Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I am excited to announced that enhanced ebook versions of my Figure Skating Mystery series, including "Murder on Ice," "On Thin Ice," "Axel of Evil," "Death Drop" and "Skate Crime" are now available for purchase at: Triple Toe Skatewear.  Stopping by to pick up boots, blades, dresses, tights or custom jewelery? Pop a few Figure Skating Mystery novels into the virtual shopping basket, as well!

In addition to all the text of the original Berkley Prime Crime paperback releases, the enhanced ebook version also offers professional skating videos by The Ice Theatre of NY as part of the story! Now you don't just need to read about skating - you can actually watch it!

And the only thing better than watching the Ice Theatre of NY bring the story to life is seeing them in person. 

They will be performing ICE:DANCE October 24-26, 2013 at 7PM on the gleaming surface of Sky Rink in NYC's Chelsea Piers.

Featuring US Men’s Champion Ryan Bradley, 7-time British Dance Champion John Kerr, World Team Members Eve Chalom, Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre, they will be skating a program dedicated to elevating the art of Ensemble Ice Dance.

Gen Adm: $25 (Oct. 24 & 26)
Students/Seniors: $15 (Oct. 24 & 26)
Gala Show featuring Kurt Browning - Gen Adm: $45 (Oct. 25)

For more information visit:

Friday, October 18, 2013


News that two-time Olympic silver medalist and three-time world champion Elvis Stojko will be stepping into Billy Flynn's soft-shoe(s) for a Broadway and North American tour run of Chicago, made me think about other figure skaters who've taken a stab at treading the boards instead of the ice, as well as appearing in film and television.

Check out some highlights below:

Dorothy Hamill:

Katarina Witt:

Robin Cousins:

Sasha Cohen:

Ilia Kulik:

Carol Heiss:

Alina Adams is the author of the Figure Skating Mystery series, including Murder on Ice, On Thin Ice, Axel of Evil, Death Drop and Skate Crime, now available as enhanced e-books with video footage included along with the story. Check out a sneak preview here for Nook and here for Kindle.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Originally published on 10/19/11


Spirit Day got me thinking... When I asked fans to contribute which scenes demonstrated soaps at the very top of their game for Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments, the final tally included All My Children's Bianca coming out to Erica, As The World Turns' Holden filling in Emma about Luke being gay, and Guiding Light's romance of Olivia and Natalia.

As it turned out, these three very different stories ended up with three very different write-ups in the enhanced e-book, as actress Eden Riegel, writer Jill Lorie Hurst, and soap scholar Sam Ford approached their respective entries from three unique perspectives which, together, formed an interesting overview regarding how LGBT issues have been handled on daytime in the 21st Century, and what they meant both to their creators and their viewers.

Eden Riegel: The story was told so beautifully and with such sensitivity and respect. Audiences already loved and were invested in Erica and her daughter, and went on the journey with Erica as their surrogate. Over time, they began to embrace Bianca along with Erica. And soon Bianca was one of the most popular characters on All My Children, even among housewives in middle America who never even met a gay person before. This story is proof positive that soaps have great power not only to tell dramatic, engaging stories, but also to help change hearts and minds.

Jill Lorie Hurst: The writing team, the producing staff and the actors fell in love with the story the moment it was pitched. The network and P&G were a little more cautious, but they never told us NOT to tell it. Their hesitation didn’t really hurt the story because we played the emotional beats full out from day one until the last episode. Committing to and telling a slow building love story was a joy. Not rushing them into a romance allowed us to have a wonderful time with every moment. Everyone working on the show became invested in the couple! We had a great time figuring out who would support their love and who would oppose them.

Sam Ford: Just as soap operas at their height drive discussion amongst characters throughout the canvas about "what's happening," the actions of characters drive soap opera fan discussion as well. As this story played out, fan communities that often did not talk about politically and morally charged issues found their discussion of Luke's story soon spilling over to conversations about larger issues surrounding homosexuality and the struggles of coming out in the U.S. While occasionally conversations grew a little contentious, many fan discussions presented a wide range of opinions, stories, lived experiences, and debates among fans with a wide spectrum of opinions.

Read more from Riegel, Hurst, Ford, and dozens of other daytime actors, writers, producers, and experts at:

Thursday, October 10, 2013


I wrote this about GH's Jake, but it pertains just as much to Y&R's doomed little Delia and others....


By Alina Adams

How's that for a cheery title first thing in the morning?

With little Jake poised to shuffle off his mortal coil on General Hospital, it got me thinking about other soap children who have been killed off in the name of "entertainment."

There was poor Zach on Days of Our Lives (and after all the trouble Bo and Hope went through to un-switch him and change the tyke's name, to boot), the victim of a hit and run, like All My Children's Laura.

One Life to Live's Jessica lost two children at birth (and, for a while there, Starr believed she'd lost hers). Bold & Beautiful's Amber's son was stillborn. Young & Restless' Lauren mourned Dylan, who she thought was her biological child. There was Gwen's Billy on As The World Turns (though, initially, Jennifer believed it to be Johnny; two grieving mothers for the price of one!). And little Johnny was named after the baby Jen's mother, Barbara, lost with John Dixon years earlier. John held the preemie in his arms as he died, same way All My Children's Gloria held Anna Claire, while singing You Are My Sunshine.

(Obviously, there are many more examples, but even cyberspace is finite.)

This is entertainment?

Mary Stuart (Jo), Search for Tomorrow star from the first to last episode, didn't think so.

When Jo gave birth to her second child in 1956, it was due to Mary's real-life pregnancy. SFT filmed on location with Mary in the hospital, and her newborn son, Jeffrey, played little Duncan Erik.

When the storyline called for the toddler to run out into the street and get hit by a car, Mary balked, threatening to quit.

She told Afternoon TV Magazine, "It was my own child. It had been a complicated pregnancy for me, and playing the death of the child was just too horrible to even consider. The show's ratings had been dropping, and I knew they were killing the child just to have something dramatic to boost the ratings. I played those scenes all right, but I made them so horrifying that nobody could watch. Not even the make-up girl. She wouldn't even look at the monitor to see whether my make-up was right, it was too awful to watch. And nobody out in television-land watched either. In my own mind, I was remembering the morning my own father died. My mother just could never accept it. She'd walk around with a hopeful smile, in a daze, saying, "He's going to get better..." That's the way I played it. I destroyed them. It didn't help the ratings."

And that is the key issue.

Dead baby stories win Emmys. They do not help ratings.

Arguably, the best tale of its kind was GH's BJ/Maxie heart-transplant tale (obviously, ABC thinks so too, or else why go back to that well yet again?). It was heart-wrenching and dramatic, gorgeously acted and phenomenally written.

But, it did not raise the ratings.

I loved the GH story. Because it aired in 1994. I didn't have any kids in 1994.

In 2003, when my husband told me I should watch All My Children's David and Anna deal with the loss of their daughter, Leora, because, "It's really, really good," I had a four year old son and another on the way. I couldn't even think about the story, much less turn on the TV.

My husband said, "Okay, I'll save it, and you can see it later."

I still haven't been able to.

Granted, soaps are no longer the exclusive domain of stay-at-home moms grabbing an hour or two of Me Time before the kids get home from school.

But, surely, they must still make up some fraction of the audience.

And if they tune out every time there's a dead baby story, you've got to wonder why the soaps keep on playing them. Don't you?

For behind the scenes from writer Claire Labine on BJ's heart transplant story, click here.  To read what Julia Barr thought about AMC killing off Laura, click here.

Monday, October 07, 2013


Director Doug Wilson's book, The World Was Our Stage, Spanning the Globe With ABC Sports, is out now, and covers a great deal of Doug's career filming every conceivable kind of figure skating event.

Earlier, I'd interviewed Doug for my own book, Inside Figure Skating, about television's influence on the sport.

Read part #1 of that interview, here, part #2 here, and enjoy part #3, below:

Skating and television broke another precedent, when, in 1980, a group of amatuer and pro skaters, including Peggy Fleming, Lisa-Marie Allen, Linda Fratiane, Jo Jo Starbuck & Kenneth Shelley, Tai Babilonia & Randy Gardner, Judy Blumberg & Michael Seibert, David Santee, and Elaine Zayak, together became the first U.S. skaters to perform an exhibition in China.  Apparantly, one of Peggy Fleming's early television specials had aired there, raising interest in her performing, and opening the door to the historic trip.  The United States Ambassador later told the athletes, what they did was worth a thousand political speeches. 

The 1980 show aired live in China, and was seen by two hundred million people.  Among them may have been a three year old Chen Lu, who, after winning the 1995 World Championship, admitted her childhood idol was Peggy Fleming.

As skaters grew more accustomed to having television cameras recording their every step, they also grew accustomed to making the concessions necessary to insure television getting everything they needed to, in turn, make the skater look good.  At the 1980 Olympic Games, when a production assistant overslept and missed a mandatory shot of Linda Fratianne arriving for practice, the four-time U.S. Champion graciously agreed to reenact the moment for the cameras.

By 1984, Scott Hamilton was so television-savvy, he called up ABC and said, 'I don't know if you're going to do an Up-Close-and-Personal profile on me, but, I suspect it's possible.  I thought of this piece of music sung by Gary Morris, "Wind Beneath My Wings," and it's everything I believe about my relationship with my coach, Don Laws.  So, if you were going to do a piece on me, I just want to throw that in."  Laughs Doug Wilson, "He was already producing!"

For more from Doug Wilson, check out his book at the link:

Alina Adams is the author of the Figure Skating Mystery series, including Murder on Ice, On Thin Ice, Axel of Evil, Death Drop and Skate Crime.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013


The folks at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis contacted the Soap Opera 451 blog to ask for help in getting the word out about their upcoming play, Tribes, co-starring none other than Stephen Schnetzer (Cass; AW & ATWT).

We are happy to oblige!

(EDITED ON 10/16/13 TO ADD: We've got video! Scroll down below!)

The Guthrie Theater today announced casting for its production of Nina Raine’s Tribes. Winner of the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play and a 2010 Olivier Award nominee for Best Play, Tribes is a provocative, poignant family drama that illuminates the fascinating interplay of sound and communication, perception and true understanding. Wendy C. Goldberg (Guthrie: Dollhouse) directs this regional premiere that begins performances on the McGuire Proscenium Stage on Friday, October 5.

Billy is a young man born deaf and raised in an opinionated and intellectually raucous family that talks constantly. Not only have his parents and siblings never learned sign language, neither has Billy, who has had to adapt to the hearing world. Then he meets Sylvia, a young woman from a Deaf family who introduces him to sign language. Billy feels a confidence and sense of belonging he’s not known before and finally understands what it means to be understood.

On writing the play Nina Raine offers, “I first had the idea of writing Tribes when I watched a documentary about a deaf couple. The woman was pregnant. They wanted their baby to be deaf. I was struck by the thought that this was actually what many people feel, deaf or otherwise. Parents take great pleasure in witnessing the qualities they have managed to pass on to their children. Not only a set of genes. A set of values, beliefs. Even a particular language. The family is a tribe: an infighting tribe but intensely loyal.”

Tribes features the Guthrie debuts of John McGinty and Stephen Schnetzer. McGinty, who is himself deaf, will appear in the role of the central character Billy. His previous work includes roles in theater (Pippin at the Mark Taper Forum/DeafWest, Handicapped People In Their Formal Attire at Premiere Stages, Robin Hood: Thieves of Hearts at Cleveland Sign Stage), in film (Closed Caption, Conned, Love Signs) and on television (“I Killed My BFF” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent”).

Schnetzer, known best for his roles on the daytime television series “Days of Our Lives,” “One Life to Live” and “Another World,” will play Christopher—the family patriarch. Schnetzer’s theater credits include The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? on Broadway and The Quality of Life, Legacy of Light and Noises Off at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

Tribes begins preview performances on October 5, opens October 11 and continues through November 10 in the McGuire Proscenium at the Guthrie Theater. Single tickets start at $29 and are now on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at


To read our exclusive interviews with the actors who appeared on the last episode of Another World, click here.

Watch scenes from Tribes, below: