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Michael's Secrets

Milton Stern

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ISBN 10: 1934187461 / ISBN 13: 9781934187463
Published by STARbooks Press, 2009
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Michael's Secrets

Publisher: STARbooks Press

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

Edition: 0.

About this title



Just when things are looking up for Hollywood television and screen writer, Michael Bern, his TV show is cancelled, his best friend dies face first into her birthday cake, and his dog decides to take an eternal nap in her favorite chair. To escape the unending drama of Tinsel Town, he accepts an offer to move to Washington, DC, and co-write a screenplay with his friend, Sharon. But, anyone who knows Michael knows that drama just follows him everywhere, and it is usually of his own making.

He meets and falls in love with Steve, a narcissistic "leather queen in a sash," as his friend Mark calls him. The sex is hot, but it is followed by the emotional game of push-pull. Just when Michael extricates himself from this relationship, he finds out the darkest secret from his childhood, and emotionally raw, he allows himself to be pulled back into Steve's world only to fall harder than ever. But, there is someone else - Sam, a nice Jewish actor, who would be perfect for Michael, yet it's the oldest story in the book. He liked a man he never loved and loved a man he never liked.

At least Rona and Doreen, the surviving girls from his mother's Tuesday night Mah Jongg game, are there to add much needed humor to Michael's oh-so-dramatic life in DC. Now living together, Rona and Doreen reveal secrets from Michael's past that explain his attraction to men who use him then discard him.

If it all sounds dreary and depressing, it isn't because Milton Stern's wit and style entertain us once more as he finds humor in everything, and in MICHAEL'S SECRETS, he does not fail to deliver.

From the Publisher:

Novel Takes Humorous Look at How We Carry Childhood Scars into Adult Relationships

In his latest novel, Milton Stern uses humor to examine how the darkest secrets of our childhood affect our adult relationships, as the girls from "On Tuesdays, They Played Mah Jongg" return in "Michael's Secrets."

Set twenty years later, "Michael's Secrets" brings back Rona Sapperstein and Doreen Weiner, the surviving players from Michael Bern's mother's Tuesday night Mah Jongg game as the highly successful television comedy writer begins a new chapter in his life. As he rediscovers a city, where he stayed every summer with his grandmother, and enters into not one, but two, new relationships, Michael begins to understand why he is attracted to certain types of men as well as the circumstances of his career path.

"I was once asked many years ago if I was ever serious," Milton Stern says as he relaxes in his Washington, DC, apartment. "The truth is I am usually serious, it is just that I find it better if not easier to find the humor in the darkest situations, which at times confuses people."

Readers will witness how a stable, successful, television comedy writer can experience an emotional meltdown as he is drawn into a codependent relationship with a needy narcissist. "As much as many of us would never admit it," Milton Stern continues, "Most of us have been in a relationship with someone, whether friend, lover, or spouse, that has turned us into something we do not recognize and made us do things we regret as we succumb to the actions of the irrational sides of our personalities." In "Michael's Secrets," the main character does just that. "For instance, how many of us have found ourselves becoming borderline stalkers?" he asks with a smile.

The author is convinced that many readers will see themselves in "Michael's Secrets" but never admit it out loud. "I think there are points where people will cry, gasp in horror, laugh out loud and shake their heads," Stern says. "Ironically, my intent was not to shock, just to tell a story."

When asked why a sequel to "On Tuesdays, They Played Mah Jongg," Stern replies, "Michael Bern's story was left unresolved as he faced the demons of one strange year in his life, but he never took a look at what led to that year, and I wanted to go back to the beginning to see what made him who he is. `Michael's Secrets' actually opens with the story of his birth and the situation around it, which becomes more influential to his actions as discovers the biggest secret of all."

He also states that he wanted to update his readers on what happened to Rona and Doreen, who are now living together and more hilarious than ever. "I have so much fun writing about Rona and Doreen, especially the way they talk to each other," Stern says. "These characters are based on women I knew."

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