Monday, July 30, 2012


n “Do Kids Raised By Nannies Really Turn Out Okay?” Renee Septimus asked the question: 

Yet again we read a piece from the points of view of the mothers and the nannies. What always seems to be missing in these articles is the point of view of the children, arguably the most important actors in this story. The grown–up children, I mean–people who were raised with nannies, who by now have some perspective on the experience. Wouldn’t it be interesting and important to hear from them?

I confess, I did not have a nanny growing up. I was, however, from the age of 7 on, a latch-key kid (though I did not wear said key on a latch around my neck. It was hidden under a flower pot. Deviously clever, no?).

Every day, after my car pool dropped me off after school, I would go into our apartment house’s backyard, fish out the key, take it upstairs, and open the door. I would then call my dad at work to let him know that I’d arrived safely. My mother usually left me something to eat that didn’t require cooking, like a sandwich. But, if the situation called for turning on the stove, say to make hot dogs–a special treat–I would do so and then call my father again, to inform him that I hadn’t burned the house down.

After that, I had several hours on my own to finish my homework, read, watch TV, whatever.

In the summertime, if arrangements hadn’t been made for camp or some other activity, the couple of hours in the afternoon turned into all day.

And, what can I say? I loved it.

I ate what I wanted, how I wanted, i.e. not in the kitchen, but on the floor in the living room in front of the TV.

I did my homework when I wanted, where I wanted, i.e. not on the desk in my room, but on the floor in the living room in front of the TV.

To summarize: I watched a lot of TV. I started out with Lost In Space in the mornings, moved into a block of sitcom reruns–The Monkees, The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Gomer Pyle, then switched the channel to ABC’s soap opera line-up, All My Children, One Life to Live, General Hospital, followed by a chaser of The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family, then onto game shows.

I had very eclectic interests as a child.

Read my entire confession, and what it lead to, at:


“Thank you for filling us in,” Grant clamped a hand on Kirkland's shoulder.  “We appreciate it.”

“Yeah.  No problem.  I figured you’d want to know.  I mean, you and Lorna… and Marley and Dad….”

Grant smiled weakly, indicating he was familiar with the vaguely perverse twists and turns of Kirkland’s family tree.  “You know, son, if it ever gets too much for you, at Jamie’s place.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed or… overlooked, you know you can always crash here.  Your room is – “

“For God’s sake, Grant,” Marley sounded even more pissed off than before.  “Would you give it a rest?  Do you really think now is a good time to try and steal Jamie’s son from him?  Again?  You don’t think Jamie deserves a break?  Under the circumstances?”

“I’m sorry,” Grant hissed.  “I’m sorry that my first priority is my son and his well-being.  Which quite obviously isn’t the case with you.”


Rachel and Jamie attempt to heal their fractured relationships, even as cracks continue to show in Grant and Marley's.  Frankie and Cass prepare to dive back into their former lives, Matt gets another shock he doesn't need, Allie expresses unexpected sympathy, and Lila swears she'll do anything to make matters up to Rachel.

What Rachel asks her to do, however, is up to you.  Make your voice heard at:

Friday, July 27, 2012


When news broke yesterday of Jill Farren Phelps being named Executive Producer of The Young & the Restless (following controversial stints on Guiding Light, Another World, One Life to Live and General Hospital), fans and press were quick to let their opinions be known on Facebook, Twitter, etc....

My thoughts, though, turned to one actor's perspective of working with Ms. Phelps.  See what Tina Sloan (Lillian, GL) had to say about her former boss and the revolutionary storyline they brought to television in 1992:

I was called into my producer’s office and asked if I wanted to do a breast cancer storyline.  This was the first time it was done.  Of course, my first question was, “Will I make it?"  I remember thinking that, in real life, I would ask that question if a doctor told me I had breast cancer.  But, in real life, he could not say as my producer, Jill Farren Phelps, did, “Yes, you will survive.”  One of our producers, Kathy Chambers, had recently died of breast cancer – far too young, in her early 30s – and we wanted to do this to alert women to self-examination and mammograms. 

As a nurse, Lillian was the character who would do a self-exam, so my character came out from the shower one evening, did a self-exam and discovered the lump. 

Terrified, Lillian went to her doctor at the hospital.  She examined her and said, “Yes, there is something there.”  She gave Lillian a mammogram; the first time ever on TV – we showed women what it was like.

Read more from Tina, as well as GL's Jill Lorie Hurst (writer of the ground-breaking Otalia story), and many more of the actors, writers and producers who created the moments you voted best of all time in Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Moments, available on Amazon and B&N.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


July is almost over!  Don't miss out on our Buy One, Get One Free sale, exclusive to readers of this blog!

Only this month: 

* Buy a copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) and get a copy of When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition FREE!

* Buy a copy of Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments and get a copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) FREE!

* Buy a copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition and get a copy of On Thin Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition FREE!

* Buy a copy of The Worldwide Dessert Contest: Enhanced Multimedia Edition and get a copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition FREE!

Just email me your proof of purchase at!


“Cory knew that Elizabeth was lying, but he didn’t say anything," Michele reminded.

“Actually,” Marley corrected.  “Cory went to Steven, who found the proof that Elizabeth had made her story up.”

“But, what if Steven didn’t find it?  Or what if the police hadn’t believed it?  Elizabeth would have gotten away with everything.  She’d have told her lie, and everybody would think it was true.  Forever.  Like, a hundred years later, it would still be a fact.  And by then, there’d be no way to tell what really happened.”

Enough was enough, as far as Marley was concerned.  “Most charges of rape, Michele, are not lies.  Some are, of course, but, overall, it’s much more likely that a woman won’t be believed, than that the man is innocent.”

“But, it can happen, can’t it?”

“Yes.”  Grant took the hypothetical a step further, grounding it in reality.  “But, that was not the case with your Aunt Marley and your father.”


Carl's actions continue to resonate throughout Bay City, as Marley and Grant break the news to Michele and Bridget, Lila fills in Jasmine, Matt presses Donna, Charlie resists Cass and Frankie, Felicia makes a life-changing offer, and Rachel reaches out to Jamie with a stunning request.

Life doesn't get any easier at:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I talk:

* Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments
* Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga
* Figure Skating Mystery novels with professional skating videos included as part of the text
* The Worldwide Dessert Contest: A children's fantasy novel with its own original musical score
* When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition
* Readers telling writers where the story should go next
* And more!

With Deborah Carney over at:

Hear to the entire radio interview on her site, or download to listen at your convenience.

This talk isn't just cheap - it's free!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Here is the thing about junkies (romance, that is).

We always want more (romance, that is.)

After spending hundreds of pages struggling along with the hero and heroine, a simple Happily Ever After isn’t going to cut it for me.  I want to know what happens next.

If I was there for the tears and misunderstandings and angst of the courtship, I want to be there for the good times, and the honeymoon, and beyond.  (It’s the least they owe me, don’t you think?)

Maybe it’s because, in addition to writing romance novels for AVON and Dell, and figure skating murder mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, I also spent close to twenty years working for TV soap operas.  First for ABC Daytime, then Procter & Gamble’s “As the World Turns” and “Guiding Light.”  I got into the habit of sticking with “my” couple through thick and thin, be it a long-lost evil twin, a newly discovered child, or an inconvenient case of amnesia.

Read the entire piece at:

Monday, July 23, 2012


Book'd Out reviews the Enhanced Multimedia Edition of When a Man Loves a Woman by Alina Adams:

When A Man Loves A Woman is a character driven novel about the complicated relationship between Dr James Elliot and Dr Deborah Brody.

Best friends since med school, the pair have been always close but the relationship has remained strictly platonic for more than twenty years because Deborah was already married. When Max dies suddenly, Elliot is the one Deborah turns to for comfort but their repressed desire spirals out of control and they make love the night of Max’s funeral. In the aftermath, Deborah feels horribly guilty at betraying her husband’s memory while Elliot is devastated the love of his life views their night together as a mistake and a wedge is driven between them. With their friendship in tatters, Elliot and Deborah risk losing one another forever.

When A Man Loves A Woman is all about emotion – friendship, grief, love, trust, betrayal and desire. The relationship between Elliot and Deborah is messy and complicated like many real life relationships and I think the author does a fine job of exploring the emotions and issues in such tangled circumstances....

Interestingly, When A Man Loves A Woman is an enhanced e-book, each chapter title links to a song that encapsulates the emotions of the characters or general mood of the chapter. I can’t read the title of this novel without singing it in the tune of the song sung by Michael Bolton (originally by Percy Sledge) and I do quite like the concept, many authors publish playlists of songs that inspired them during the writing process and this is a clever extension of that idea. Just a note though, I read this ebook on my Kindle Touch and had trouble getting some of the clips to play but I was familiar with most of the songs so it wasn’t a major issue.

The strength of When A Man Loves A Woman likes in its heartfelt emotion. I would recommend it to true romantics as there is nothing to distract from the emotional journey of its protagonists towards a loving relationship.

Read the entire review (and enter to win a free copy!) at:


Felicia allowed herself a moment to absorb Jamie’s words.  And then she turned on Rachel with a vengeance, reminding, “You promised you’d keep him from hurting her!”

“You talked to Mom about Carl and Lorna?” Jamie asked in surprise.

Felicia nodded.  “After Carl threatened Lorna, I had to.”

“You only have Lorna’s word for that!” Rachel interrupted. 

“Lorna told you Carl had threatened her?” Jamie couldn’t believe his ears.

“Yes.  She was terrified.  I – I’m not used to seeing Lorna terrified.  She told me he came to the house, he accused Lorna of using you to break up him and Rachel.”

“Did you know that, Jamie?” Rachel challenged.  “Did Lorna fill you in about that?”

“No,” he admitted.

Which was all the leeway Rachel needed.  “Another lie, then.  What did I tell you, Jamie?  She lied to you, again.”


Felicia hears from both Rachel and Jamie regarding Lorna's fate, and gets a shock from Lucas.  Sarah offers a suggestion for Grant's frazzled state of mind, Cass explains himself to Frankie, and Lila comes to a horrifying realization.

News travels fast in Bay City - and bad news even faster:

Friday, July 20, 2012


Sarah Singer made a list of 50 Books Even Sexier Than 50 Shades of Gray: And Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga made the list!

Up until middle school, the closest I had ever gotten toward reading about sex was Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. But while I loved Judy Blume’s coming of age story, without the aforementioned words “throbbing,” “pulsating,” and “quivering,” it left me a little dry.  

And so, when I found a (very) well-worn copy of Flowers in the Attic behind the bleachers at Marvista Park, the scene where Chris and Cathy are thrashing together on the mat in the attic made me “quiver.” I felt my loins start to “pulsate.” There was a “throbbing,” ache deep deep deep in my… you get the idea. It wasn’t just the sex. It was the twisted taboo that tethered the erotic moments to the narrative. (Sorry. Comp Lit Nerd Alert.) Anyway. Suffice it to say, by the end of 8th grade, my copy of Flowers in the Attic had been read so often the pages were kind of moldy.

In high school, I got off on Candide. By Voltaire. And no, not the torture scene (although after reading 50 Shades, maybe I should revisit that). But there’s this one part in the beginning where Pangloss is hooking up with the chamber maid, and… you know what? Just download it. Read it now, thank me later.

In college, James Patterson did it for me. Set against a backdrop of suspicion and intrigue, Detective Alex Cross would have a star-crossed roll in the hay. Until it turned out that his lover was the next victim. Or the killer.

So 50 Shades just pales in comparison.

I guess it’s because I like books where the erotic elements shock you–I like books that are greater than the sum of their sex scenes. I like when there’s a narrative arc that matters–whether it’s coming of age, or escaping captivity, or trying to catch a killer who ends up seducing you, I am sucked into the plot. And the sex scenes in these books come almost out of nowhere. They take you from behind. You’re wanting it–hell, you’re practically aching for it–but you don’t know when it’s coming for you.

It’s a great escape.

Read the entire thing at:

Thursday, July 19, 2012


“Were they the only ones on the plane?”

The incongruity of Jamie's question gave Rachel enough of an adrenalin blast that she actually managed to pull herself together, setting down the water glass, asking, “What do you mean?”

“Was there anyone else on the plane besides Carl, Elizabeth and Cory?”

“Well, yes, there was.”


“Some employees. I didn’t recognize the names.”

“What about Lorna, Mom?”

Rachel looked at Jamie as if he’d lost his mind. “Why would Lorna – “

“Because my wife is missing. And I think your husband got her.”


Jamie stuns Rachel, who shocks him with her response.  Charlie confronts Zeno, and, as news of Carl's death spreads, Cass and Frankie, as well as Grant and Marley are surprised by their own reactions.

The shock reverberates throughout Bay City at:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


With massive chunks of the US currently sweltering through a heat wave (what can you do, it is the summer time), a cool spell sounds pretty delicious right about now - even if it does come courtesy of an evil villain's weather machine.

Thirty-one years ago, General Hospital gave soap viewers exactly that with their rip-roaring Ice Princess storyline.

Edward's beloved niece, Alex, was in love with Tony Cassadine, brother of Victor (a pre-DOOL Thaao Penghlis) and Mikos - who kind of wanted to take over the world (the fact that he was played by John Colicos, the original Balthar of the original Battlestar: Gallactica made it clear he wasn't kidding).

Luke and Laura got dragged into the fight via a mysterious World Security Agent named Robert Scorpio (Executive Producer Gloria Monty originally wanted to a South African actor for the part, since the plot involved a huge synthetic diamond, but misspoke and told her Casting Director, "Australian."  Which is how Tristan Rogers got involved), and his plucky side-kick/surrogate mom, O'Reilley, played by Witchy-Poo herself, Billie Hayes.

I was 11 years old when this storyline aired.  O'Reilley was my first soap opera death.  I didn't realize characters could die on soaps (well, not ones I loved, anyway).  I thought the whole point was that they went on forever.  That's what I loved about them.  I sobbed like crazy.

If you would like to do the same, as well as either relive those glory days of soaps, or watch them for the first time and get cooled off a little, most of the story is up on YouTube, beginning with Part #1, below:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Click here for Part #1

Click here for Part #2 

Click here for Part #3

My final set of personal pictures from behind the scenes of As the World Turns 50th Anniversary Photo Shoot....

This grouping was for Oakdale Confidential, the ATWT novel I wrote (along with Katie, LOL) that came out in conjunction with the milestone date:


Monday, July 16, 2012


The Young & the Restless' grand dame, Jeanne Cooper, has a new book out.  Click the link below to learn more:

The big headline last week was her confession of having had an affair with the actor who played Kay's son, Brock.

But, Cooper is no stranger to making headlines.

In my own book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, Another World star Linda Dano had this to say about Cooper's on-air facelift of twenty years past:

When Jeanne Cooper did her facelift, we saw the whole going to the doctor and then having her bandages removed on national television.  Who’d ever done that?  Not even the doctor shows do that!  I think it shows, it explains it, it takes the mystery away.  You’ve now seen it.  If viewers think about having their face done they can go, “Oh, it wasn’t so bad.  Kay had hers.  Maybe I could do it.

Also available, a biography of Y&R creator, Bill Bell:


Chase reached for the phone, which she passed him without a struggle, almost as if Rachel believed handing it over might negate the message it’d brought, as well.

“This is Mayor Hamilton,” Chase barked. “Who is this?”

“Bay City Air Traffic Control,” came the response.

“What’s this about?”

“We – We regret to inform Mrs. Hutchins that her husband’s plane appears to have gone down over the Atlantic Ocean.”

Chase looked at Rachel in horror, she stared back at him, pleading with Chase to somehow make it untrue.

He grasped at the one straw he could think of. “Mr. Hutchins’ plane? Do you have any evidence that Mr. Hutchins’ was actually on it?”

Rachel’s eyes lit up gratefully at the possibility.


Rachel struggles to get to the bottom of Carl, Cory and Elizabeth's disappearance, while Jamie does the same with Lorna's.  Matt tries a new approach with Donna, as does Steven with Jen.  And you know how on soaps sometimes it takes characters forever to make an obvious connection?  You get to help the process along.

Only today only on:

Friday, July 13, 2012


By the time we die, we will spend more time in imaginary worlds (novels, TV shows, dreams,  fantasies, make-believe) than anywhere else. The human addiction to story is one of the great unsolved mysteries of evolutionary biology. But recent research points the way to a solution.... 

Why do most of us spend (waste?) hours per day absorbed in the fake dilemmas of fake people when we could be doing practical things like wooing mates or working for a promotion? The answer may seem obvious: fiction gives us joy. But it isn’t obvious that fiction should give us joy, at least not in the way it’s biologically obvious that eating or sex should give us joy.  It is the joy of story that needs explaining.

The mystery of fiction comes to this: Evolution is ruthlessly utilitarian.  How has the time-gobbling luxury of fiction not been eliminated? In short, no one knows for sure.  But researchers are converging on a possible solution: the answer may lie in the intensely troubled nature of fiction.

The University of Toronto psychologist Keith Oatley argues that stories are the flight simulators of human life. Fiction projects us into intense simulations of problems that parallel what we face in reality. And like a flight simulator, the main virtue of fiction is that we have a rich experience and don’t die at the end. We get to simulate what it would be like to confront a dangerous man or seduce someone’s spouse, for instance, and the hero of the story dies in our stead.  In support of the “simulator” model, Oatley’s studies show that the more fiction we consume, the higher we score on tests of empathy and social ability. In other words, working through fictional social dilemmas seems to equip us to deal with the real thing. 

Read the entire article, from the World Science Festival Newsletter, here.

And for a contrary view, my article on why I wish my kid would read less and actually do more i.e. real experience versus fictional, at

Thursday, July 12, 2012


There's a brand new idea in publishing!

Apparently, according to Dear Author, stories can be told in serial form!  I know!  What a wacky, innovative, and new idea!  (In all seriousness, Dear Author mentions that Dickens started out writing serials, so they know the score.)

It's other authors who believe they've stumbled upon a completely unique form of storytelling.

An editor from explains:

“The Human Division will be an experiment: an episodic novel, released initially in digitial, serialized form. Currently the plan is to publish these episodes weekly in, roughly, December 2012 through February 2013. Like the episodes of a good high-end cable drama, each one will have enough internal integrity to work as an enjoyable chunk of story on its own, but each will advance a “season”-long storyline as well.

Yup.  High-end cable drama.  That is the ONLY genre of television that has ever told stories in serialized form Can't think of any other ones....
Obviously, I'm being a tiny bit (okay, a lot) sarcastic.  And obviously, I have a dog in the hunt.  My novel, "Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One)" is a romantic series.  One in which the readers actually have a chance to vote on where the story will go next.

Based on the comments Dear Author received, readers aren't interested in series.  They assert that they hate cliff-hangers and waiting to find out how the story ends.

I suspect these readers are not soap fans.  So I put the question to you: How do you feel about serials in book form?

Let me know in the Comments below!


“I hope you’re pleased with yourself, Mr. Hamilton," Rachel snapped.

“I usually am, as a rule.”

“You’re a disgrace.”

“Feel free to make your displeasure clear at the polls come Election Day,” he smiled pleasantly and continued to do so for the next ten minutes, whereupon the uniformed men returned and confirmed that Carl Hutchins did not, in fact, appear to be on the premises.

“Very sloppy work, Mr. Hamilton,” Rachel couldn’t help gloating. “Not that I expected any different from you. If you’d bothered to do an iota of research before running off half-cocked, you’d have learned that my husband hasn’t lived in this house for months.”

“I am well aware of that, Mrs. Hutchins. We searched his apartment first. It, too, came up empty.”

“What do you mean?” Rachel startled.

Now it was Chase’s turn to be confused. “I mean, we searched it thoroughly, and there was no one there.”

“Except for my children,” Rachel prompted.

“No…” Chase shook his head.


Rachel is hit with a back to back pair of devastating blows, while Jamie receives his own horrible news.  Matt attempts to woo Donna out of her hardline stance, Grant struggles to explain love to his son - and himself, GQ makes a confession to Jen, Jeanne encounters a fresh obstacle, and YOU hold the power of life and death in Bay City at:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I write romance novels. I am unapologetically proud of that fact. Since 1995, I’ve published 13 works of “genre” fiction, including three soap opera tie-ins, five figure skating murder mysteries, and four romance novels, two set in the Regency period, and three contemporaries.

This past year, I got the rights to a majority of them back from their respective publishers, and decided to re-release them on my own, as enhanced multimedia editions. (That’s a fancy way of saying e-books with audio, video, and other extras.)

Alas, re-releasing the books meant re-reading them, since I had to make certain they were good to go from a technical perspective. Now, I happen to be one of those writers who, once my book is on the shelf at Barnes & Noble and Amazon, almost never refer to it again. A) Because I am always convinced that every book is out to kill me during the actual writing process, so we rarely part on good terms. And B) Because when I say that I am proud of my work, I mean in an it-never-sounds-as-good-on-paper-as-it-did-in-my-head-so-honestly-this-book-sucks-but-that-shouldn’t-stop-you-from-buying-it-nonetheless sort of way. Some people can’t stand to hear themselves on an answering machine or to watch themselves on TV. I do not enjoy looking back over past work.

However, this needed to be done.

So, I did it.

And then I remembered… Oh, yeah… I used to write some pretty hot sex scenes.

Before I had kids. (In fact, I wrote the final sex scene for my 2000 romance, When a Man Loves a Woman, while in the throes of morning sickness with my oldest son. I don’t recommend it.)

Read the entire piece on Soaps, Sex, and the Writing Mom at:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Click here for Part #1

Click here for Part #2 

Behind the scenes of As the World Turns 50th Anniversary Photo Shoot....

RIP Benjamin Hendrickson (Hal)....

Monday, July 09, 2012


Though I majored in Broadcast Communications in college, which included a substantial block on analyzing television content via semiotics, feminism, postmodernism, Marxist theory, etc... courses on soap operas were few and far between.

And when I say few and far between, I mean there was exactly one graduate seminar on Writing the Soap Opera (taught by a professor who not only didn't write soaps, didn't watch soaps, he didn't even like soaps!!!!).

As a result, Everything I Learned About Taking Soaps Seriously and treating them with the respect shown other art forms, came from reading the writings of Michael Logan, Mimi Torchin, Alan Carter, Robert Schork, Carolyn Hinsey, and Marlena De Lacroix (whom I later learned to be a pseudonym for Connie Passalacqua Hayman).

All of the above frequently took soaps to task - not because they were making fun or dismissing them, but because they knew what soaps were capable of, and spoke up when they felt a story, show or actor wasn't living up to their potential.  (It also didn't hurt that they could be hysterically funny in their observations).

Connie's Marlena cast such a giant shadow on the soap world, that Guiding Light's romance novelist Blake adopted an eerily similar nom de plume: Darlena LaCrosse (she even had her own website, with excerpts from her books where I... I mean, uh, Blake... fictionalized the love stories of her and Ross, Miguel and Selena, and more...).

When putting together Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, I asked Connie/Marlena to contribute an expert opinion, leading to an entry on Another World's classic Rachel/Steve/Alice triangle.  (I was also fortunate to get Mimi Torchin writing on One Life to Live's Karen on the witness stand, and Alan Carter on General Hospital's BJ's Heart.)

And now for some truly exciting news!  After an interminable hiatus, Marlena (and Connie) are back!

She (they?) are blogging regularly at:, taking on GH, Y&R, B&B, DOOL, the Daytime Emmys, Hollywood Heights, and the entire soap genre!

If you believe soaps deserve to be taken seriously - but with a sense of humor (in capable hands, it is not an oxymoron), make sure to check it out, you are in for a treat!


“Leave me alone,” Lorna’s fingers tightened around the stroller’s handles. “Leave us alone. Aren’t the cops after you? Shouldn’t you be getting the hell out of Dodge?”

“Momentarily,” he promised, taking a step towards her. “Come along, Lorna. It’s time to take our leave. The plane is waiting. Enough stalling. As you yourself observed, my time is precious.”

Lorna instinctively veered back, shoving the stroller towards the edge of the falls. “Get any closer, and I’ll throw all three of us over.”

“Don’t be absurd,” Carl scoffed. Though he did pause in his tracks. “Not for an instant do I believe that you would risk your precious children’s lives – “

“To keep them out of your clutches? You bet I will.”

At that, Carl actually looked genuinely hurt. “Surely, I wasn’t that bad of a….”

“Don’t take another step,” she warned, lifting her leg over the knee-high safety barrier.

“Have it your way,” Carl stood rooted obediently to the spot. But, with an imperceptible gesture, the guns of both his goons were now pointed directly at the stroller.


Lorna desperately struggles to talk Carl down, Rachel attempts to explain herself to Alice, Frankie proposes a solution to what ails Dean, and Jen insists on looking at the bright side.

The 4th of July burns at:

Friday, July 06, 2012


Just for you, just for July, a Soap Opera 451 Buy One/Get One Free sale:

* Buy a copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) and get a copy of When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition FREE!

* Buy a copy of Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments and get a copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) FREE!

* Buy a copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition and get a copy of On Thin Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition FREE!

* Buy a copy of The Worldwide Dessert Contest: Enhanced Multimedia Edition and get a copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition FREE!

Just email me your proof of purchase at!

In the meantime, enjoy Part #2 of our classic 4th of July flashbacks, below!
A SOAPY 4TH OF JULY: PART #2 (Originally posted 7/11)

As the World Turns 1987: Hal & Margo! Dusty & Lily! Andy wearing braces! Barbara wearing very, very large shoulder-pads at the pool!

Guiding Light 1998: Hunt Block as Ben! Wendy Moniz as Dinah! Laura Wright as Cassie! Plus the one and only Dolly the clone!

Another World 4th of July telethon! People who you wouldn't think know how to sing... sing!

All My Children 1983: Erica is self-centered... past, present, uh.... (okay, now I'm sad again). Plus, Cliff and Nina, Phoebe and Langley, Palmer! Angie!

Thursday, July 05, 2012


Just for you, just for July, a Soap Opera 451 Buy One/Get One Free sale:

* Buy a copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) and get a copy of When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition FREE!

* Buy a copy of Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments and get a copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) FREE!

* Buy a copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition and get a copy of On Thin Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition FREE!

* Buy a copy of The Worldwide Dessert Contest: Enhanced Multimedia Edition and get a copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition FREE!

Just email me your proof of purchase at!

In the meantime, enjoy some classic 4th of July flashbacks, below!

4TH OF JULY SOAP FLASHBACKS! (Originally published 7/11)

General Hospital (1980): Laura confesses she might have feelings for Luke!

One Life to Live (1992): Blair is still Asian!

Days of Our Lives (1998): (Carrie! Austin! Mike! Teeny, tiny Will!)

Bold & Beautiful (2007): There are other Forrester kids besides Ridge!

Stay tuned for more tomorrow!


“Damn it, Carl," Rachel said.  "Is this really how you want us to spend our last few moments together? Fighting?”

“You could still change your mind,” he pleaded, pride be damned. “Come with me. By tomorrow morning, you, Elizabeth, Cory and I could be starting a new life together.”

“I don’t want a new life,” Rachel did her best not to dissolve into tears. “I want things to stay the way they were.”

“And you blame me for that becoming an impossibility.”

“Why?” Rachel finally broke down, asking Carl the one question she’d resolved never to ask. “Why did you have to do this? Why did you put me in this position? Why couldn’t you have left well enough alone?”

“Because,” the agony in his eyes was exactly what Rachel had been hoping to avoid. “Well enough, was never that, not for me. You must have sensed it. Why else did you not once, through all these years, question me regarding precisely what sort of business I remained in?”


With nothing left to lose, Carl takes desperate - and shocking - action. Frankie offers a helping hand to Grant while Marley has a warning for Cass, Jamie sees himself in GQ, Rachel turns to Mac, and Lorna finds herself in an all-too familiar situation.

It's an explosive 4th of July in Bay City at:

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


For me, it was a black bear whose limbs kind of moved, with glass eyes, a yarn mouth, and a nose where the fuzz was already staring to come off.

His name was ‘Misha,’ the Russian word for bear (I know, not very creative. It’s genetic. My daughter’s lamb is named Lambie), and I carried him with me everywhere. Including, in the fall of 1976, onto the train that carried me, my parents, my aunt and uncle, my 13-year-old cousin, and his grandmother from Odessa, USSR, first to a series of Soviet border-towns, then to Vienna, Austria, where we spent a few days before using illegal tourist visas to get on a bus and be smuggled into Rome, Italy, where we hunkered down to wait for permission to immigrate to the United States.

After four months in Italy (where we all ate our weight in fresh tangerines–seriously, that’s my dominant memory. That and the horrible paintings of babies being knifed in the stomach at the Vatican. And falling in some doggie-do at the Coliseum), we were finally allowed to leave for America.

Read the entire piece at:

And, in the spirit of American generosity, for the month of July, I have the following offers exclusively for my readers:

* Buy a copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) and get a copy of When a Man Loves a Woman: Enhanced Multimedia Edition FREE!

* Buy a copy of Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments and get a copy of Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga (Volume One) FREE!

* Buy a copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition and get a copy of On Thin Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition FREE!

* Buy a copy of The Worldwide Dessert Contest: Enhanced Multimedia Edition and get a copy of Murder on Ice: Enhanced Multimedia Edition FREE!

Just email me your proof of purchase at, and have a very happy 4th of July!

Monday, July 02, 2012


Last week, following my interview with Reluctant Heart Radio, their blog reviewed my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, writing:

What's really cool and unique about this ebook, is the link to each scene spoken within the book is provided for the audience to watch on the spot!  How many times have you heard about a scene but never saw you can! It's a very innovative idea that was sparked when Alina first worked for P&G.... This new ebook is the Fan's Voice, so check it out today! 

Check out the whole thing at:

Meanwhile, Death Drop: Enhanced Multimedia Edition, Book #4 in the Figure Skating Mystery series was reviewed... by a robot?  (A female, British robot?)

Can anyone clue me in as to what this is about?

In the meantime, a new month means a new deal.  Be the first in July to buy a copy of Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments on either Amazon or B&N, and I'll send you a mystery gift!  Just email me at to confirm your purchase!


“Father will never get a fair trial in Bay City!" Elizabeth insisted.  "The law are the ones who forced him to do what he did in the first place. They knew he’d have no choice, they coerced him into it, so they could arrest him again.”

“Okay,” Cory spoke slowly. “So, if I go to Father and ask him for money, and he says I can’t have it, but he leaves the precise amount I need in his wallet, and I then go and take it anyway, it’s his fault, not mine because he created a circumstance where I had no choice but to take what I wanted illegally, because he refused to give it to me honestly?”

“Your argument is specious,” Carl sniffed. “A case of reductio ad absurdum if I have ever heard it.”

“He’s also right,” Rachel said, as Carl, Elizabeth, and even Cory stared at her in shock. “Cory is right, Carl. I won’t sugarcoat this for them. Not something this important, no. I want them to understand. Yes, your father committed a crime. Yes, he deserves to go to jail. Yes, he is running away to avoid punishment. And yes, I approve wholeheartedly.”

“If you approve,” Elizabeth spat, near tears. “Then why aren’t you going with him?”

“Because I do not want the two of you growing up thinking that what he’s doing, is right.”

It was the first time Rachel had ever expressed herself in such a manner, and Carl’s expression of shock quickly morphed into horror. “Rachel!” he cried as if stabbed.


Carl is shocked by Rachel's final revelation, Charlie turns to Frankie for advice, Sarah continues to stun Grant, GQ and Kevin take their gloves off, and Donna makes a tearful confession to Matt.

It's a sizzling 4th of July week at: