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: 

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:   


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 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”.


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

Hello, my friends! Well, I can truly say that this is a great honor, and I am SUPER excited to bring you this movie review today. I think I may have found my favorite 2020 movie, at least so far. This one was a gem! There were SO MANY things I loved about, and very few critiques I could think of. What a great kick off to the year! And it stars our very own Marshall Williams!

I know what some of you are thinking. “Who in the WORLD is that?!” Well, that’s because Marshall isn’t on When Calls the Heart. He has recently been introduced as Sam, a competition for one of our leading lady’s affections. And it all happens on…When Hope Calls. Yep, When Hope Calls. And since it is a spin-off of WCTH, I decided back in August that WHC should get a place on the Hooked Heartie blog as well. And this is especially a big deal because Marshall is the first male costar from the show to get a leading role in a Hallmark movie.

So…onward! The film is “Amazing Winter Romance”. I think what started it off on the right foot was the angle taken on the relationship between Nate and Julia (Jules). They were best friends all their lives! There’s even a framed photo of the two of them at around six years old. They’re not old flames, they don’t hate each other at first, and one wasn’t in love with the other doing a whole “pining for an unrequited love” thing their whole lives. They were truly just best friends who realized they couldn’t live without each other. This created an amazing and unique chemistry between them in the form of reliving memories, issuing and following dares, competing in friendly but high-staked races 😉 etc. And every time he asks her if she wants to do something, go somewhere, eat at his house, or just if she needs help, she always says yes. There’s no awkward, “No, I’m fine” excuse, which just makes things odd. But things do heat up past the friend zone, so the chemistry doesn’t burn out. One aspect is put into words by Julia’s mom when she comments how “one looks at the other when the other isn’t looking”; which is the cutest thing ever!

The second thing that makes this movie great is the casting itself. Jim Heber executed this part, and kudos to him! He knocked it out of the park! Marshall and Jessy are young enough that it’s easier to buy them being childhood friend. Not only that, they just look good together, and the way they literally and figuratively play off each other is unsurpassed! I really do wonder how much time they spent together preparing, or maybe how long they’ve known each other before filming started. They had one of the most natural, easy-going, and playful relationships I’ve seen on a Hallmark movie. Even as something as simple as her saying, “HA ha!” when she cuts him off in the plow, and him shaking his head and smiling at her very familiar antics illustrate how much history they have. Or Julia trying to step away from Nate’s moment in the spotlight for the TV interview, and him gently tugging her back? There are a million other examples, but we’ll stick with those for now.

Not only were THEY fantastic, but the rest of the cast around them completed a perfect ensemble. Julia’s boss/friend is a flawless combination of professional and “Get it together, girl!”, even if we don’t see her much. The parents were wise but fun, and very sneaky! (We definitely need more of them!) Brook’s sister role was a serendipitous blend of sympathy, helpfulness, and straight sibling talk to nudge them along, and yank Nate out of his clueless fog! That’s a whole different paragraph possibility entirely! And Skye was a great quirky fish out of water trying to swim upstream.

Number three in this recipe of success was the writing and directing: Barbara Kymlicka and Jason Bourque respectively. I’ve seen couples in TV shows and movies that have great chemistry, but their words and movements are so awful that it’s distracting! No such problem here! I don’t know where Barbara got the inspiration to write about a gigantic snow maze, but we’ve never had anything CLOSE to it in a Hallmark movie before! It was such a fresh and original idea! And it took Julia on a beautiful journey of self-discovery, which is vital in any good movie.

The other great thing she did was making sure the ending didn’t fall flat. That’s a problem I’ve witnessed in several projects as well. There’s an incredible film going along, then crash and BURN! It falls flat at the end. Not so! Nate stops Julia in a VERY different way than we’ve seen, (advantage to being involved in the road-clearing business,) and ties their history to their present situation with that adorable line: “I can’t remember a time when I ever wanted to be with anyone else, not even on a dare.” It could have stopped there, and it would have been beautiful. But it didn’t! They keep the playful element alive in their relationship, still being playful, still being competitive. And when they win the race to the middle of the maze, he kisses her, and DIPS her! But the final shot is an aerial shot of them throwing snow at each other, not losing the fun quality that made them friends in the first place. Between Barbara’s writing and Jason’s directing, it was, in a word: perfect.

I could go on and on, but I should probably stop now before I type all night. And with this movie, I could! Suffice it to say, if you haven’t seen it, watch it! I don’t see it in the schedule, but you know very well how many times Hallmark Channel repeats movies! I’m sure it will have an encore presentation in the near future. If you’ve seen it, watch it again! And if you kept it on your DVR like I did, watch it again, and again, and again!

Speaking of encore, if you haven’t already heard, we at the Hallmarkies Podcast have put together Hallmark’s very first exclusive awards ceremony. And there are SEVERAL nominations and wins for people involved in both these wonderful shows. The link is in the comments. And with that, I leave you. See you Friday with chapter 2 of #FaceOffFriday! Who will pull ahead this week? This is Hooked Heartie, signing off! May your heart let your hope blossom!

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!

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!