Tuesday, February 21, 2012


In November of 2011, I wrote at Perfect-Romance.com:

I spent close to ten years working for Procter & Gamble Productions. I wrote three best-selling tie-in novels for them, Oakdale Confidential and The Man From Oakdale for As the World Turns, and Jonathan’s Story (with Julia London) for Guiding Light. I also developed a property called Another World Today, a bi-weekly serial where every episode ended with a question. Fans voted and whatever majority ruled, I wrote.

Now, I am ready to try authoring a romance novel series, Counterpoint, in the same way. Every book will end with a cliffhanger (I do come from the world of soaps, after all!) and a chance for readers to vote on what they’d like to see happen next. I intend to put out a book a month, all reader-directed. There will also be a message board, where those who need to express their ideas and suggestions in more detail can do so.

(Read the entire post at: http://perfect-romance.com/2011/11/02/crowded-house-engaging-readers-as-writers/)

Book #1 of Counterpoint will be out this Spring, but Soap Opera 451 readers can get a sneak peek in the weeks leading up to publication with our series of exclusive experts, starting with the first, below....


When persistent knocking failed to arouse a response, Victoria Morgan cornered the room-service waiter wheeling his cart across the Fairmont Hotel’s fourteenth floor hallway, and said, "I'm looking for Mr. Cooper."

"Mr. Robin Cooper?" The waiter folded his white linen napkins into triangles and laid out a silver knife, fork, and spoon alongside an ivory dish of black caviar and thinly sliced rye bread. He surveyed Victoria, taking in the vibrantly auburn hair pulled back from her face with coral combs, the eyes so light blue they seemed nearly translucent, the minimal make-up, the neatly pressed, cream blouse, the strictly professional, above-the knee skirt and, unimpressed with the overall package, sniffed, "Take a number, Miss."

Victoria watched him unlock Robin Cooper's door and unobtrusively wheel in the cart, briefly parking it besides an unmade, four-poster bed. A rumpled, black tuxedo jacket and bow-tie dangled tossed over one carved post. She heard the shower running and, stepping inside without being invited, made an executive decision on the spot, informing the waiter, "I'll wait for Mr. Cooper in here, thank you."

He opened his mouth to protest. She countered by opening her purse and slipping a folded bill into his starched, left pocket.

Victoria Morgan had spent the first five years of her life in a trailer barely longer than Robin Cooper's hotel room (and certainly less wide). She passed the subsequent decade shuffling between foster homes, and the span between ages fifteen and twenty-two waiting tables to cover her college tuition. As a result, she possessed an uncanny knack for figuring out just how much money to slip every member of the working class. Even ones who, factoring in drunken tips and penitent after-bribes, probably netted more a year than she currently did.

The same waiter who, a minute earlier, had judged her unworthy of soliciting Mr. Robin Cooper's company, now only peeled away his jacket pocket to confirm the amount she'd deposited there, bowed his head respectfully, winked, and, sliding the breakfast tray off his cart and onto a table in front of the picture-window, silently exited the room.

Left alone, Victoria's confidence wavered. Officially, she'd worked under Robin Cooper for six months now. But, she'd never met the man, or even spoken to him on the phone. The closest they came to communicating was when the reports Victoria Federal Expressed to whichever French villa, Italian yacht, Monte Carlo casino, or Swiss Alp her alleged boss happened to be inhabiting that week, came back with Robert James Cooper's signature dashed across the bottom. In other words, she knew nothing about him. And she certainly had no idea how he might react to finding a total stranger in his hotel room.

Well, ready or not, Victoria was about to find out.

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