Thursday, February 28, 2013


News that the on-line version of All My Children will feature teen-agers Miranda Montgomery, AJ Chandler, Pete Cortland and more (though doesn't it feel like Pete was already a young man when Miranda and AJ were still babies?  Oh, well, that's why we love the soaps!), brought to mind the original teens who launched the show back in 1970.

There was Phil and Tara and Chuck, and a young vixen named Erica, while the 1980s brought high-schoolers Jenny, Greg, Tad, Liza, Jesse and Angie.  Watch them all in the clip below:


Chase said, “Hutchins’ case was the first I ever tried in the Bay City’s DA’s office.  First one I ever lost, too.  I blamed myself.  I was too young, too green, too na├»ve.  I actually thought facts and evidence mattered.  I didn’t think Carl’s string-pulling could extend into a court of law.  Boy, did I learn better.”

“We all do with a man like Carl, sooner or later.”

“I told myself I’d do better next time.  I was certain there would be a next time.”

“And you weren’t wrong,” Jamie agreed.

“You should have seen how I prepared my next case against him.  I was obsessed.  I was sure I’d crossed every T, dotted every I and foreseen every eventuality.  I still lost.  He still went free.  Time after time after time, I had the chance to put away a man who’d ruined literally thousands of lives.  And time after time after time, he wriggled away.  Which meant that every subsequent crime he committed was partially my fault.  Even now.  I had him.  I had him, Jamie, dead to rights.  He broke the law.  He admitted it.  And, yet again, he managed to escape justice.”

“So this is a vendetta?”


“And you want me to help you?"


Jamie gives Chase an answer about pressing charges against Carl and later makes a surprising connection, Iris offers Sarah an - unsolicited - opinion about child-raising, Cass goes against Frankie, and Marley makes a surprising confession to Dennis.

Is everyone moving on in today's episode of AWT:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


News that 1976 Olympic Figure Skating Champion Dorothy Hamill will be on the next season of Dancing With the Stars, made me think of what ABC Director, Doug Wilson, told me about Dorothy's post-Olympic television special (titled, appropriately enough, Dorothy Hamill Special), where she did a number with one of the silver screen's greatest dancers, Gene Kelly.

In my book, Inside Figure Skating (left), Doug recalled that, in order to recreate the classic Singin' In the Rain number, "All night, Dorothy skated under a deluge of freezing water, prompting Gene to concede he felt sorry for her.  When he filmed the original number, he did it under warm water, whereas, to keep the ice from melting Dorothy's rainstorm had to be bone-chilling.  She was really ill, feverish, clammy.  She also had an entire symphony orchestra decked out in tuxedoes and sitting in a Toronto park where the wind chill was -15F, waiting for Dorothy to come out and skate her second number, Be a Clown, with Kelly.  The producers offered Dorothy the chance to back but, back straight and shoulders squared, she insisted the show must go on."

Yup, she's ready for Dancing With the Stars!

See Dorothy in action, below:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


The Ice Theatre of New York provided the video to turn my Figure Skating Mystery series, previously published by Berkley Prime Crime, into enhanced ebooks. 

You can read the books, Murder on Ice, On Thin Ice, Axel of Evil, Death Drop and Skate Crime, to see them in action.  Or, if you live in the New York area, you can come watch Ice Theatre in person for free!

Who: The Ice Theatre Ensemble consisting of United States National Dance Medalists and World Competitors Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre, 7-Time British Champions and Olympians Sinead & John Kerr, Jessica Huot, Olympian Line Haddad, Jonathan Hunt, Alizah Allen, Eliot Halverson.

What: Some of the pieces to be performed will include: Horizon, Mad World, Miloguon, Dare Greatly, Heart, Untitled Solo

Date: Wednesday, February 27th [ rain date February 28th – all details the same]

Time: Performance: 1:00 PM

Location: The Rink At Rockefeller Center, 601 5th Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets

Admission: Free; viewing from the Plaza
Info: Email 

And to get yourself in the skating spirit, enjoy this excerpt from Figure Skating Mystery #3: Axel of Evil...

Bex and Sasha followed the rest of the throng into the tunnel that led to the main arena and to the ice. The six-thousand-seater was eerily quiet so early in the day. The sound of flashing and scraping blades echoed off the empty, metal seats, and a thick, almost solid, fog hung a few inches over the ice. Only the American girls were there. In the interest of building up tension, those in charge—i.e., 24/7, i.e., Gil—had decided the ladies shouldn't see each other's routines before the competition.

Gary Gold stood at the barrier, wearing his focused-coach face. At no point did his eyes ever leave Lian. She was currently his top student, a seventeen-year-old Asian-American jumping bean who looked eleven tops and plotted her career with the savvy of a forty-year-old corporate raider. Adopted as an infant from China, Lian was her mother Amanda's only child and, as far as Bex could tell, her only interest in life. Wherever Lian went, her mother was sure to follow. Amanda Reilly was in the stands for every practice, every competition, every exhibition, show, and television interview. When Lian got off the ice, Amanda was by her side, helping Lian dry off her skates, smoothing out the felt rag afterwards and tucking it neatly into Lian's skate bag. She spent a minimum twenty minutes after each session in deep conference with Gary Gold. Bex heard rumors she would even call him at home in the middle of the night if struck by a sudden thought about Lian's training or inspiration for a costume ("What do you think, Gary? Flowers to suggest Lian's blooming as a skater, or butterflies to emphasize her lightness on the ice?").

To be fair, though, this was not a solely Mom-driven enterprise. Lian Reilly herself was famous for expounding to reporters how she had a "master plan" for her career, which included winning the Juvenile Girls Nationals (check), then skipping the intermediate level ("I don't really need it," she patiently explained to Bex during a pre-interview, "It's a superfluous level. As long as you have one title at the junior Nationals level, there's no reason to hang around. You might as well head straight to the big Nationals and start making your name there.") to compete in novice. She placed third in the U.S., her first year there, stayed for a second year in order to win the title, then moved to junior, winning the silver medal before making her senior ladies' debut. Lian's first year in senior, she placed dead last. "That was fine, that was okay," she insisted while the back of her green velvet costume still dripped melting ice chips. "Everyone has to wipe out at one competition to get that psychological block out of the way. I'm happy I've put my wipeout behind me. Now I can focus on never doing that again."

Bex didn't doubt her. Considering the ferociousness with which Lian made all of her pronouncements—she would furrow her brows, thrust out her lower lip and narrow her eyes until her face formed a perfect point like a Muppet— Bex strongly advised no one to ever doubt her. If Lian said she was going to be the next Senior Ladies Champion of the United States, Bex would happily believe her. Except for one teeny, tiny obstacle.

Named Jordan Ares.

Lian Reilly had never beaten Jordan Ares in any national, international, local, or made-for-television competition. And from the looks of it that record wasn't about to change. Even here in Moscow, while Lian spent her time on the practice ice doggedly practicing a triple-Toe-Loop/triple-Toe-Loop jump combination over and over again, landing maybe two out of every ten she tried, Jordan, skating a few feet away from her, was landing the much more difficult triple-Lutz/triple-Toe (the same jump Lian always claimed she'd be doing in her short program, yet never did) with twice the hang time and seemingly half the effort. Everything Jordan did seemed effortless. She didn't so much skate as simply breathe normally while her body floated across the ice of its own volition. She was only four inches taller than the not-quite five-feet-high Lian, but her elegant arms and legs created the illusion that each limb was as long as her competition's entire body. When Lian jumped, she resembled a top spinning in place. When Jordan did, she was like a shooting star. That landed on one foot

Add to all that Jordan's innate sense of musicality, her all-American blond hair, blue-eyes, pert nose, small chin, and dimples, and the reality that she never got nervous, or even mildly concerned, in competition; and if Jordan said she was going to be the next Senior Ladies Champion of the United States, Bex would also happily believe her. Except for one teeny, tiny obstacle. Also named Jordan Ares.

Because for all of Jordan's talent very few people in skating could stand her.

And not only for the usual reasons: jealousy, competition, pettiness, resentment, greed, and spite. Those would have been normal and expected. When it came to Jordan, those old favorites were only the tip of the iceberg. In addition to everyone she had ever beaten or had the possibility of beating, Jordan was hated by the USFSA because of her tendency to answer press conference questions in the following manner:

"Jordan, what were you thinking when you fell on that triple Salchow?"

"F@#&ing ow!”

She was hated by other parents at the rink because Jordan had declared herself an emancipated minor at the ripe old age of fourteen. The fact that no one had ever set eyes on Mom or Dad, and yet Jordan seemed to be thriving and succeeding nonetheless, was a direct slap in the face of all those who believed it was imperative they be at the rink every single day to monitor and wholeheartedly contribute to their little darling's progress.

But most of all, Jordan was viscerally disliked by every coach in the Professional Skaters Association (PSA). Because, in her eleven-year career, she had been coached by every coach in the PSA. None of those relationships ended happily. Some years, Jordan came to Nationals with one coach, only to leave dramatically with another, and show up with yet a third for Worlds. The fact that she and Igor Marchenko had worked together for almost two years now was actually a story in and of itself. Except now he was dead—so there went that record.

Read the entire story (including who killed Igor Marchenko) in:

Monday, February 25, 2013


I think everyone who loves good food will read Erica Levy Klein’s e-book and find at least a half dozen recipes that they want to try immediately – if only because the names are so enticing. You barely have to use your imagination to be tempted by the drama of “Crabmeat Named Desire,” or the quaint appeal of “French Market Tomato Soup.”  I love Brussels sprouts and vegetables of every ilk and even I will make the “Vegetable Haters Brussels Sprouts” recipe one of these days.  The book is titled – and take a deep breath before reading this out loud -- Skinny Spices: 50 Nifty Homemade Spice Blends That Can Turn Blah Healthy Eating Into Delicious Dining.

Skinny Spices is a user-friendly, searchable e-book that features the aforesaid recipe blends, many of which I plan to reproduce and use on a regular basis. First published in 1993, the book explains the writer’s ultimate motivation for using herbs and spices in cooking: to lose weight. Or rather to make healthy, low-fat meals so palatable that you don’t miss the butter, salt, and sugar that makes so many things taste so good. When people are desperate to lose weight, we will go to great lengths to research, experiment, study, plan and become expert in our knowledge of, and experience with, food. 

Read the complete review at:


“Come in.”  Jamie stepped aside to let him pass.  “What’s this about?”

“Your wife,” Chase said.

“Have you found anything?” The hope in Jamie’s voice was physically painful for Chase to hear.

Especially when he had to tell him, “No.  Nothing new.”

“Oh.” Jamie swallowed hard, attempting to collect himself from the seemingly non-stop crushing disappointments.

“But, I did have an idea about something that could be done to facilitate the search.”


“It would require your cooperation.”

“Anything, just name it.  I’ll do anything.”

Chase hesitated, then he said, “I would like you to file kidnapping charges against Carl Hutchins.”


Chase forces Jamie to make a near impossible choice, while Cass and Frankie disagree regarding their choices for Charlie.  Marley and Grant inform Sarah her choice has already been made, Kevin's choice forces Amanda to make an uncomfortable one of her own, Iris expects Rachel to disagree with Russ' and Donna insists Jasmine should be allowed to make her own.

A choice time is had by all at:

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Yesterday marked the 15th Anniversary of Tara Lipinski's Gold medal win at the Nagano Olympics.  I was in Japan, working for a TNT show called Cutting Edge, hosted by Peter Carruthers, Rosalynn Sumners and Alice Cook.  I saw her skate - and win - in person.  It was quite the upset.  Though Tara was the 1997 World Champion, 1996 Champion Michelle Kwan was favored to win.  She ended up coming in 2nd.

Following her gold medal performance, Tara went on to guest star on The Young & the Restless, and to present at the 1999 Daytime Emmy Awards.  I worked as a researcher on those awards, and when I first read the intro written for Tara, I went to the writers and said, "This doesn't make any sense, skating wise."

They told me it was funny, that's what matters.

I said, "It doesn't make any skating sense."  And then I may have whined.  Incessantly.

Until they changed it.

Yup, boys and girls, that's how we get things done in the TV biz.

Following her daytime and award show debut, Tara went on to make some prime-time appearances, as well as work for Inside Edition where, as part of their coverage of Skating With the Stars, Tara interviewed (it's a small soap word, after all) Rebecca Budig of All My Children:

For more on Rebecca Budig and skating, click here.


Frankie tried to keep her voice from shaking as she asked, “So what is it that you need to tell us about our daughter?”

John did not look pleased to be the one delivering the bad news, but he maintained his professionalism as he reported, “Based on the tests we’ve run and our observations, plus talking to you and to Kirkland and Allie about Charlie’s recent behavior, her medical team feels that there is sufficient evidence to diagnose Charlie with – “

“Manic depression,” Cass interrupted, his voice dull.  “Bipolar Disorder.”

“Yes,” John exhaled sadly.

“No,” Frankie said.

“Yes,” Cass stressed emphatically.  “It makes sense.  The average person has about a two percent chance of developing Bipolar Disorder.  But, if one parent has it, what does that raise the numbers to, John?”

“About twenty-five percent,” he admitted.

“But that also means Charlie has a seventy-five percent chance of not having it!” Frankie insisted.  “Goodness, I’d play those odds any day.”

“We did,” Cass informed her.  “And we lost.”


Cass and Frankie draw conflicting conclusions about their daughter's future while Marley and Grant do the same regarding his brand new daughter.  Amanda makes a snap judgement, Olivia makes a move, Steven makes a choice, and Chase makes up his mind.

All at:

Monday, February 18, 2013


Just like anyone else who has ever worked with her, I do not have enough superlatives to lavish on Linda Dano.

She was the first Another World star I interviewed when TeleNext launched Another World Today in 2009, and she was also gracious enough to be interviewed for my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, where she had this to say about her colleagues in the soap world, Judith Light and Kim Zimmer:

“I believe you can get a certain actor who is filled with emotion or is digging deep, and you can walk by your TV and, I swear to you, that actor will stop you dead in your tracks, and you’ll find yourself sitting down and watching.  I think that some performance in daytime – not all, but some – is as good as it gets.  I think there have been some performances that have been unbelievably brilliant.”

In other words, Linda Dano is a class act to beat all class acts.

Which is why Soap Opera 451 is happy to let you know where you can catch Linda next:

February 21, 2013 - Linda Dano Home Collection for QVC
Linda Dano, TV Personality, Designer and Author, is celebrating 20 Years on QVC with her first live show of the New Year on February 21.

The Linda Dano Home Collection is inspired by Linda's passion for Olde English Craftmanship and Design. Her 17th Century New England Farmhouse has been featured in Antiques: The Magazine, PEOPLE, and BETTER TV.

In preparation for her show, Linda attended Trade Shows across the country to develop new resources in her quest to find manufacturers working with US factories that will bring jobs back to America.

Learn more at: at,,, and!


“Forget it, okay?” Amanda threw her hands up in the air, sitting down in defeat.  “What did you want to see us about?”

Jamie took a seat as well, facing them both.  “Mom,” he said.


“I… I wanted to discuss the three of us cutting her some slack.  About Carl, I mean.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Matt leaned forward.

“It means, I think it’s time we all swallowed our feelings about Carl and tried to be there more for Mom.  What she’s been through, losing Cory and Elizabeth…”

“And whose fault was that?” Amanda didn’t exactly seem to be getting with the letting go program.  “Are we just supposed to ignore that our brother and sister are dead because of the criminal thug Mom chose to marry?”


Jamie urges his brother and sister to change their attitudes towards Rachel, Sarah's baby gets a name... and a surprise visitor.  Iris' change of plans incenses Chase, there's a change in Charlie's condition, and Marley considers making a change... with Dennis.

Ch-ch-changes at:

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Originally published on 2/15/12 - and still true!

Prior to marrying my husband, I published four romance novels. Since marrying my husband–thirteen years ago–I have published figure skating murder mysteries, non-fiction, and women’s fiction. But, no more romances.
My husband’s theory is that, since meeting him, no fantasy hero conjured from my imagination could live up to the comparison. (My husband has a very high–though, self-aware–opinion of himself. While we were touring potential kindergartens for our daughter, he said of one principal we met, “I like her! She’s even more arrogant than me!”)

He’s right. But, not in the way he thinks.

He’s right that, since meeting him, I’ve had a much harder time coming up with fictional, romantic heroes.

Because, since meeting him, my opinion of what makes a romantic hero has completely changed.

Read the entire post at:

And for those wondering how my husband got so awesome, the answer is - soap operas, of course! He reports that he learned everything he knows about how to treat a woman from All My Children's Tad Martin! (Details, here.)


The next time a text message arrived in Grant’s phone from Allie’s number, Grant vowed to ignore it.

He managed to do it for close to an hour.

And then he couldn’t bear it any longer.

He grabbed the BlackBerry and read the display.

It’s a girl.

For a moment, the words didn’t register with Grant.  Everyone had been so sure the baby would be a boy.  Everyone had been calling it him, and Iris even referred to her great-grandson.  Grant had simply assumed they knew what they were talking about and the baby was going to be a boy.  Spencer Grant Harrison.  Iris said Sarah had already picked out a name.

He’d braced himself for a boy.

It’s a girl.

Grant had a daughter.  How the hell was he supposed to react to that?


Grant gets a piece of news that changes everything, Russ makes himself clear to Iris, Kirkland slips a critical piece of information to Marley, Kevin backs Steven into a corner, Frankie begs Zeno to help Charlie, and Rachel finally explodes at Jamie.

You get to make a match on today's episode of AWT:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


When Linda Gottlieb, best known for producing the feature film, Dirty Dancing, took over One Life to Live, she made a lot of changes.  Some popular, some... less so.  But one thing she definitely brought to OLTL and all of daytime, was the concept of releasing an original CD of music that first played during a key episode.  Like, say, Valentine's Day.....

For more of our Valentine's Day flashbacks, click on the links below:

All My Children
Another World
As the World Turns
Days of Our Lives
General Hospital
Guiding Light

Monday, February 11, 2013


A real stroll down memory lane!  It's Valentine's Day in Springfield and the one and only Alexandra Spaulding is hosting a party scheduled to culminate with Lujak and Beth's engagement.  But, then there's the tiny issue of a murder...

For more classic Valentie's Day clips, see:

All My Children
Another World
As the World Turns
Days of Our Lives
General Hospital


“Which is why I’m so surprised about your recent rapprochement with Felicia,” Rachel circled back to her original point.  “I’d have thought, after everything that’s happened, you wouldn’t feel particularly comfortable leaving her in charge of your children.”

“Felicia and I are… fine now."

“When did that happen?”

“What does it matter?”

“I’m simply curious.  After all, if you can forgive her, maybe there’s some hope of you one day deigning to grant me the same privilege.”


“What?  What, Jamie?”

“Don’t.  Please.”

“Why not?  Is everything pertaining to your life now out of bounds as far as I’m concerned?  I can’t even ask a question?  God knows, Felicia was no more eager to answer than you are.  What are the two of you hiding?”


Rachel and Jamie finally cut to the core of their estrangement, Alice continues to question Kevin's confession as Jen refuses to accept it, Allie decides the delivery room is an ideal place to discuss Sarah's relationship with Grant - and hers with GQ, while Matt confronts Donna regarding her actions with Jasmine.

You decide Rachel and Jamie's futures at:

Friday, February 08, 2013


You've seen:

All My Children

Another World

As the World Turns

and Days of Our Lives

Now check out the selection from General Hospital as we feature love in all of its ages and stages:

Lucky and Liz link.

Thursday, February 07, 2013


First we had a classic clip from All My Children, then Another World, then As the World Turns.  Now feast your eyes on Days of Our Lives, Valentine's Day 2003 with Jack and Jennifer:

Plus this clip of actors Peter Reckell (Bo) and Kristian Alfonso (Hope) on WPXI talking romance in 2011:


“Yes?” Rachel inquired politely upon finding Iris on her doorstep, raising an eyebrow in surprise at the sight of Russ bringing up the rear.

For his part, Russ seemed just as stunned to find himself there as she did.  And a lot more embarrassed.

Strolling in without actually being invited, Iris informed her stepmother, “Whomever you employed to pack up my things after you so brazenly kicked me to the curb did a dreadful job.  I should have expected as much.  Staff is always the reflection of their mistress.”

“Send me a bill,” Rachel suggested.  “I’ll reimburse you.”

“I realize this may be difficult for you to comprehend, Rachel, but not every offense can be fixed with money.  Some of the items you neglected to forward to me were of great sentimental value.  I should like to go up and search for them myself.”

“Knock yourself out,” Rachel indicated that Iris knew where the stairs were.  But, first, she signaled for a maid to accompany Ms. Wheeler and keep an eye on her.  “I wouldn’t want you getting lost and accidentally wandering into the wrong room,” Rachel explained innocently.

“You are, as always, most kind.”  Iris turned to Russ, standing on the tips of her toes and kissing him before cooing, “I shan’t be a moment, darling.  Wait for me?”


Iris makes her point to Rachel crystal-clear, Frankie lays out a theory to Cass, Kevin stuns Amanda, Lila confronts Donna, Grant faces a decision, and Olivia propositions Matt.

Is there a new couple in the making?  You decide at:

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


Valentine's Day is next Thursday, and we're counting down, soap style!  Today: As the World Turns 2008, the "What If" episode....

All My Children - Daytime's first same sex wedding

Another World - Film Noir and The Case of the Stolen Heart

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


Our Valentine's Day countdown continues with a classic episode of Another World, a black and white film noir homage, The Case of the Stolen Heart:

For yesterday's All My Children classic clip, click here.

Monday, February 04, 2013


Valentine's Day is in less than two weeks, and what better way to celebrate than with some soapy flashbacks, one a day until next Thursday?

Kicking things off is All My Children and daytime's first same-sex wedding: Bianca and Reese.  (Of course, IMHO, Resse kissing Zach earlier does put somewhat of a damper on the historic proceedings):

To read about what Eden Riegel (Bianca) had to say about her character's coming out, click here.


“You look happy,” Russ observed as he walked in on Iris packing a travel bag inside the bedroom she currently occupied at Russ’ house.

“I am happy,” she beamed at him.  “I’m off on a little trip!”

Russ took a seat, observing her closely.  “And if past experience has taught me anything, it’s that when Iris Wheeler is happy, that means someone else is about to become sad.”

She hesitated.  “Is that truly how you perceive me, darling?”

He shrugged.  “I just call them as I see them.”

“I’m hurt.”

“Sorry.  Now, tell me: Am I right?”

Iris looked away, pretending great fascination with the precise folding of a cashmere sweater.  “In a manner of speaking.”

“I knew it!” he crowed.  Then, on a more serious note, asked, “Is Rachel the current target of your… happiness?”


Russ demands to know what Iris is up to, Felicia is forced to keep a secret from Rachel, Allie responds to GQ's profession of love, Steven hears about Kevin's confession, Zeno fills Frankie in on Charlie, while you help Sarah make a decision about her and Grant's future.

All at: