Monday, April 30, 2012


On Monday, I wrote about how I got my jobs in soaps (ABC Daytime, ATWT, GL).  This week, I thought I'd share how I got my jobs in skating.

I was born in the former Soviet Union, and Russian is my first language.  Earlier, I shared with my attempts to  make my three kids bilingual, and how I managed to mess it up in three different ways.  But, what I didn't share was why getting them to speak another language was so important to me.

It wasn't because The New York Times claims it makes kids smarter, and it wasn't only because I wanted them to be able to speak to their grandparents.  It was primarily because you never know what skill might come in handy down the line on the job front.

I have a Master's in Broadcasting, and I always knew I wanted to work in TV.  But, so do a lot of people.  The trick to getting any job is to stand out, to offer more than any other candidate.  And when applying for a researcher/writer position at ABC Sports, what made me stand out was that, on top of the degree and my knowledge of figure skating, I also spoke Russian, which meant I could communicate with a great many of the skaters they covered.  (While I am completely fluent, I kept the fact that I am not particularly literate, to myself, which led to some amusing close calls I recounted for My Life in Translation.)

While at ABC Sports, I traveled to Moscow and St. Petersburg to help shoot Up Close & Personal profiles on Irina Slutskaya, Maria Butyrskaya, Eltsova & Bushkov, and Bereznaia & Sikharulidze.

Not only did I help facilitate and shoot the interviews but, as you can see below, I also did the (fake) Russian-accented voice-over for both Irina Slutskaya and her mother, as well as translated when Dick Button later interviewed Irina following her European Championship win.

It was also this trip to Russia that inspired my third figure skating mystery, "Axel of Evil," which takes place at a made-for-TV-competition in Moscow, and features the murder of a defector, back on Russian soil for the first time as a coach.  (You can read an excerpt, here.)  I included details from everything I'd seen while with ABC, including the dilapidated arenas, the difficult training conditions, the battles between skaters and their Federation, the coaches who grew up under one system only to flounder in another, and, my personal favorite, the cat walking freely about a hospital emergency room.

Funny enough, "Axel of Evil" was actually the first book I pitched to my editor at Berkley Prime Crime.  She liked the premise, but felt we should kick off the series with a story that took place in America.  I dutifully wrote another proposal, which she accepted.  But, that night, the judging scandal in Salt Lake City erupted, and I sent her an e-mail that read: What is someone kills the judge who gave the gold medal to the Russian over the American?

She loved the idea, and that became, "Murder on Ice," with the book set in America turning into "On Thin Ice," the second in the series.

All five of my figure skating mysteries were published as paperback originals by Berkley from 2003-2007.  Earlier this year, I got the rights to them back, and am re-releasing each title as an enhanced ebook, with videos by The Ice Theatre of New York included as part of the story.

Check them out below and make sure you let me know what you think!


"What do you want, Carl?” Lorna continued to hold the front door open, so Rachel’s husband might get the hint he wasn’t wanted, even as Carl appeared content to make himself at home in her and Jamie’s living room.

He sat down, arms draped over the back of the sofa, legs crossed, head turned in Lorna’s direction. “We need to have a little chat.”

“No, Carl, we really don’t.”

“I understand that you are one of the scant people in Bay City who did not automatically assume my daughter was fabricating her allegations against Mr. Fowler.”

Lorna stayed where she was, fingers tightening around the doorknob as she noted, “I’d hardly be one to talk, would I?”

“Quite right, quite right. You do bring an impressive wealth of previous life experience to this particular table.”

“I wasn’t lying when I…” Lorna reminded through gritted teeth.

“You were about the good Dr. Winthrop.”

“I – I made a mistake.”

“And is that what you believe Elizabeth has made? A mistake regarding her attacker’s identity?”


Carl and Lorna draw battle-lines, Rachel faces off with both Jeanne and Donna, Amanda disappoints Kevin, Charlie surprises Frankie and Cass, Grant offers Sarah an escape clause.

Relationships explode at:

Friday, April 27, 2012


I did an interview last night with Blog Talk Radio (download/listen to it, here).

The show was supposed to be about writing mysteries.  And we did talk about that.  We discussed my Figure Skating Mystery series, Murder on Ice, On Thin Ice, Axel of Evil, Death Drop, and Skate Crime, and how I've added videos from The Ice Theatre of New York to turn them all into enhanced e-books.

We talked about Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga, and how I'm going to use reader input to get to the bottom of my characters' secrets, lies, and schemes.  (Basically, you tell me what to write, and I'll write it!)

But, then, we got to talking about soaps.  Because soaps are such a huge part of American life, there are very few people they haven't affected.

Turned out the host of the show, Elaine, Raco Chase, was an As the World Turns fan.  She told me all about  her favorite character, and even how he inspired her own writing!

Listen to the show to find out who and how!

And make sure you check out the post right below this one to find out how you can get two of my books absolutely free!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Tonight, April 26, 2012, at 8 PM EST, I am going to be the first guest on Triangle Variety Radio Prime Time's talk show highlighting mysteries and thrillers (you can listen via your computer, here).

We'll be chatting in particular about two of my latest projects:

1) The Figure Skating Mystery series (including Murder on Ice, On Thin Ice, Axel of Evil, Death Drop, and Skate Crime) where I've taken my novels previously published by Berkley Prime Crime and turned them into enhanced e-books with professional skating videos embedded right in the text.

And 2) Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga, a serial tale of romance, deception, secrets, blackmail, and sex, with readers weighing in on what happens next.

As promised earlier, supporters of this blog have exclusive access to a special offer: Buy a copy of Counterpoint below (or just borrow it from the Kindle Prime Library for free), send me a copy of your receipt at, and I will send you, absolutely free, a copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition.

But, that's not all!  Write a review of Counterpoint on Amazon, your blog, GoodReads, etc... send me the link, and I'll send you the next book in the Figure Skating Mystery series, On Thin Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition, also absolutely free.

That's three books for the price of one!  Get your stories now!


Marley admitted to Jamie, “I told Michele and Bridget about Jake and Vicky having a history together; before me, and after me, and how she knew him in a different way, better than anyone else, I suspect, and how she’d always loved him, would always love him…. Bridget asked then about me and Jake. If I’d forgiven him?”

“Well, at least that was an easy one to answer.”

“To myself? Yes. To a pair of impressionable 12 year old girls? When I heard the words coming out of my mouth, about how I didn’t press charges, how I basically let Jake get away with it, and then how I even convinced myself I was still in love with him… What kind of a message is that to send?”

“With all due respect, Marley,” Jamie said slowly. “I’m not sure why you thought I was the appropriate person to come to with this.”

“Because. You always thought I let Jake off too easy. You were convinced he was dangerous, that he would do it again, given the opportunity.”

“At which point the entire town, including Paulina, my own grandmother, Vicky, and you, made it clear I was barking up the wrong tree and then, as I recall, somehow, Jake came out the victim, with me as the sanctimonious bully. You’ll forgive me if I don’t quite feel like taking another stroll down that particular path.”


The repercussions of Jake's twenty year old actions trickle down to Marley, Jamie, Bridget, Michele and Kirkland.  Grant comes to terms with losing his son, while Kirkland makes peace with Vicky's memory.  Jamie mourns the state of his relationship with Rachel and tends to an emergency with Matt.  Cory and Steven come to an understanding - and a plan.

You hold the power of life and death in today's episode of AWT!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Lindsay Lohan will play Elizabeth Taylor in a movie about the late movie star's life.

Both actresses have a soap connection.  Elizabeth Taylor was the original Helena Cassadine on General Hospital (read then Headwriter Thom Racina's recollections on how that came to be, here).

Lindsay Lohan played Allie Fowler, Amanda's daughter and Rachel's granddaughter on Another World in 1996-1997 (she left the show to star in The Parent Trap).

Compare and contrast the two clips below:

Yup.  That's going to work.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


While Smash continues to integrate musical numbers with their very soapy plot-lines, we at Soap Opera 451 like to remind that daytime drama has been known to warble a tune or two, as well.  Check out the clips below:

Days of Our Lives

Guiding Light

The Young & the Restless

Another World

General Hospital


As the World Turns

One Life to Live

Monday, April 23, 2012


I knew I wanted a job in soaps from the time I was 10 years old.  What I didn't know at 10, and for many years afterwards, was how one went about the process.

I did the usual things, went to college, got a Bachelor's in Writing for Television.  Then I got a Master's in Writing for Television (for the record, I don't recommend either, but that's a topic for another post).  As I tried to figure out how to get a job in soaps, I thought I'd give a shot at writing for the next best thing: romance novels.  (I always thought if the soap thing didn't work out, I could be Sidney Sheldon.)

I wrote two Regency romances, The Fictitious Marquis and Thieves at Heart, and two contemporary romance novels, Annie's Wild Ride and When a Man Loves a Woman.

I also worked for E! Entertainment, writing their talk show, Pure Soap, and then moved to ABC Daytime.  At ABC Daytime, I was asked for writing samples.  But, when I gave them the books I'd published, I was asked whether I had anything a little more soapy.

I didn't.  But, why should that stop me? 

They wanted soapy?  I'd write soapy!  Which is how Counterpoint came about.  It's got star-crossed lovers, long-buried family secrets, scheming bitches, swoon-worthy heroes, illegitimate babies, exotic locations and sex.  Lots of sex.  You know, all that good stuff.

Counterpoint was the sample I used to get my early soap jobs, as well as the chance to eventually write such soap opera tie-ins as Oakdale Confidential, The Man From Oakdale, and Jonathan's Story (with Julia London).

I'd always toyed with the idea of publishing it, but, fact was, Counterpoint was a sample, not a complete story.

And then, I had an idea.

Having written Another World Today and Mindy's Twitter for P&G with fan interaction to tell me what should happen next, I decided to do the exact same thing with Counterpoint.

I've started it, but I'm counting on my readers to help me finish it!

Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) is out now on Amazon.  Click the link below to check it out.

A new book is scheduled to come out every month.  Written by me... and you!

(P.S. Keep checking back to this blog for a special offer just for Soap Opera 451 supporters!)


“And Jamie alleged the initial supposition came from Lorna?” Carl clarified, seeming to regain a modicum of control by parsing the minutia of his charges.

“Yes. Which makes it even more laughable. Lorna has made it clear she would do or say anything to cast you in the worst possible light…”

“You,” Carl reminded, forcing them both to recall. “You, Rachel, once asked of me if my conduct towards Lorna had been honorable. Or, at the very least, lawful.”

“Well… I…”

“So you must have, however briefly, entertained the inkling of a possibility.”

“You were a different man then. And Lorna… Well, no matter how much she’d like us to believe she’s a different person now, too, her actions certainly indicate otherwise.”

“I would never, ever, ever take carnal advantage of a child.”

“Of course, you wouldn’t.”

“And my own…”

“Stop,” Rachel insisted. “I don’t want to hear another word about it. I only told you because – because you had to know what sort of lies Lorna was spreading about you.”


Carl is staggered by Jamie and Lorna's accusation, Steven and GQ take different approaches to helping Jen while Sarah and Grant visualize their futures in different ways, Frankie reassures Cass, and your final chance to vote on Matt's love life!

Do it now at:

Friday, April 20, 2012


I've always been a big believer in multi-geekdom.

And I've always gotten a thrill out of geekdom overlap (i.e. soaps and the sci-fi series, V).

I find it cool that a pre-Star Wars Mark Hamill appeared on General Hospital, and no matter what he goes on to do, Nathan Fillion will always be One Life to Live's Joey (or "Joe" as Dorian insisted on calling him) to me.

But, now, my geekdom has gone into overdrive with an upcoming comic book cross-over of Star Wars and Firefly.

According to the synopsis: Han Solo and Chewbacca have a falling-out after a deal with a shady customer goes bad. When the client gets designs on the Millennium Falcon, Han and Chewie present a united front that can’t be beat! “Mal” Reynolds, captain of the outlaw vessel Serenity, is no stranger to jobs gone wrong. But when the chips are down, he’s able to rely on an amazing, odd, and diversely talented crew for help!

Yeah.  I guess that could happen.  (Though I thought Star Wars took place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, and Firefly is set in our own Earth's future, but, whatever....)

And here's the totally best part.  The above title will be available at no cost (one of my other favorite things) on Saturday, May 5, 2012 a.k.a. Free Comic Book Day!  For a list of participating retailers near you, go to:!

And remember, the Buchanans will be with you... always.  (Of course now that last part is making me think of Reva and Josh... This is all very confusing.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012


 Before there was Twillight, before there was Interview With a Vampire, before Port Charles and Caleb, there was Dark Shadows... and Barnabas.

Actor Jonathan Frid, who brought the undead character so memorably to life passed away earlier this week.  In his honor, we feature his costar, Kathryn Leigh Scott's memories of their first day working together, as recalled in my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments:

 It could be said that Jonathan Frid is the granddaddy of all modern vampires with his creation of Barnabas Collins, the “reluctant vampire” on Dark Shadows. He certainly saved our fledgling series from early cancellation! We were such an anomaly in daytime television, a Gothic romance tale set in a remote seaside village in Maine that became a paranormal, time-traveling anthology series.

I was the first actor to play a scene with Jonathan and introduce his character to the new storyline. Maggie Evans, the role of the Collinsport waitress that I played in the early days of the show, was at work in the diner when she first encountered Barnabas, complete with cape, wolf-head cane and knuckle-duster-sized ring. Jonathan Frid was delightful. He was soft-spoken, almost courtly in manner. Our characters met as two outsiders and formed such an instant bond that the story of Barnabas and Maggie became the central romance of Dark Shadows. That first encounter between Barnabas and Maggie is still my favorite episode from the entire series.

It's not easy for anyone to walk into an established show without a tremor of nerves and apprehension, but Jonathan’s assignment was more fraught than most. For all the celebrity attention Barnabas eventually aroused, we greeted the introduction of the vampire on April 17,1967 with a certain bemusement. He was there to play a vampire and our reactions ranged from a suspicious: "Really? A what?" to bland resignation: "Give me a break." I don't think anyone was particularly pleased at the turn of events. An afternoon horror melodrama with ghosts and goblins did not sound like a class act. Jonathan might have felt like a complete fool at first, but he carried it off magnificently. He cared about his work and he was determined to create a real and believable character, albeit a vampire.

Several of us stood around in the diner set, arms folded, staring dumbly as Jonathan modeled his costume and discussed, with utmost seriousness, his ideas about the ring and cane. The teeth were something else. We all pondered whether or not he should have an accent. In the end, he made the role of Barnabas Collins uniquely his own.

The complexity of the character was intriguing. Barnabas was essentially evil at first, but one felt sorry for him and he, poor man, suffered the fearful guilt and loathing of his curse: for him to live, others must die. His love for Josette was eternally doomed and he was a despised wretch who, at times, wielded immense supernatural powers and, at other times, was an impotent creature lying helplessly chained in a coffin. One responded to this sad-eyed despair with the romantic notion of saving him from himself....


Jamie hesitated. “I – Lorna gave me a pretty strong lecture about rushing to judgment based on a woman’s past actions.”

“Oh.” Rachel hadn’t expected that, and wasn’t sure what to say next. “Well, I guess she would know, wouldn’t she?” Hearing how brittle she sounded, Rachel forced herself to dial back. “Do thank Lorna for me, please. I’m sure Elizabeth will appreciate both of yours support. Especially in light of… everything.”

“When you mentioned how detailed Elizabeth’s description of the incident was…”

“The rape crises counselor said it’s very unlikely she’s lying,” Rachel stuck to facts.

“Lorna – Lorna had a thought. She floated the idea that maybe Elizabeth is telling the truth. Just maybe not about Kevin.”

“What? That’s ridiculous! Who else could she possibly be talking about?”

Jamie knew this was his last possible opportunity to turn back, to keep this particular can of worms shut. He realized that, in good conscience, he couldn’t risk it. “Lorna thought maybe Elizabeth was talking about… Carl.”


Rachel is rocked by Jamie and Lorna's suspicion, Chase questions Lila's next move, Marley agonizes over Jake and the twins, while Dean and Matt respond to Jeanne's actions - not at all in the way Donna expected...

Read about the latest happening in Bay City, at:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


While Days of Our Lives tries to figure out EJ's (a.k.a. Elvis') parentage puzzle, we take a look back at his presumptive mother, Susan Banks, as played by Eileen Davidson (now Ashley on Y&R).

Eileen Davidson: Tom Langan, who was the Co-Executive Producer at the time, told me they were going to try to get somebody to play the part of Susan. I suggested that I play it. She was supposed to be really different from Kristen. (Headwriter) James Reilly put in the Elvis stuff. He created the rough sketch, and I filled it in. We added a padded suit, false teeth, contact lenses, and we tried out some wigs. But, I created her personality. I had a lot of input. Susan was supposed to be insecure, from a small town, not very worldly, basically kind of ignorant. She had an innocence. I based a lot of it on innocence, not necessarily ignorance. But, she was very intelligent in a certain way. She was good at getting what she wanted. (At first), they only had Susan in mind, and they really didn’t know for how long. James just kind of took off. He’s brilliant. The whole story was brilliant, with the teeth falling out at the wedding (below), all those things he wrote were so funny. He took inspiration from me, I took inspiration from him.

Read more from Eileen, as well as dozens of other actors, writers, producers, experts and fans in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, available on Amazon and

Meanwhile, enjoy those infamous flying teeth, below!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I love getting free stuff.

I love telling other people where and how to get free stuff.

Whether it's birthday party freebies for your kid, free cookies for you, free dental care, or free books.

Especially free books.

Last week, my romance novel, "When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition" was free as part of a Friday the 13th Giveaway among 13 authors.

And this Thursday, Dan Elish's children's fantasy, "The Worldwide Dessert Contest: Enhanced Multimedia Edition," which I produced, will be available as part of Give Your Kids a Free Kindle Book Day! (Click the link for a list of other participating authors.)

Read all about "The Worldwide Dessert Contest" at And mark your calender to load up on free reading for the whole family!

Monday, April 16, 2012


My latest novel, Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga Volume I, will be out later this week (with a special offer for readers of this blog and Another World Today).

Unlike a traditional novel, however, this one will be written by incorporating reader feedback as we go along. At the end of each Volume, you'll be able to chime in and tell me where you want the story to go next. A new Volume will be released every month, allowing you to guide it!

In the meantime, please enjoy our exclusive previews, below:

Part #1

Part #2

Part #3

Part #4:

"You're not being reasonable."

"I'm rich. I don't have to be." Noting Victoria expression, he asked, "You don't believe me? I'll prove it to you.

His eyes locked on Victoria's and, much to her discomfort, she found she couldn't look away. Her throat dried, tongue sticking to the roof of her mouth and trapping a gasp that, much to Victoria's embarrassment, nevertheless managed to escape her lips the instant Robin glanced down and casually tugged loose the sash of his robe. Noting her discomfort, Robin smirked, his countenance twinned with a vaguely sadistic quality, like a tiger toying with its prey.

She stood rooted to the spot, her pupils the solitary features currently capable of movement. And, despite her very uncomfortable sense of being controlled and manipulated, Victoria felt her eyes tracking the descent of Robin's robe. It slipped off his shoulders first, revealing arms a great deal more muscular than she’d first suspected, considering Robin's frame. She noted the sculpted contours of his upper body even as her gaze fell lower, absorbing Robin's washboard stomach, every abdominal rippling below his skin like the tier of an abacus. The robe continued falling, but, at the moment of truth, he effortlessly caught it around the waist, and, turning slightly, offered Victoria a prime view of his left shoulder-blade.

Approximately the size of a clenched fist, or a drink coaster, the skin just below and to the left of Robin's neck boasted one of the most exquisitely rendered tattoos Victoria had ever seen. It might have been a canvas at an art museum, considering how much detail and color had gone into the design. In shades of cardinal, black, and yellow, the tattoo depicted a pessimist's view of Hell, with inferno bursts raging through molten rock, crumbling brimstone, and, at the forefront, a menacing male figure dragging away a helpless damsel.

"Hades," Robin made the introduction, as if that explained it. "The Greek God of the underworld kidnapping Persephone."

"It's beautiful." Her voice sunk to an awed whisper. "You know what it reminds me of? A Burton Chalmers painting."

"That's because it is one."

"Right." Now, it was Victoria's turn to smirk. "The man's work is on permanent exhibition at the Louvre, and you're telling me he does a little tattooing on the side?"

Unimpressed with Victoria's tone, Robin shrugged his robe back on, and coolly related, "I was in France, I called Chalmers, I asked him to ink the tattoo. He said no. I named a price. He said yes. Have I made my point, Miss Morgan? The rich don't have to be reasonable. I always get what I want, and I wanted that particular design. It's my favorite. I relate to it. In Greek mythology, Hades is the bringer of chaos."


“Did our mom know what he did to you?” Michele blurted out.

“Yes," Marley said.

“And she still married him? She married somebody who hurt her sister?” Michele looked at Bridget protectively.

“Vicky and Jake grew up together. They loved each other long before I came into the picture. They were destined to be together.”

“But, he hurt you…”

“That’s enough, Michele,” Grant couldn’t take it any longer. “Browbeating your aunt isn’t going to get us anywhere.”

“But, I don’t understand!” Michele’s last vestige of hard-won maturity faded away as she stomped her foot in fury. “You said our dad was a good person, but he raped you. And then our mom married him. And then you wanted him back. How can that happen?”


Marley and Grant attempt to explain Jake and Vicky to Michele and Bridget. Jen's condition takes a turn for the worse and prompts a confession from Kevin. Donna is forced to answer for her actions, while Matt and Lila question Jasmine, and Cory does the same to Elizabeth.

All at:

Friday, April 13, 2012


Who says Friday the 13th has to mean bad luck? If you're a fan of romance, mysteries or thrillers, today's the day you can collect 13 original Kindle titles absolutely FREE! (And you don't even need a Kindle! Anything with an Internet connection, such as your desktop, laptop, phone, tablet, iPad, etc... will do!)

My DELL 2000 release, "When a Man Loves a Woman," recently named to the 1000 Top Romance Novels of All Time, will be available for free, today and tomorrow on Amazon.

Ever since their medical school days, James Elliot and Deborah Brody have been best friends and colleagues. Deborah has been married for the past 20 years to Max, but no one understands her like Elliot.

Tragedy strikes when Max dies of a heart attack. Deb is emotionally shattered. Elliot comforts her as best he can, but comfort unexpectedly leads to a night of passion.

Elliot has been in love with Deb since college, but he never would have acted had Max still been alive. Deb is guilt-stricken over what happened. Their emotional dilemma is complicated by a budget crisis at the hospital. Events may set these two on opposite sides of a divide. Can their long-time friendship turn into love?

Alina Adams returns with a profound and emotionally wrenching tale of love and loss. WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN will bring both a tear to your eye and a smile to your heart.


Download "When a Man Loves a Woman" along with the other romantic suspense, mystery and thriller titles on Listmania!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


When I got a little older, my ideal American family went from the Bradys and the Partridges to the Ewings and the Carringtons and the Channings and the entire daytime line-ups of ABC, CBS and NBC. I was going to be a real American. I was going to live on a soap opera. And failing that, then I’d settle for the next best thing – writing a soap opera.

I did it, too. After stints at E! Entertainment and ABC Daytime, I landed at Procter & Gamble Productions and their two classic daytime dramas, “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light.” I produced the shows’ official websites and authored their tie-in novels, “Oakdale Confidential,” “The Man From Oakdale,” “Jonathan’s Story,” and an online property called “Another World Today.” I was finally where I’d always wanted to be – writing about the tortured, soapy lives of real Americans.

Except I didn’t know a thing about it. Or them.

All of the P&G stories took place in small Midwestern towns in Illinois. I’d never even been to Chicago, much less anyplace as homogenous and wholesome and Christian and White as Springfield or Oakdale or Bay City.

I was writing about people I didn’t know doing things I’d never done for reasons I couldn’t quite understand.

Read my entire confession at:

“We don’t know anything about Kevin," Lorna reminded Jamie. "I understand you feel grateful for his help with my case against Morgan, and your concern for Amanda and Alice, too. But, Alice barely knows anything about him, either. Kevin left home when he was sixteen, and she never heard a word from him again until two years ago. Alice may love her grandson, but know him? Of all the people you named before, the person who probably knows him best is Jen. And you don’t think there’s anything peculiar about a single man, just out of law school, adopting an eight year old girl?”

“You think he… Jen?”

“It would certainly fit the profile.”

“No,” Jamie shook his head. “No. For what it’s worth, I’ve spent a lot of time lately with Jen, dealing with her case, and she doesn’t show any signs of…”

“She wouldn’t. Not to a doctor. Not to any professional that might figure out what was really going on. She’s probably got years of practice at keeping her secret.”

“So you believe Elizabeth?” Jamie had a tough time accepting it.

“I – I don’t know whom to believe. The only thing I do know, is what it’s like to be the girl who’s pissed so many people off being a first-class bitch, that when something bad does happen to her, everyone has a pretty good reason to ignore it.”


Lorna, Jamie, Amanda, Alice, Jen, Carl and Rachel are all influenced by the past when weighing in on Elizabeth's accusation - leading to tragedy. Lila is confronted with evidence of Carl's wrong-doing and is forced to make a critical decision. Jeanne takes a risk for Dean - and against Donna, while Marley is forced to relive the worst time in her life, and you get to write her response!

All at:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Much to my shock, surprise, and awe, has included my book, "When a Man Loves a Woman" in their list of Top 1000 Romance Novels of All Time.

For real! I know!

Coming in at #506, it's smack-dab in the middle, and even ahead of some titles by Marsha Canham (who, when we were on a group website together, taught me the correct use of the phrase BWAHAHA - a very important life skill), Amanda Quick, Johanna Lindsay, Sabrina Jeffries, Susan Elizabeth Phillips (who was my very first supporter at AVON and gave a wonderful blurb for my earlier contemporary romance, "Annie's Wild Ride"), Catherine Coulter, Lisa Kleypas, Jo Beverly, Nora Roberts, Julia Quinn... in other words, a whole lot of totally awesome writers.

For real! I know!

And here is some more great news. If you are a Kindle Prime member, you can read "When a Man Loves a Woman" for free at anytime.

And, if you're not, the book will be available to download for free this Friday the 13th and Saturday the 14th from

But, that's not all!

It's only one of 150 books that will also be free that day, including romance, family saga, mystery, adventure, children's, YA, fantasy, Gothic, non-fiction and more.

Check out the complete list at: and load up!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Author Jean Henry Mead was kind enough to interview me on her blog, Mysterious Writers, not just about the figure skating murder mysteries that I am now enhancing with professional video footage, but about my non-mysterious projects, as well.

Tell us about your latest groundbreaking project, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments.

Soap fans love to talk about their favorite moments. And there have been books written on the history of various soaps and stories. But, up until now, you could only read about how great they were, you couldn't actually view the scenes themselves. That's all changed now. "Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments" is a one of a kind book in that, after asking fans and soap experts what were some of the greatest moments of all time, I went and interviewed the actors, writers, producers and directors involved with those moments - and then I added links to where you could actually view them. It's a completely interactive experience that's never been done before.

Read the entire interview at:

And, pssst... here's a tip to pass on.... Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments was on sale all of last week for 50% off. It was supposed to go back to full price this Monday, but Amazon is still selling it for under $5.00. I have no idea how long this will last, but their loss is your gain. Make sure you get your copy ASAP, at:

Monday, April 09, 2012


I talked Soaps' Greatest Moments with Dan J. Kroll at Soap Central Live this past Friday night. Listen to the podcast at: (also featuring special guest, Robin Mattson of GH, SB, AMC, RH, ATWT and more!)

“Kevin did what?” Rachel, Carl, and Amanda descended on Elizabeth en masse in light of her water-logged accusation, ignoring the suddenly hushed crowd of Felicia’s guests gathered around them.

“He attacked me,” Elizabeth insisted, hysterical, lips chattering and turning blue from the cold of having been ducked in a pool on a chilly April evening.

“Somebody get her a towel, a blanket,” Rachel called over her shoulder, sending an anonymous staff member scurrying, while she pulled her daughter closer, attempting to warm Elizabeth up using her own cashmere wrap.

Amanda, on the other hand, grabbed her sister’s shoulder, forcing Elizabeth to look Amanda in the eye. “What the hell are you talking about?”

Leaving Rachel to tend to Elizabeth, Carl stepped up to the pool’s edge, where Kevin was now climbing out himself, shaking the ends of his tuxedo jacket in a futile attempt to wring it dry, wiping chlorine out of his eyes with an equally damp sleeve even as water continued to drip from his hair.

“What have you done?” Carl seethed, every ounce of his terrifying fury directed wholly at Amanda’s husband.


Elizabeth proves just how far she's willing to go, Sarah stuns Grant with her proposition, Chase struggles to prove his case against Carl, Lucas makes a confession to Lorna, and Donna defends her actions to Matt.

All at:

Friday, April 06, 2012


One of my very earliest soap memories is watching General Hospital's 'Who Killed Diana Taylor?' storyline.

Diana had possessed the bad judgment to adopt crazy Heather's (daughter of Rick and Lesley's housekeeper, Alice) son, Steven Lars, and rename him Peter Taylor Jr. (PJ). Heather had actually sold the baby on the black market, and told his father, Jeff, that their son died. Later, Heather tried to poison Diana with LSD, but ended up drinking the drug-laced concoction herself and ending up in a mental institution.

Resurfacing from catatonia, Heather had a new plan: Kill Diana, frame Jeff's new love, Anne, for the crime, get Steven Lars back, reunite with Jeff, live happily ever after.

The shot of a dead Diana, lying face-down with the word ANNE written beside her in her own blood, was imprinted in my 10 year old memory and probably accounts for many of my career choices today.

You can see it exactly at the 4:00 minute mark, below:

(The clip itself, is in German, but that visual speaks for itself.)

Heather is currently back in Port Charles, and for anyone curious about her mothering instincts, check out the sequence at 4:27, when little PJ is wandering around, calling for his Mommy.

Yes, Heather left the boy she loved sooooo much alone in an apartment with his brutally murdered mother. Forget that a fire could have broken out and he'd be trapped. Forget that he could take a sip of the cleaning products under the bathroom sink. He could find the body! Did that ever occur to Heather?

This evening, Friday, April 6, 2012 at 6 PM EST, Robin Mattson, GH's 3rd Heather, but definitely the one who made the greatest impression, will be guesting on Soap Central Live's Radio Show. And right after Robin, I'll be on to talk about Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced e-book, and which scenes soap actors, writers, directors, producers, experts and fans picked as the best ever! Information on how to listen and call in live at:

In honor of General Hospital's, As the World Turns, The Edge of Night's and The Doctors' anniversary this week, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments is on sale through Sunday at 50% off the regular cover price on both Amazon and

And here's another fun, literary fact: Denise Dietz, sister of Eileen Dietz, who played Heather's hospital roommate, Sarah, wrote a novel, Soap Bubbles, about life on a soap set. That's Eileen on the cover.

Make sure to listen to the show tonight, and please call in, I'd love to hear which moment you think I missed!

Thursday, April 05, 2012


We finish up our week-long April anniversary celebration with The Doctors, which premiered on April 1, 1963 (along with the equally medically-themed General Hospital).

Flashback below to 1981, with Kim Zimmer before she was Reva, and Alec Baldwin before he was... Alec Baldwin. (Kim Zimmer once told me that she was done with work for the day and on her way home from the studio when she heard that The Doctors was auditioning men to play the new Billy Aldrich. She went down to the control-room for a peek, and reports, "Alec was so hot, the women were wiping the drool from their lips just watching him!")

Also this week, anniversary posts honoring:

General Hospital
As the World Turns
The Edge of Night

The remainder of Amanda’s words were cut off by the sound of a shrill shriek coming from the party’s outdoor area, followed by the splash of bodies hitting the pool.

Amanda turned around, amused in advance to see who exactly had gotten so smashed already that they couldn’t remain upright. The smile wavered in confusion and died as soon as she realized that one of the waterlogged parties appeared to be her husband.

And that the other was Elizabeth.


Elizabeth proves herself to be Rachel and Carl's daughter in every way, Jeanne turns the tables on Donna - and vice-versa, Lucas makes an unexpected move, Steven comes through for Jen, Lila confronts Chase and Doug, and even Grant is surprised by his response to Sarah.

All at:

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


In honor of this week's flurry of soap anniversaries (General Hospital, The Doctors, As the World Turns, Edge of Night), Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced ebook is on sale for 50% off on both Amazon and

In it, we feature an interview with Thom Racina, GH Headwriter for the most famous wedding of all time, guest-starring the most famous movie star to ever grace the daytime landscape.

He recalls:

We would never have married them had it not been for Elizabeth Taylor, who called up one day when word leaked that we wanted to push off the wedding for another six months, screaming in her high voice that she had, "...shut down many movie sets to watch Luke and Laura, and I'll be goddamned if you're not going to give me a wedding!"

I said we'll give a wedding if you come, and she giggled and the rest is history....

My most fun recollection was of Elizabeth being unable to say her character's name. She pronounced Cassadine as Casa-deen, rather than Casa-dine. It's great to watch it on the blooper reels now, but I remember her turning to me and saying, "Can't we just change my goddamn name?"

Read much more from Thom (including what "trick I pulled out of my writer's hat at the last minute" that proved to be one of the most enduring images of all time) plus dozens of other soap opera actors, writers, directors, producers, experts and fans about which scenes they voted the best ever in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, and check out the infamous Liz blooper reel below!

Monday, April 02, 2012


This week marks the anniversaries of General Hospital and The Doctors (April 1, 1963), and As the World Turns and The Edge of Night (April 2, 1956).

To celebrate, I'm putting my multimedia tribute, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, on sale at 50% off on Amazon and in the hope that all soap fans will be able to experience this love letter to daytime from the actors, writers, producers, directors and fans who made it happen.

I will also spend the week offering excerpts from the book.

Today, we have a quote from Sam Ford, co-editor of The Survival of the Soap Opera, talking about how Luke and Noah's relationship changed not just the face of daytime, but fandom, as well:

Just as soap operas at their height drive discussion amongst characters throughout the canvas about "what's happening," the actions of characters drive soap opera fan discussion as well. As this story played out, fan communities that often did not talk about politically and morally charged issues found their discussion of Luke's story soon spilling over to conversations about larger issues surrounding homosexuality and the struggles of coming out in the U.S. While occasionally conversations grew a little contentious, many fan discussions presented a wide range of opinions, stories, lived experiences, and debates among fans with a wide spectrum of opinions. Meanwhile, "on the other side of town," new communities began to discover As the World Turns through the Luke Snyder coming out storyline, as online LGBTQ communities began discussing and debating the show, energizing an audience and a movement behind Luke's character that breathed new life and relevance into Oakdale (even if the show ultimately seemed to struggle with what to do with that "surplus audience," which was not the target 18-49 female audience advertisers were looking for).

Read more about Luke and Noah, Carly and Jack and the rest of your beloved Oakdale community in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced ebook!

"Everything looks fantastic!” Frankie kissed Cass and Felicia’s cheeks in turn as they surveyed the Bay City Country Club, completely taken over from ballroom to adjoining open air pool and patio deck, all decked out on the occasion of Felicia Gallant’s e-book release gala and fundraiser.

“This is going to be the party of the year,” Cass predicted. “People will be talking about what happened here for years to come. ”

His words proved prophetic. But, not in the way any of them expected.

First, there were guests to greet, and hands to shake, and air kisses to be exchanged. The guest list deliberately included a Who’s Who of Bay City, including, among others, the Mayor of Bay City, the current woman in his life – and the man he’d left for her. Cass and Felicia had sent out the invitations before Chase and Doug’s astounding implosion, and they were stunned both had still agreed to come, albeit making a point of keeping their distance from each other.

The man Chase beat for Mayor, Grant, was there, too. Along with his wife – the woman who’d nearly killed Felicia’s daughter. That invitation had been issued earlier, as well.

One person conspicuously not there, was the daughter in question (which was probably a good thing, considering Marley and Morgan’s attendance). Though Lorna and Jamie had been invited, they’d sent their regrets. At least Jamie had, scribbling a note explaining that Kirkland would be representing the family, as Charlie’s date. Lorna was apparently assuming radio silence.

Which was just as well, with Carl and Rachel on the premises. Although they arrived separately, Carl escorted by Elizabeth, and Rachel with Cory, as soon as they were in the same room, the couple quite obviously couldn’t keep away from each other.

Despite Amanda glowering at them from across the room, and Kevin trying to convince her to let it go – if only temporarily.

“Quite the turn out,” Cass told Felicia, needing to raise his voice to be heard above the music and the clinking of sterling silver forks against china plates.

She smiled and nodded, the picture of agreement and contentment. While a part of her continued surreptitiously watching the door. Until Lucas, looking admittedly dapper in a tuxedo, stepped through it.


Your invitation to Bay City's party of the year at: