Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Writing”

Book Review: 27 by Gene Simmons

Boring. That’s not a word typically associated with Gene Simmons. Unfortunately, it’s the best one to describe his new book, 27: The Legend and Mythology of the 27 Club. I went into this book wanting to enjoy it, as I have with his other literary work. However, I just couldn’t get into this one and found it to be dry compared to the charismatic and compelling style found in his other books.

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Positively Unstoppable by Diamond Dallas Page

I’ve been listening to several audiobooks lately and the newest is Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It by Diamond Dallas Page. I recently interviewed Dallas, and he was a pleasure to speak with. I’ve been eagerly anticipating his book for a while now, and I devoured it in record time. As expected, it’s excellent. From the foreword by Mick Foley to the fitness and nutritional recommendations, Positively Unstoppable is jam-packed with useful information that will educate and inspire you to live your best life.

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Live Long And . . .: What I Learned Along the Way by William Shatner

I love William Shatner. He’s a brilliant actor, incredibly funny and an inspiring person because of the longevity and diversity of his career. He’s never slowed down and along the way he’s embodied iconic roles that millions of people know and love. He’s also written numerous books that are charming, humorous, and insightful, including his newest memoir – Live Long and…: What I Learned Along the Way.

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Why Did James Patterson’s BookShots Fail?

On June 7, 2016, I reported that James Patterson, the world’s best-selling author, set out to start a revolution in the publishing industry with the launch of his BookShots line. These bite-sized books were marketed as being 150 pages or less and they were priced at $4.99. Patterson said, at the time, that he had 117 ready to go and planned on releasing 50 in 2016. As of right now, only 66 have been published over the past 16 months and there hasn’t been a new thriller in the line since December 2017’s Avalanche. With all signs pointing to this revolution not succeeding you might be wondering, why didn’t BookShots take off the way James Patterson had hoped? Let’s take a look.

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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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