• Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead

  • Toad Witch Series, Book 1
  • By: Christiana Miller
  • Narrated by: Marie Rose
  • Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (830 ratings)

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Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead

By: Christiana Miller
Narrated by: Marie Rose
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Publisher's Summary

A little magic can go a long way - to really screwing up a girl's life!

Mara is having the worst month of her life. At least, that's what her cards tell her and they've never been wrong. She's evicted from her apartment, loses her job, and is banned from Beverly Hills. So when the tarot cards predict her imminent demise, she uses a little magic to make her world right.

Suddenly, an aunt she's never met dies, leaving Mara as her sole heir. But when Mara moves into her inherited home, she discovers Aunt Tillie never moved out. She's still one pissed-off old lady, even postmortem, and she blames Mara's magical meddling for her death.

When Mara accidentally releases a demon and awakens the spirit of the most powerful witch in history, Tillie's ready to kill her - literally. It's the only way she can think of to save the girl from herself. The witch and the demon, however, have other plans for Mara's body!

©2011, 2012 HekaRose Publishing and Christiana Miller (P)2014 HekaRose Publishing and Christiana Miller

What listeners say about Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely mystery with tons of laughs

Any additional comments?

This was a different kind of read for me. I totally enjoyed the twists and turns along with the laughs and smiles. There were a few areas that just about broke my heart but most were a total delight. Nothing is as it seems to be you can’t trust those you think you can and those you do trust you might now want to. You along with Mara will have to work out what it right, wrong and happening. When playing with magic one must be careful things maybe be given in a way that you do not want. There is always a price to pay for any wish that comes true.

Poor Mara has lost just about everything her job, her apartment and now her aunt that she has never known. Once she moves into her aunts home everything is off balance and nothing is as it seems. She has weird dreams that could be the death of her. There is evil around and she has to work it out before she ends up dead. Spirits are all-round some good some bad.

Ms. Rose as narrator was a delight with her many different character voices. You have no trouble knowing who is talking or what they are feeling. She gives the right tone to each emotion if the character laughs so does she which made it a wonderful listen you could really get into. I love the evil witch laugh which had me looking around. As I shopped I would laugh or chuckle everyone around me looked at me funny. There are no background noises or any place where the volume changes if a break was taken you cannot tell. Here male and female voices were a delight to listen to. She has a very smooth voice you have no trouble listening to for hours. I am looking forward to listening to more audios by her.

I loved Gus he was so funny making me laughs with his sarcastic way he really made the story so much fun. I really enjoyed the other characters each brings so much to the story. Aunt Tillie is a trip that you can never really get a handle on. I even enjoyed the evil ones. I adore the house and all it brings to the story. If you are looking for a book that has a little of everything you have found it. This is filled with magic, mystery, mayhem and tons of humor. It really was a very fun humorous listen that I totally enjoyed. The ending was great and could be the end but I do believe this is a series. It can be read as a standalone with an ending that leaves you wondering a few things but a good ending.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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This is not the cozy paranormal mystery

It was cute at times, had a few zingers, had a fabulous 'gay bestie', a heavy dose of magic, death, and a dash of romantic interest were all among the high points. They were what saved this book; without Gus (flaming and fun), his friendly banter, and the fantastic set-up my rating would have dropped faster than a skydiver in free fall. I really wanted to like this.

Buckle up, folks, for the obstacle course. This is not the cozy paranormal mystery it appears to be. I mentioned the toad-licking, right? That's just the tip of the iceberg. Illicit substances, spells that inadvertently kill your unknown family members, plot holes you can stick your head through, more illicit substances, and suddenly towards the end - kinkier than an old garden hose (a very conservative description of the *ahem* 'parties'.) Very old wicked witches apparently have quite the oat to soil. None of this is 'cozy', or PG, or even PG-13, adults only for this quite un-romantic tale.

Stereotypical characters, hallucinations, toads, and can I remind you once again about the licking of aforementioned toads? *Shudder* Through all this, it must be said, the narrator was instrumental in keeping me reading. Though I ultimately was not fond of the book, I would in no way be scared off from listening to the narrator again. The voices were distinct for the most part, consistent, dramatic, and she played up those zingers and made them shine. The fault lies with the material rather than the performance. The production quality was adequate but unimpressive; it didn't really add or detract from the overall experience.

Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.

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12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not as I expected

So, how did it all pan out for Mara?
Well, She doesn't seem to be the brightest of witches, but this just as well really as the story does depend on her penchant for making rather silly choices, this is despite being given some sensible advice. However, she can be forgiven her ineptitude as her mother didn't stay in this world long enough to train her in the art of ...what? Witchcraft? Wicca? Paganism?

The reader is introduced to Mara when, through no fault of her own, she is living a life of what one can only describe as being reduced circumstances. She really is in a bit of a fix, her unemployment payments are coming to an end, not a job in sight, and, to add insult to injury she is being evicted. Something must be done!
Her gay best friend Gus (and his toad) come to her rescue, but only to make matters worse. Life as Mara knows it is ending, so she casts her problems upon the Universe and the Universe responds - The response being the death of Aunt Tillie who has bequeathed to Mara her cottage.

I did find this first part of the story to be quite slow and hard to stick with, so many seemingly unnecessary details, lengthy descriptions of characters who never appear again. All a tad tedious really. Indeed, I found myself urging Aunt Tillie to get on with dying so Mara could move to her cottage and for the story proper to begin!

Mara prepares herself for the long drive to The Cottage, best friend Gus kitted her out for the journey and new life with a box full of herbs and supplements and, possibly for a bit of company, his toad.
Eventually Mara and her toad arrive at Aunt Tillies cottage, and this is where the story really begins. There are some humorous moments to be enjoyed, a little romance, a little interaction with the locals. Then, in my opinion the story takes a surprisingly dark turn, malevolence and evil raise their ugly heads like interlopers. This, I must say, I did not expect and I found it quite shocking, out of place and not in keeping with the beginning and the end of the story.
Of course, all is well eventually, Mara concocts a wonderfully clever plot to release the possessed soul and the way is paved for a sequel.
This book is not at all what I was expecting, I thought it would be lighthearted and funny, as suggested by the cover and the publishers summary. I most certainly was not expecting such explicit adult content nor a story that is so very dark and disturbing.
I also expected so much more from Aunt Tillie, who, poor soul, certainly didn't get the back story she deserved, after all, she does feature in the title of the book.

For me, the audiobook was saved by the narration of Marie Rose, I certainly would not have finished this book if I were reading it myself. Not only does Marie Rose have such a lovely voice, she just captures each character so perfectly. I could identify each character quite easily. Her pace and rythymn are just right, so natural sounding from beginning to end. I shall certainly be on the look out for more of her work.


10 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected

I was not expecting this to be as good as it was, I thought it would be silly and predictable like all of the other witchy books I've read. This reminded me more of Molly Harper's books, (The Naked Werewolf series). The characters were fun and the main character Mara is likable in her secure insecurities. A fast romp through paranormal predictions, incantations, ghosts, spells, sex and possession.

Marie Rose does an outstanding job narrating, here again I am going to compare her to Molly Harper's narrator Amanda Ronconi. Great pace and voices, she definitely added to the story. A good writer/narrator paring. Not a good listen for young ears. I am looking forward to her next book.

10 people found this helpful

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Witchy fun!

A perfect combination of witchy ghost story, romance, humor, and light thrills, this story provided a perfect escape from life for a while. I've read this book before, in ebook (not that I retained it, I read ALOT, but I remembered that I loved it, so when I heard about it being offered up for free to select reviewers, I absolutely signed up!) This narrator is freaking hilarious! Gus's voice is GENIUS! Her regular reading voice, in Mara's POV, is properly affected by events; Mr. Lyra (with his wicked accent) and Gus (the gay best friend) are too funny! Equally hilarious are the Hispanic apartment manager and the gay landlord. I can't WAIT until ALL of this series are available, and would definitely recommend to anyone who likes paranormal dramedy, except maybe my dad.

9 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Aunt Tillie

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. Fun, quirky chick lot with a good reader. Easy to become absorbed in the story.

What did you like best about this story?

It was just fun and light. Love the relationship between Mara and Gus.

Which character – as performed by Marie Rose – was your favorite?

Gus. So funny!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Great film to lose yourself in.

Any additional comments?

Liked the story and the light, witty banter between Mara and Gus.

8 people found this helpful

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Wow!!!!! Absolutely LOVED this book!!!!

What did you love best about Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead?

The research and details that were carefully entwined in this book were amazing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead?

Memorable banter between gus and mara.

Have you listened to any of Marie Rose’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I haven't but I will be checking into her other books!! Great job!!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed out loud several times. This sounds like just like me and my gay best friend. Proud hag right here!haha

Any additional comments?

The dedication put into this book and audiobook by the narrator was just amazing!!! Truthfully this has to be one of my favorite books I have read this year!!!

8 people found this helpful

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Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead

Any additional comments?

I truly enjoyed this book!Narrated beautifully by Marie Rose ,this is the story of Maura who is tossed out of her apartment and is trying to live in Aunt Tillies old house.Maura is a witch with a curse on her and what can go wrong usually does for her.Tillie is a ghost with an agenda.A fun,funny romp through the world of witchcraft!"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast or MalarHouse dot com"

8 people found this helpful

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A 'bewitching' read:

Well done! This was a 'chance' I took (reading an author I hadn't read before), based upon the premise... and not only was I *not* disappointed... I was very happily surprised! I'll gladly add the rest of this author's titles - past and future- to my collection!

7 people found this helpful

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wonderfully wiccan

I love how the narrator used different voices/accents. I love the story, being mystical and special without being boring. I am now looking for book 2 ! :)

7 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Anna
  • Anna
  • 01-03-15

A fun, engaging paranormal story

If you could sum up Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead in three words, what would they be?

Dead charming. Fun.

What did you like best about this story?

I thought it was a very complementary mix of author and narrator - which is essential in such a light, characterful tale with lots of witty asides and so on. Although the story was substantial, it was the dialogue that I felt was the shining part. It was that interplay, and the range of interesting characters behind it that really kept me engaged and listening.

I very much enjoyed the character of Gus in particular, although all of them were well-written.

What does Marie Rose bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I did receive this audio book in exchange for an honest review, and I can honestly say that I thought her narration was ideally pitched for the book. As mentioned before, I thought Christiana Miller's strength was in her writing of characters and their dialogue - and Marie Rose's performances enhanced that brilliantly.

You always knew exactly which character was talking - she gave them all distinctive voices that I felt fitted seamlessly with their dialogue, so scenes really did come to life. Her delivery was light, engaging, and her timing on the comic lines often made me smile.

I particularly enjoyed her performance of Gus - and her depiction of the creepy Lehrer made me quite physically cringe.

Not having read the book before listening, I was obviously coming to these characters through the prism of her performance, but it felt to me like a cohesive audio story (rather than a narrator narrating a book in audio form), which was why it was immersive.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Actually yes - partly due to unforeseen circumstances, I did end up listening to most of it in one sitting. I don't normally listen to audio books in quite such a long session, and so it wasn't entirely ideal, but it was real credit to the book that it held my attention that long. It did feel a tiny bit long for a light tale, but it was thoroughly enjoyable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Margaret G
  • 03-26-21

A nice fun little story

If your a fan of Molly Harper, Amanda M Lee and the likes then I am sure you will enjoy this book,

The narrator does a great job and the story is very easy to listen to, with several twists and turns the plot is entertaining and has a happy ending, I have I really enjoyed the story, and completed the book in 2 days, I am looking forward to Mara's next adventure in the Toad Witch Series.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for 🎧Mandy🎧 Sawyer 🎧Audiobook 🎧Obsession🎧 Reviewer🎧
  • 🎧Mandy🎧 Sawyer 🎧Audiobook 🎧Obsession🎧 Reviewer🎧
  • 10-16-20

Torn

Where to start? I found this book a little overwhelming. There was quite a lot going on within the storyline. It’s not a bad thing however I found it difficult keeping up with all the different characters who they were and what tense they should’ve been. Some very funny moments and it is written well. Fantastic performance from Marie.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Lynn Worton
  • Lynn Worton
  • 09-07-14

Not for me

I received a complimentary audio book copy from the author in return for an honest review.

This is the first book in the Toad Witch Series. I enjoyed it.

I downloaded this audio book and started listening. This story was narrated by Marie Rose. She did a wonderful job in bringing the characters to life, but I felt that her narration was a bit rushed at times.

Mara is a character I struggled to like. In fact, I wanted to strangle her myself due to her "woe is me" attitude. Granted she has not had the best of luck, what with losing her job and then her apartment, but in a way she brought these things on herself. She is a powerful witch, though I found her to be a poor lead character.

This was a story that I struggled to get into at first. I found myself a bit ambivalent to most of the characters, which saddened me. However, I did love Gus. He felt more like a lead character to me, rather than a secondary one; I loved his flamboyant and boisterous attitude.The story lagged and didn't really get interesting until Mara met Aunt Tillie at the cottage. I found myself doing a lot of eye rolling at some of the situations Mara found herself in, and was fully on Aunt Tillie's side for getting rid of her. However, that being said, it was interesting to follow Mara through the latter part of the story. I am not fully versed on the practice of Wicca, so cannot comment on whether the spells used by both Mara and Gus would actually work. However, to err on the side of caution, I would say don't use them - you could accidentally release a demon, or a power hungry witch! There are some light moments in the story which made me giggle, but there are also some dark moments that made me shudder. There are also several twists in this tale that kept the latter half of the book interesting, but there were also a few threads that were left loose and never fully explored. Perhaps these will be dealt with further in the series. Unfortunately, with all due respect to the author, I don't think I will be continuing with this series, as I just couldn't connect with the characters. Though I love paranormal stories full of humor, this book just wasn't my cup of tea. I will leave it up to you, the reader, to decide for yourselves.

Christiana Miller has written an intriguing tale. Her writing style is not particularly fast paced compared to other authors I have read, but she does have a flair for describing scenes vibrantly. Her world building was wonderful, but her characters, especially the heroine, could have done with being less helpless and had more common sense. The flow of the story was a bit erratic in the beginning, but evened out near the end.

Due to several mentions of explicit sex and sexual acts, I do not recommend this book to younger readers. However, I recommend this book if you love paranormal romance or stories about Wicca and witches. - Lynn Worton

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Laura Gibson
  • Laura Gibson
  • 08-20-14

Very entertaining witchy tale.

If you could sum up Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead in three words, what would they be?

Mystical, Hysterical and Engrossing.

What other book might you compare Somebody Tell Aunt Tillie She's Dead to, and why?

This is my first of this type of book, so nothing to compare it to......yet.....

What about Marie Rose’s performance did you like?

Marie Rose's use of tone and accents really helped pull me into the tale. Good attempt at a Scottish accent for Lysette.

Any additional comments?

Cant wait to try others in this series.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nadine Vrijhof
  • Nadine Vrijhof
  • 07-21-22

Some good, some less so

The narrator did a good job. Pleasant voice. She got the tone of the book just right, the sarcastic remarks, and that was nice!

I liked the tone of the story, and I liked Mara, the main character. Not sure about Gus, her best friend who was a little nasty. The story was enjoyable.

But….
Some parts were a little drawn out. I was waiting for Aunt Tillie to make an appearance (since the book is called after her) but that took a while. The story could have been told perfectly well in a third of the pages. Which also meant my mind drifted off easily.

The first large part of the book is mostly about Mara’s life falling apart and her complaining about it. In a funny way, but also a bit slow. Except for the almost-too-scary nightmares. And just a bit too much complaining without doing something about it. End of chapter 15(!) and finally, after more than 2 hours 45 minutes, THE package arrives. And I sighed a sigh of relief. Things can get started now. Finally, it’s actually about Aunt Tillie’s legacy!

But you know what? By the title of this book I thought Aunt Tillie wouldn’t know she was dead, but she did! I was so disappointed, this was what I had been looking forward to the whole time! The title is misleading!

And then the story became a hot mess. This book would have benefitted from a good amount of editing and a clearer plot. Dreams, reality, it’s all one big blur. And after waiting for so long for something to finally happen, and have it be so disappointing when it finally did, I had to conclude this book wasn’t giving me joy. It just got too weird. I quit at chapter 31 out of 49. Still 3 stars because it wasn’t BAD just not for me.

There is quite a lot swearing. Just a fair warning for those who don’t like that. So don’t expect a cozy. It has horror-y moments. I personally don’t do horror, but this was just within my limits. But even though you can find this book when you search for cozies, it’s not really a cozy. Definitely 18+.

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  • ChaosKay (Audiobook Obsession Reviewer, The Flock VIP)
  • 06-23-21

Fun story

Mara isn’t having a good time she’s lost her job evicted from her apartment and banned from Beverly Hills . Then a aunt she’s never met dies and she inherits her house only to find her aunt hasn’t moved out and she’s angry and blames Mara’s magic for her death. Enjoyed listening and the narrator was good.

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  • Vanessa Leighton
  • 09-08-20

Oh this is just too good

I really enjoyed this one. There is so much humour, drama and amazing storyline. There is so much happening in this story that it is really absorbing. It actually surprised me when I reached the end of the book as I was enjoying it so much.

The narrator did a really good job and I really liked the different voices and the pace.

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Profile Image for Julie
  • Julie
  • 06-02-20

Don't just tell someone tell everyone

I loved this book. It is the first book by this author I have read or listened to and the first in the series but it won't be my last as I really enjoyed it. It is so different from the normal witch cozy mysteries that I listen to that I found myself hooked
I was expecting a light hearted cozy judging from the cover and the blurb but that was so not what I got. There was a few swear words and a randy ghost but it all worked really well. I loved all the spell casting which is good because it was definitely a book about a witch and Gus was just a fun flamboyant character that every girl needs in her life and one I hope continues to play a big part in Mara life, especially liked the banter between the two characters. Mara seemed capable in parts but venerable in others and I think with Aunt Tillie and Gus by her side she is going to grow into a very interesting character. Definitely an author I will be keeping an out of if all her books are as entertaining as this one.
What do you do when you lose your job and get evicted all on the same day? You turn to the Tarot cards and when that gives you an answer you don't like? You cast a spell and then things really go to hell. Well that's what Mara did but playing with magic, even if you are a witch, has consequences and Mara's spell has a big one because hers caused the death of her Aunt Tillie. At least she got a house out of it, right? Wrong the house and more importantly the ghost of Aunt Tillie don't want her there and they will stop at nothing to get her out. What choice does Mara have but to turn to magic and spell casting again because that turned out so well last time. Can Mara survive the haunted house and the real reason her Aunt Tillie doesn't want her there?
I liked the narrator and thought she did a good job with all the voices needed to make this book such an enjoyable listen, I had no problems with knowing who was talking at any given moment.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Susi Moffat
  • 05-20-19

Unexpected

I honestly didn’t expect to enjoy this audiobook half as much as I did, especially as I found the narration a little grating at times, but I loved it. The story is original and full of twists, and I found myself desperate to know what happened next.

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  • Trina H
  • 01-31-18

A fun story to listen to

A different fun story. Easy to listen to light book. Would love to listen to the next in the series.