Book Reviews

Shatter: By Nikki Trionfo

When I finally gave in (sarcasm warning) and decided to take writing seriously, one of the first people I met was the enigmatic and exceedingly energetic Nikki Trionfo.  I met her at Frank Cole’s book launch party for Afterlife Academy, though we’d had some interaction online prior to that.  I found her to be smart, funny, extremely optimistic, and, overall, one of the most genuine people I’d ever met.

Click to go to Amazon

Now, almost two years later, she’s releasing her debut novel, Shatter.

I’ll be honest and also beg forgiveness all at once.  I haven’t been able to read it yet.  Life circumstances (*read this as “baby #3 being due any day now and lots of day job shifts) have made it impossible to find the time to get it completely read.  However, I couldn’t miss the chance to help her out in her debut week.  That’s an important moment in the life of newly published author.

When I finish the book (and I will, trust me) I will post a review.  However, prior to that, I’m going to share the book description and encourage you to give the book a try if you enjoy YA murder mysteries (here’s looking at you, mom – murder mysteries have always been your thing).

Shatter Blurb

“We never knew there could be people in the orchard. Dangerous people.”

When a mysterious explosion kills her sister, Salem becomes convinced the death was no accident–it was a conspiracy. But no one else at her high school believes her, and all she has so far are theories and clues. With Carrie’s killers still out there, Salem’s not sure who she can trust. If she can’t she prove she’s right before it’s too late, the conspiracy might take another life—hers

About Nikki:

Nikki Trionfo lives in Riverton, Utah with five kids, a CrossFit-training husband who writes computer code, and lots of hip hop background music. Her teen murder mystery, SHATTER (May ’17 from Cedar Fort), won grand prize in LDStorymakers’ First Chapter Alongside Heather Clark, she hosts free writing webinars on YouTube at #50FirstChapters.

A committed party-girl, Nikki serves as the social coordinator of LDStorymakers Conference and chair of Storymakers Tribe. Other notable stuff includes an honorable mention in Writers of the Future and a spot in Utah Horror Writer’s shorty-story anthology. This all sounds really serious, but if you run into her, she gets down. Truly.

Give it a whirl if the blurb piques your interest.  I’ll share my review here once I’ve had time to finish the book (which will be after the baby comes).

Read on!


Special thanks to the Dragon Queen, Jenna Eatough, for working on my website.  She is the Master of all Dragonkind.

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No Peace with the Dawn: By E.B. Wheeler & Jeff Bateman


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One of the best parts about being an author (in my personal opinion at least) is being able to get a hold of and read books before the general populace.  History has always been a hobby of mine (when I find the time to study it, that is) and so I jumped at the chance to get a copy of No Peace with the Dawn, by E.B. Wheeler and Jefferey Bateman.

Here’s a look at the blurb you can find on Amazon for the novel:

Clara, Reed, Trudi, and Joseph are young, optimistic college students just beginning to learn about life and love. But when the U.S. enters the Great War in 1917, their lives are forever changed. They soon find themselves in different parts of the world fighting in the war effort. But amid the horrors of war, can they stay true to who they are?
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“This is my chance to show that I deserve to be a citizen of this country too. If I come back in a casket draped in the stars and stripes, they can’t say anymore that I’m not American.”

I know the style of the day is to be oblique and coy in letters, but I feel like I must tell you what is in my heart. If nothing else, our experiences in France must surely teach us that life is fleeting and that we must live it fully while we can.
To that end, I tell you now and forever that I am in love with you.

She pressed her lips together. “I can’t help it, Bert.” She lowered her voice. “I’m angry at God too. I thought He watched over people who tried to do the right thing, but I just feel powerless—helpless—when I see all the injustices around us. It’s so wasteful. So empty and pointless.”

“You’ll find a way,” [Trudi] said. “You’ve proved you’re a fighter. A survivor.”

No Peace with the Dawn (don’t you just love that title, by the way) is a gripping tale based off historical events, complete with historical notes and additional references at the back of the book.  It’s like the Work and the Glory series met up with the Church History series (LDS storyline), but set during World War I.  For a non-religious text comparison, think The Great Escape with historical notes.  I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the time period around the Great War or fans of Historical novels in general.  It is out now and available for purchase via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and (most likely) your local bookstore.  Give it a read.

About the Authors (click on their images to see what other books they’ve written):


E.B. Wheeler


JS Bateman

“E.B. Wheeler grew up in Georgia and California. She earned her BA in history from BYU and has graduate degrees in British history and landscape architecture from Utah State University. She’s the award-winning author of The Haunting of Springett Hall and the upcoming historical romance Born to Treason and is a member of the League of Utah Writers. She lives in northern Utah with her family.”

“Jeff served in the U.S. Air Force for 32 years, retiring as a Colonel in 2010. He holds a BA and MS in
Criminal Justice, an MA in History and an MS in Strategic Studies. Following his military career, Jeff worked as a civilian historian at the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Air Force Flight Test Center. He teaches American Military History and U.S. Institutions at Utah State University and is a member of the League of Utah Writers. He has taught workshops on military writing. Jeff lives on a mini-farm in the mountains of Northern Utah, where horses, gardening, and playing the bass fill every minute he is not writing or teaching.”

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