Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Writing”

One Man’s Quest For Yoo-hoo

A few years ago I was camping with my family in Maine and several of them wanted to go on a hike in the morning. They asked me if I’d like to join them and I said, “No, I think I’ll stay here and read my book.” The book I was reading was one of Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar novels. If you’ve never read one of his books you should. While you’re at it, read all of them as he’s my favorite author and his novels are excellent. Anyway, while reading this book I came across a section in the story where Myron starts drinking a bottle of Yoo-hoo, his favorite drink. Like a cheeseburger in a TV commercial, I responded like a Pavlovian dog and was instantly in the mood for the chocolaty goodness of Yoo-hoo.

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Review: ThrillerFest XIII

ThrillerFest is the premier conference for thriller writers and readers. ThrillerFext XIII marks my fourth time at this event and it fittingly kicked off on Friday the 13th. Over two days, numerous panels took place on a wide range of topics – everything from how to best execute a fictional character to how to handle sex scenes in thrillers. These panels were comprised of new, best-selling, and seasoned authors, all offering a unique perspective on myriad issues and trends.

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After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

After Anna is one of Lisa Scottoline’s best books, and it’s my favorite of hers since 2015’s Corrupted. Similar to CorruptedAfter Anna jumps back and forth through time. However, in this new thriller Lisa applies a unique approach. There are two main storylines: one moves forward in time, while the other moves backward. As I read this intricately-woven tale, I was amazed that Lisa was able to keep everything straight. Most authors would slip up at some point. I can only imagine how harrowing the revision process must have been for this novel. Aside from the technical virtuosity on display, this book sings from an emotional standpoint. The characters are intriguing, fully-realized, and unpredictably believable. And the plot’s biggest twist is one I didn’t predict, even though I was able to foretell some of the smaller subsequent details. After Anna is a five-star classic that all thriller and mystery enthusiasts should read. You won’t be disappointed.

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Review: Waterproof Amazon Kindle Oasis

Amazon recently released the all-new Kindle Oasis, which is the first-ever waterproof Kindle. Is it worth buying? Watch my video review below to find out.

Interview: James Patterson MasterClass Winner Kecia Bal

Kecia Bal won the first James Patterson MasterClass Co-Author Competition. Her proposed topic and outline for a book she hoped to write with the world’s best-selling author was chosen by the man himself. In June 2016 she received a fateful call from James Patterson telling her that out of the thousands of submissions, hers was the best and she’d have the opportunity to bring that idea to life working side-by-side with the foremost writer in the thriller genre. Together they wrote and published The Dolls, an imaginative and compelling entry in James Patterson’s BookShots series of bite-sized thrillers that clock in around 150 pages. Below is my interview with Bal, who was kind enough to share her thoughts on this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Book Review: Exposed by Lisa Scottoline

On my honeymoon I finished reading the latest thriller by Lisa Scottoline, Exposed, and it was highly entertaining. As with many of Lisa’s books, this one centers on an ethical dilemma. It also spends a lot of time on interpersonal relationships, which many thriller writers fail to do. It’s one of the reasons why Lisa is so good at her craft – she takes the time to develop characters so readers are more invested in the outcome. By the end of the book, I was definitely fully engaged in what was going on, and the last twist was so surprising I read it twice. While Corrupted still remains my favorite book by this talented author, Exposed is absolutely worth reading – even if you’re not on your honeymoon.

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Book Review: The Boss Always Sits In The Back

Like many people, I’ve seen The GodfatherThe Sopranos, Goodfellas, and other movie and TV adaptations of the mafia. But I’ve never read a book about this subject matter, until now. The other day I finished reading The Boss Always Sits In The Back by Jon D’Amore and it was excellent! It tells the story of his limited involvement with the NJ mafia in the 1970s – specifically how they were scamming casinos in Vegas. I found it fascinating to read about and the pages flew by. Everyone from Frank Sinatra to John Gotti make appearances in this compelling book. What makes The Boss Always Sits In The Back such an engaging read is that it’s funny, riveting and touching, all at once. While Jon D’Amore may not be a name you know going into this book, it’s one you won’t forget after reading it. I highly recommend The Boss Always Sits In The Back. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.

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Book Review: The Adventures of the Real Tom Sawyer

Thomas B. Sawyer has led an extraordinary life. With a name like Tom Sawyer, how could he not?! From illustrating comic strips to being the head writer of Murder, She Wrote, Tom’s autobiography, The Adventures of the Real Tom Sawyer, is a delightful memoir that takes the reader through all of the interesting moments in Tom’s life. Punctuated with humor and wit, reading this book felt like I was having a cup of coffee with Tom while he told me fascinating stories about his impressive career. If you’re a lover of writing, film, TV, or simply entertainment, Tom’s autobiography is absolutely worth reading. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I believe you will too.

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Book Review: One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is one of my favorite authors and I love reading her domestic thrillers that are released every spring. Her latest, One Perfect Lie, is a solid thriller. However, I didn’t find it nearly as compelling or satisfying as her previous work.

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Spring Reading List: Three Books Worth Checking Out

My to-read list is never ending. However, there are three books that are near the top of the list and I think you should check them out.

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