Slay Me

Author: Louise Cypress

Narrators: Reba Buhr, Alexander Cendese

Length: 8 hours 48 minutes

Series: The Puritan Coven Series, Book 3

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Release date: Feb. 19, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance; Young Adult

He’s a vampire bad boy. She’s a slayer’s daughter who’s never been kissed.

Kyle Logan has been a 16-year-old bad boy for three years, ever since he became a vampire. After a stint at the rehab center run by the Brothers of Temperance, Kyle has finally kicked his blood addiction. Now, he’s back in high school with one goal in mind: stay clean so he can grow up and become an animal-rights activist.

Cassandra Xander wants two things in 10th grade: a car and the chance to attend a traditional high school. She loved being homeschooled growing up, especially since her family moved every six months for Helsing Incorporated, but now that her mother is founding a slayer training academy in La Jolla, California, Cassandra is excited by the opportunity to attend La Jolla Cove High.

When Kyle witnesses Cassandra give a verbal reckoning to a dog owner who leaves her beagle locked in a sweltering car, Kyle makes his move. He loves that Cassandra is smart, intense, and willing to break rules. But Cassandra has zero experience dating and isn’t sure a relationship with a hot-tempered vampire is a good place to start – especially when she discovers Kyle’s secret ability.

Kyle works hard to master his emotions and make all of Cassandra’s high school dreams come true. Just when their romance brightens both of their lives, Kyle’s past draws him back into darkness. The only way forward for these high school sweethearts is to slay or pay.

Louise Cypress believes in friendship, true love, and the everlasting power of books. She has never met a vampire or a mermaid, but she has been to a Love Sucks concert on Valentine’s Day. She can often be found curled up with a romance novel on Saturday night, diet soda in hand, secretly wishing bustles were back in fashion. Louise is from San Diego, California, where the beach is crowded and summer is immortal.

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Narrator Bio

Reba Buhr grew up in the Pacific Northwest and now lives in Los Angeles, working in theater, film, and television. She has degrees from Occidental College in theater and classical voice. Reba began recording audiobooks in 2012 and has turned her love for performance into a passion for narrating characters that jump off the page. Reba is an accomplished voice actor and has lent her voice to many commercials, video games, and animated projects, including Popples and Knights of Sidonia for Netflix, Toonami’s Hunter x Hunter, and Zagtoon’s Zak Storm.

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Narrator Bio

Alexander Cendese is a New York–based actor/narrator whose credits include roles on and Off-Broadway, in films, and on popular television shows, including Law & Order: SVU and All My Children. He holds a BFA from the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama.

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I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Louise Cypress. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

I really enjoyed this installment. Cypress keeps you hooked into the story from the very beginning. Once again, the narrators did a phenomenal job bringing this story to life. I really appreciate how Cendese voiced Lex, I could not stop laughing at the “orange faced” vamp whenever he spoke. I wont give away any spoilers or synopsis since one has already been provided.

I was happy to get Cassandra’s POV. I liked how her and Kyle were perfect together and how they made each other grow. It was great to see Cassandra’s character grow, especially after her childishness of Bite Me and Hunt Me. At first, it was a little much, but, the accuracy of a homeschooler attending high school for the first time was astonishing. I had a friend that was homeschooled and sometimes the naivety was overwhelming, but it was because certain experiences were lacked and they could only base concepts from tv shows. Which Cassandra also does in her expectations of what her first day of high school would be like.

I think, of the three books in this series, Slay Me is my favorite. I have really enjoyed listening to this series, and I hope you do to!

Top 10 List

Top Ten Reasons to be an Audiobook Listener
  1. Voice actors make scenes come to life in new ways.
  2. You love hearing accents spoken aloud.
  3. Audiobooks are cheaper than Broadway tickets.
  4. Road-trips are always more fun with a good book to listen to.
  5. Audiobooks make great workout buddies.
  6. Washing the dishes in silence is boring.
  7. That basket of laundry won’t fold itself.
  8. You’ve run out of space on your bookshelf for more hardbacks.
  9. You love bossing Alexa around. “Alexa, read my book to me!”
  10. Up to one in five people have a language-based learning challenge like dyslexia and ear-reading is just as valid as eye-reading.

Guest Post

The Inspiration Behind SLAY ME’s Hilarious Taxidermy-Battle Scene

By Louise Cypress

Did you ever go to summer camp? I’m a lifelong Girl Scout, and when I was in college, I worked at Camp Joe Sherman in Southern California as the nature director. This meant that I was in charge of Camp Sherman’s nature museum and extensive taxidermy collection.

“Eeeww! Gross!” you might be thinking. “Those poor, defenseless creatures!”

Yup. I 100% agree with you.

Girl Scouts aren’t normally known for taxidermy—I’d like to make that clear, but Camp Sherman was an exception. The original property was owned by a guy named Joe Sherman who traveled the world hunting animals, some of which are now endangered. Meanwhile, his wife would collect rocks. All of the animals are stuffed and displayed in the living room of their old house, and the rocks are built into the fireplace.

I understand why the Girl Scouts kept the taxidermy collection on display. They weren’t the ones who killed the animals, and the animals were already dead. But still…. [shudder.]

When you spend an impressionable summer in your 20s as curator to a taxidermy collection, it does weird things to your psyche. That’s why when I wrote SLAY. ME I made Kyle, my vampire bad-boy, a vegan. I’m not vegan myself, but I definitely oppose animal cruelty.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but the end of SLAY ME features an epic taxidermy battle that had me laughing so hard that I could hardly write it. All of those summers at Girl Scout camp got processed into fiction. I took the icky and I made it funny.

I’ll just add it to the list of all the ways Girl Scouts has made a difference in life.

Giveaway

Giveaway: $30 Amazon Gift Card

The Puritan Coven Series Giveaway: $30 Amazon Gift Card
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BOOK ONE

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Lilly’s Book World

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Turning Another Page

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The Book Addict’s Reviews

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BOOK TWO

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Mar. 15th:

Book Addict

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Mar. 16th:

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BOOK THREE

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Turning Another Page

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Untamed

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Untamed by Madeline Dyer

Rating: 5 Stars

 

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. These are opinions are my own and I have not been paid for them.

Untamed was an interesting read. Not necessarily a bad kind of interesting, I am giving it 5 stars, but very interesting. It was a very unique take on a dark dystopian, especially when it is getting harder to be original in the dystopian genre.

The story is a fast read, and predictable for many aspects (I do not think this is necessarily a bad thing, because when other’s find out, it is pretty spectacular). Untamed has violent, graphic material, so if you do not like books in the YA genre that have death, killing, etc, in it, then this book may not be for you.

Seven is an Untamed. She feels, thinks, and sees untainted, unlike the Enhanced who only feel positive emotions and are supposed to be the top of the life chain as superior beings. An unfortunate event results in Seven’s capture and change to an Enhanced. She is however rescued from the Enhanced compound by her village, however many are disgusted because she is no longer untamed. While sleeping in her family’s hut, she dreams of a series of events and a bison in the sky. This indicates she is a Seer, which earns more leers and distrust from the village. The Enhanced come searching for Seven because she is a strong Seer and want her on their side. This sets of the whirlwind of adventures for Seven and some of her untamed village. 

As a note, I would advise against developing any attachments to any characters, as many die. This book is well developed with a clear plot line. The end left me curious about what will happen in book 2. The characters are enjoyable and easy to connect to. Seven is in an interesting situation where she is not quite enhanced yet no longer fully untamed. Eventually, she has to pick a side…which one will it be?

This book can easily be read in a day. It keeps the reader sucked in and is pretty fast paced from the very beginning. I look forward to continuing with Seven’s journey in future books. I am glad to have had the opportunity to read Untamed as it was very enjoyable and well worth the read. 

Heartless

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Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Rating: 2 stars

Narrator Rating: 5 stars

I received Heartless in my OwlCrate box for the Alice in Wonderland theme. I was super excited to read this story, however, it really missed the mark for me.

Heartless is the story of the young woman (Catherine) who turns into the Queen of Hearts in the beloved childhood classic, Alice in Wonderland. Even though the reader knows what the end result of the story is ultimately going to be, the path should have been an interesting one. I will admit, the last few chapters were my favorite and I felt they were the strongest. The events leading up to the end battle, were boring and it felt like too many words describing nothing in particular.

Catherine is the daughter of the Marquess of Rockturtle Cove. She has the dream of opening her own bakery and being the best baker in Hearts. Her mother forces her into a courtship with the King of Hearts, though she falls in love with another member of the Court. The story centers around her budding relationship with this person other than the King, who disgusts her.

I do not like writing negative reviews, at all, but I wanted to be honest with other readers. I was a bit disappointed, especially with how much I love Cinder. Meyer is a fantastic writer, and this story does show case her amazing writer skills, however, the story line was so boring.

The narrator was great! It was the same narrator of the Lunar Chronicles Rebecca Soler. My favorite part of the entire narration occurred towards the end, when Soler really broke out the Queen of Hearts evil voice. It is sad that the most enjoyment I got out of this story, was Catherine’s pain.

Fairy, Texas

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Fairy, Texas by Margo Bond Collins and Narrated by Melissa Moran

 

Rating: 4

Narrator Rating: 4.5

I was given a copy of this audiobook free through Audiobook Boom in exchange for my honest review.

It has taken me a little while to get to this book. It was provided free to me for an honest review. I am a little sad I put it off for as long as I did. To tell you the truth, I am not sure what feelings I had going into this book. I was prepared for maybe it not to be so good. Here is why, lately, I have been getting some not so great free audiobooks. Either the story is falling short, the narrator was all wrong, or even the audio quality was not so great. These are the 3 areas that make audiobooks so iffy for some stories. So let me sum it up, the story was good, the narrator was good, and the quality was good.

As far as the story line, this book is original. I thought the characters were pretty good, though some aspects of the story line may need some tweaking (I feel, without giving any spoilers, the Main Event could have been a bit more clear or explained; also there are times I really didn’t seem to follow because explanations were provided adequately to Laney). I thought there were some areas that could have used a little more “umph,” for example, the kisses or the friendships Laney  was establishing (I thought she had anyways, but it didn’t always portray or come off that way, which I think was the point but not always clear). I did like that the main character Laney took everything that was thrown with her in stride. I felt the relationship between Laney and her new step sister was a little over dramatic and over the top. I may not be the best person to respond on that due to not having experienced a step sibling, but it felt really forced. I feel there were some vital bits of info that was left out of the story, but I am hoping it is in the next book. So why did I give it 4 stars? I REALLY found myself enjoying the story brought to life through the narrator. She was really great. I loved the Texas accents. Sometimes the male voices kind of blurred together, but other than that I really enjoyed it. I found myself looking if book 2 was already released (it is not ,on audible anyways).

I do recommend this book. So if you are looking for a quick listen, and want something original, and a new spin on things Fairy, then I do suggest this book. I am looking forward to, hopefully, getting more into this Ether, and learning more about this whole other species living right in the midst of a tiny Texas town!

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

There is a lot of hype surrounding Sarah J. Maas’ series, Throne of Glass, and I was oddly disappointed. I enjoyed the book, but I kept finding myself waiting for that OMG moment that seems to have so many readers sucked into the story line, but it never came.

I did like Celaena’s overall personality and disposition. I also liked seeing the growth from the time she was removed from the death camp, until the end of the story. I like that she grew to CARE and recognize she had a makeshift family, even if it meant the horror it did.

The reason this story is only 3 stars for me is 1) I have read more intriguing stories in this realm of YA and even Fantasy; 2) There are very specific scenes in the book that built and built and then just faltered and did not live up to what should have been. I am sorry, but an intense fight scene in which souls from the In-Between should have lasted more than 2ish pages and should have had more details, before and after. I felt that way about that entire scene as a whole. I know some of the unanswered questions will be answered later, and I will eventually get to those books, but a lot of incidents/feelings/interactions were rushed and more information/feelings could have been put into the situation for the reader to get more from it.

I wish I felt the way everyone else did, but this is one hype that I felt was overhyped.

All The Bright Places

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All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Goodreads Rating: 5 stars

I didn’t know if I was going to write a review for this book when I finished. Sometimes we come across books that are just fantastical. They are so wonderfully written, I do not even know where to start. All The Bright Places falls in this category. I am not even sure where to begin my thoughts or how to even reel them in. So let me try…

This story broke my heart and crushed my soul. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more. I knew guys like Finch in high school. They would have been the type of guy I went for, or was curious about. You know the type? The ones that live right there at the edge of life. I knew girls like Violet.  In fact, there were times I felt like Violet myself.

I love the relationship that blooms between Violet and Finch. I love how Finch saves Violet and wants her to Live her life. Without regrets. I love that Finch teaches Violet to see the world differently, to wander, to not take movement for granted. Meanwhile, Finch is suffering .We know what is going to happen, but deep down inside, we hope it doesn’t. Maybe the author will take mercy on Finch.

I do like that All The Bright Places highlights mental illness and the fact that many families and those affected will hide it, or pretend it does not exist. Finch never received help. What is worse, Finch’s family and friends never stepped in to help. Even Finch’s counselor only half helped. Violet wasn’t even aware. That is what breaks my heart even more. No one did anything, and the one person who would, was too late. Finch didn’t want saved.

How many people do you know that is affected by mental illness or often flirts with suicide or high risk behaviors that are deadly, and you just ignore them? Will you continue to ignore them or will you reach out and make sure they are okay?

On a final note, I am still heart broken by this story. I finished days ago, and am just finally composed enough to write a review. Have tissue ready. Even when you are mentally prepared, it is not enough! This story is one that sticks with you even after the book is closed.

The Immortal Circus (Act One and Two)

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The Immortal Circus (Act One and Two) by A.R. Kahler

Goodreads Rating: 3 stars

Audible Rating: 4 stars

I had to go back and see if I actually reviewed Act 1, and it doesn’t look like I did. The reviews are pretty much the same. I don’t do book reviews very much, but pinpoint a few things here and there that I like or dislike. So I guess I can do both at the same time, because both books really had the same things right and the same things wrong with them.

In both books, Vivienne is annoying, and doesn’t have a memory. In Act 2, she slowly starts gaining her memory back, but bits and pieces. None of you questions are ever answered, and at the end of each Act, you are only left with more questions. Yet, I continue with the series.

I do have to say, I would suggest LISTENING to them, Amy McFadden is a great narrator, and I have said that over and over again because if she narrates, I will generally listen instead of read.

My qualms with this series is mainly that I always felt lost in the storyline. In both books. Even after Act 2, and all the WTF moments that both Acts equally shared, I still had too many moments where I struggled to hold on to the overall story. I also hate that I wasn’t fully prepared to have my heart a little broken in Act 2, but I won’t say why.

I am still lost to the whole purpose of this story as a whole. Hopefully, the Final Act will answer all the questions, however, I feel like there is way too much that needs to be addressed before this series can end!

Red Queen

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Goodreads rating 5 Stars

This book is the first in a series and follows a young girl named Mare. I have wanted to read this book for a while, so when I found it on sale, I decided now was the time. This book will capture you from the very beginning. It is based in a dystopian type setting in which there is a separation between the Reds and the Silvers. The Silvers rule the world, they have silver blood and special powers. The Reds have red blood and are treated like scum. The Reds do not have powers and do not have wealth of any kind. The Reds are the first to be sent off to a war that has lasted over a hundred years. They are what keep the Silvers going. The Silvers like to exert their power and prestige over the Reds.

Like any good book, there are a couple of delicious guys involved that you don’t know who to root for. And of course, like any good book there is a female who can’t decide who she trusts and who she loves. And of course, there is a mass deception, but by who? I won’t give it away. I knew who would betray based on accidental Goodreads glimpses of a friend’s status update during her own adventure with these characters.

I found that Mare, the leading lady in this story, could sometimes be annoying. I understand that she was being forced to live in a different world due to her…interesting differences as a Red, but you could tell she secretly loved living the life of Silver, even if she was disgusted with them. She was getting to live in a life where she didn’t have to worry about stealing food to survive or items to sell at the black market.

I like that this book is different yet the same as all the other books out there. Mare is a strong, stubborn, resilient young lady who is forced to leave a world she knows because of some innate ability to create electricity out of thin air. This is a feat that should be impossible for a Red. This story follows her struggle to protect her family, save the Reds from the oppressive Silvers, bring about equality between the two groups and figure out if she loves either of the princes and if so, which one will help her bring about that which she wants most in the world…freedom. It is a wonderful read, beautifully written and will break your heart in ways you didn’t think possible. I highly suggest adding it to your book repertoire as soon as humanly possible.

To infinity…and Beyond?

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I was given this book for an honest review.  I give this book 3 stars.

There is a lot of hit and miss with this book for me. I think that the concept is fascinating and original. One thing that really bothers me about the YA or New Adult genre is that many times, the main female character is so whiny with that “woe is me” attitude. You know the one right? Where only her issues are the most important? Where if any other person in her life has any similar issues, she mistreats them, or gets angry or just flat out whines? Well, Raven Stone is just like that. The entire book I felt Raven was constantly nagging or whining because she “just didn’t understand…” and “why aren’t these pills helping the hallucinations?” etc. For the first third of this book, I was genuinely confused. I felt that some concepts could have been explained a bit more, rather than Raven and the reader figure it out together. Even at the end, I was left with a “wtf” look on my face….because, seriously, WTF?

I don’t want to give a book report. Anyone can read a book and give a synopsis. I think the synopsis given with the book, suits it well enough. What I will give you is this:

Damian is WOW….I would take some of that any day of the week! The tension written into the book between Raven and Damian is spot on if you love romance in your reading. It was that hot tension that you feel when you watch Bones, between Bones and Booth…or Dr. House and Dr. Cuddy…you know the tension right? Where you are ready for them to just give into their primal urges and knock boots already? (Yeah, yeah…I know…this is a 16 yr old girl and a 17 yr old boy…but let’s face it, we have all been there at that age…it doesn’t make it any less real!). The entire time I read Beyond, I was waiting patiently to see what would happen between these two. I was so caught up in them, that my confusion didn’t matter. I read this book rather quickly, simply because I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. I didn’t necessarily love the book enough to give it a 4th star, but I believe that a lot of YA/Paranormal Romance readers will enjoy this book.

I enjoyed this book, but I have a hard time with Raven’s character type. I just wish, for once, that the female characters would be stronger, and more take charge, and not this damsel in distress. I would devour any book that gave me that (Like the Graceling Realm series…). I think too many books these days are writing weak female leads, it is atrocious! Girls that age should be reading about strong female characters, that yeah life might suck sometimes and ‘shit might get real,’ but we can do this! That age is confusing for girls, it is difficult…so why not have a character faced with the same adversity, that has a stronger character structure? That is why I gave it 3 stars.

I also feel that the story line itself could use just a bit more fine tuning. It is a little rough around the edges, but it was still enjoyable, and as I said before, I think that a lot of readers of this genre will enjoy it. It was nice to read a different kind of YA/Paranormal romance other than wolves, vamps, and even though I love me a good fallen angel read, it is nice to implement something that is more real, like ghosts (I live in Ghost Capital…so yeah, I believe…). It makes you think, can these ghosts really hurt us?

Happy reading! And based on that ending, I will be moving on in the series because I want to know what happens between Damian and Raven! (yum!)