On the Set of “Irresistible Blueberry”

DSC07863-reducedThis is the story of the incredible two days I spent this week on the set of The Irresistible Blueberry Farm,  the Hallmark Chanel movie based on my first novel, The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café. The movie will be aired October 2, 2016 on the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries Channel. On Monday morning, one of the drivers  took me from my hotel in Vancouver, Canada to the first filming location of the day. I arrived at this pretty yellow house in the town of Brackendale. In the movie, this is the house in Beacon, Maine, where Ruth, grandmother of the main character, Ellen, grew up.[spacer height=”20px”]

_DSC3021-reducedI went inside and got to meet the incredibly talented Alison Sweeney, who is fantastic as Ellen and who is also one of the executive producers of the movie. Alie and I had talked by phone and had emailed, but this was our first meeting. She had read my novel, loved it, and wanted to turn it into a movie for Hallmark, so this whole project came about because of her. (Thank you, Alie!) Here we are, both wearing the appropriate color! I also began to meet some of the other members of the cast and crew, a group of very talented and dedicated people. [spacer height=”20px”]


Filming was being done in the attic of the house when I got there, so at the first break in the action I went upstairs to watch. In this photo, Lisa Durupt, who plays the current homeowner, Susan Porter, is holding the “Porter” baby, a gorgeous little girl. Shirley Jones, who I’ve admired my whole life, is in the far right corner. She plays Ruth. (Yes, I know Ruth isn’t alive . . . you’ll just have to see the movie!). And in between are lots of important folks doing very important things to make the movie. [spacer height=”20px”]

DSC07855-reducedThere was barely room to move when all of the necessary actors, crew, and equipment were in that attic at the same time. This only shows one little corner. [spacer height=”20px”]

DSC07851-reducedThis baby was a scene stealer and she knew it![spacer height=”20px”]

DSC07861I spent quite a bit of time sitting next to Holly Atchison, the script supervisor. She spent hours tucked under one of the attic eaves, watching the monitors and keeping track of the script. [spacer height=”20px”]

_DSC3023.-reducedCast and crew broke for lunch and I got my first look at the “circus,” the area where most of trailers were parked. A few trailers went to the actual shooting locations and the rest stayed behind, although close by, because of the need for abundant parking space. [spacer height=”20px”]

DSC07979-reducedI also checked out the wardrobe trailer. If I’d had a special occasion that night, I’m sure I could have found something to wear. [spacer height=”20px”]


After lunch Ali and I visited Wayne Russell, who styled her hair.[spacer height=”20px”]

IMG_9421-reducedWe then went to the second location of the day, the place that was used as The Victory Inn, the rustic little B&B where Ellen stayed while she was in Maine. Several trailers, all full of equipment, were brought there. [spacer height=”20px”]

DSC07873-reducedA few different scenes were filmed, including one in which Ellen is surprised by her mother, Cynthia (middle, played by Rebecca Staab), who shows up at the inn, unannounced. Also in the photo is Samantha Ferris (left), who plays Paula Victory, the somewhat rough-edged proprietor who knows everything that’s going on in town. [spacer height=”20px”]

IMG_9443-reducedThere were always lots of discussions taking place between scenes. [spacer height=”20px”]

DSC07889-reducedHere I’m with Kris Tabori, the director (left), and Jonathan Axelrod, one of the executive producers. [spacer height=”20px”]


In this photo Ali is with Marc Blucas, who plays Roy, the man who rescues Ellen from a near-drowning experience when she first arrives in Beacon. Ali and Marc filmed part of the dart game scene. Who do you think won? If you’ve read the book, you already know. [spacer height=”10px”]

DSC07925-reducedHere’s another picture of Mark. Very handsome and wait until you see him in the movie. Sadly, I didn’t get to meet the actor who plays Hayden as he wasn’t filming on the days I was there. [spacer height=”20px”]

_DSC3054-reducedOn Monday evening, cast and crew moved to Gibsons, a small coastal town which can only be reached by ferry. I woke up very early Tuesday morning and took the first ferry (7:25 – ouch). The first location was “Roy’s” house, the brown houseboat with white trim, on the left side of the photo. If you look closely you can see people from the crew on the dock to the right of the houseboat. [spacer height=”20px”]

_DSC3106-reduced.Here I am with Jorge Montesi, the “A Camera” operator. By the way, that camera is worth half a million dollars … and that’s without a lens. The cameras were wrapped in plastic because it was a drizzly day. [spacer height=”20px”]

IMG_9517-reduced_DSC3110-reducedMore between-scenes photos. Lots going on.[spacer height=”20px”]

IMG_9548-reducedI’m wearing a pair of headphones (tucked behind my ears at that moment) so I could hear the actors. I felt very cool.[spacer height=”20px”]

DSC08054-reducedI loved this scene, where Ellen and Roy read the letter that brought Ellen to her grandmother’s home town. It was so touching. [spacer height=”20px”]

_DSC3138-reducedHere I am again with Ali and Kris. Jorge did us the honor of taking the photo. Well, he does know a thing or two about cameras! [spacer height=”20px”]


All of the equipment was moved back onto land in order to shoot other scenes. The “B” camera, operated by Sean Cox, was set up on top of the ladder to take additional film of Ali from above. The black tent on the left was set up as “video village,” an area with monitors inside so Randall Platt, the director of photography, and Holly, the script supervisor, could follow what was going on. [spacer height=”20px”]

_DSC3162-reducedNo detail was overlooked. Angela Stotts from the Props Department displays Maine license plates for the cars … [spacer height=”20px”]

_DSC3050-reduced… and even envelopes from the law firm where Ellen is a partner. I love it. [spacer height=”20px”]

DSC08071-reducedGeoff Dood, location manager (left) and Alan Ett, another executive producer, took a little break and had a picture snapped with me. [spacer height=”20px”]



Taking a picture of someone taking a picture … Jorge adjusted his camera and I took this photo. [spacer height=”20px”]

IMG_9553-reducedEvening came and the group was getting ready to do some filming at the pier. The scenery was beautiful. [spacer height=”20px”]

DSC08097-reduced&neckfixedThe whole experience of being on the set was magical. I loved every minute. How could I not? I was with a great group of talented people and they all made me feel so welcome. I can’t begin to explain how much I enjoyed seeing what everyone – producers, cast, and crew – brought to the story. When I left on Tuesday evening to catch the last ferry back to the mainland, they were still working and I didn’t want to leave. [spacer height=”20px”]

_DSC3059-reducedThanks for everything, guys! I miss you!