Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Last week’s The Bold and the Beautiful was an utter shock to viewers. The last time we in soap land were so surprised by a revelation may have been in 1981, when General Hospital‘s wedding of the century ended with (warning: 34-year-old spoiler ahead) Scotty catching his ex-wife Laura’s bouquet.

Then–head writer Thom Racina told me in my book, "Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama’s Greatest Moments," “It’s a twist, and God knows, in daytime, twists are the foundation of keeping the audience tuning in tomorrow.”

In 2015, the Internet makes that kind of shocking twist almost impossible. There are simply too many spoilers out there, some leaked by insiders, but many officially released by a soap opera’s own publicity team to drum up interest and viewership.

That’s why the recent March Madness Wednesday cliffhanger on B&B was such a genuine jaw-dropper. Not only was supermodel Maya (as played by actress Karla Mosley) once a man named Myron, but her secret hadn’t been predicted and endlessly anticipated by every viewer and online pundit for months. It was classic soap opera at its best. And it was only the beginning.

Read more, and check out a history of soap-opera transgender stories and how they worked out at:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


After six years as the NY Gifted Education Examiner and Kindergarten Exmissions Consultant at River Park Nursery School, I am finally heeding all those who urged me, "You should write a book," and I am... writing a book. (That isn't about soaps, or figure-skating or romance, that is.)

"Getting Into NYC Kindergarten (September 2016)" is scheduled to be released this May. (Yes, that's almost a full year and a half before your child would start Kindergarten, but that's how early you need to start prepping for the process.)

The book will cover:

* Public School/General Ed (zoned and unzoned)
* Public School Gifted & Talented (District & Citywide)
* Public School Dual Language
* Public School Magnet Programs
* Charter Schools
* Hunter College Elementary School
* Private Schools (Independent and Religious)
* Test Prep (Hunter, G&T & private school)
* Insider Application Tips
* Working the Waitlist
* Application Timeline & much, much more!

No other book like it currently exists. There are books on NYC's top public and private schools, books on applying to private school, and books on how to prep your child for a variety of entrance exams. But "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten (September 2016)" will be the first to cover everything in one. And because it's electronic, it features links to dozens of sites, articles and reports for you to learn more about each topic. Plus, as the NYC Department of Education is notorious for changing rules and requirements on a whim (sometimes smack-dab in the middle of the application season), "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten (September 2016)" can be instantly updated, unlike a print book, which is often out of date the moment it hits the shelves.

"Getting Into NYC Kindergarten (September 2016)" is a book for every New York City parent. It lists and explains your options, then offers an insider's guide for how to get what you want. However, in order to make this book the very best it can be, I need your help.

Send me your questions about the process to, and I will make sure that they are answered in the book. Odds are, whatever you're wondering about, other parents are wondering, too.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


St Patrick’s Day is a perfect time to ask: Just how lucky have the Irish been on American soap-operas?

These days, daytime’s most prominent Irish family are the Bradys on Days of Our Lives. (Even if one the Brady kids, Bo, was actually fathered not by patriarch Shawn, but by a Greek named Kiriakis.) We know they’re Irish because they run a pub, and because two of their boys are cops. Also because, in 2007-8, we got a whole storyline based on flashbacks to the “old country.”

Novice nun Colleen Brady fell for doting dad Santo DiMera (Colleen’s little brother, Shawn, was buds with Santo’s son, Stefano). When she found out Santo’s wife wasn’t quite as dead as he’d led her to believe, Colleen fled back into the arms of the church. Santo interrupted Colleen taking her vows, and she fled for a second time – right off the edge of a convenient cliff. Or, at least, that’s what her family assumed. There was a cliff, there was her nun’s habit. What else could they possibly think?

How about that a pregnant Colleen fled to Argentina (they’ve got Catholics there, too), where she placed her son in an orphanage, only to have him given up for adoption without Colleen’s permission. That son turned out to be John Black, who’d once believed he was long-lost Brady son Roman. Then he thought he was Forrest Alamain. Now, at long last, John knew who he really was! He was Ryan Brady, who’d been adopted by the Alamain family. No wonder the Bradys had long accepted him as one of their own. He was one of their own! Talk about the luck of the Irish!

Except that, in 2013, John learned that Colleen had been lied to. John wasn't her son. Colleen's son had died as an infant. It was all a bunch of blarney, after all.

Read more at "Entertainment Weekly!"

Monday, March 16, 2015


I was telling a fellow author about how I'd taken my previously traditionally published books and re-released them as enhanced e-books with video, audio and other interactive features.

She sighed, "I wish I could do that, but I've priced it out and those IT guys are so expensive!"

"I sleep with my IT guy."

"Oh! That is SO much cheaper!"

I highly recommended it, too.

More stories about working with your spouse (see, it's all perfectly legit) at the Real Entrepreneur Development podcast:

And for a sneak peek at what an enhanced ebook looks like, click here, or just download a sample of one of the books featured on the side of this blog!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


It’s been a slap-happy soap week as, on Days of Our Lives, Jen let Eve have it for sleeping with Jen’s son, and Adrienne smacked Will for cheating on her son (lesson learned: Don’t mess with a soap mom’s precious baby boy).

Meanwhile, Quinn slapping Brooke over Deacon on The Bold & the Beautiful, is being treated like some major event. As if Brooke isn’t a slap veteran....
Here’s the thing, though, this past Sunday, March 8, International Women’s Day, in New York City, as well as other cities around the world, thousands of people, including actors like Paul Bettany and AnnaLynne McCord, marched to support a variety of women’s issues, including ending domestic violence.

Bettany, in particular, said that he brought his son with actress Jennifer Connelly, to drive home for the boy that violence against women was also a man’s issue.

So, men hitting women is bad, while women hitting other women (and men, for that matter) is… entertaining? Funny? Acceptable?

How does that work, exactly? (To be clear, I am not saying soaps are the only offenders. Primetime shows are just as bad at portraying this double-standard, as are movies and pretty much every other form of media.)

None of the slaps above were treated as physical assault. Was it because they were administered by women? Puny, helpless women can’t possibly be aggressors, can they?  Or was it because, in the case of the men they hit, the slap was perfectly justified in story (would the men have been justified in hitting back?)? In the case of women hitting women, well, you know how women are. They were probably just being petty or catty or bitchy or hormonal. No one should bother taking their violence seriously. They can’t be held responsible for their behavior. They’re women!

Daytime is the only television genre created for women by women (though, these days, both the creators and the audiences are much broader). Soaps were intended to be a heightened reality. More romantic, more dramatic, more passionate and more emotional. If that’s the case, then why aren’t we getting more upset about casual violence against women, no matter who’s dishing it out, instead of cheering them on and looking forward to the inevitable cat-fights?

What do you think? Is it time to retire the soap slap (and the cat-fight)? Tell Entertainment Weekly at:

On the other hand, if you just can't get enough soap-slapping, you can also click the above link for over a dozen videos of classic soap slaps, including scenes from GH, DAYS, B&B, Y&R, AMC and more!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


How did you develop the idea for your most recent work?

My whole writing career has been a case of “You know, it’s not supposed to happen that way.” My first romance novel was picked and published out of the slush pile. I wrote a non-fiction book about figure skater Sarah Hughes in a year when she wasn’t expected to do much at the Olympics. She ended up winning the gold medal, and my book went into second and third printings. I pitched a novel based on the soap-opera, “As the World Turns,” and it ended up becoming a NYT best-seller. 

Then, a few years later, I took a cancelled soap-opera, “Another World,” and revived it on-line as a combination of text and video with readers directing the story. I took what I learned there, and turned my paperback figure-skating mystery novels into enhanced e-books, with professional performance footage alongside the original story. And then I combined everything I’d done up to the point, the interactive fiction, the multimedia enhancements, and decided that I would write my next book live online, and that I would take feedback from readers along the way about where I wanted to story to go next. 

At, readers can literally watch my every key-stroke. They can see my typos, my mistakes, my clunky prose and my badly plotted dead-ends. It’s the exact opposite of what writers are told to do, which is to polish their work until it’s perfect before letting anyone see it. But, what can I say, it sounded like a fun idea, so I went with it. You know, it’s not supposed to happen that way….

Read my entire interview at Jim Jackson's blog:

Monday, March 09, 2015


Question: Why is there a Kickstarter-backed Tonay Harding/Nancy Kerrigan Museum coming to the hallway of a third-floor walk-up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn?

Answer: Because it can.

Learn more at:

The Washington Post

New York Magazine

ABC News


But if you prefer your skating drama fictionalized (which means being able to tell truths non-fiction would be sued for), click here to win copies of the Figure Skating Mystery, Murder on Ice, and the Figure Skating Romance, Pairing Off (Red Hot Russians).