Fans already know that Erin Krakow can take on a wide range of roles. Before portraying the ever hopeful and resilient Elizabeth Thornton on “When Calls the Heart,” the Juilliard-trained star took on the role of Tanya Gabriel in “Army Wives” and Specialist Elizabeth Dean on “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Erin Krakow perfectly translates the compassionate soul and plucky spirit of the teacher who surrenders her life of privilege for one of greater purpose in becoming Hope Valley’s teacher after a devastating mining disaster.

Erin Krakow is already at work on “When Calls the Heart’s” seventh season, and through six seasons of the Hallmark Channel’s most cherished drama, her character has known life’s deepest joys through the bonds of friendship, love, and becoming a mother. Simultaneously, Elizabeth suffered the traumatic loss of her husband as a newlywed bride. Season 6 ended with a penetrating gaze, and fans were left to ponder whether the teacher would follow her eyes.

Erin Krakow has only suggested that Elizabeth will be “more ready” to open her heart to a new love in Season 7, per her “Home & Family” interview after last season’s finale.

Neither her fans nor Erin Krakow will have to wait long for romance to flourish in tonight's August 17 premiere of “A Summer Romance” on the Hallmark Channel. Her character of Sam is determined to save her family’s Walker Ranch from Ryan Paevey’s Richard Belmont’s plans to turn it into a tourist resort.

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Part of the fun of any Hallmark Channel romance is knowing that no matter what obstacles befall a leading lady, the last frames will end with an embrace and a kiss. “A Summer Romance” likely will end with horses in that final scene, and Erin Krakow has daily guidance and inspiration for her modern Western role right on the “When Calls the Heart” set. The actress shared her appreciation and gratitude to the producer, Vicki Southeran and screenwriter, Robert Tate Miller, in an August 15 social media post.

Hooray for ladies on horseback

Vicki Southeran is one of our fantastic @wcth_tv producers,” gushes Erin Krakow to accompany a lovely photo of the creative television friends and partners. “She keeps the train on track,” Krakow continues, relating how producers are at work on every detail of a series, long before the lead actors come to early-morning calls.

Vicki Southeran has been a producer for “When Calls the Heart” since its debut year in 2014, and in total, she has 56 credits as executive producer on the drama.

Southeran was especially involved in Season 6, and it was her childhood experiences that provided inspiration for the story in “A Summer Romance.”

Like “When Calls the Heart,” “A Summer Romance” was filmed in Vancouver, but attention was paid in every respect to assimilate the look of Bighorn, Montana, the fictional locale of the love story.

Southeran shared her stories of growing up riding horses on her grandmother's farm, with “city slickers” showing up “with zero riding experience,” as Erin Krakow details.

It's no wonder that the story and the struggle in “A Summer Romance” evolved so naturally, but a little help from Robert Tate Miller never hurt. Miller lent his gift for words to the uplifting 2006 film, “Hidden Places,” and wrote 2018’s “Hope at Christmas” for Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

Erin Krakow has regularly demonstrated her skills on horseback on “When Calls the Heart,” and the actress will try her hand in the mystery genre in “The Royal Mysteries,” set for 2020 on Hallmark.

Loud frogs can't foil the scene

Ryan Paevey proved himself to be a good student in many areas during the making of “A Summer Romance,” as he described in an August 16 TV Insider feature. The “General Hospital” favorite was up for learning every needed nuance in horsemanship and even milked his first cow. One night time scene was drowned out by noisy frogs.

Paevey pointed out a “flirty scene” between himself and Erin Krakow. The romantic mood was captured just fine, but unfortunately, the frogs were so loud that “I couldn't hear her speak,” Paevey recalls. The experienced thespians were forced to rely on “lip reading each other,” and dubbing in the dialogue later.

Ryan still has his cowboy hat and good memories from his on-screen chemistry went Erin Krakow, though, and no amphibians can take those away.

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