Thursday, May 31, 2012


A reader on recently called my book, “Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition,” a “trashy summer read type of book.”

The fact that she gave it a one-star review suggests she considers that a bad thing.

Except I have a confession to make: I love trashy summer read type books.

And I don’t limit my love just to the summer, either.

There was a period in my life (i.e. most of the late 1990s) when I spent a disproportionate amount of time on airplanes. I was working for ABC Sports (and later TNT) as a researcher for their television figure-skating broadcasts. Which meant that, every other week or so, I was off to France or Russia or Japan, either to cover a competition or to shoot an Up-Close-and-Personal profile of a skating star.

Here’s the thing, though: I hate airplanes. I hate the way they look, I hate the way they smell, I hate the way the seats feel and the food tastes and the windows never open right (this does beg the question of why I chose to write my 1988 contemporary romance for AVON, “Annie’s Wild Ride,” about pilots, but that’s a topic for another time). I can’t sleep on airplanes and, back in the dark ages, kids, Walkman batteries didn’t last long enough for you to listen to music all the way across the Atlantic Ocean.

So that only left reading. The sole thing that could distract me from my overall misery while on an airplane, was reading.

But, not just any reading. It had to be a book compelling enough to keep my attention and make a 22 hour international flight feel like a local hop.

When people would ask me my goals as an author, I would tell them it was to write “airplane books.”

Books that make flying less traumatic for the reader. (Granted, that’s not quite up there with Bringing Peace to the Middle East, but I was starting small…)

And for me, the best kind of airplane book was a “trashy, summer read type.”

Read more of my guest blog for Manic Readers at:


Elizabeth lamented, “Lorna made it sound like it was your idea for me to go after Kevin.”

“Did you inform her that was most definitely not the case?” Carl’s face darkened.

“Of course, I did. Not that she listened. She just turned around and started in with this lame nonsense about how you don’t have to say what you want out loud. How we’re all supposed to just figure it out and run off to try and make you happy no matter what.”

“And who is this we that Lorna might have been referring to?”

“Me. And her. She said she loved you, Father. Well, I mean, a long time ago. But, she still said it, plain as day. And then, right after she said it, she tried to make me believe that we – her and I, I mean – were the same. She told me that if you thought I’d betrayed you, you’d turn on me same way you did on her. But, that’s ridiculous. For one thing because I’m your daughter, not some piece of trash you picked up on the street. And for another, I’d never, ever betray you like she did.”

“Except that you did betray me, Elizabeth,” Carl said slowly.


Carl both unsettles and reassures his daughter, while Felicia makes a startling request of Rachel.  Amanda's heckling of Grant fails to produce the results she was looking for, Allie doesn't hold back with Zeno, Steven makes a surprise confession to Jamie, and Lila questions her loyalties.

Help her make a decision and more at:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


When I was looking to get in touch with Kathryn Leigh Scott to interview for my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, I went through Big Finish Productions, the folks behind the Dark Shadows original books, CDs, and audio dramas.

Today, Big Finish announced:

Big Finish is pleased to announce details for six more tales of horror and intrigue as part of its popular Dark Shadows range. The new subscription package kicks off in July with Operation Victor.

The adventure, by Jonathan Morris, sees Quentin Collins (David Selby) finally leaving London in the 1940s. Kidnapped and taken to Germany by the British Secret Service, he finds himself up against sinister Nazi scientist Doctor Moloch (Terry Molloy). Accompanying Quentin is the enigmatic Sally Green (Fay Masterson).

Read the entire release at:

With the success of these officially sanctioned continuations, along with the original actors being involved, it made me wonder, would you buy and listen to All My Children, One Life to Live, As the World Turns and Guiding Light as audio dramas only?

Let me know in the Comments, below!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


This year, the Daytime Emmy Awards are scheduled to take place on my oldest son's birthday.

Thirteen years ago, I brought him home from the hospital on the day Another World aired it's last episode.  (I didn't see it for literally years, afterwards.  Though we did end up hiring a baby-sitter who was an AW fan.  When she learned what I did for a living, she asked me, "When is the show coming back?  I've been waiting.")

I worked the Daytime Emmys that year while in my third trimester (Beth Ehlers/Harley;GL had her son the night of the show, which is why I always remember that her little boy is a month older than mine).  I was sitting at Radio City Music Hall (or maybe it was the Theater at Madison Square Garden; honestly, they do blur after a while), talking to one of the show's writers, when the director, Louis J. Horovitz, walked up, plopped himself in the seat between us, elbowed me in the stomach (which, admittedly, was hard to miss at that point, but it's not like he tried) and told me, "Move!"

There are people who worked that show with me who still remember it!

Passions was cancelled while I was in the hospital having my daughter.  Having been out of touch for several days, I asked my husband, "Anything interesting happen in the world while I was gone?"

"Nope," he assured me.

When I learned the news about Passions, I had to give him a lecture on why a soap's cancellation - any soap's - was very big news, indeed.

Two years ago, As the World Turns filmed their last episode also on my son's birthday.  Prompting a friend to ask me, "Is the entire soap world connected to your uterus?"

As soon as I find out, I'll let you know.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Rachel informed Donna, "I’m talking about you, and what you did to my husband, and the daughter he never even got the chance to know.”

“And here I felt certain Carl and Jenna had plenty of time to get acquainted when he kidnapped her years ago. During Dean’s concert, remember?”

“Ancient history. And irrelevant.”

“Is that a fact? You do realize, Rachel, that had the truth about Jenna’s parentage come out then, there wouldn’t have been a person in town who would have blamed me for doing anything I had to, to protect Jenna from having a monster like that for a father.”

This time, Rachel’s silence came from a different place.

And Donna leapt on it unhesitatingly. “I didn’t keep Jenna from the Carl Hutchins you married. I kept her from the man who tried to destroy Mac, the one who stalked Amanda and nearly killed Frankie. The one who blinded you!”

“Maybe forty years ago, I’ll grant you that. But, when you had Jenna, Dean, and Felicia kidnapped, you knew Carl had changed.”

“No. All I knew was that you believed that to be the case.”


Rachel and Donna draw lines in the sand over their respective husbands, the Winthrops ponder the implications of their new lifestyle, Elizabeth deals with Cory, Steven locates Jen's biological father, Lorna and Jamie receive a priceless gift, and Kevin levels a horrifying accusation against Amanda!

Even a holiday weekend can't stop Another World Today:

Friday, May 25, 2012


Join me tonight at 7PM EST/4 PM PST as I dish Soaps' Greatest Moments on BuzzWorthy Radio at: in a show that also includes Y&R's Lauralee Bell (Christine)!

Among the Daytime Drama stand-outs that you picked to be featured in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced e-book was David Kimble's 1991 reign of terror, which culminated with Genoa City's phenomenal masquerade ball, featuring the "murder" of Christine, Danny and Nina.

Michael Corbett, who played David, told me, "The masquerade ball was a great, amazing thing.  We shot for so many hours, it was such a long process, there was a lot of downtime and long days, but the end product was really great.  It was really exciting because the storyline was fantastic. The whole cast was at the giant masquerade ball, it was a big event; long, long hours, but really beautiful and a lot of plotlines were woven together, as the Bells are so good at doing.  It was the big climax of a lot of storyline all in one place.  And it was visual and really beautiful."

Read more from Michael, as well as dozens of other actors, writers, and producers who created the scenes fans voted as their favorite of all time.  (Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.) 

Meanwhile, the book everyone is talking about is Shades of Grey.  I never read it.  I don't plan to read it.  But, why should that stop me from commenting on it for The Wall Street Journal's Smart Money blog?

By stripping romance and erotic novels books of their steamy covers, e-readers eliminated much of the embarrassment of toting them around, experts say. With e-books, no one can tell if you’re reading Faulkner of Fabio, says Alina Adams, an e-book consultant.”That’s allowed a lot more people to buy them without worry.” 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


All My Children and Guiding Light star Rebecca Budig grew up wanting to be a figure skater.  Her dream came true when she won Skating With the Stars, and continued as she hosted the 2012 fund-raiser, Spring Fling Celebrity Skate, for The Ice Theatre of New York.

Check her out below!

ITNY provided the video for the enhanced e-book re-release of my Figure Skating Mystery series (originally published by Berkley Prime Crime).

Each of the books below has all the text of the paperbacks, plus professional skating performances that help move the story along.

And, while we're at it, I'll tell you a little secret: I may have sold the books as murder mysteries, but, in my mind, I was writing soaps... on ice.

And the most recent, soapiest on of all!  Death Drop: Enhanced Multimedia Edition features an abandoned baby, a murdered mother, a whole slew of Daddy candidates, each of whom has a very good reason to want to keep their connection secret, even if he has to kill to do it!


"What do you think Lorna wants to talk to Elizabeth about?” Rachel paced outside the door of the study like an expectant father, while Jamie sat off to the side, a newly awake and cooing Devon on this lap.

“No idea.”

Rachel turned, pausing to smile with pleasure at the sight of her son and granddaughter, before asking, “Do you know what this all reminds me of?”

“Iris and Mac?” Jamie guessed, startling his mother with the accuracy of his deduction.

“How did you know?”

“It’s kind of obvious. You’ve been down this road before.”

Rachel said, “Do you know what Mac couldn’t stop asking after he found out that Iris was the one responsible for the hostile takeover of Cory, not to mention his being sent to jail? He asked me, “What kind of monster have I raised?” Can you imagine? I would have done anything to spare him that kind of pain. I even considered keeping what I knew about Iris to myself. For Mac’s sake. For the rest of my life, I’m going to wonder if learning the truth was one of the factors that hastened his death.”

“No, Mom,” Jamie said firmly. “Mac died of a heart-attack. That’s a medical fact.”

“As opposed to heartbreak?”


Rachel shrugged, indicating the details weren’t important. Not those details, anyway. “At least Iris was operating from love. Her twisted and warped version of it, but, love, just the same. She wanted to prove to Mac how much he needed her in his life. What Elizabeth did… What kind of monster have I raised, Jamie?”


Rachel frets about Elizabeth as Lorna offers her young sister-in-law a warning, and Carl attempts to school Cory on the realities of life.  Grant questions the wisdom of Marley seeing him with Sarah, while Matt questions Donna's newly penniless future.

Read all about it at:

And have a wonderful long weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I'm not going to lie.  I like good reviews better than bad ones (shocking, I know).  I cheer when a reviewer understands what I was going for, and grumble when they completely miss the point (though, as I used to say when I covered figure skating: If the judges are right when you win, they also have to be right when you lose.  I do my best to follow my own advice.  Sometimes I even succeed).

Naturally, I prefer a five star review like this one for Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga...

This book harkens back to the good old days of high end glamor and drama, the kind of books that Jackie Collins and Judith Krantz did at the height of big hair and big shoulder pads.... I recommend this to anyone who enjoys soaps, drama and romance.

To this one-star for When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition...

I bought this book based on the following attribute:  "What's an enhanced ebook? An enhanced ebook has added content from other media. In the case of this particular book, the added content happens to be music videos." Imagine my disappointment when I realized that the music videos are really just links to You Tube videos. I foolishly expected a video to be incorporated into the book not an outtake to the web.  Very disappointed. Can I return an ebook

My sorrow was softened somewhat by this update on May 19, 2012, for the same title...

James Elliot met Deb Brody in school and fell in love with her, but she was married. What to do? Become best friends, of course, and wait. This is the first Enhanced Multimedia Edition I've read. I like it and I recommend this charming story.

It's reviews like this one, for Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition, that confound me...

This book is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good. This book has a eh plot line but it was a great story.

The above received five stars.  The below received one star...

If you are into ice-skating and murder mystery, you might enjoy this book. Otherwise, it is more of a trashy summer read type of book

(Considering how happy I was about the Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga review, I don't think they'd be pleased to hear that I consider "a trashy summer read type of book" the highest of compliments!)

In any case, as you can see, I appreciate all my reviews.  And to demonstrate my gratitude, I am offering the following:

Write a review of either Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments or Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga on Amazon, B&N, Goodreads, your blog, etc... e-mail me the link to, and I will thank you with a free copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition (you know, the trashy summer read type of book)....

And while we're on the subject, who else thinks "trashy summer read" is a good thing? :)


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


With Crystal Chappell assuming her ground-breaking role on The Bold & the Beautiful, I am reminded of the interview I did with Jill Lorie Hurst, co-Headwriter of Guiding Light's "Otalia" love story, for my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, regarding how that couple came to be.

JLH: The tale of Natalia and Olivia was a classic, timeless love story. Two people are thrown together by circumstances beyond their control. They start out pretty much hating each other, but slowly start to depend on one another. They start to trust. A friendship develops. They laugh and cry together, protect and defend each other. As time goes by they realize – are shocked by – the fact that they have fallen in love. There are a million reasons for this love story not to have a happy ending but Natalia and Olivia overcome the obstacles and end up happily together at the end. It’s classic. The only twist was the fact that the two romantic leads were women, something that hadn’t yet been done on Guiding Light.

Read more from Jill, as well as All My Children's Eden Riegel on Bianca's coming out, and academic Sam Ford on As the World Turns' Luke and Noah, here.

Jill's entire interview can be found in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Got kids? Got a job? Got a life? Also got a burning need to write a novel?

Yeah. Me, too.

Got a problem? Yeah. Me, too.

In the two years prior to the birth of my oldest child, I’d published three romance novels, dozens of magazine articles, and a non-fiction book on figure skating, while working a full-time job. In the four years following the birth of my oldest child, I published one romance novel, one non-fiction book on figure skater Sarah Hughes, two soap opera tie-ins, and four mystery novels. By the time the third child came along, seven years after the first, I was down to one soap opera tie-in and one final, murder mystery.  And it was certainly no mystery to anyone why my output had dropped so precipitously.

It took a lot of trial and error (and crying over spilled breast-milk on a computer key-board) before I even began to figure out how to balance the mothering with the mystery, the toddler with the typing, and the wailing with the writing.

However, three kids in, I can honestly say that I’ve managed to work out a few “Working Mom Tricks For Writing a Novel in Your Free (!) Time,” which I am eager to share with those interested in forgoing trivial matters like eating, sleeping, and the facade of sanity all in order to indulge that elusive muse and squeeze a satisfying writing side-dish on to an already overflowing platter.

Read the entire guest-blog at:


“Donna thinks this is supposed to make up for her killing Jenna?” Felicia stared, dumb-struck, at the documents Frankie and Cass had shown her. “And John judged her well enough to leave Clareview? The woman is certifiable, you don’t need a medical license to see it!”

“Donna’s motives are irrelevant,” Cass noted.

“Blood money. That’s what this is. She’s given Lori Ann blood money.”

“She’s given Lori Ann enough money to make sure that whatever health challenges she has down the line, she will always be well taken care of.”

“We all would have seen to that, in any case.”

“That’s exactly what I said,” Frankie piped up.

“And besides, Lori Ann is fine.”

At this, Frankie didn’t side nearly as quickly with her daughter’s grandmother. Frankie and Cass exchanged looks. They hadn’t meant for the conversation to take this turn, but, since Felicia had brought up the subject….


Felicia weighs in on Donna's gift to Lori Ann, as does Marley, while Jeanne confronts her erstwhile husband.  Rachel forces Elizabeth to apologize to Jamie and Lorna, which only opens more old wounds, and Jen makes a confession to Steven.

All at:

Thursday, May 17, 2012


For name-geeks like me, one of the best days of the year is when the Social Security index releases its list of the previous year's most popular baby names.

That list came out yesterday, and the biggest story everyone is talking about (and by everyone, I mean other name-geeks) is how the boy's name, Mason, has made a huge jump, moving up from #12 in popularity to #2.

Casual observers attribute it to a Kardashian (don't ask me which one) tot's moniker.

But,'s Laura Wattenberg disagrees, writing:

My guess is that celebrity influence is overstated. Yes, having a little Mason on tabloid covers in every supermarket in the country makes a difference. But the critical spur to Mason's rise happened 25 years earlier, when the name first appeared in the soap opera "Santa Barbara." The national Mason rate rose ten-fold during the soap's run, and it's been climbing ever since.

Mason Capwell was initially played by Lane Davies (also GH's Cameron, DOOL's Evan, and as the oddest B&B fill in for Ridge, ever), followed by Terry Lester (Y&R's Jack and ATWT's Royce), and Gordon Thompson (Dynasty's Adam and that other SB, Sunset Beach's, AJ)).

When I interviewed Lane for my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, he had this to say about the show and the character that first put 'Mason' on the map:

I think what made Santa Barbara different was the irreverent sense of humor involved. We respected the nature of the work, but we had fun with it – a lot of fun.  I always felt that sort of set us apart from the rest of the pack at the time, and probably still does today. Mason, in particular, personified that irreverence.  

Read more from Lane, and a dozens of other actors, writers, producers and experts in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments enhanced e-book, available on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

And for more on soap opera names (Ox?  IQ?) click here, and here!


"I’m sorry,” Elizabeth snarled, making it clear the only regret she was currently feeling was towards being compelled to issue the apology in the first place.

“That’s it?” Amanda didn’t know whether to laugh or get indignant. “You tried to ruin my husband’s reputation and his livelihood, not to mention get him sent to prison for quite possibly the rest of his life, and you’re sorry?”

“I’m actually not,” Elizabeth clarified for those who hadn’t been paying ample attention.

“You’re hiding it beautifully.”

“Elizabeth!” Frankly, Rachel was frustrated by both of them, but Elizabeth was still ahead on that score. “Are you honestly telling me that – “

“I’m not you, Mom. I don’t feel obliged to apologize for looking out for my family – “

“That’s some piece of work you’ve got there, Mom,” Amanda observed.

“ – Or for not being the sainted Mac Cory’s daughter, either.”


Rachel gets an earful from both her daughters - and confronts her son about his new wife, while Dean gives Jeanne everything she - supposedly - ever wanted, Lila fully realizes what she's done, Sarah schools Allie, and Steven volunteers to take a potential risk.

Help Rachel make a major decision today at:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga just got its first reader review on Amazon, and, to my mind, it featured the highest of compliments:

This book harkens back to the good old days of high end glamor and drama, the kind of books that Jackie Collins and Judith Krantz did at the height of big hair and big shoulder pads.

To have my book compared to the heyday of the 80s (i.e. the stuff I cut my middle school teeth on) is a dream come true!

Read the complete review at:

And my offer to readers of this blog still stands:

Buy a copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga, send me a copy of your receipt at, and I will thank you with a copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition.

Write a review of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga on Amazon, GoodReads, your blog, etc... send me the link, and I'll say thank you again with On Thin Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition.

That's three books for the price of one!

Can't wait to hear from you!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


To continue the theme of last Friday....

I suspect my desire for seeing the story continue comes from thirty years of watching soaps.  And almost twenty years of working in them.  I started at ABC Daytime, then moved over to As the World Turns and Guiding Light.  I produced the official websites and wrote tie-in novels like “Oakdale Confidential,” “The Man From Oakdale,” and “Jonathan’s Story” (with Julia London). 

And I dealt with the fans.  On Message Boards, through e-mail, at Fan Club Events.  And here is what I learned: Fans have very strong opinions about what they want to happen next with their favorite characters.  And their ideas aren’t bad.  (Also, their ideas are wildly divergent.  For everyone who loves A with B, there’s someone who loves A with C.  Not to be confused with those who love C with B.  Or those who think all three are getting way too much airtime over D, E and F.)

In 2009, while still at P&G Productions, I developed a property called, a twice-weekly serial where, at the end, the readers got to vote on what they wanted to see happen next.

It was a fascinating process to watch.  Not only was there no such thing as a landslide win for any poll, but some would literally flip-flop for days between 49% percent pro and 51% con, and vice versa.  (Seriously the 2000 presidential election was less contested.)

Monday, May 14, 2012


In 1998, when I was twenty-eight years old, as my fourth published romance novel, I wrote “When a Man Loves a Woman” for DELL, featuring a heroine and hero who were both in their early 40s.

In 2011, when I was 41 years old, I got the rights back to my book and re-issued it electronically as “When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition.”  This required, among other things, re-reading a story I hadn’t given all that much thought to in over a decade.

And here’s what I realized: My 40 year olds… sounded like 28 year olds.

They were just a little too clever, a little too snarky, a little too… young.  And they weren’t nearly tired enough.  (My husband asked, “Do they have kids?”  “No.”  “Well, there you go, then…”)

With all due respect to my husband, I think it was more than that.

The fact is, I was a very mature 28 year old.  Serious, ambitious, responsible, downright dismal, at times (those who knew me then, feel free to concur, below).  But, it still wasn’t enough.  No matter how mature you are as a 28 year old, you have no idea what life is like as a 40 year old.  At best, you’re making a close enough to fake it guess.  At worst, you miss the mark completely.

Read my entire guest blog at:


“Is it safe to approach,” Felicia wondered, having arrived at the playground with Lori Ann to discover that the only free swing available happened to be next to Devon… and Lorna. “Or are you going to accuse me of planning something nefarious?”

Lorna turned her head slowly, as if she’d managed to drift a million miles away while rhythmically pushing her daughter back and forth, taking a moment to register who was speaking to her and what Felicia had said.

Lorna shrugged and took a step to the side, making it easier for Felicia to plop Lori Ann in the swing beside Devon. Lorna smiled at Lori Ann, and told her own baby, “Look who’s here, Devon. It’s your cousin.”

“And your grandmother,” Felicia reminded archly. She stretched a perfectly manicured hand forward and grasped Devon’s chubby palm. “How do you do, Miss Frame? I’m Felicia Gallant. Don’t worry if you don’t remember me. It’s been far too long.”

Lorna rolled her eyes. “You’ve made your point.”

“She speaks!” Felicia observed dramatically. “To what do I owe the honor?”

For a moment, Lorna looked as if she actually might answer, but then she merely shook her head and turned away, mumbling, “Forget about it.”


For Mother's Day, Felicia sees a chance to help Lorna, while Rachel desperately tries to get through to Elizabeth - despite Carl's interference.  Marley puts Sarah on the spot, Donna explains herself to Matt, Lucas questions Alice, and Cass and Frankie ponder turning their lives upside down.

All at:

Friday, May 11, 2012


I guest blog today at:

In addition to writing romance novels for Avon and Dell, and figure skating mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, I spent many years working for TV soaps, first at ABC Daytime, then at Procter & Gamble’s As the World Turns and Guiding Light.

And, if there is one thing I learned from working in soaps, it’s that everyone has an opinion about storylines, heroes, heroines, villains, paternity puzzles, and who belongs with whom Happily Ever After.  (I also learned that consensus is an impossibility and nothing is loved by everyone all of the time.  Viva le difference!)
Read the rest of the blog, here.

And, if you really want to see evidence of the above in action, check out the Soap Opera 451 Message Board in response to the latest episode of AWT.

Here are two comments from two different readers:

1) Matt and Donna......all is right in Another World. Thank you Ms. Alina. Again.......DONNA AND MATT...

2) Ugh, Matt and the viper can go jump into the bay. Now. Today. Just. Go. Away! Matt will NEVER be interesting if he has to deal with that albatross around his neck. Please, Alina and Nicole, FREE MATT!

What's a writer to do, LOL?

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Donna patted Matt's shoulder reassuringly. “We’ll disentangle you from that Ewing parasite once and for all, and then you and I can spend the rest of our lives together, the way it should have been all along.”

“Does Jeanne know? About us, I mean?”

“What concern is that of yours?”

“I owe her an explanation.”

“You owe her nothing save a sharp punt to the posterior region and a brisk introduction to the sidewalk.”

“Was that your way of telling me I need to kick Jeanne's ass to the curb?”

“Don’t be vulgar, Matthew. But… yes.”

He smiled. “You really are something else.”


Donna takes drastic action to prove her devotion to Matt, Rachel confronts Carl with evidence of Elizabeth's deception, Grant and Marley take a realistic look at their relationship, GQ challenges Kevin's plan for Jen, and Cass and Frankie get an offer they don't know whether or not to refuse.

Make up their minds for them at:

Wednesday, May 09, 2012


In 2005, while working for Procter & Gamble Production and their two soap operas, As the World Turns and Guiding Light, I pitched the idea of writing a tie-in novel that would be sold on the show – and in real life.

"Oakdale Confidential" was published in conjunction with ATWT’s 50th Anniversary in April of 2006.  And debuted at #3 on “The New York Times” best-seller list.

That, surely, was the luckiest thing that ever happened to me… so far.

Because, while luck is an awesome, wonderful, terrific thing, I can’t just sit around waiting for it to strike again.  (Especially in case I’ve already used up my designated lifetime quota.)

Read more about my soapy good luck at:

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


As far as I’m concerned, Rhett Butler comes back to Scarlett O’Hara (the movie makes it even clearer than the book. Did you see how foggy it was; where was he going to go?)

Also, Romeo & Juliet are just napping, The English Patient is a little more prompt, the second Mrs. de Winter is not doomed to spend the rest of her days with a wife-killer. Oh, and Dr. Zhivago manages to stop communism.

Yes. I’m that reader. The one who, when she doesn’t like how a story ends, rewrites it in her head.

But, I suspect I’m not the only one.

In addition to publishing Regency and contemporary romance novels with AVON and Dell, as well as figure skating mysteries with Berkley Prime Crime, I also spent over a decade working for soap operas, first at ABC Daytime, and then at Procter & Gamble Productions’ As the World Turns and Guiding Light, where I wrote the tie-in novels Oakdale Confidential, The Man From Oakdale, and co-wrote Jonathan’s Story with Julia London.

And if there is one thing I learned from working for a serial drama, it’s that all fans have an idea of how they want to see their story go (and it is their story). And that they get very frustrated when they believe their voices aren’t being heard.

Read more at:

Monday, May 07, 2012


If there is one thing I've learned from watching soaps, and from writing soap books and romance novels, it's that there is absolutely a perfect man out there for you. 

It's only a matter of finding him, meeting him cute, snarking a little, getting through a few years of near misses and misunderstandings, overlooking his previously unmentioned dead wife (who isn't really dead), illegitimate child (who might not be his), and evil twin (who, or rare occasions, actually turns out to be preferable to the original), plus a picturesque adventure or two fighting the local mob boss, and then it's splashy wedding and smooth sailing!

But where, I can hear you asking, do I find this perfect man, and how can I insure that we'll live happily ever after?

The answer, I am happy to report, is in this guest blog I've written for romance and urban fantasy writer, Nadia Lee.

Click on the link, read, and leave a comment.  Who knows, your entire romantic future may depend on it!


“Is Matt going to be okay, Grandma?” Steven, with Cory hovering nervously beside him, greeted Rachel as she came home, obviously wiped, both emotionally and physically.

She smiled weakly at them both, kissing first Steven, then Cory as she reported, “Fine. Matt is going to be just fine.”

“That’s good,” Cory said.

“Yes, wonderful news. We were very fortunate.” Rachel smiled at Steven. “Good to see you, darling. It’s been such a long time. What brings you by?”

Her grandson and her son exchanged looks. Steven said, “Cor wanted me to take a look at his computer, check some stuff out.”

“Everything alright?” Rachel asked distantly, really just going through the motions at this point.

Another nervous look between Steven and Kirkland, this time a little too fraught for even Rachel to miss.

“What’s going on, boys?” she wanted to know.


Rachel grapples with Donna, Alice, Steven and Cory, all in the space of a single afternoon (Rachel is not having a good day).  Kirkland confesses a fear to Jamie, Kevin and GQ butt heads over Jen's treatment, and Charlie manages to offend Zeno while asking for a favor.

Join the fray at:

Friday, May 04, 2012


Happy Anniversary to Another World, and to Another World Today, which I initially developed in 2009 as an officially-sanctioned on-line continuation of the beloved NBC soap (read Michael Logan's TV Guide article about it, here; bottom of the page.)

And now for another blast from the past.  Yesterday, I posted Part One of Pure Soap's anniversary show, covering the daytime drama world in 1994.

Today, I'm putting up Part Two, featuring, among other things, both our funniest moments and our overview of daytime's social issues, In Memorium and some of the year's hottest pairings.


At the beginning of last month, I held a special sale of my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, in honor of As the World Turns, General Hospital's, The Edge of Night, and The Doctors' anniversaries.

So as to not leave out Another World, this week's promotion in its honor is, buy a copy of Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments on either Amazon or, send me a copy of your receipt at, and I'll say thank you with a free copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga, my original, romantic serial in which you get to decide what happens next!

Thursday, May 03, 2012


From February to December of 1994, first as an Associate Producer, then as a Writer, I worked for E!'s Pure Soap, a half-hour daily talk show dedicated to the world of Daytime Drama.

Back then, there were ten shows on the air - All My Children, Another World, As the World Turns, Bold & Beautiful, Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, Guiding Light, Loving, One Life to Live and Young & Restless.

In 1994, if it happened in daytime, it was covered on Pure Soap.  When the show hit its one year anniversary, we did a round-up episode, featuring everyone from Maurice Benard to Robert Kelker-Kelly to Eileen Davidson to Anna Lee (plus a Greg Kinnear cameo)!

Shelley Taylor-Morgan, the show's host (and one-time GH and DOOL star), just put the first half of that show up on-line.

Watch below and see how many soap stars you can spot!


“I’m Matthew’s wife,” Donna coolly informed Rachel, attempting to turn her back on Matt’s mother and make the call that would free him from this veterinary hospital (her former position on the board be damned) and enlist a trained cardiologist to take over.

“Give it a rest, Donna.” Rachel reminded, “You’ve tried this bluff once before.”

“It wasn’t a bluff then, it isn’t a bluff now.” Donna held up a single finger, bidding Rachel to keep quiet while Donna left her message for the Chief of Medicine at Johns Hopkins. Hanging up, she turned back to the older woman, reaching for her purse, fishing about inside, and withdrawing a sheet of paper folded into thirds and embossed with the Bay City official seal. “The only difference is, this time, I thought ahead to bring a visual aid for my presentation.”

Rachel opened it gingerly, afraid of what she would find, yet already half-resolved to its veracity. “You and Matt… got married?”

“Re-married,” Donna qualified. “This summer. See the date, there?”


Donna continues to shock Rachel, Lila finds herself in the middle of two uncomfortable situations, Allie gets a surprise invitation, Kirkland and Michele reach out to different adults in an attempt to make sense of their family tree, Grant rationalizes as fast as he can, and Cory leads Steven to a disturbing discovery.

Everything is blown wide open at:

Wednesday, May 02, 2012


When I was soliciting nominations regarding soaps' best scenes for my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest, one of the scenes that came up repeatedly was All My Children's Brooke learning about the death of her and Tom's daughter, Laura.

Actress Julia Barr won the Daytime Emmy for supporting actress that year, and she talked to us about what it was like to shoot those episodes.

Julia Barr (Brooke): We were told about the upcoming storyline, regarding the death of Brooke and Tom's daughter by a drunk driver, about three weeks before we received the actual script.  It was a storyline that would heavily involve Richard Shoberg, David Canary, and myself.  When we heard what the writers were planning, we were all shocked and very surprised. However, we knew that this storyline would have a powerful impact on Brooke and Tom's relationship (they were estranged at the time), and also on the future relationship of Brooke and Adam.  We all had children under five at the time, and we understood as actors and parents that it would require a lot from both an acting standpoint and an emotional one.  It would also have tremendous social impact because AMC would be involving Mothers Against Drunk Drivers ( as spokespeople.

When I received the actual script for Laura's death, I remember thinking how beautifully sensitive it was.  It made me cry.  It affected all of us.  But we knew that we would be there for each other when the time came to do the scene.

Chris Goutman was the director the day we were to shoot the scene.  He was wonderful and very sensitive to our needs in preparing ourselves. We basically only rehearsed the staging of the scene, which Chris kept very simple and allowed us to do whatever we needed to do, movement-wise, for the emotion of the scene. 

And then it was time to tape...

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

Write a review of the book, send me the link at, and I will thank you with a free copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


When I decided to convert my Figure Skating Mystery series, including Murder on Ice, On Thin Ice, Axel of Evil, Death Drop and Skate Crime, into enhanced e0books, I turned to The Ice Theatre of New York.

Not only is their video library a perfect match for my stories (they even had an interracial couple performing a routine together!  Do you know what the odds of finding a white man skating with a black woman, in order to fit my pre-written characters, are?  As Mr. Spock would say, they're pretty astronomical!) --

 -- But, in addition, there is also a skating/soap connection there.

Rebecca Budig (All My Children; Guiding Light) is headlining ITNY's upcoming benefit on Thursday, May 17.

Check out the details, below!

Ice Theatre of New York (ITNY), the nation's premier ice dance ensemble presents Celebrity Skate 2012, a benefit to raise money to cover the costs of rehearsing our company for the 2012/2013 season. The evening is co-chaired by Lori Berlin, Rebecca Budig and Christina Elwell and hosted by Ms. Budig and Ice Theatre Artistic Director, Douglas Webster.

Please join us for a glamorous evening of skating, cocktails and light bites. In a celebration of figure skating and the popular format of the reality TV hit, Dancing with the Stars, celebrities Nobel Laureate Robert Engle, NY1 news anchor Pat Kiernan, fashion designer Nicole Miller, partner Ice Theatre professionals for a fun and exciting Skate-Off. The event, judged by Olympic Champion Dick Button, ITNY Founder & Director Moira North, and award-winning dance choreographer and founder of Parsons Dance, David Parsons, will be interspersed with performances by Ice Theatre of New York, All My Children star Rebecca Budig and celebrity guest artists. Following the Skate-Off, join the company, celebrities and guests for a fabulous social evening on the Terrace for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Participants subject to change.

Date: Thursday, May 17 @ 7 p.m.

Venue: Sky Rink & Sunset Terrace, both on Pier 61 Chelsea Piers

Admission: Performance & Cocktail: $150-$1,000/Performance-only tickets:$45 /Junior Supporter Performance-only (25yrs and under): $25

To purchase tickets:

For More Information: ITNY at (212) 929-5811