A burgundy B&B in Fredericton, with Christmas decorations peaking from the window, overlooks the St. River. John.
This very house inspired American author and playwright Karen Schaler to write a Hallmark Christmas movie. She also uses it on the cover of her new book Love always, Christmas.
Schaler stayed at the Quartermain House for the first time in 2015 while filming an episode of her TV show Travel Therapy.
“From the moment we drove up, I remember being in awe because it looked like a Hallmark movie,” Schaler said.
Schaler, who is also a screenwriter for Hallmark, Lifetime and Netflix Christmas movies, said she felt inspired visiting the bed and breakfast and wanted to somehow incorporate it into a movie.
So her second film, Christmas campwas “a slight nod” to the house and its owner — focusing on a “charming little inn” where people could go for Christmas healing.
But she wanted to do more to represent Fredericton in her work. Love always, Christmas is dedicated to Heather MacDonald-Bossé who worked at Tourism New Brunswick when Schaler first visited Fredericton.
MacDonald-Bossé introduced Schaler to the province and stayed with her at the Quartermain House, one of MacDonald-Bossé’s favorite places to stay, Schaler said. From there, MacDonald-Bossé became a friend and point of contact for Schaler’s many more visits to Fredericton.
So Schaler knew she wanted to dedicate an upcoming book to MacDonald-Bossé. And to honor one of her favorite places in New Brunswick, Schaler wanted the book cover to be of the Quartermain House.
Schaler called Debra Quartermain, the owner of the bed and breakfast, and proposed the idea.
“He said it would be an honor,” Schaler said. “And so he allowed me to use a photo, so in my book, this… is a real place. This is in Fredericton. This is the Quartermain House bed and breakfast.”
MacDonald-Bossé was able to see the book’s cover and the dedication within it before it was released. And at the end of October 2022, MacDonald-Bossé died of cancer.
“Fredericton was her love,” Shaler said. “New Brunswick was her love — she spent her life promoting it. And it’s just something that means a lot to me.”
Quartermain said that when she first found out her bed and breakfast would be featured on the cover of the book, it was “incredible”.
The Waterloo Row house is 180 years old and Quartermain said she has had visitors from 22 countries in the past 10 years.
Quartermain said she feels fortunate to share the home with guests and strives to provide them with a “magical and special experience.”
“From [the] cocoa station in the dining room with all sorts of homemade goodies, and breakfasts in front of the fireplace with all the trimmings, a tree in every room,” Quartermain said. “It’s about celebrating magic.”
Breakfast and treats were part of the “Hallmark” experience for Schaler when she visited. He said he could tell everything was handmade and “made with love.”
And Schaler said her dedications to Fredericton will likely continue.
“I think the next step is, you know, we’ve got the book, I want to bring in the movie,” Shaler said.
She said she is confident in her ability to write the film and already has interested parties, but would ideally like to film in Fredericton.
“It’s perfect. I mean, it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s wonderful. The people are amazing,” Schaler said. “We’ll just have to find a way to rent the house, because I know [Debra’s] very busy. We’ll have to plan ahead.”
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