, and here, he was the very difficult Stanley Green. SHE was the Montaldo’s employee, Nikki, in “One in a Million”, and here, she was part of the Dashworks team.

To start us off, this movie is in the same category as Christmas Town: totally loved the whole thing, it was just on the wrong channel. From that very first moment when Ella (Erin) turns around, and with that signature light in her eyes, tells Marianne to hurry up, you knew this was going to be a lighthearted, festive romance. Speaking of that moment, it was very telling in so many ways. We find out that the writers switched the names of the sisters, which kind of threw me off, I admit. I’m a huge Sense and Sensibility fan, so I noticed it right away. I wondered if it was done with a purpose, or just to switch things up. And I was under the impression that the party planning business was a small, start-up company with just the two of them. But it was their father’s company, and there was a group of employees. And one cannot go wrong with a wreath of cupcakes, so they were obviously doing something right. Right? 😉

May I interject here that after witnessing the dynamic duo that was Erin Krakow and Kimberly Sustad, I am wholly convinced that Kimberly would make an amazing guest star on WCTH. Who’s with me? Their chemistry and the way they played off of each other was…NAILED IT! I don’t know if my favorite part was them whispering very obviously over their shoulders about revealing Ella’s feelings for Edward, or the Christmas morning gift frenzy. And there’s also that tiny little and HILARIOUS scene where Brandon and Marianne are literally spying on the reluctant couple. Can you just see Kimberly as a best friend from the city, or a cousin of Elizabeth’s? Funny enough, I can totally picture her as a Hope Valley resident, or a frontier woman just outside of town. Something to think about, Hallmark Channel.

About the leading man: geez, what a know-it-all! But they usually are at that point. Watching Edward getting knocked down a peg or two in that scene at the bar was classic; especially Brandon’s facial expressions indicating he get off his high horse or fail. Ella really socks it to Edward a time or two on her own. The prime example was the incredulous tone and shocked expression Ella manifests when Edward mentioned that kids never test-played with the toys from the company. Or maybe it was when Ella retorted that she’d get Edward a bulk order of beige scarves with beige accents. Those scenes are great, but it’s nothing like him buying the suggested snowman scarf as proof of her influence on him.

Oh and yeah, the kiss helps too! 🙂

Photo credit: Erin’s Twitter 

I think Luke and Erin made a nice couple. Did you know they went to Juilliard together? It really worked. I think they should pair up again.

And on that note, this little Christmas elf needs a little sleep. Can’t wait to talk to all of you again. Hopefully, that will be Friday! Please keep coming back and enjoying the content. I do so love writing for you, and hearing your feedback. As always, sharing, liking, retweeting, and clicking on ads is incredibly helpful. And if you’re spreading holiday cheer with online orders, it would be amazing if you were to do your Amazon shopping by clicking on one of our links.

Keep making it a Merry Christmas, everybody! This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!