Shatter – First book review

I said in one of our Facebook lives that I am a reader… like, I read a lot… excuse me while my glasses slip off my nose. On the Facebook live I said that I REALLY want to read a book in each place I visit that is written by a LOCAL author. I put it out into the universe and sure enough it answered back. A few days later I met Nikki Trionfo, who lives in my home city Riverton, Utah. Ironically she came to do a walk through of our home when it was for sale.

We started talking about what we do for work. She said she is a writer who just fulfilled her dream/bucket list item of writing a book. I said that we are currently fulfilling one of our dreams to travel the world for a year. In the air between us there was a silent acknowledgment that we are both on the same path of filling our lives with meaning and fullfilling our heart goals. I said that I planned to read  books as a part of our journey and I would be honored to start with hers, especially since it is from my home town.

We are both artists supporting each other. Dreamers chasing our dreams.

Next I will be traveling through the Pacific North West and NYC. I’m looking for book recommendations from those areas! Please comment below if you have any for me.

Shatter Giveaway


This week Nikki is doing a raffle alongside the release of her book Shatter for a $30 Amazon Gift Card. To enter, answer this question in the comments below “What do you love most about a good mystery book?” Then click here to enter. You must leave a comment to win.


Shatter Book Review


With help from my sister in-law who’s also an avid reader, here is our review of Shatter!

Nikki Trionfo’s debut novel Shatter is a coming of age novel brimming with mystery, thrills, and romance. As the subtitle suggests, “Three bodies. Two Liars. One Killer”

Salem, our protagonist, is devastated after an explosion kills her sister. Trying to come to grips with the events surrounding her sister’s death, Salem becomes suspicious and suspects it was more than an accident. She follows the trail of clues into the dark corners of her world where friends become enemies and enemies become friends. But who can she really trust? And how far will the killer go to cover the secrets Salem is so desperate to reveal?

An effortless read that never felt shallow. The pacing was perfect; enough to keep the story moving while still keeping you guessing until the very end. The characters were endearing and true to life. I especially enjoyed the message underscoring the novel, illustrating the pitfalls of judging a person’s character too quickly based on appearances and socioeconomic factors. This was a compelling read from the first page to the last.

So along with your flip flops, sunglasses and sunblock, make sure you throw Nikki Trionfo’s book Shatter into your tote bag for the perfect summer day. Get your hands on some fun summer reading, click here for your copy of Shatter!

Guest Post by the Author:


“When Your  Author Dreams are Just That . . . Dreams

I’m in love with the idea of a writing bucket-list these days, not just because other cool people are doing it but because of an aspect of writing that’s difficult for nearly everyone.  Eternal . . . . . . Waiting

For almost ten years I wanted to be an author. I wrote and wrote for six years. I finished a second manuscript and loved it. I was proud. Today, four years later, it’s debuting. That’s a lot of waiting! Waiting messed with my head. Definitions also messed with my head. In many ways, I was just as accomplished a writer then as I was now, but wasn’t an author. For four years.

Becoming an author is not like becoming an NBA player. With NBA dreams, by the time you’re twenty-five, you have what’s known as an ANSWER. You are either 1) a professional NBA player, or 2) mourning your no and moving on.

Writers, on the other hand, have no idea what an ANSWER is because we are told never to move on in the face of a no. Did you get rejected by fifty-six agents? Query fifty-six more. Besides, thirty-four of the agents you queried haven’t responded, so technically they could still say yes. GO CHECK YOUR EMAIL NOW!!

It was like breaking the space-time continuum. The time-loop scenario was so embedded into the process of writing that sometimes, even when I made progress, I couldn’t see it. I jumped directly from trying to get a manuscript written to trying to score an agent to trying to get a contract with no sense of accomplishment.

That’s where a writing bucket-list came in and saved me.

I jotted down a whole bunch of things I dreamed of doing, and celebrated when I accomplished them even though Taylor Swift has still never written a song about the main character of Shatter. I did this long before I got any publication contract. I framed the award certificate of a small writing contest. I splurged on $15 worth of business cards—color business cards. The real deal. I volunteered to teach teenagers about writing even though I wasn’t a “real author.” My friends were already doing cool stuff like this. Heather Clark had a bumper sticker that simply read “Writer.” Eric James Stone got more specific with his personalized license plate: SFWRTR.

You might be like me. You might have all sorts of writing bucket-list items that don’t require achievements like being published or being a best-seller. Don’t fall into the time-loop and lose out on them. Write them down. Do them. Celebrate them. The silly ones. The little ones. The big ones. And I’m not going to limit your imagination by listing sixty things below. This is about what you want. To get the ball rolling, however, I do plan to tweet a few of my items each Tuesday for the next month. Feel free to join in. I’ll use #WritingBL since #WritingBucketList is so long.

There. Did you see that? I just accomplished my Writing Bucket List Item Number 43: “publicly declare a new writing-oriented hashtag.”

Try it yourself. It feels amazing!”

Five Take Flight Faves

  • Saar Delfgou
    Posted at 14:45h, 10 May Reply

    What I love about a good mystery book is that it pulls you in and just like that days around you pass by without you noticing, cause you’re in a whole different universe.
    Absolutely love your blog! And your dreams ❤️ Next year I am following my big dream of doing a huge roadtrip through Europe for a year. I am going to turn a van into a mobile home and I’m super excited! ❤️

    • Kenzie Tillotson
      Posted at 14:51h, 10 May Reply

      Seriously! Can I join you!? I want to see pics of your home on wheels

  • Brittany Liebman
    Posted at 14:47h, 10 May Reply

    What I love most about a good mystery book…the suspense and how my mind goes in a million directions trying to solve the mystery. I love adding all of the clues together like some sort of investigator, trying to figure it all out and think about what’s coming next. And then I love the end when you finally get all of the answers and have that “ah ha!” moment where everything makes sense.

  • Toni Hitch
    Posted at 14:47h, 10 May Reply

    What I love most about a mystery novel is the alluring fear of the unknown. You can transport yourself to another world where you are the dreamer, able to visualise the story in your mind, the way you see the story and the characters and the way the mystery grips you.

    • Kenzie Tillotson
      Posted at 14:52h, 10 May Reply

      I am right there with you on being transported into another world! Best part of reading 🙂

  • Alisha Debuty
    Posted at 14:50h, 10 May Reply

    I love trying to figure out the answer to the mystery before the character or characters explain the answer. Usually I write down my idea or thought on the matter and then continue reading. I enjoy going back and comparing what I guessed to how it actually ended.

    • Kenzie Tillotson
      Posted at 14:56h, 10 May Reply

      Ha! I do that too.

  • Amanda Recicar
    Posted at 14:55h, 10 May Reply

    What I love about a good mystery is trying to fit all the puzzle pieces together in order to figure out who or what the outcome is or who is behind the mysterious happening. Another thing about a good mystery is that it will draw you in to the plot. It makes reading exciting and enduring!

  • Alisha Debuty
    Posted at 14:56h, 10 May Reply

    I love trying to figure out the mystery before the character or characters. After I read some of the book I write down how I think the book will end. Then after I finish reading, I compare my idea to how the story actually ended and if I was close to the answer in the mystery.

  • Rebecca Gibson
    Posted at 15:00h, 10 May Reply

    I loved mystery books as a child. Every Nancy Drew, Boxcar Children, Hardy Boys… I loved the suspense and trying to figure out what was happening before the story gave details.

  • Courtney Lynn Jenkins
    Posted at 15:03h, 10 May Reply

    I love the feeling of the unknown. Some people seek it through travel, some through starting new hobbies or new sports. Some through taking risks. I love it presented in a mystery book because it’s super engaging and captivating. I’m oftentimes impatient to find out the solved mystery but I love the mood it stirs up between the lines. 💛

    • Kenzie Tillotson
      Posted at 16:38h, 10 May Reply

      I am totally impatient!

  • Jill Manis
    Posted at 15:07h, 10 May Reply

    Mystery needs good character development. You really need to get inside each person’s head and feel like you know each suspect/person. I hate when it ends up being some random person you ‘met’ once. Let me question everything and almost understand why someone could be so twisted. 😉

  • Shantal Brake
    Posted at 15:07h, 10 May Reply

    What I love most about a mystery is a surprise ending that ties everything together.

  • Amberly Glover
    Posted at 15:08h, 10 May Reply

    I love how reading a mystery book keeps you engaged and always has a plot twist right when you think you know the answer.

  • Amberly Glover
    Posted at 15:12h, 10 May Reply

    What I love about a good mystery book is how it keeps me as a reader engaged and how there always seems to be a plot twist right when you think you’ve figured it all out.

  • Brandy Snavely
    Posted at 15:15h, 10 May Reply

    My favorite thing is the challenge of discovering who the culprit is before they’re revealed. One of my favorite authors, Steven James, is good at making it a real challenge while it is still possible to figure it out. I never do, but my dad does sometimes. Haha

  • Sarah Ferguson
    Posted at 15:36h, 10 May Reply

    I love a good mystery book that takes different turns and keeps me guessing. I like to be so caught up in solving the mystery that I can’t put down the book.

  • Karen shelton
    Posted at 15:37h, 10 May Reply

    For a mystery book, I love intriguing characters. They have to really invest me in 2-3 amazing characters before I’m even interested in the plot line!

  • Nikki Trionfo
    Posted at 15:46h, 10 May Reply

    I love a good twist ending, where you should have seen it coming but you didn’t at all.

    Thanks, Kenzie, for hosting Shatter. You wrote such a touching post about it. I really feel like my dreams of becoming an author finally “arrived.” Not only are people talking about and even buying Shatter, I’ve been able to present at a few school and I’m teaching at a writing conference this weekend. I’m nervous and scared and so grateful and at peace! Running into you must have been fate for sure!

    • Kenzie Tillotson
      Posted at 17:04h, 10 May Reply

      Thanks for sharing your skills with world 🙂

  • Ali Chambers
    Posted at 16:19h, 10 May Reply

    For me, its the chance to play detective with the book. I like guessing whats going to happen, but a good mystery is even better, because the twist is something I couldnt even imagine.

  • Jodi Brown
    Posted at 16:50h, 10 May Reply

    Traveling the world and reading awesome books along the way? Sounds like a dream come true!!

  • Jodi Brown
    Posted at 16:53h, 10 May Reply

    Oops I forgot to say what I love most about a good mystery book- I love how it sucks you in and you just can’t put it down! You end up staying up way too late and you don’t even care.

    • Kenzie Tillotson
      Posted at 17:03h, 10 May Reply

      I don’t care until my 3 year old comes in bright and early demanding milk and cereal! 🙂

  • Jess Qvist
    Posted at 17:25h, 10 May Reply

    My favourite part of mystery books is that feeling you get when you’re unsure what’s about to happen on the next page. I think a truly successful mystery writer takes their time, giving little bits of information at a time, and not just rushing off to the answer. I always enjoying reading the suspenseful passages a lot more than the actual solution or answer. However, saying that, I feel that it’s also important that the answer links up with the rest of the book. There’s nothing more disappointing than being really into the suspenseful parts of the book, seriously expecting some epic ending, only for it to end randomly. Antiii climax.
    Effective linking is important.

    Also I feel that any book that can make you think is a good one. There’s nothing better than getting to an end of a book, having a bunch of questions, and spending the next few days coming up with various theories. Twists are great if they are executed properly.

  • Hannah Froese
    Posted at 17:56h, 10 May Reply

    What I love most about a good mystery is the utter suspense. You can’t put the book down because things are being uncovered and things that you thought were happening may drastically change.

  • Melissa madison
    Posted at 18:06h, 10 May Reply

    I thought of entering took the first few steps. But I have a toddler. With no help.
    So no way I’m oing to be able to read it. 😂😂😂

  • Gaby
    Posted at 18:45h, 10 May Reply

    What I love most about a good mystery book, is that it can be such a page turner! Seriously, nothing feels better than when you just want to keep reading and turning that page. That feeling in your stomach of what comes next is so thrilling. 🙂

  • Brianna Howard
    Posted at 19:23h, 10 May Reply

    What I love about a good mystery book…is when you’re completely mesmerized, and think you finally know what’s happening, and then PLOT TWIST, and suddenly you gasp and your heart skips a beat and the wires and gears in your brain start moving again, and just like that…you fall in love all over again with its plot.

  • Kaylene Ball
    Posted at 20:17h, 10 May Reply

    I love the suspense of a mystery, but I also just like to see how the details weave together!

  • Matteleine Starmer
    Posted at 20:53h, 10 May Reply

    What I love most about a good mystery is finding out “who dunnit”! The suspense is the best part, but finally find out the culprit or the antagonist is such a long awaited thrill

    • Kenzie Tillotson
      Posted at 22:06h, 10 May Reply

      haha! “Who dunnit!” 😂

  • Ily Murdock
    Posted at 00:29h, 11 May Reply

    What I love most about a good mystery book is that I get a great excuse to ignore housework!!! when the book is good enough to ignore everything around me such as the messes my kids make I am in heaven!

    • Kenzie Tillotson
      Posted at 14:53h, 11 May Reply

      haha! I’ve done this several times 😂

  • Alexis Camilleri
    Posted at 00:55h, 11 May Reply

    What I love most about a mystery book is that it makes me view everyday things in a completely new light. I was in a new neighbourhood promoting a camp last year when I noticed a huge hedge in someone’s backyard as I walked down the street. In the middle of the hedge was a red door. My mind immediately envisioned the secret garden! Still curious to know if there is anything behind that door, I kind of like the mystery of the memory though!

    • Kenzie Tillotson
      Posted at 14:53h, 11 May Reply

      Now you’ve got me intrigued! where is this door!? I am going in!

  • Monique V
    Posted at 04:12h, 11 May Reply

    I love a good mystery because of the suspense. I get hooked and can’t put it down because I just need to know what happens next.

  • Derek
    Posted at 05:58h, 11 May Reply

    Love your posts!!

  • Kelee Hansen
    Posted at 12:47h, 14 May Reply

    I love the challenge of a good mystery and looking for the subtle clues.

  • Emily Smith
    Posted at 01:47h, 17 May Reply

    My favorite thing about mystery books is you never know what to expect. When you think you’re on to something, there is some sort of twist and it’s a shock.

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