Wednesday, April 30, 2014


As someone born in the former Soviet Union, May Day has never been the happiest time of the year for me.

But, that's all about to change. Thursday, May 1 (that's tomorrow), I am taking part in the Booklovers Buffet Party on Facebook. Come chat with us from 3 pm to 10 pm EST at this link. There will be gift-cards, giveaways, prizes, free books and a lot of people who write about sex for a living kicking back and letting loose.

Check out the available titles in the video below:

And visit the official website,, to learn more about each book.

I've got When a Man Loves a Woman, a romance that asks the question: Can men and women ever really be "just friends" (what do you think?), and Counterpoint: An Interactive Family Saga, where readers tell me what they want to happen next - and I listen to them, in the sale.

Make sure you stop by the Facebook party tomorrow to say hello!

Monday, April 28, 2014


My Figure Skating Mystery series, Murder on Ice, On Thin Ice, Axel of Evil, Death Drop and Skate Crime, was originally released between 2003 and 2006 as paperback originals by Berkley Prime Crime.

In 2011, the books were re-released as enhanced ebooks, featuring all the text of the original series, plus professional skating videos by The Ice Theatre of NY to compliment the story. (Don't just read about the main characters' routines - watch them!)

Since then, I've been trying to get Amazon to link the two titles so that readers could choose the version they preferred, paperback or ebook.

It finally happened last week. If you've been holding off on getting your copy because you wanted print books instead of e-editions, just click any of the links below!

However, those looking for the bargain edition, Figure Skating Mystery: 5 Books in 1, that's only available as an ebook, below:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Yes, I am THAT soap viewer. The one that can forgive a character pretty much any indiscretion... except bad parenting.

I don't care how upstanding Susan eventually became on ATWT. To me, she was the drunk who let her little Emmy wander out of the house and into some random car. GH's Felicia may be the Lady of Frisco (and Mac's) heart, but she abandoned her kids for years at a time - period, no excuses.

Then there are the soap parents who use their kids to get back at an ex, like Y&R's Nikki telling (then blonde) little Victoria stories about the evil witch who wanted to destroy their family (i.e. Ashley). I'm also less than crazy about parents who give their children up for adoption (legally or not), then insist on getting them back, figuring hey, good thing toddlers don't mind a new name, or a whole new set of parents. (Yes, ATWT's Barbara, I'm looking at you. And GL's Jackie and Justin. And OLTL's Katrina.)

Plus, add a special slot for parents like B&B's Brooke, who pull the ever-popular, "Surprise! So and so isn't your real dad! Here is your real dad! Love him immediately and forget you ever knew the other guy!" She must have picked up the trick from AW's Rachel. (Not to be confused with GH's Carly, who went with, "I don't care who your real dad is, this is the dad I want you to love, so you will love only him!" DOOL's Will and Sonny's fans, however, would prefer the alternative. "Mother? What mother? That baby has no mother. Why do you people continue acting like she does, and might actually have the right to be a part of her child's life?" But that's another rant, for another post, about super-couples and their inconvenient obstacles.)

I will also confess to soap characters I adore, GH's Robert and GL's Holly, for instance, who I still have to admit were pretty crappy parents. (Robert can do all the post-mortem Robin breast-beating and suicide-threatening he wants, let's face it, while she was alive, he just wasn't all that into her. And now, when it comes to Emma, Robin has proven herself to be a chip off the ol' Scorpio block.)

Conversely, while I couldn't stand Gina on SB, I did find her wholehearted devotion to Brandon her sole redeeming feature.

But, just to prove that I'm an equal opportunity judge(r), it's not just soap parents I take exception at. Check out this round up of Terrible Parents From Disney Cartoons (That You Didn't Realize Were Terrible), here.

And then add your own candidate for Crappy Soap Parent in the Comments below!

Monday, April 21, 2014


In addition to writing about soap operas, romance novels, figure skating, mysteries, women's fiction and parenting (what can I say? I have a lot of eclectic interests), I also write about gifted education at the NY Gifted Education Examiner.

There, I write about real issues that affect real kids. (I also did the whole Gifted & Talented thing growing up, married a man who is even more ridiculously gifted and talented, and now we have some very... challenging kids. So I don't just talk the talk, I walk the walk, too - daily.)

But, because I also write about TV, I have some pretty strong opinions about how television portrays gifted children. (Hint: Not very well.)

Check out my slideshow about TV's Top 10 Child Geniuses to learn more, here.

Friday, April 18, 2014


We read on Passover that Moses was a stranger in a strange land. 

So were some of these TV aliens who came down to earth. Conversely, humans were the strangers when they ventured out "where no one has gone before."

In honor of the holiday, check out this list of TV's Top 10 Aliens, by clicking the link.

(For soap fans, see how many soap actors you recognize in the round up.)

Thursday, April 17, 2014


The Dallas reboot went on mid-season break this week with a very familiar cliff-hanger. I'm so old I remember the last time Southfork went up in flames with a drunk Sue Ellen inside. And John Ross just a teeny, tiny tot (my, how fast they grow) who needed Ray to rescue him by jumping into the pool (see photo).

But, it's doubtful any cliff-hanger will ever measure up to the one that had the whole world talking, 1980s "Who Shot Jr?"

Many primetime soaps did try to match the frenzy Dallas generated. Dynasty shot up its entire cast in a make-believe, Eastern European principality (there actually is a Moldavia, by the way, but, at the time, it was a Soviet state. Whenever someone on Dynasty announced, "I'm the King of Moldavia, my mother would reply, "And I'm the Princess of Ukraine.") Falcon Crest sent a Valley-shattering earthquake. And today's primetime soaps are upping the ante even further.

Click here for a round-up of Primetime Soaps' Top 10 Cliffhangers!

Friday, April 11, 2014


The break out star on this year's break out sitcom, Brooklyn 99, is Melissa Fumero. Along with the realization that Andre Braugher can be deadpan funny, is just how funny - and adorable - Amy Santiago's portrayer is.

Of course, soap fans remember Melissa from her role as Dorian's long-lost (yes, another one) daughter on One Life to Live.

To check out other actresses who started on soaps, including which show can boast the most big-time alumni, and which prime-time soap currently features a Daytime Emmy winner, and much, much more, go to:

And for a list of actors who also got their start on daytime (which soap star lied about his age to get a movie, role, which two future Star Wars actors shared a role?) go to:

Wednesday, April 02, 2014


Whether you first met Louise Sorel as the pigeon-puff making Augusta on Santa Barbara, the nemesis-burying Vivian on Days of Our Lives or as the imperial Judith (who, alas, neither cooked nor buried) on One Life to Live, you know that she can play a character!

Well, now she's playing several of them in a new, stage revival of I Remember Mama, running through April 20 at The Gym at Judson in New York City, where ten actresses assume all twenty-five speaking roles.

Tickets to the show are regularly $59 dollars, but soap - and Louise Sorel - fans can click this link and enter code: IRMRRM to purchase the same seat for only $39.

Or, if you're really feeling lucky, enter the Soap Opera 451 giveaway! I've got two pairs of tickets to give away to two lucky winners. Just email with the subject line "Win Tickets" to be entered in our drawing. Winners will be notified by email on Friday, April 11, 2014.

In the meantime, to get you in the mood, enjoy our interview with Louise Sorel about I Remember Mama... and soaps, too!

Soap Opera 451: In this production of "I Remember Mama," you are playing more than one character. Which ones are they, and how would you relate them to all the different characters you've played on soaps throughout the years?
Louise Sorel: I can't relate them to soaps - this is a play and the roles are from another time in life. Although the grandeur of Florence Dana Moorehead is close to Vivian Allemain - in a small way.

SO451: How is acting on stage different from acting for the camera?
LS: Stage work is larger and more complicated in that we are onstage for two hours and constantly involved.  It's never piecemeal on stage.

SO451: "I Remember Mama" explores a variety of family dynamics. So do soaps. How would you compare the way this show deals with family relationships to how soaps tackle them?
LS: I am hesitant to answer this - "Mama" is a tender, poetic familial piece and deals with historic beginnings for a family - who is poor and close - with some sibling rivalry and deep love among all of them. I don't really want to get into the difference because they are different mediums and are expressed for different reasons.

SO451: Why would soap fans in particular enjoy this production of "I Remember Mama?"
LS: This is filled with wonderful actresses and very moving - I don't know what more someone would want from the theater?  Plus it's got lovely humor.

Read more about the play at: