Book Review: The Kiss of the Blue Howler by Victoria Bastedo

The Kiss of the Blue Howler by Victoria Bastedo

A Fantasy novel published by Amazon Digital Services (06/03/2017)


“But life in a cavern was all-inclusive.” (Page 297)

Life Underneath is full of wonder. For the son of the elader of Ishtish, Xerai, life is simple. He is the Instinctive and must protect the people of Ishtish with his powers of instinct. One evening, he finds Zephyr, a mute ThoEn who can only speak through pictures she paints around her. She is lonely and afraid and doesn’t trust Xera, but when she doesn’t come with him to town before nightfall, the Blue Howlers will get her. The Blue Howlers have never been so aggressive and Xerai, along with Zephyr, will have to figure out what’s wrong before it’s too late.


Instincts, War, Abilities, Kingdom, Underwater, Underneath, Companionship, Friendship, Loyalty, Leader, Sacrifice, Loss, Love, Water, Visual, Creatures

My Review:

Bastedo has an ease of storytelling that is unusual in so many authors! It is so easy to read this story, even trying to understand this new world she has painted for us.

The story and the imagination just keeps growing and all the elements are interconnected in a logical way that gives the story more depth and intrigue as the novel unfolds. The conclusion tied up all loose ends and ended as magically as it began.

Though Zephyr is mute, she is able to fully communicate. I love how this apparent ‘disability’ isn’t a hindrance to Zephyr interacting with others around her. It is so awesome to have diverse characters like Zephyr.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services 06/03/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 4.75


Links for more information:




Victoria Bastedo WordPress

Maple Valley Days 4th Year Follow-up


Next year I resolve to take more pictures! I absolutely love Maple Valley Days. I spent 32 hours volunteering in the park for the festival and quite a few prior helping to organize. Even though I spent about 10 minutes total inside our booth (and was able to help sell a book while I was in the tent whoop whoop), as a volunteer I interact with almost every other vendor (over 100) and always talk up the local writer’s booth!

Here are all the pictures I took.

I was thrilled to see all the corgis (not pictured). At least 3 tri-colored corgis and one 16-week old puppy corgi that was such a cuddler!

Upcoming Local Event: Maple Valley Days! This Weekend

You can find FVP and some great books by local authors at Maple Valley Days near the info booth! This is our fourth year at Maple Valley Days and we have some new books since last year.

Check out our 2016 Maple Valley Days

Check out our 2015 Maple Valley Days

Check out our 2014 Maple Valley Days

23601 224th Ave SE
Maple Valley, WA 98038
Friday: 3pm – 8pm – Carnival  stays open until 10.
Saturday: 10am – 8pm
Sunday: 10am – 5pm
For more information, visit the official website HERE or visit the new Facebook page HERE

Wine & Words and 2017 Book Release Party Today (4/27/17) in WA

Two lovely events you can go to today are happening in my local corner of the Pacific Northwest. Find and support local authors. Wine specials and eats at the Black Dog and free drinks and snacks at the Bookstore. If you’re clever and/or a fast driver, you can come to both events!

If you live near North Bend/Snoqualmie – I suggest you attend the Wine and Words event with FreeValley Publishing authors and special guest Jeffrey Cook.

Time: 6pm

Location: the Black Dog (8062 Railroad Ave, Snoqualmie, WA 98065)

If you live near Seattle’s north Eastside – I suggest you attend the 2017 Book Release Party with the Writer’s Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest at the UW Bookstore at Mill Creek. I’ll have my newest release, Nichole’s Book of Practical Things, as well as all my other young adult titles available.

Time: 4pm – 7pm

Location: UW Bookstore Mill Creek (Mill Creek Town Center, 15311 Main St, Mill Creek, WA 98012)


Happy April Fools! Rachel Accomplishes Her Life Goal of 50 Push Ups

Happy April Fools!

I decided not to eat 50 donuts, but to film myself attempting to do 50 push-ups! More or less I’ve accomplished this goal! I will also be releasing Nichole’s Book of Practical Things later today as a print book and the latest accompaniment book in the For the Love of Donuts Series.

Here is Nichole’s Book! 

Book Review: Mini-Droids and Tea- Seattle by Victoria Bastedo

Mini-Droids and Tea- Seattle by Victoria Bastedo

A Romance novel published by Amazon Digital Services (03/04/2017)


Poppy is finally independent. She has her own tea shop – Teacozy – and has forgotten about her heart’s nemesis: Colepepper McSimmons. When Colepeppers start showing up in her shop, in the form of the Mini-Droids he invented and produced to look like himself along with a seven-inch tall version of herself, Poppy will be confronted by the past she never quite let go of.


Personal Phone Devices, Mini-Droid, Technology, Tea, Date, Romance, Friendship, Living your Dream, Small Business, Entrepreneur, Inventor, Lost Love

My Review:

This story goes beyond meet cute because the hero and heroine already know each other! They are each other’s heart nemesis and have to reconcile the past in order to make up, move on, and love each other as they should! I really enjoyed watching their romance take shape throughout this story and to see the struggle of both Poppy and Colepepper to trust the other with their hearts.

I loved the integration of the Mini-Droids into the story, they added an element of intrigue and interest without being the central point of the novel. We get to see the interruption a personal device has on Poppy when they look and sound just like her! This would be flattering if the inventor hadn’t broken her heart when he left her behind ten years ago!

Poppy’s struggle as en entrepreneur herself and a business owner was also quite realistic. She was quite clever with her marketing strategies and I enjoyed all the little details about her tea shop.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services 03/04/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 3.75


Links for more information:




Victoria Bastedo WordPress


Author Goals and Accomplishments from 2016 and Future Goals for 2017

Goals list of 2014

Goals list of 2015


Goals list of 2016:

  1. At One’s Beast available in King County Libraries
    1. I didn’t submit this book to the library becuase I decided to revise and republish version 2!
  2. Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1) published
    1. Yes!!! Check it out HERE
  3. Start my retirement fund
    1. Yes! I started an IRA and put money in it!
  4. Create a food/board game
    1. No, totally forgot about this one….
  5. Watch a roller derby
    1. Yess!! I even got to dress up, see it here
  6. Finish Flora’s Last Chance for Magic and submit to publishers
    1. Yes and no. I finished writing, editing, proofing, and getting a cover, but I’ve only submitted the book to one agent
  7. Re-revise My Dad the Prepper and send it out to new publishers
    1. Yes! I revised this book and sent it out to new publishers and I’ve already received several rejections (I’m up to 11 so far on this project)
  8. Make a box set case for upcoming series For the Love of Donuts using this website
    1. Forgot about this one too because I only have one book so far in the series!
  9. Publish the anthology “Stories from Seattle” with all proceeds to go to my favorite goat rescue PSGR
    1. Tabled this because nobody knew about submissions, but I did submit to a Hot MC biker chick anthology 😉
  10. Finish my brother’s recipe book so he can publish it
    1. Tabled this one as he lost interest in completing this project
  11. Publish Cafe Connections (Aster & Tilde book 1) on 10/31/16
    1. HA ha ha. I have so far to go on editing for this! I want Aster & Tilde books 1 and 2 (editing and rewrites) to be my project for Nano 2017
  12. Get professional author photos
    1. Nope. I have enough amateur photos for now…
  13. Learn a special dance or solo
    1. Sigh. Tabled. But I did choose the perfect song to learn once I get around to it!
  14. Bask in a sea of donuts
    1. No. Tabled this one as well because I haven’t sourced these donuts yet.

2017 Goals!!! Writing and Beyond:


  • Publish Seize the Donut (for the Love of Donuts Book 2) on National Donut Day – June 2nd, 2017
  • Edit my short stories – Celebrity Dreamscapes, Smart Fraud, The Man Who Never Slept
  • Send out my short stories for publication!
  • Version 2 of At One’s Beast (edit, revise, re-release)
  • Find an agent for Flora’s Last Chance for Magic
  • Find a publisher or artist for my children’s picture book
  • Write and art for children’s picture book about pole dance
  • Write a children’s picture book about dad catch phrases or dad puns
  • Revise Aster & Tilde
  • Write Aster & Tilde book 2 and plan out the series
  • Review 1 Indie book a week
  • Go to Emerald City Writer’s Conference again
  • Start editing Dollars to Donuts (for the Love of Donuts book 3)
  • Publish Nichole’s Book of Awesome Things (for the Love of Donuts accompaniment 2) for release with Seize the Donut
  • Create a coloring book of donuts (for the Love of Donuts accompaniment 3) for release in the winter
  • Create an audio book of my poetry book
  • YouTube video 1x/month
  • Get 500 Instagram followers
  • Reach 250 Facebook likes on author page
  • Reach 250 Facebook friends
  • Reach 250 Twitter followers
  • Get to 2000 newsletter subscribers


  • Mile in 10 minutes
  • 50 push-ups in one go
  • Inversions other side solid
  • Shoulder mount
  • Level up inversions at Divine
  • Dance performance
  • 200 pole classes lifetime
  • 10 pull ups