Thursday, January 22, 2015


Nah, just kidding.

But Marie Grace Berg of the Today's Leading Woman Podcast did interview me about turning my previously traditionally published books into enhanced ebooks, including the Figure Skating Mystery series, where I added professional videos from Ice Theatre of NY alongside the story.

To get a sneak peek of what that would look like, click here.

And to listen to the podcast, go to:

You can hear about the enhanced skating ebooks, as well as about the book that I am writing live with real-time reader feedback at

And just in time for the 2015 US Figure Skating National Championships, all five of the Figure Skating Mysteries are available to be borrowed for FREE on Amazon Prime.

Just click the links below!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


On General Hospital, Sonny has 99 problems, and 98 of them have to do with being in jail, Ava, being in jail, Julian, being in jail, Johnny, and being in jail. But what is occupying the bulk of his mumbling and obsessing time?

How about the fact that Michael has turned his back on his adoptive dad, Sonny (well, both his parents—mom Carly, too), and returned to his biological father’s family, the Quartermaines? (We shall now take a moment to recall that Sonny managed to adopt Michael by hanging his bio dad on a meat hook and threatening to kill him unless he signed the papers; so it wasn’t exactly voluntary.)

But Sonny has always been more obsessed with Michael than he is interested in his natural children, including Dante (okay, Sonny didn’t know about him growing up; but he also shot him in the chest), Morgan (he shot Morgan’s mother in the head during delivery), Kristina (she’s a girl, so, whatever), and the newborn Avery (who had an equally good shot at turning out to be Sonny’s granddaughter due to her mother, Ava, also sleeping with the aforementioned Morgan).

Maybe Sonny loves Michael more because he’s named after him. Or maybe it’s because Sonny really enjoys taking things that are rightfully theirs away from other people. (Probably why he went into the mobstering business.) Or maybe it’s because, since they’re not biologically related, Michael always had the option of choosing someone else over Sonny. And Sonny really, really hates coming in second place. (Just ask Jax.)

On soaps, disputed paternity (and sometimes even maternity) is a near-daily occurrence. As a result, a lot of importance is placed on blood being thicker than water. Children are routinely handed over following the latest blood test, no matter how bonded they may have been to the original, presumed parent.

Every once in a while, however, some soap-opera parents prioritize their adoptive child over all the rest. Those instances are so rare, they deserve deeper exploration. Check out some of our favorites at Entertainment Weekly and make sure you leave a comment!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Last week, news broke that Kristen Alderson would soon be leaving General Hospital. Whether by her choice or the show’s depends on whom you believe.

It wasn’t too much of a surprise, though, as Alderson’s character never really caught on with fans. Or, rather, Alderson’s characters never caught on.

A daytime vet, Alderson began playing the role of Starr on One Life to Live in 1998, at the ripe old age of six. (This was after she’d already appeared on Broadway as Molly in the musical Annie. Feeling like an underachiever yet?) Alderson grew up in the part until the show’s cancellation in 2012, whereupon Starr was relocated to Port Charles and GH. However, a lawsuit from Prospect Park, the company that bought the rights to revive OLTL online, forced GH to send Starr out of town. They then brought on a totally new character, Kiki Jerome—who, for reasons never explained or acknowledged, happened to look exactly like Starr and was also, coincidentally, played by Alderson.

Soaps try to pulls these kinds of switcheroos all the time, taking popular actors, giving them new character names, and hoping that lightning will strike twice. Especially when it comes to super-couples.

Unfortunately, it never, ever works.

Want proof? Check out this week's Entertainment Weekly soap column at:

Monday, January 12, 2015


It’s earned over $100 million at the box office so far, charting the best debut of a Broadway-inspired musical ever, so Disney’s Christmas Day release of “Into the Woods” looks on track to become a record-breaking hit.

As a Stephen Sondheim fan, I would agree that “Into the Woods” is a terrific musical (and for those concerned, fine for kids; mine had the soundtrack memorized in preschool, and they’ve seen the Broadway production, the Shakespeare in the Park version, and now the movie). As someone with a Masters degree in Media Analysis who writes on Jewish topics, I also see “Into the Woods” as quietly, subversively Jewish. Here’s why.

Stephen Sondheim is Jewish. Wealthy, assimilated, grew up on the Upper West Side of New York City Jewish. (Sondheim’s first Broadway job was writing the lyrics to “West Side Story.” When offered the assignment, he reportedly responded, “But I don’t know any Puerto Ricans. I don’t even know any poor people.”) In the book, “Stars of David” by Abigail Pogrebin, Sondheim confessed he also didn’t know how to pronounce “Yom Kippur” until his “West Side Story” collaborator, Leonard Bernstein, set him straight.

Still, I contend that just because he didn’t grow up listening to “Kol Nidre,” or consciously set out to write a musical infused with Jewish themes, that doesn’t mean “Into the Woods” isn’t, at heart, a Jewish show.

Read more at:

Friday, January 09, 2015


My very first published book, a Regency romance, The Fictitious Marquis (AVON 1994), is finally being re-released as an e-book.

Check out the cover below, and thank you to everyone who offered their opinions about it!

Thursday, January 08, 2015


There are two ways to do a musical series on television.

One is to set the musical aspect in a world where characters have a legitimate reason to spontaneously break into song. Shows like The Partridge Family, Fame, Glee, and Smash all took advantage of that trope, having their characters perform at any and every opportunity.

The other option is to have perfectly realistic settings, where you wouldn't expect anyone to suddenly commence crooning — only to have them do it, anyway. It's the ancient performance technique Broadway musicals have employed for years. After all, alley cats, homicidal English barbers, revolutionary French peasants, and your average historical figure, Ragtime-era or not, don't, as a rule, go around warbling their innermost fears, thoughts and feelings. It's a stylistic narrative choice.

Television shows that have chosen to follow the latter, more complicated path through the years have included Rags to Riches, Viva Laughlin, and, of course, that ultimate punchline, Cop Rock. (We're not counting special, one-off, fantasy musical episodes of otherwise non-musical programs, like Chicago Hope, Oz, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, That 70s Show, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, etc...)

There's probably a reason why all of the shows in the first category managed to eke out more than a single season. And the ones in the second category... didn't. (Technically, Rags to Riches was on the air for two years, but their first was a truncated, eight episode run, and the second was axed after twelve airings.)

That reason most likely has to do with a manageable suspension of disbelief. It's one thing to accept uncharacteristic singing coming from the stage, where everything is already artificial, non-realistic, and heightened. It's quite another to be watching a television episode that looks and feels exactly like Hill Street Blues (another Steve Bochco creation) only to suddenly see the hard-core cops and robbers start rapping or, even more disconcerting, belting out a heartfelt ballad.

To read about ABC's latest attempt to bring musical theater to America's living rooms, Galavant, which premiered this past Sunday, read my post at BlogHer Entertainment:

Wednesday, January 07, 2015


Musicals are breaking out all over!

The film version of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods is close to earning $100 million at the box-office (I told you casting soap-opera stars was a smart move), while ABC’s all-singing/all-dancing knight errant, Galavant, was the third-highest-rated comedy series debut of the season.

Of course, as always, soap operas are ahead of the curve, offering musical episodes before it was all the rage.

So get out your tap shoes and hold on to your microphones: We’re counting down soap operas’ top 5 best musical interludes of all time, including examples from GH, Y&R, B&B and more at Entertainment Weekly. Click here to check it out and add your own suggestions!