Sweet Home Carolina: A Story Filled with Love and Second Chances

When a hard working woman leaves her hectic, Los Angeles lifestyle for a small, South Carolina town, memories from the past rekindle a new light in her life. Heather McComb and Paul Greene, star in this heartwarming story about a single mother struggling to raise her two daughters, attempting to find herself, and hoping for a second chance at love.

Portable Network Graphics image-AD0466CA97AE-1.png

After having some rough months at work, Diane (McComb) is forced by her boss to take some time off and spend some quality time with her daughters, Andrea and Aubrey. Stressed, fatigued, and struggling to pay bills, her prayers are answered when she is informed that she has inherited her great-aunt’s house in South Carolina. Memories of the summers she spent there when she was young come rushing back. Her fondest memory being the summer she met Luke (Greene). The only catch is that before she can sell the house, she has to live there for one year; as well as take care of her great-aunt’s dog, Mister. In hopes of a fresh, new start, Diane and her daughters make the move to this quaint town. It doesn’t take long for the three of them to adjust to their new lifestyles, and for Diane to realize how much she missed being there. Not only how much she missed the town, but also how much she missed and deeply cares for Luke. Will these two sweethearts find their second chance at love? Can Diane fully commit to the small-town lifestyle? Or will the pressure of her career and bustling city life pull her back in?

I thought this movie had the perfect amount of drama, romance, and comedy. Not only are there plenty of sweet moments that pull at your heart strings, but there are also very real storylines that many can relate to. In Diane’s character we see a mom who is struggling to raise two kids, while also balancing her job. There are so many women who can relate to this, whether they’re single or married. Trying to balance both roles of maintaining a career and being a mother can be very challenging. In Diane’s older daughter Andrea, played by Lexi Giovagnoli, viewers witness a powerful character arc going from rebellion and darkness to acceptance and new found light. Both actresses portray these storylines beautifully, and you truly feel like you’re going on the journey with them as they accept new changes in their lives.

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 12.55.24 AM.png

Heather McComb and Paul Greene did an amazing job portraying their characters. It’s no surprise, seeing as both actors are incredible in all their movies, but the chemistry between the two was perfect. You can feel every word they say to each other and see how in-the-moment they are in every scene. There are plenty of aww moments, and even some tear-jerking ones. Heather portrayed her character with so much strength and grace. She had some very emotional scenes, and you can’t help but feel like you are experiencing it with her and lose yourself in her performance. Paul does an amazing job bringing his sweet natured personality to this character, which perfectly balances the more fast-paced personality Diane has. He does a great job bringing this cool, calm, and collected small-town guy to life. There’s also a deeper and more emotional side to this character, which I really enjoyed getting to see Paul portray. An added bonus was getting to see Paul sing and play his guitar, because it made his character that much more genuine. Honestly, the entire cast was amazing and each one added something unique to the story.

Sweet Home Carolina masterfully mixes romance and drama, and even comedy! There are several characters that bring the comedic touch and light-hearted personalities. Showing the contrast between the typical L.A. lifestyle versus the typical lifestyle of a small, southern town was one of my favorite comedic aspects. I thought this attention to detail was perfectly shown and discussed in dialogue between characters. Also, the setting of this film serves as the perfect backdrop to tell this story that you immediately find yourself immersed in.

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 12.35.25 AM.png

If you find yourself looking for a movie that will put a smile on your face and take you on an emotional journey, I highly recommend Sweet Home Carolina. This movie is available to buy and rent on iTunes, Amazon, Vudu. Do yourself a favor and watch this movie. You won’t regret it! I hope you find it as enjoyable as I did!

Watch on: Amazon iTunes Vudu

YouTube Trailer

*Photo credit to MarVista Entertainment

A Doctor’s Redemption and a Young Boy’s Fight for Life

The season finale of When Calls the Heart, entitled Heart of a Fighter, gave viewers the perfect amount of drama, emotion, faith and hope. Season 4 was filled with great new characters who brought powerful new storylines to Hope Valley, along with new hardships faced by our familiar faces. We witnessed beautiful moments of romance, friendship, conflict, community, and joy. This finale delivered on bringing us everything we love so much about our dear Hope Valley.

The episode picks up with Cody, who has been rushed to the infirmary due to his stomach pain. Nurse Faith believes he has appendicitis. However, since she is not a surgical nurse, she can’t perform the surgery. Faith explains that the closest doctor in town is Dr. Strohm, but it would still take him at least a day to arrive. In need of bringing someone sooner, Elizabeth and Abigail decide to try to find Carson knowing he can’t be too far. Bill rounds up a search party to find Carson and convince him to come back to help Cody. Elizabeth ends up finding Carson and explains the situation to him. He is clearly hesitant, due to his past experience, but he agrees to return to Hope Valley to check up on Cody. Carson immediately arrives to the infirmary and diagnoses Cody with appendicitis seeing he has all the symptoms. He believes Cody will need surgery to remove his appendix as soon as possible. However when Dr. Strohm arrives, he ignores Carson’s diagnosis and decides to perform his own check-up on Cody.

cdn.crownmediadev-1.jpg

Back at the cafe, everyone is waiting to hear what Dr. Strohm has to say about Cody. He comes in and explains that he believes Cody only has a stomach flu and surgery won’t be required. Carson is clearly upset knowing that Dr. Strohm is wrong. Torn between two different opinions, Abigail decides to wait until the morning to see how Cody is doing and determine whether or not he will need surgery.

During this, Rosemary and Lee are having some issues of their own. Rosemary realizes that Lee is not his usual self. He’s tired, not eating, distant, and is clearly troubled. She tries talking to him about what’s bothering him, but he can’t seem to open up about it. After receiving some encouraging advice from Elizabeth, Rosemary decides to take her advice and try again. She’s able to get through to Lee and he explains what has been bothering him. In a very vulnerable and emotional scene, Lee tells Rosemary about his brother Patrick who died when they were kids. When his brother got sick, Lee would read his favorite book, Tom Sawyer, to him every night. One night, he was too tired to read and told his brother he would read to him in the morning. Lee never got the chance because his brother didn’t make it through the night. He says how Cody reminds him a lot of his brother, and now going through a similar situation is hard for him.

IMG_4541.PNG

Later that night, Carson finds Dr. Strohm at the saloon drinking. When Carson tells him that might not be the best idea, in case he has to perform surgery, Dr. Strohm tells him he doesn’t need advice from a former doctor who lost a patient in surgery. Carson tells him he did everything he could to try to save his wife, but it was out of his control. The two continue to exchange words until Carson gets physical with Dr. Strohm and Bill is forced to separate the two. Afterwards, Carson goes to check up on Cody and finds him doing worse. He tells Faith to go get Abigail because if surgery isn’t performed, Cody will die. Abigail gives him permission to operate, and immediately Carson and Faith go to work. Several hours later Carson arrives to the cafe. He’s pleased to say that the surgery was a success, but Cody is still unconscious, he lost a lot of blood, his heart rate is low, and still has a fever. Dr. Strohm finds out Carson performed surgery and begins to threaten him, but Abigail defends him and says she stands by her decision of allowing him to proceed.

At the mercantile Elizabeth overhears Marlise Bennett, Carson’s sister-in-law, asking to send a wire to the medical board in Cape Fullerton. She’s clearly upset he performed surgery and wants to make him pay for what happened to her sister. However, Elizabeth steps in and advises her to rethink her decision. She tells her that if it wasn’t for Carson, Cody would’ve died and that maybe it’s time for her to forgive him.

Back at the infirmary, Abigail is at Cody’s bedside begging him to keep fighting. Meanwhile, the town comes together to hold a prayer service for Cody and share a moment together reciting the Lord’s prayer. Personally, I’ve always loved when the town comes together in a moment of crisis. It’s part of what makes Hope Valley so special, and this was one of my favorite scenes. The next morning, Carson is checking up on Cody and tells Abigail that everything is back to normal. Still holding Cody’s hand, asking him to wake up, Cody squeezes Abigail’s hand and she is moved to tears knowing her son made it. A huge sigh of relief is expressed.

Portable Network Graphics image-DE2B202A2F39-1.png

As Carson leaves the infirmary, he runs into Marlise. She begins to tell him that she’s decided to move on and forgive him. She realizes it wasn’t fair of her to blame him for her sister’s death, and that he should continue to practice medicine because clearly he’s a talented doctor. Later, Carson and Abigail share a heartfelt conversation in the cafe. She tells him that he’s meant to be a doctor, not a cook, and thanks him for saving Cody. However, Carson tells her that Cody saved him. The whole town saved him.

While this is happening, Gowen is still being held in jail. When he finds out about Cody, he is clearly concerned. In a very powerful moment, we see Gowen rest his head on the bars of the cell and close his eyes when he hears the news, as if he were praying for Cody. He was meant to be taken to his arraignment, but he asks Bill if he could stay one more day until there’s more news about Cody. Finally, when it is time for him to leave, Abigail and Gowen share a sweet moment during their final goodbye. She tells him to take care of himself and gives him a kiss on the cheek. Though we didn’t see much of Gowen in the episode, in the scenes that we do, you can really start to see the change he is experiencing, the regret, and you feel for him. I thought these were great additions.

Several weeks pass, and we find Elizabeth writing a letter to Jack catching him on everything that happened. In the cafe, decorations are hung and everyone is celebrating Cody’s birthday. He receives a baseball bat from Carson, whom we hear has been offered a position to stay in Hope Valley to continue practicing medicine. He receives The Adventures of Tom Sawyer from Lee and Rosemary, and when he opens the book he finds Patrick Coulter written on the inside cover. Finally, Abigail gives Cody a large envelope and tells him it’s also for Becky. Inside are the official adoption letters! In one of the most heartfelt scenes of the season, Abigail tells them they can start calling her mom and as Cody goes outside to play he turns to her and says, “I will, Mom!”

IMG_4542.PNG

I truly thought this was the perfect ending to this incredible season. It was a great representation of everything Hope Valley stands for. Lori Loughlin, Carter Evancic, and Paul Greene were absolutely outstanding in this episode! The entire cast is some of the most talented actors and we’re lucky to have them! A huge thank you to the producers, the writers, the cast and crew, and Hallmark for creating this beautiful show that fills all of our Heartie hearts with so much love! We will all be anxiously awaiting season 5 next year, and looking forward to experiencing new storylines with our favorite characters!

*Photo credit to Hallmark and Crown Media

Q & A: Andrea Brooks

From a young age, Andrea Brooks dreamt of becoming an actress. At age fourteen, her dream was about to become a reality. Due to her talent in figure skating, the door to the entertainment industry swung open for her. She landed her first role in the Disney movie Ice Princess, and from there her career blossomed. Andrea has starred in Supergirl, A Wish for Christmas, and Summer in the City to name a few. She is best known for her role as Nurse Faith Carter in the Hallmark original series, When Calls the Heart. I had the opportunity to speak with Andrea about her acting career, her role as Nurse Faith, and her upcoming projects.

What made you become an actress? Was it something you always dreamt of?

Andrea: I love this question! I think I always had an interest in becoming an actor or performing. I still remember being three-years-old watching Sesame Street and other shows on television and wanting to be one of those kids! I wanted to be on the TV! I think that was always in the back of my mind, but my father worked very hard when I was growing up, and my mother is an academic. So there was no one in my life who was involved in the entertainment business, but I think I was always pushing in that direction. I was always involved in musical theater and I was involved with a semi-professional theater group when I was a kid. I was a competitive figure skater and dancer. I was always doing things that were creative. I grew up mostly on the outskirts of Vancouver, so I always knew film was a possibility because a lot of filming happens here. I knew kids that were doing commercials, and I was interested, but I never knew how to ask my parents.

Andrea_Brooks.jpg

When I was 14-years-old there was a pamphlet circulating at my skating club and they were looking for figure skaters for a Disney movie, Ice Princess. It was just to be in the background or have small parts here and there, but they needed kids who could skate. So I remember going, “Mom! Mom! I want to go to this open casting!” My mom was not interested and she told me, “Andrea, you’re a busy kid. There’s no way you’re doing this.” So I begged a ride off of a friend of mine’s mother. I ended up going to the audition, my mom ended up finding out and was fine with it. I remember I went in and we had an audition where we read three lines and gave them a VHS of ourselves skating. I remember I went into the room and thinking, “Ok, this is my shot!” So I read the lines as realistically as I could and the casting director was like, “Oh! You’re pretty good! Let’s do that again!” So we did it again, and then she gave me more sides (lines) for a different character. By the time I got home there was a message on the answering machine saying, “We really like Andrea. We want to push her through to the next round of auditions and make her read a bigger role.” My mom couldn’t believe it! She ended up coming around and I made it pretty far in the audition process for that movie. I ended up being a contender for the main role, didn’t end up getting it, but by the end of the whole process I had an agent and I was just kind of in the business. My mom made me make a few promises, keep my grades up and all that, and if it all worked out she would let me try acting. I never stopped!

Yes! I remember watching that movie when it came out. I was about 9-years-old. I loved it!

Andrea: That’s so cool! I remember when it came out my mom was telling me, “You’re going to be disappointed you didn’t get this,” but I just didn’t care. I was so happy and loved the whole thing! I also remember thinking, “Ugh! The girls they picked aren’t real figure skaters.” Since they had to use stunt doubles. (Laughs)

Faith came into the show towards the end of Season 2. What was it like for you to join the cast? Were you familiar with the show?

Andrea: First of all, I’ve always been interested in doing time periods. Even when I was young I loved Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie! I loved reading about the pioneers and settlers. It’s always been a side interest of mine. So when I heard When Calls the Heart came to Vancouver, I remember putting that on my radar and thinking that’s a show I would be interested in. I got asked to audition for the role of Julie Thatcher, and that went really well! It was looking like I would potentially be playing this role. I went to network for it. Then I was asked to dye my hair, so I kind of assumed “Great! I’ll play Elizabeth’s sister!” At the last minute it fell apart and someone else was cast. I guess they remembered me though, and the role of Faith popped up towards the end of the second season and my name was thrown out for that. I was actually out of town, but they asked me to put some Faith scenes on tape. I shot them in terrible lighting with just my laptop camera. I actually found them a couple weeks ago, and I’ve considered releasing them, but they’re not very good! (Laughs) So I threw it together quickly and sent it to my agent. I sort of forgot about it, but then I found out I had it!

2044865

Originally, she was only written as a two-episode arc. Back in those days they were thinking they were going to continue with the Hamilton storyline. So the sisters and the family were the good roles in season two. So I didn’t think too much of Faith. I was interested in the show and I heard great things about everybody. Then when I showed up to shoot I thought, “Oh my goodness, this is the most amazing cast! Everyone is so brilliant! I love this!” I really give Daniel [Lissing] a lot of the credit for the reason Faith ended up coming back. He had a lot of conversations with me about how to play this part, who the Hearties were, what the fans expected, not to play anything with malicious intent, and just to be honest and open. I think that’s what Faith is deep down. She’s an honest character, and she doesn’t have any ill will of any kind. So it just went from there! I got really good feedback, but I had no idea they were going to arc me into the next season. I was really excited when I found out I was coming back!

That actually leads me into my next question. I think Faith has had a great arc. Seeing her from where she was when we first met her to now, she has grown so much! I think she is much more confident in herself now, versus that girl who had just left her fiancé and was alone in a new town. She also had an awkward relationship with Elizabeth, but now they’re good friends. What’s it like for you as an actress to be able to portray that arc and her journey?

Andrea: That’s such a good question! I think the way that Faith is getting settled in Hope Valley sort of mimics my experience getting acquainted with the cast, the crew, the show, and the hearties. It has kind of been a parallel experience. I always say that the first day on a new show is like your first day at school as the new kid. You show up and hope everyone likes you, you hope you make friends, and you hope you don’t screw up. I always have that in the back of my mind, but everyone has been so welcoming. So it’s been a similar thing because now I am very close with Daniel, Erin and I are very good friends, Ben, Loretta, everybody on the show! I was already friends with Paul Greene. It’s become this huge family! And that’s what Faith is experiencing as well. She comes in only knowing Jack, and she has to find her footing, stand up for herself, and leave behind her past. So she’s absolutely growing as a character and gaining confidence as the season progresses.

cdn.crownmediadev

Going back to the period piece part, playing a nurse in the 1900s is very different than playing one in present day. Did you do any research beforehand?

Andrea: Yes I did! That’s one of the lovely things about playing a character season to season is that not only do they grow, but it allows for you to do continual research. I remember being in an old bookstore and finding a book on Florence Nightingale and thinking, “This is perfect! I am going to read this!” That’s what I like about a series is that you’re constantly looking for things and learning new things. So I would say my research is continual. I am still doing research, but I wouldn’t say it’s concentrated to any one particular part of time. I always have my eyes open. I read about the history of the Red Cross being started by nurses. It has absolutely opened my eyes to a whole new set of experiences that I otherwise would not have read about.

All season the Hearties have been rooting for Faith to find love. They want her with Hickam, some people liked Ray, Carson, but I don’t think anyone saw Shane coming!

Andrea: No! I think you’re right! I’ve been teasing all season! I remember earlier in the season asking, “What do you guys think?” You’re right, everyone went through all those names but there was literally no Shane. I think at one point someone said that would be a nice pairing and I was thinking, “You are so right! I wish I could say something!” That’s also why I am glad we are talking now because the last episode had the big reveal of that. I’ve been very careful all season watching what I say. Now the cat is out of the bag and that’s fun!

Yes! What’s it like for you to see everyone have such strong opinions about who your character ends up with?

Andrea: Oh goodness! Maybe in a weird way it’s kind of a sense of validation, just because Faith did cause a bit of stir when she first came onto the show. So it’s nice to see people’s reactions and people transitioning over to see her as a good character. I know that probably happened a while ago but, it’s nice to know people are rooting for you!

C5D1-BgUcAELU0-.jpg

What was it like getting to work with Niall Matter and Liam Hughes? He is just an incredibly talented young actor!

Andrea: I was so excited! I wasn’t certain about how that storyline was going to manifest itself. We had already started shooting and once I found out I was ecstatic! Niall is such a professional and such a good actor. He’s fantastic! He’s a very caring actor, he’s very giving, he’s always looking out for you when you’re doing a scene with him. And Liam is just the sweetest kid! So talented! Such a great face for television. He was lovely! He bought everyone wonderful Christmas gifts when we wrapped the season. Just an awesome kid! I was really excited about getting to work with him!

All the kids are so talented! Ava [Grace Cooper] killed me this last episode! She was amazing!

Andrea: Yes! It was a big episode for her! She is just a gem! Erin and I always joke about how Ava’s character and Liam’s character should go on a kid date. They’re just too adorable! (Laughs)

Is there anything you can tease about the season finale?

Andrea: I can say there are some pretty awesome scenes! I got to work with Paul Greene, Lori [Loughlin], and Erin [Krakow] quite a bit. Tensions are high, but I think this episode really delivers as far as a season finale goes.

We are all very excited to see your new project, which is Destination Wedding. What can you tell us about that?

Andrea: Yes! It comes out June 3rd! That’s what I love about these movies. They turn them around really quick. Hallmark has been so lovely. I think there is a really unique family when it comes to Hallmark. So many of us do so many of the projects. I think this is my 6th or 7th movie in the past two years. This one was obviously really exciting because it was a destination film. As far as the experience, it was probably one of the best filming experiences I’ve ever had! There’s something to be said for traveling to a new country with a group of friends. That’s the great thing with Hallmark is that we all know each other, or of each other, or have other friends in common. And it was such a coincidence that I happen to be working with three guys who were on When Calls the Heart! [Jeremy Guilbaut, Andrew Dunbar, and Preston Vanderslice] That was really fun! We talked about the Hearties a lot! It almost felt like a college experience! We all had rooms on the same floor and would meet up for dinner. We just had a ball!

In terms of the project itself, it stars Alexa PenaVega who is amazing! She plays my sister. I am a temperamental bride and I decide last minute that maybe I don’t want to be married. There’s a big kerfuffle, and the family has to come together to try to make the wedding happen. In doing that, my maid of honor and best man end up rekindling their friendship. It’s a big family movie! There are a lot of funny characters! There’s a lot of drama of whether or not the wedding will happen, how will it happen, who’s actually in love, and in the end you have to see if it all comes together or not.

C7-LGk2VMAAt1Og.jpg

It sounds great! All the June movies sound amazing! And we have a lot of familiar faces in them as well!

Andrea: Yes! There are so many When Calls the Heart faces! Hopefully that helps the Hearties in the off-season! I am so excited to see it just because it’s in a new location! We’re always up in Vancouver shooting at the same places. It’s really fun that this is going to have a completely unique look to it. We had the most amazing Mexican film crew. They were so hardworking and lovely. It was the first Hallmark movie shot down there, so everyone took it very seriously and I think it’s going to show. I was such an awesome experience! I am still sad that I am back home! I wish I could go back!

You touched on this briefly, but what’s it been like for you to join the Hallmark family?

Andrea: It has been such a gift as an actor because it’s probably the closest thing you can get to consistent work if you’re not on a show, but I also happen to be on one of their shows. Just the fact that they trust you and there’s this communal feeling, even among the executives, and everyone is on the same page. Everyone knows each other, which is so neat! You instantly feel this bond, and I had never really experienced that before. I think of Hallmark like the old studio system in Hollywood where actors were contracted to a studio. Of course we’re not only contracted to Hallmark, we do work on other networks, but there’s a really close bond between everyone that works on the shows and movies. It has been a huge blessing.

Finally, are there any other projects you can tell us about? Any chance to see you on Supergirl again?

There are a lot of discussions going on. Obviously Supergirl is going into season 3 and my character, Eve, is still very much a part of that universe. I still have some more things coming up with that this season. That was one of the hard things this year, because I was bouncing back and forth between When Calls the Heart and Supergirl. They were shooting at the same time for a while and it got a little crazy. I am in talks for a series, potentially, but it’s just a lot of talks right now, nothing completely confirmed. There’s a lot happening! It’s a busy time up here in Vancouver! I am not complaining! (Laughs)

Not only is Andrea extremely talented and beautiful, but she has an even more beautiful heart that radiates love, kindness, and humility. It was so lovely getting to speak with Andrea! Her warm smile immediately invites you in and makes you feel like you’re speaking with a great friend you’ve known all your life. It always makes me so happy to see such successful individuals be able to keep themselves grounded in a society that tends to boost your ego quite easily. Andrea serves as an excellent role model for young girls to look up to in a time where we need more positive influences in the media. It is clear that Andrea has a long and bright future ahead of her, and I am eager to see where her journey goes. Make sure to stay up-to-date with everything Andrea is doing by following her on all her social media platforms!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndreaKBrooks

Instagram: http://instagram.com/AndreaKBrooks

*Photo credit to Hallmark, Crown Media, and Andrea’s Twitter

A Young Girl Helps Heal an Aching Heart

The fourth season of When Calls the Heart is quickly coming to an end, but not before we have some final pieces of drama, love, and friendship. In this past episode, entitled Heart of a Secret, Elizabeth gets her own taste at motherhood, Carson reveals his past, Nurse Faith finds new love, and Becky is back in town.

Let’s start with one of the cutest storylines we’ve seen this season, which is the relationship between Miss Thatcher and Opal. We’ve always loved our sweet Opal, and Brownie, but this week the cuteness was taken to another level. Opal’s grandmother is suffering from an illness, forcing her parents to go visit her in Cape Fullerton. When Miss Thatcher finds out, she offers to watch Opal until her parents get back. Opal spends several days with Miss Thatcher, but some of the other girls start to get jealous that she gets to spend all this time with Miss Thatcher. When some of the girls start teasing her about being the teacher’s pet, she invites them to spend the night at Miss Thatcher’s as well. Hesitant, Miss Thatcher agrees and all the girls from the class end up having a sleepover at her house. Not only were there several funny and uplifting moments between Opal and Miss Thatcher, but there were also several heartfelt and tender ones. The first being when Miss Thatcher advises Opal to count her blessings to help her fall asleep. Her list included her parents, Brownie, and Christmas! However, before Miss Thatcher leaves the room, Opal tells her she’s a blessing too. Another very sweet moment comes when Opal tells her that if God is watching over her grandmother, then she doesn’t need to worry about Mountie Jack because God is watching over him also. Opal truly helped Miss Thatcher take her mind off the danger Jack is facing, and to trust in God’s plan. Opal definitely stole the show for me this week! Huge shout out to Ava who did an incredible job and is such a talented young actress!

Portable Network Graphics image-FF48689A64F0-1.png

Carson’s past is finally revealed when a mysterious woman, Marlise Bennett, arrives in town. After hearing her story, Bill takes Marlise to Abigail so she can hear what she has to say about Carson. She explains that he was a doctor and was married to her sister. Her sister was diagnosed with a tumor that could not be operated on. However, Carson decided to operate anyway and she died during the surgery. Due to this, Marlise sees him as a murderer and wants to sue him for negligence. Clearly troubled, Abigail asks Bill to investigate further. He discovers that Carson did nothing wrong and is cleared to continue practicing medicine. However, Carson tells Abigail that it’s probably best if he leaves town.

Dottie’s dress shop is officially open for business, and Rosemary is trying to start bringing in some orders. Rosemary’s luck runs dry, and is unsuccessful at receiving any business. She expresses her frustrations to Lee and he comes up with the idea to create uniform shirts for the men at the sawmill. Though she is hesitant at first, Rosemary decides that any business at all is beneficial for the shop. After a crucial conversation about the best kind of plaid, Rosemary and Lee come to an agreement on the design for the new shirts. Elizabeth also has a very sweet conversation with Rosemary where she asks her to design her wedding dress!

IMG_4516.PNG

Looks like a new romance is blossoming between Faith and Shane! Elizabeth and Shane were having a conversation when Faith walks by, catching all of Shane’s attention. Elizabeth realizes this and encourages him to ask her out for dinner. Later that day we see Faith and Shane talking, but Philip isn’t reacting very well to the situation. Elizabeth comes up with an idea to help Faith win Philip over. For their nature project, Philip is assigned caterpillars. After school when Faith brings a first aid kit for the classroom, she tells Philip that she loves bugs and knows where they can find a lot of caterpillars. The two end up bonding, and Philip encourages his dad to invite her for dinner. Shane and Faith share a meal at the saloon, and end the night with a kiss!

IMG_4513.PNG

There are two other scenes I want to mention. The first being when a Mountie arrives to Hope Valley. He crosses paths with Bill first and explains that they’re still outnumbered in the North, but they’re putting up a good fight. Later that night, he finds Elizabeth having dinner with Opal at the cafe. Elizabeth immediately asks him if he knows Jack. He tells her that Jack is his commanding officer, and that he talks about Elizabeth all the time. She asks him if he could deliver a message to him. On a piece of paper she writes Corinthians 13:4, “Love is patient.”

The other scene I really enjoyed was between Bill and Gowen in the jail. Gowen has decided to testify against the railroad, mostly because he wants to save himself. However, the two of them have a great conversation about the choices they’ve made in life and where it has taken them. Also how they’re really not that different from one another. I thought this was a great scene to include because these two have been at odds since Bill arrived to Hope Valley. It was nice to see them sort of come to terms with things and try to move on.

Portable Network Graphics image-0D6E4D41DFE1-1.png

With Cody’s birthday coming up, Abigail thought it would be nice to give him a surprise. Becky comes to visit! Cody is thrilled to see his sister, but is disappointed when he realizes she’s too busy to play with him. Becky is studying for her final exams and doesn’t have time for Cody. However, this isn’t the only thing bothering Cody. Abigail is concerned when she realizes he’s not eating and is more tired than usual. The episode ends with Cody telling Abigail he doesn’t feel well and collapses.

Next week is the season finale and it looks to be an emotional one! Cody is extremely sick, and the only one who might be able to save his life is Carson. Will Cody make it?

*Photo Credit to Hallmark and Crown Media

 

Justice is Served in Hope Valley

With only two episodes left in the season, unanswered questions are coming to light. In this past episode of When Calls the Heart, entitled Courageous Hearts, Ray Wyatt’s cruel methods come to an end, Carson sheds light on his dark past, two troubled brothers heal their aching hearts, and we get encouraging news from Jack.

Last week we left off with AJ and Bill barely escaping an attack from Ray’s right hand man, Dale. We find AJ and Bill on the search for the ledgers AJ had buried, serving as proof to Mayor Gowen’s and Ray’s crime. The two do experience some difficulties when a man recognizes AJ from a wanted list. They are able to get out of the situation, and end up finding the ledgers. Ray and Gowen are caught off guard when AJ and Bill arrive in Hope Valley because they thought Dale had killed them. Now having the proof they needed, Bill is able to arrest Ray and Gowen. Of course, Ray wasn’t going to go down without a fight. He pulls out a gun attempting to shoot Bill but, in a moment of redemption, Gowen stands in the way allowing Bill to take Ray down. Later, Bill takes AJ to jail and is surprised when she expresses her feelings for him and gives him a kiss. When he returns later that night to provide her with a meal, AJ is gone. Since Gowen is going to jail, this leaves Abigail as mayor once again. As a side note, I am really loving Bill this season! Is it just me or does he seem funnier?

cdn.crownmediadev-1.jpg

We have been seeing more and more of Carson, and it’s clear that he’s forming a good relationship with Abigail. However, Pastor Frank doesn’t seem to be his biggest fan. After hearing Carson have a mysterious conversation with a man in the mercantile, Frank is convinced he’s hiding something. Unable to get it out of Carson himself, Frank sneaks into Carson’s room trying to find something that could give him an answer about who he is. Before Frank can find anything, Carson catches him and tells him to leave. The next day Frank tells Abigail that he was snooping around in Carson’s room, which leaves Abigail upset. However, Carson interrupts their conversation and explains that he is hiding something. His wife passed away due to a long term illness she was battling. He wanted a new start in life and that’s why he came to Hope Valley. Abigail thanks him for his honesty, but Frank is still suspicious.

IMG_4497.PNG

Recently we were also introduced to Ray Wyatt’s nephews, Chad and Earl. Miss Thatcher was having a very hard time with Earl, specifically, due to unresolved issues he had from his mother leaving them. In this episode their father arrives and is surprised to hear the troubles they are having. Chad continues to open up and tries to become better friends with Cody, but Earl pulls him away from everything. Upset with the whole situation he’s dealing with, Earl vandalizes the classroom, leaving it a complete mess. Miss Thatcher has no choice but to expel Earl and Chad when neither confess, leaving Chad very sad that he has to leave. Later on, the two brothers start fighting and Earl tells Chad that he doesn’t need him and can leave just like their mother did. Their father interrupts the fight and explains to the boys that it’s not their fault that their mother left, and that he promises to be around more. The three end on good terms and go clean the classroom. Earl even manages to apologize to Miss Thatcher for all the trouble he has caused.

Watch out everyone! Rosemary is on the roads! Lee decides to buy a car seeing that he is in need of driving out of town more often for the saw mill. Of course Rosemary also wants to drive, because she needs to go get fabric to start working on dresses for Dottie’s shop. Lee decides to teach her how to drive, but it doesn’t turn out so well. Rosemary decides to drive on her own and nearly crashes into the mercantile! Lee and Rosemary get in a fight about this and Rosemary invites herself to stay at Elizabeth’s for the night. Elizabeth and Rosemary have a great conversation about how she needs to realize how lucky she is to have Lee in her life, and that maybe she did do wrong this time. The next morning Rosemary apologizes to Lee for what happened, and tells him he’s the best thing that has ever happened to her.

IMG_4481.JPG

The moment we’ve all been waiting for! Elizabeth finally got a letter from Jack! He tells her that the only thing getting him through all the awful things he’s experiencing is thinking of her and the day they’ll get married. I think we’re all waiting for that day!

What do you think, Hearties? There are only two episodes left in the season. The previews for next week show a mountie arriving to Hope Valley with news from the North and a mysterious woman arrives saying Carson is a killer. What do you think Carson is hiding?

*Photo credit to Hallmark and Crown Media

 

Q & A: Paul Greene

Think of one of your favorite Hallmark movies, and chances are Paul Greene stars in it. From a young age, Paul knew he wanted to become an actor. However, his big break in acting didn’t come until he moved to L.A. at thirty-years-old. There he received his first big role in the TV series Wicked Wicked Games. From there he starred in several other TV series, but more recently has become a familiar face and loved by many in the Hallmark family. Starring in movies such as Anything for Love, A Christmas Detour, and Campfire Kiss, alongside some of Hallmark’s favorite leading ladies, his most recent role has been on When Calls the Heart. I got the opportunity to speak with Paul about his journey that led him to become an actor, his charity work, and future projects he is working on.

I know you can’t say much about your role as Carson. Instead, what was your experience like joining the cast of When Calls the Heart and getting to play this character?

Paul: Well, the producer that does When Calls the Heart also did some of my other movies. I also worked with Andrea [Brooks], who plays Nurse Carter. She was in a film that I did with Lacey Chabert called A Wish for Christmas. So I worked with her and she said, “you have to come work on When Calls the Heart.” I had heard of it because my girlfriend and my mom were watching it over Christmas. I also knew that Janette Oke is from the same little town in Alberta, Canada called Champion, which is where my grandma and grandpa are from. And she actually knew them! So when they offered it to me they also ran the other role by me that Niall Matter is playing, Shane Cantrell. They had me look at both roles and I really liked the role of Carson. I really resonated with him and the journey he goes on. I wish I could share more with you, but it will start coming up really soon!

Then just working with the cast like Erin, Jack, Lori, Daniel and everybody, how warm they all welcomed me was unbelievable. It was like family. It’s also because I am in the Hallmark family and I see them at our press events. The hair and makeup and the whole team were actually in the last movie I did with Danica [McKellar], Campfire Kiss. So a lot of the time, when we’re lucky enough, we get to work with the same people over and over again. So when you get to work with your family when you’re away from your family, it makes being away a lot easier. They were absolutely amazing, the whole team! And the writers are great. I’ve had many meetings with the writers to discuss Carson’s future and give my input. That’s what I really love about them, is that they actually care about what we think.

IMG_4482 copy.jpg

And what was it like going into a period piece?

Paul: I like to listen to music from that time, but finding music from that time was so hard. There’s not much music from then and it’s the weirdest thing. You realize that not even 100 years ago their music was so limited. You can kind of hear familiar sounds as to where our music, maybe has come from. Doing the research also helps. For example, when Carson says he worked the chuck wagons for the railroad. Looking back at what chuck wagons were, they were the food trucks of that time. So looking back to see what that looked like and how the kitchen was set-up on a chuck wagon is fun! Playing a period piece is a whole different thing. You get to look at the history and see how things used to be, and I really like that! And it’s great getting to create the whole history and backstory for Carson.

IMG_4483.PNG

I know you have also modeled, and it wasn’t until later in life that you fully committed to acting. So what made you leave modeling and pursue acting full time?

Paul: I did start acting twenty years ago. I was in theater. Then I went to a school for film and television when I was sixteen in Edmonton, Alberta. When I started modeling at eighteen, I got right into doing TV commercials. Then I ended up living in New York for ten years and studying with some really great teachers there. So I was acting, but I wasn’t auditioning for film or television, only commercials. By the time I got to L.A. I had done close to 100 commercials. So I was ready and that’s why I left New York. I left at the top of my career. I had dozens of clients that had me on hold for work and I had to cancel. I just left with my wife at the time and my son, Oliver, who was only six months old. At thirty years old, I was like “if I don’t go to L.A. now it’s never going to happen.” So I just stopped everything. I left my very, very secure job. I had a good career in modeling. I worked with the big clients, but I left all that money and started with no credits and nothing on my resume at all. I just dove deep into acting classes and started going to auditions. Thankfully, I had a really good team that got me out a lot. And I had a couple of really big breaks in the beginning that made all the difference.

Since I was really young I knew I wanted to do it. I had dreams on the farm where I would wake up inside a fight movie acting. I was so affected by this one martial arts movie that I stopped eating sugar and started martial arts. As soon as I got my car I drove myself to acting school at sixteen. And then the modeling thing was just like a ten year journey around the world. I lived in probably twelve countries and met some of the most amazing people. I learned how to cook, languages, picked up the guitar. It was hard to get out of it because it was a very secure job. And then to go start something that 1% of the world can succeed at took everything. It took a great deal of belief in myself and faith.

C2MyPw5UsAAZaIa.jpg

That actually leads me into my next question. I watched the AfterBuzz show, and you sang your song “Place in my Heart” and you talked about your faith. You mentioned that for ten years you sort of lived like a monk. That really stood out to me. So did you grow up in a religious family or is your faith something you found later in life?

Paul: That’s awesome! I grew up with it very strong, but I rebelled against it. I grew up in a conservative and then they went sort of Pentecostal, like a Protestant, Pentecostal, Christian. I sort of went in and out my whole life. In my young teens at bible camps I would be very into it, and then at school, I would be like this is stupid. When I was eighteen, right when I started modeling, I met a Christian girl who taught me how to sing and play guitar. She bought me a bible that meant a lot to me. So my whole journey in modeling I was living like a monk. I wasn’t partying, I was celibate, and I was just living with Christian families in whatever city that I was in. I wouldn’t live in the model apartments and it was really interesting. Instead of partying my life away, I was able to do the exact opposite. So what I mean by living like a monk was that I was in the world, but I was doing nothing worldly. I didn’t know anything about pop culture, no drugs, nothing. All of my focus was studying my bible, writing songs on my guitar, and investing in my money. If I didn’t have a good relationship with God and I was modeling, there’s a good chance I would’ve partied or not been focused on building the foundations of the life I have now. It was an amazing time of my life. It was my path. There was so much richness in that experience, living with these families in different parts of the world and learning their culture. Rather than just being in the same model apartment and having life just be about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. It was a really interesting time. Of course I still have a relationship with God, it has just changed over time as I change and the environment around me changes. My exposure to the world has changed my perspective on how big God is.

I am aware that you do a lot of charity work, specifically with ALS. Do you have any events coming up or any work that you would like to share?

Paul: I love your questions! You’re hitting all the important things. I took a course through Landmark Education called SELP, which is the self expression leadership program. Inside of that they teach you how to design and build your own not-for-profit community event that raises money or awareness towards your cause. I would have never had the discipline or structure on how to build that on my own, so I was really grateful for that course. I learned a lot from them. And for that event, Hallmark was actually my key sponsor and we raised $100,000 in two hours at the live auction that night. So that event was last year, and my brother is doing an event in the next few months. I am not exactly sure the date, but we’re going to work together on that. People can follow my Twitter or Instagram and I’ll be posting a lot about the next event. And being committed to making a difference so that other people don’t have to lose their dad the way I did. It’s a really tough journey seeing what ALS is.

There’s also the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition in L.A., which is a soup kitchen for the homeless. Over the years there have been times where I’ve been much more involved. Recently I haven’t gone as much, but everyday you can go there and feed the homeless. Friday used to be the day where my son would come to the kitchen, he was around 8 or 9-years-old, and he was chopping vegetables and I was usually in charge of the soup. It was a really important thing for my son to experience. Seeing these people deeply troubled with drugs or violence or whatever it was, and he got to look them all in the eye and serve them. It was incredible. For anyone reading who hasn’t done volunteer work, if you want to be happy, go donate your time. Go serve the homeless or go to a retirement home and read a book to the loneliest person there. You get this energy where you’re like “wow, I am actually helping be part of the solution!”

CU9RQk1VAAA3l0F.jpg

You recently released the trailer to your new movie, Sweet Home Carolina, which many of us are looking forward to. Is there anything you can tell us about that?

Paul: Sweet Home Carolina is an independent film with Heather McComb. She was in Party of Five back in the day with Lacey Chabert when they were kids. She has done a ton of Lifetime movies. She’s a really strong, dramatic actor. This film might have been the tiniest bit too heavy for Hallmark. I am not sure where this movie will end up, but it’s good! Probably Netflix. MarVista Films produced it and MarVista has done other Hallmark movies. So it will get out and be seen. I love the name and the story is great! It’s romantic “dramady.” There are light moments, but it’s not as lighthearted as Hallmark. Hopefully it will be on Netflix, which seems to be the new cinema where everyone can see everything.

Music is obviously also a big part of your life. Do you have any plans to pursue more with your music?

Paul: My plan is to get most of the songs I’ve written, plus a bunch of covers, filmed in an interesting way and put them on YouTube. That way they can generate an audience through that, because the old way through iTunes or CD’s doesn’t exist really. I have an old album that I might put up on iTunes just for fun. It’s just my original songs. It’s a good album! It’s from fifteen years ago, so it’s a different style, but a couple of the songs I really like! So if I do that I will tweet and share it, but I am just going to continue to put stuff up on YouTube that I like. Sometimes I just hear a song and want to do it my way, and I’ll put that on YouTube too. In the future, I’d love to write and compose. I just continue to work and play my piano and my guitar when I can, and write new songs and put them on YouTube. That seems to be the most effective place to point people to through social media.

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 11.54.24 PM.png

Finally, any other projects that you are working on that you can talk about?

Paul: Yes! My girlfriend and I are working on a couple side projects that are in the works. One is called Stay With Me. It’s more of a comedy. My girlfriend is a great writer. In this business, you kind of have to make your own. And now with even simple cameras, like the iPhone 7 Plus, you can shoot your own movie. It’s crazy! So we’re working on stuff together and auditioning together. We have a studio in our place where we film each other and submit ourselves for projects. Fortunately, I am with someone who has a really strong work ethic and knows about the business. So we are working on a couple things. Plus, every week there’s a new movie that I just read for that I am waiting to hear about. So it’s an exciting business! The phone rings and things can change pretty quickly in this business.

I’ve always been a fan of Paul’s, so when he agreed to do an interview with me I was completely in shock and excited. I was very nervous going into it, but immediately he made me feel comfortable and at ease. I was so surprised when he actually wanted to know more about who I was. It was truly such a pleasure getting to speak with Paul. Hearing him talk about his life and passions was so incredibly inspiring. The amount of hard work and love he puts behind everything he does is something to be admired. You can hear it in his voice and see it in his smile, that he wholeheartedly loves life. He radiates positivity! After the time I spent talking to him, I felt like I had learned so much about life and gained a wealth of knowledge. For being such a successful actor, Paul is extremely humble and down-to-earth. He has not let the fame get to his head whatsoever, which is so refreshing to see. At times there’s just something different about a person that separates them from the rest. It’s something within the person that is hard to explain, but whatever it is, Paul has it. He is one of a kind! Make sure to follow Paul on all his social media accounts to stay up-to-date with everything he is doing!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/paulgreenemedia

Instagram: http://instagram.com/pgtipper

*Photo Credit to Crown Media and Paul’s Instagram

New Faces Bring Unexpected Challenges

After the roller coaster of emotions Hearties experienced last Sunday, I think we deserved a much lighter episode this week. Which is exactly what we got! This episode, entitled Healing Heart, picks up two weeks after Jack left for the North. We find Elizabeth dealing with mixed emotions. She is happy knowing that she is engaged to the love of her life, but of course is worried for his safety and anxious not knowing when he’ll return. We are also introduced to some more new faces, we learn more about Abigail’s new cook, and we add business woman to Rosemary’s list of many talents.

cdn.crownmediadev.jpg

Elizabeth is struggling with Jack’s departure, but she quickly becomes preoccupied when two new students arrive to her class. Chad and Earl Wyatt, Ray’s nephews, arrive to Hope Valley with their father who also works for the railroad. It becomes clear to Miss Thatcher that these boys, specifically Earl, have some unresolved feelings from the passing of their mother. During recess Earl and Chad bully Opal by taking Brownie away from her. Trying to stand up for his friend, Cody tells them to give it back to her. Cody and Earl begin to pull at the bear causing one of his arms to rip. The two boys continue fighting with one another until Miss Thatcher breaks them apart. She tries to express her concerns about the boys to their uncle, but when that fails Elizabeth decides to send a telegram to their father who is out of town. Though Earl continues to push everyone away, Chad does make some progress and opens up to Miss Thatcher. After playing with Cody and Dasher thanks to Miss Thatcher’s help, he realizes that she truly cares for her students. The next day during show and tell Chad takes a recorder his mom gave him, but explains he never got the chance to learn how to play it. Afterwards he tells Miss Thatcher that Earl lied. Their mom didn’t die, she left them.

cdn.crownmediadev-1.jpg

Another new face we meet is AJ Foster. Bill had been tracking this person down and finally found a lead to their location. AJ Foster was the accountant who disappeared before testifying against Gowen. Bill heads out to Medford Falls and is surprised to discover that Mr. Foster is actually a woman. After much convincing, AJ finally opens up to Bill as to why she was protecting Gowen. She explains that she used to audit bank accounts and found the Mayor was transferring town funds into his personal account. When she was going to tell the truth, Ray sent one of his men to threaten her and pay her off to keep quiet. Ray hears that Bill is in Medford Falls and realizes he has uncovered the truth. He sends Dale to stop them, even if it means killing them. As Bill and AJ are about to leave Dale arrives shooting at them, but they’re able to escape by horse.

Ray Wyatt is really turning out to be worse than Gowen! Abigail’s Cafe has been extremely slow recently. Wondering why? Carson gives Abigail the bad news that Ray has decided to open a commissary for all the railroad workers closer to their headquarters. He wants to save time by not having his workers go into town to eat. He has also opened it to anyone in Hope Valley and has undercut his prices to make sure he receives more business. In an attempt to help bring back business, Carson makes flyers to pass out to people advertising the dinner specials at Abigail’s. Carson also gets a date out of this with Molly! They share a sweet dinner together, but it looks like they are only going to remain friends.

IMG_4476.PNG

Rosemary and Lee were hysterical in this episode! Lee loses his voice and Rosemary takes it upon herself to speak for him. Of course Lee tries to communicate through hand gestures, but Rosemary basically does whatever she pleases. Like usual! She accompanies Lee to work where she ends up giving Jesse not only a promotion, but a raise as well. She also makes a deal with the railroad to provide the wood for their commissary. Of course she feels terrible when she finds out that they’re planning to use the wood for this purpose. So she decides to give Abigail business by ordering muffins, scones, and pies for all the men at the sawmill. At the end of the episode, the tables turn and Rosemary is left without her voice! How will she survive?

IMG_4478.JPG

The preview for next week shows a concerned Elizabeth receiving news that a group of Mounties were ambushed and two were killed. We also will learn more about Carson’s mysterious past, and Bill finds an unexpected romance. Hearties, what are you most looking forward to for the rest of the season?

*Photo Credit to Hallmark Channel and Crown Media

Romance and Heartbreak Fills Hope Valley

Where do I even start? This past episode of When Calls the Heart, entitled My Heart Will Go On, was one of the most beautiful yet heartbreaking episodes of a television show I have ever seen. I shed both tears of joy and sadness, and truly felt every emotion the actors expressed. The Hearties finally got the proposal we have been waiting for, but it came at a terrible price. Before I go into the recap, I just have to say how incredible Erin Krakow and Daniel Lissing were in this episode. Their performance was out of this world! The writers did an amazing job taking the viewers on this rollercoaster of emotions. Not only were Dan and Erin amazing, but truly every cast member that appeared in the episode were incredible. Everything from the sweet moment between Lee and Rosemary, Abigail being the amazing friend that she is, the Hope Valley kids who never cease to amaze me, and even Rip did a great job!

IMG_4446.JPG

The episode starts with Elizabeth and Abigail walking down main street discussing Elizabeth’s new position as a tutor for the kids. She explains how it doesn’t feel right for her just being the tutor, and that she misses being a teacher. During this time, Jack is away attending Doug’s funeral. Elizabeth expresses her concerns for Jack and how he’s grieving. The entire funeral scene is completely heartbreaking. Doug is honored with a traditional farewell for a Mountie. There are many other Mounties in attendance, along with Jack and Doug’s mother. Once Jack arrives back to Hope Valley, Jack and Elizabeth are in the jail when Doug’s mother arrives to give Jack a gift. It’s a Saint Christopher necklace Jack had given Doug when he graduated from the academy. Jack accepts it and expresses the pain he has of knowing he should have been fighting in the Northern territories, and that he could’ve done more to protect Doug. The exchange between Jack and Doug’s mother was beautifully written and performed.

Ever since Doug’s death, Jack has been torn and blaming himself for what happened. In this episode we really see Jack having this sort of internal battle as to whether he should follow his duty or not. There’s a great exchange of dialogue where he tells Elizabeth that just like God called her to teach, God is calling him to go fight the good fight. While speaking to Pastor Frank about his decision, Elizabeth interrupts their conversation and Frank leaves the two alone. Jack tells her that he has decided to go fight in the North. Of course Elizabeth doesn’t want him to go because it’s too dangerous, but Jack explains that he has to. Unfortunately, the posting is indefinite and he doesn’t know when he’ll be back. This leaves Elizabeth completely devastated and runs out of the church crying.

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 10.36.07 AM.png

Later that night, Elizabeth is talking to Abigail about everything that is happening with Jack. When Elizabeth is about to go talk to him, Abigail gives her a card from Jack that says, “Take a walk with me.” As she opens the door of the cafe, a candlelit path is awaiting her. Candles and roses light a path leading her to the church where Jack is waiting for her. He tells her that he knew from the moment they met that God had sent him an angel. He understands that it’s not fair for him to ask her to wait for him, but before he can continue Elizabeth interrupts him and says she would wait an eternity for him. Jack gets down on one knee and asks Elizabeth to marry him. Through the tears of joy, she says yes!

IMG_4436.JPG

Afterwards, an engagement party is held in the saloon for the happy couple. It’s of course difficult because Elizabeth knows Jack has to leave in the morning, but Abigail comforts her by saying she can look forward to planning the wedding. Abigail offers the new couple a toast, saying she’s never seen two people more in love than Jack and Elizabeth. Shortly after, we find Jack and Elizabeth at the church. They spend the night sitting on a pew, holding each other until morning. The entire town gathers to say goodbye to Jack. As he begins to ride off, Elizabeth runs after him and calls out to him. He turns his horse around and walks over to Elizabeth where they share one more passionate kiss before he leaves.

IMG_4440.JPG

Later that night the music recital is held at the church. Elizabeth has not arrived yet even though she promised Timmy she would sing with him, but they decide to go ahead and start. Bill, Robert, Cody, Emily, Opal, and Philip start by singing “This Little Light of Mine.” Timmy is up next and as promised, Elizabeth arrives just in time. Timmy plays the piano while Elizabeth sings the most heartfelt and beautiful rendition of “Danny Boy,” which is also Jack’s favorite song. (This would be the point where I completely lost it!) As she sings, a video montage of moments shared between Jack and Elizabeth begins to play. The first day they met, their first kiss, the Mountie ball, and the proposal is shown. Once she finishes the song, there isn’t a dry eye in the audience and the kids rush to give her a group hug.

IMG_4439.JPG

Another very important moment was when Francine shows up to help Elizabeth set the record straight with what Mr. Higgins was accusing her of. Elizabeth and Francine show Gowen the letters Mr. Higgins would leave Francine to prove that the handwriting was the same in Elizabeth’s letter. Realizing she was telling the truth, Gowen reinstates Elizabeth as the teacher once again. As Mr. Stoneman is leaving, he thanks Elizabeth for teaching him that each student is unique and that we need more teachers like her. Elizabeth then asks Francine what made her change her mind to speak out. She shows Elizabeth the photograph that she received in the mail of Elizabeth with all the kids. However, it was the inscription on the back that spoke to her. It said, “Bad things happen if good people do nothing.” After she leaves, Elizabeth finds out that Abigail was the one that sent her the letter.

Other tender moments included the kids writing letters expressing their love and gratitude for Miss Thatcher, and the moms offering to start their own school where Elizabeth could teach if her name did not get cleared. There was also a very sweet moment between Rosemary and Lee where Rosemary can’t sleep and Lee comforts her. She is worried about Elizabeth, Jack’s safety, how the town will cope without him, and her fear of change. It was great to see this more vulnerable side to Rosemary. There was also a cute scene where Jack is saying goodbye to Rip and tells him to take care of Cody and his new dog, but more importantly to take care of Elizabeth.

IMG_4429.JPG

Overall, I think this episode will go down as one of the best and most talked about episodes ever. I thought it did a great job of portraying what life was truly like in those days, especially for women with loved ones in the military. I know many Hearties are worried for Jack and when he’ll ride back into Hope Valley. All I can say is that Hope Valley is founded on faith, hope, and love. So I say have faith that he will return soon, because there is always hope when it comes to true love. It will be different not seeing Jack in Hope Valley, but we will continue to watch and go through this journey with these characters that we love so much. What do you think is in store for us next week, Hearties?

*Photo credit to Hallmark and Crown Media

Q & A: Jaiven Natt

Jaiven Natt is a twelve year old, up-and-coming actor from Vancouver. Starting his career with a role in Arrow, Jaiven is best known for playing Robert in When Calls the Heart. Not only is he a talented actor, but he’s also an incredible dancer in several different styles ranging from hip hop to locking to breakdancing. I got to speak with Jaiven about his role as Robert, his passion for dance, and his life outside of acting.

What inspired you to become an actor?

Jaiven: Well, before I started acting, I would watch my favorite TV shows and see my favorite characters and I would remember what they would say. Then I would remake the scene. Then one day something popped up on my mom’s phone for acting, and here I am!

What were some of those favorite shows that inspired you?

Jaiven: Drake and Josh and a lot of Spider Man shows!

What were some of your first roles?

Jaiven: My first role was Arrow. It’s kind of funny because before I got my first show, I was always hoping that it would be a superhero show. So then when it was Arrow it was pretty cool! I played “Boy” and basically he just got saved by Black Canary.

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 3.02.06 PM.png

Going from that, how did you get the role of Robert?

Jaiven: Well I got the lines and I memorized them. I was excited because it was a recurring role! When I went into the audition everyone was wearing the suspenders and the old hats and boots, and they looked like they were from the 1900s. And I just had my plain beige shirt on with navy green pants and my half sneaker half boot shoes. But I went in there and I was happy because I got to meet the director and he loved me. We were making a lot of jokes. And then I just got it!

So what is it like working with so many other great young actors?

Jaiven: It’s just amazing! We got to school together. We’re together every second of the day and if we’re not, then we’re literally right beside each other in our trailers. I don’t even think of them as other actors or friends, they’re like family to me now.

In the bear episode, you had a lot of scenes with Jack Wagner. What was it like working with him?

Jaiven: It was so great! He was so nice! He gave me tips on what to do in the scene that could make it better for my part. He would always go over the scene with me. We would go behind the little barn and go over it. He wasn’t just there doing the scene, he was there with me, helping me and he made me feel comfortable.

CilLr2EUYAAdFw-

That’s great! So how is it working with all the other actors like Erin, Dan, Lori etc.?

Jaiven: They’re great! They’re really funny, especially Dan. Erin is so nice. And everything is just so amazing about them. It’s fun to work with them. It’s fun to be on the show!

I know a lot of the Hearties loved seeing you at this past reunion. What was is like for you to come into a show with such a strong fan base?

Jaiven: It’s amazing because When Calls the Heart is a great show, but it wouldn’t be as great without the Hearties. You guys complete the show! You guys make When Calls the Heart, When Calls the Heart. It would never be the same without you guys. It was a little hectic when I went in because it was my first fan meet up, but it was really fun! I got to find out where all the fans are from and there were a lot of cute kids!

What has been your favorite scene to film and which one has been your most difficult scene to film?

Jaiven: My favorite scene to film was with Jack Wagner, because it was my first scene and my only scene that I got to work with him. Well, not my only scene but my only scene with just the two of us where I got to work with him. So that was nice! I would have to say my hardest scene would be the one where I was showing Cody the dollar Opal’s parents gave me in the bear episode. It was really hard because me and Peter, the director, were doing these exercises to really get me in my character. I had to get more and more sad, and I had to bring my emotions all the way down to this point where my heart was like about to burst. I had to look like I was about to cry. So it was a really hard scene to film, but I was happy because I got to film it with Carter!

I can imagine. How do you prepare yourself for a scene that is so emotionally taxing?

Jaiven: Well I just try to act as sad as I can, but usually the directors help me out with being even more sad to get me to the point where it’s perfect.

Is there any piece of advice that you have received that you would offer other kids that are going into acting?

Jaiven: I would just say be outgoing! Don’t be afraid if there is an audition that maybe you feel uncomfortable doing. Or if they ever put you on the spot don’t worry if you mess up the scene. And if you ever feel like “man, I didn’t get it,” that’s ok because there are always a lot of other auditions.

CqjexNtUAAA5FKj

Let’s get into some more fun questions! What song do you currently have on repeat?

Jaiven: Shape of You by Ed Sheeran. My mom is a big fan of his!

What do you like to do in your free time?

Jaiven: I like to dance! I like to play guitar just a little bit. I like to go scootering a lot. And I go to the skate park.

I’ve heard you’re quite the dancer! When did you start and what drew you to dance?

Jaiven: Well I started dancing when I was two and a half years old. Michael Jackson was my everything! He was my idol! He inspired to me to dance and he was just amazing. I was so sad when he passed away. So every year that I would be dancing, I would get better and I would be performing his songs with his clothes on at weddings and other places.

That’s so cool! So what styles do you dance?

Jaiven: More hip hop and breakdance, but my favorite dance style would be locking because I know a lot of moves. But I do all styles like popping and whacking.

Wow! That’s very impressive! I watched the season of So You Think You Can Dance when they had little kids on and I was impressed. So I can only imagine how good you are! 

Jaiven: Thank you! Oh yeah, I watched some of it too on YouTube!

So what would your dream role be someday?

Jaiven: My dream role, I am going to sound like a baby, but I want to be a superhero when I grow up! I want to be in a superhero movie and I want to have the costume and everything! (Laughs)

That’s awesome! Who doesn’t want to be a superhero?

Jaiven: Yeah but if I didn’t want to do that or I never get a superhero role, then I would probably want to be in a dance movie!

Yes! Like the Step Up movies?

Jaiven: Yeah! Step Up! Those are my favorite!

So then what is your all time favorite movie?

Jaiven: My all time favorite movie would be, I can’t even think of it right now, but for now I think it would be Step Up 3! I like it because they brought in the twins. But my favorite character from all the Step Up movies is Moose!

IMG_4410.JPG

Are there any new projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

Jaiven:  Well I’ve been put on hold a lot and I’ve gotten really close. I’ve also gone to auditions out in LA, but I am not really doing anything right now. I am just catching up on my dance and school. I did recently have an audition so I hope it went well. I had to audition with my mom though, so it was weird. (Laughs)

Finally, is there anything else we can expect to see from Robert this season?

Jaiven: Well I think there will be some more speaking. I am really not too sure. He’ll still be the same Robert, but nicer and you’ll see why. Hopefully we get a season 5!

It was truly such a pleasure talking to Jaiven. He has such an outgoing, friendly personality and he had me laughing the whole time. You can really tell that he enjoys what he does and loves life. It’s so refreshing to see a young boy who is so humble and constantly has a smile on his face. I definitely hope we’ll be seeing a lot more of Jaiven potentially in season 5! I am sure we will be seeing much more of this talented young man because his future is certainly bright! You can see Jaiven on When Calls the Heart, which airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on Hallmark. Keep up with everything Jaiven is doing by following him on his social media accounts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jaivennatt

Instagram: http://instagram.com/jaiven_natt

*Photo Credit to Crown Media, Parade, and Jaiven’s Twitter

A Teacher’s Fight and a Mountie’s Struggle

I think it’s safe to say that this past episode of When Calls the Heart, entitled Heart of a Teacher, had a major shift in tone from the previous episodes this season. Previously everything had been much more lighthearted, but it looks like we are about to get into the real drama and conflict of the season. We saw Elizabeth fighting for her job, Jack is extremely conflicted with tough decisions he needs to make, and a strict new teacher arrives.

We always knew Elizabeth was a strong, independent woman. However, I think this past episode did an amazing job of truly highlighting these qualities. Elizabeth immediately questions Gowen as to why there is a new teacher in Hope Valley. He explains to her that he received a letter from a superintendent, Thomas Higgins, stating that she used her family’s wealth to get her teaching position. Of course, this leaves Elizabeth furious! The truth was that Mr. Higgins had feelings for Elizabeth, and after she rejected him he was clearly left bitter. Therefore, he did this to her out of revenge. She decides to leave for Cape Fullerton, accompanied by Abigail, as soon as possible to try to convince him to tell the truth. Upon arriving, she meets with Mr. Higgins and expresses her frustrations to him. Of course, he doesn’t care about the situation she is in. Instead, he tells her that he would consider telling the truth if she reconsidered her feelings for him. Are you kidding me?! Infuriated, Elizabeth and Abigail come up with an idea to try to talk to another teacher, Francine Fessler, whom Elizabeth believed Mr. Higgins also had eyes for. Unfortunately, Francine is unwilling to help and it’s clear she is hiding some important information about Mr. Higgins. Elizabeth and Abigail return to Hope Valley disappointed, but Elizabeth is still determined to gain her position back.

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 11.23.48 PM.png

During this time that she is away, we are introduced to Mr. Stoneman. Was anyone else completely terrified by this man? Right away it’s clear that he is extremely strict. No talking, always raise your hand, have your homework memorized and be fully prepared for class. He even took Brownie away! Philip is immediately targeted by Mr. Stoneman since he is somewhat behind compared to the rest of the class. Mr. Stoneman is unable to understand that Philip hasn’t had much schooling and needs extra help to complete his work. Deciding it’s not worth his time to help this young boy, he expels him to prevent him from bringing down the school’s average based on the regional test scores. When Elizabeth finds out she is completely heartbroken and tries explaining to Mr. Stoneman that each student is different, but worthy of an education. Unmoved, he continues to teach using his methods. The turning point comes when the class is taking their practice exam. Emily doesn’t hold her pencil correctly when writing and Mr. Stoneman takes it upon himself to rip the pencil from her hand continuously and break it in half until she holds it properly. Emily begins to cry when Cody stands up for her by saying that bad things happen if good people do nothing. Cody ends up walking out of the class with Emily, and encourages the rest of the class to do the same. Those Hope Valley kids truly are some of the coolest and bravest kids I’ve ever seen! Afterwards they talk with Miss Thatcher and she agrees to tutor them after school, but makes them promise to be on their best behavior with Mr. Stoneman.

Screen Shot 2017-03-20 at 9.13.44 AM.png

Along with these two prominent story lines, we saw Bill digging deeper into the suspicions he has about the charges being dropped in Gowen’s case. He is certain Gowen and Ray are working together. Ray also makes his first move with Faith. After having a conversation with her in the saloon, he offers to walk her home. She kindly rejects his offer. Clearly this doesn’t sit well with him, causing Ray to firmly grab Faith by the arm. Concerned for Faith, Carson steps in and says he’ll actually be walking her home. This only angers Ray more, threatening Carson as he walks by. We still don’t know much about our heroic drifter, but we do find out that he was most likely previously married but he must have lost his wife. There was also a very funny scene where Rosemary gives Mr. Stoneman a piece of her mind!

17192295_720472701447000_7103402295037279554_o.jpg

For the past couple episodes, Jack has been very conflicted about everything that is happening in the Northern Territories. In this episode he goes to Mountie Headquarters and finds out they’re outnumbered 2 to 1, and are in need of Mounties with more experience. Jack knows he’s needed, but he’s clearly torn between his duty and his love for Elizabeth. At the end of the episode he receives terrible news. Doug, whom we met last week, was killed in the line of duty.

This past episode was filled with emotion and powerful moments for each of our protagonists. The preview for next week seems to take the emotion to yet another level. Jack will be forced to make a tough decision, but not before he shares a very special moment with Elizabeth. What do you think Hearties, will there be a proposal next week?