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Erin Krakow, the leading lady of “When Calls the Heart,” seems even more excited than the millions of “Hearties” who have been longing for the February 24 premiere of Season 6, of the Hallmark Channel ’s most beloved drama, since before Christmas. The beautiful brunette star was brimming over with excitement, and frequently flashing her beaming smile, in a January 25 feature with Entertainment Tonight’s Deidre Behar, who also couldn't hide her enthusiasm.

Krakow and her castmates are clearly overjoyed with the arrival of the newest resident of Hope Valley, so as the cherished teacher, Elizabeth Thornton, the new mother will always have help waiting in the wings as the challenges of motherhood and fostering the young minds and souls of her students unfolds.

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The gift of a lifetime

The Christmas movie special, “When Calls the Heart: The Greatest Christmas Blessing,” set rating records and delighted faithful viewers with the surprise arrival of Elizabeth’s baby boy, after a trip to Cape Fullerton to buy a carriage. Faithful friends, Abigail (Lori Loughlin) and Rosemary (Pascale Hutton) were at her side, and it was a sight to see Rosemary digging snow to boil into the water for the delivery.

The only drawback to the blessed arrival was that fans didn't get to enjoy too much of Elizabeth's pregnancy or her “Elizabump,” as it was dubbed on social media. The last beautiful scene of the teacher sweetly talking and looking into the eyes of her son was a sweet assurance that this child will be central to the new storylines.

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Baby Jack is a reflection of his father, the late Mountie Jack Thornton, the character portrayed through five seasons by Daniel Lissing in the drama. “He's got big blue eyes, and this little man face and his baby body,” describes Erin Krakow of her new scene partner.

Judging from the photographs shared on the set, the baby has already stolen the hearts of his co-stars beyond his on-screen mom. Kavan Smith, who portrays bighearted lumber mill owner, Leland Coulter, relates how the child “opens up a whole other dimension” for the character of Elizabeth Thornton, along with honoring the legacy of Jack. Jack Wagner, who portrays the best friend of Jack, Bill Avery, says that the arrival of the baby marks another whole chapter in “the big book of When Calls the Heart.”

Erin Krakow has come to know her character at her core and understands that Elizabeth “loves this baby so deeply” and still, would never want to surrender her call to teach.

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The season will confront the issues of motherhood faced by women since time immemorial, as Elizabeth continues to be a mother, a teacher, a friend, and a vital part of her community.

The actress agrees that Season 6 will be the best yet, and describes the upcoming months of “When Calls the Heart” as “uplifting, tender, and romantic.”

Handsome strangers not for long

“Hearties” have known for months about the arrival of Kevin McGarry as new Mountie, Nathan Grant, and Chris McNally as the new saloon owner, Lucas Bouchard.

Both actors have a place in the Hallmark Channel history, starring in favorite films, but both know all too well about the Hallmark tradition of not giving away too much too soon. McNally does admit that Elizabeth “catches his eye” very quickly, but the very busy and devoted mother isn’t diving into any relationship too quickly.

As for Nathan Grant, Kevin McGarry only hints that “chemistry is a possibility.” Fans shouldn't expect any hasty romantic moves, but still, recall Jack's admonition that Elizabeth should find love again.

The younger couples of Hope Valley will plant stakes for their future, and the forecast is for Lee and Rosemary to confront “an emotional issue” that will challenge their relationship, and expose the “softer and more vulnerable” side of Rosemary's character as never before.

Another favorite character, Dr. Carson Shepherd, played by Paul Greene will contemplate romance with his nurse, Faith (Andrea Brooks), under the scrutiny of small-town prying eyes.

When Calls the Heart” has always been about the depth of community, much more than one central love story, and the coming season is destined to explore the bonds of faith, love, friendship, and motherhood as never before.