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Cynthia Piller

Longmont, CO 80501
  • 8
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 11
  • ratings
  • Campari Crimson

  • Franki Amato Mysteries, Book 4
  • By: Traci Andrighetti
  • Narrated by: Madeline Mrozek
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28

Halloween is looming large in New Orleans, and Private Investigator Franki Amato is in a gloomy mood. Her boyfriend, Bradley, has to leave on an extended business trip, and her slacker brother is coming to town with her matchmaker Nonna, who’s determined to see a Sicilian lemon superstition bear fruit. Meanwhile, the entire city is spooked because a caped figure is targeting its blood banks. Things turn macabre when a psychic makes a dark prediction about Franki’s brother and a frat boy is found in a cemetery crypt with his blood drained. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Franki Amato Strikes Again

  • By Cynthia Piller on 01-13-19

Franki Amato Strikes Again

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-13-19

Disclaimer: Vampires don't do a thing for me. I've tried to read Anne Rice's books several times and failed, but I stuck with Andrighetti's newest Franki Amato mystery and will go back for more. Narrated by the talented Madelyn Mrozek, the New Orlean's-based mystery is fun and funny. Listening to all the characters (and there are seemingly gazillions-- Italian and otherwise) is worth the price. From Franki's Nona, her dud of a brother, Anthony, Detective Sullivan, Franki's boss, her clients are all characters, but not so over-the-top you don't believe in them. I also enjoy the little tidbits about New Orleans' (and, yes, vampire) history. If you're looking for a campy mystery, this is it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Unplugged

  • By: Lois Greiman
  • Narrated by: Barbara Benjamin-Creel
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

Christina McMullen, psychologist extraordinaire, has problems - not least of which are her needy clients, a schizophrenic septic system, and her sizzling-then-fizzling romance with Lieutenant Jack Rivera. But Chrissy has yet another problem she'd like to ignore: finding her secretary's missing boyfriend. Okay, so she secretly hopes the vertically challenged computer geek has harmlessly departed from Elaine's life - after all, there's no evidence to suggest foul play. But when her razor-sharp instincts, honed by years as a cocktail waitress, start screaming, she'll have to use her skills.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Laugh Out Loud Listen

  • By Stephanie on 01-15-19

Holiday Helper Extraordinaire

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-27-18

This isn't "War and Peace", but it's hilarious with just enough ballast to keep you going through any chore, thanks to the narration of Barbara Benjamin-Creel. Nothing else could have motivated me more through over 8 hours of wallpaper removal. (We're talking serious liners and glue that might have been cement.) When the book was over, I proclaimed my duties finished...but give me another one of Chrissy McMullen's adventures and there are options. (Just don't tell my daughter, and readers, don't put that stuff on YOUR walls!) While this book is one in a series, these are stand-alone stories. Listening out of order is a non-issue. Know that Chrissy is an imperfect psychologist with truth and relationship issues, a wacky family, unusual patients, an incredible friend who wants to be an actress, and well-voiced hormonal tendencies, especially regarding Detective Rivera. I'll get through the holiday season smiling, listening to the next adventure because I suspect there will be the laugh-aloud sections that get me through decorating, present-wrapping, list-making, laundry, and cooking. Liked this one more than the first. Keep them coming, Lois Greiman, and please let Barbara continue to be your voice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Negative Exposure

  • Killer Shots Mysteries
  • By: Lisa B. Thomas
  • Narrated by: Karen Krause
  • Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

After losing her fiance, friends, and job, Wendy Fairmont moves back to her hometown to lick her wounds and start over. But when she discovers the man next door may have been murdered, she's sucked into an investigation that isn't making her too popular with the new neighbors.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A cozy mystery with a ghost-inhabited cat.......

  • By Katie on 02-01-19

Picture Perfect

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-05-18

Wendy, a former cheerleader, is dispirited. She expected her life to be better, more fulfilling by this time in her life, and she's living on financial fumes. Having inherited her Grandmother's house in her old hometown, things could be worse, but they could also be a whole lot better. Her neighbors are wacky, and not always nice. A high school rival, married to the sheriff, is determined to make her life even more miserable. And it looks like the spaghetti sauce next door is more than likely blood of a deceased inhabitant. Lots of twists and turns, snarky giggles, a potentially psychic cat, and great narration from Karen Krause. Thomas's cozy mystery is perfect for a commute, folding laundry, gardening, or relaxation with an entertaining read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Unzipped

  • Chrissy McMullen, Book 1
  • By: Lois Greiman
  • Narrated by: Barbara Benjamin-Creel
  • Length: 8 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 34

Chrissy McMullen has made a career leap, all the way from slinging drinks at Chicago's most notorious nightclub to dispensing psychotherapy from her sleek new practice in LA. Even if she can't quite shed her too-loud, too-curvy alter ego - or the brawling family that insists on claiming kinship. So when her most famous client, buff football star "Bomber" Bomstad, starts chasing her around her desk and getting, well...unzipped...Christina gets just a little miffed - until Bomber has the bad manners to drop dead at her feet.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A romantic comedy meets mystery

  • By Christina on 08-13-17

What a Hoot!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-18

The characters are flawed and laugh out loud funny. Chrissie's inner monologues gave me the giggles and the storyline takes listeners to a lot of places inhabited by ordinary, unusual dispositioned, folks. Barbara Benjamin-Creel does a phenomenal job in bringing every single one of Greiman's people to life. Is it literary fiction? No. Is it a great summer or beach listen? You bet! There is a lot of alliteration, some crazy analogies, ridiculous situations, imperfect behavior and plenty of fun. "Unplugged", the next one in the series, is on my listening list.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Things We Fear

  • By: Glenn Rolfe
  • Narrated by: Joe Hempel
  • Length: 2 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 20
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

Summer has just begun, and fear is in season. School’s out, and the faculty at Fairington Elementary School are free for the summer. Emily Young can’t deny her attraction to Aaron Jackson, the ed tech from her classroom, but she’s afraid of being hurt again. Meanwhile, Aaron is determined not to let his phobia of drowning prevent him from enjoying the sun and the sand of Maine’s best beach town. But they’re about to learn real fear. Fairington is home to a monster.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I was afraid

  • By Spooky Mike on 03-13-18

Creepy But Good

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-18

Disclaimer here; I'm not a horror story fan, but was intrigued to listen to this horror/suspense combo. Consequently, it's no surprise that I liked some parts of this tale more than others. Joe Hempel did a great job with the narration, and surprisingly well with the women's voices. The landlady was my favorite. Hempel also does an excellent creepy with a character who is a horror show in his own right and he has the right voice for Aaron, a nice guy who deserves a better job and is dealing with fears and falling in love. The ending wasn't what I wanted, but the book's ocean monster was my major issue with the story. Too many questions and loose ends. Still, I kept listening and drove a few extra blocks so I could keep the tale going in my ears.

  • The House by the Lake

  • By: Ella Carey
  • Narrated by: Teri Schnaubelt
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,302
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,121
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,125

Anna is content with her well-ordered life in San Francisco. But her world is turned upside down when her beloved grandfather, Max, reveals a startling secret: Anna is part of an aristocratic family who lost everything during World War II. What's more, Max was forced to leave behind a precious item over 70 years ago in their estate in old Prussia. It's now his ardent wish that Anna retrieve it.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Engaging Listen

  • By Cynthia Piller on 08-31-16

Engaging Listen

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-31-16

The House by the Lake is a story about family secrets, loyalty, love, and loss. Anna knows very little about her grandfather's earlier life in Germany, until she takes a chance to explore the place where he grew up prior to WW II. Teri Schnaubelt did a fantastic job of dealing with multiple accents in a very credible and memorable way. The characters were all well-defined, and you always knew who was speaking in the dialogue. Teri made Ella Carey's words come alive and it was an extremely enjoyable listening experience.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Author's Guide to Audiobook Creation

  • By: Richard Rieman
  • Narrated by: Richard Rieman
  • Length: 1 hr and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

Should you have an audiobook version of your book? How do you do an audiobook? And, most importantly, how do you make money with an audiobook? This guide to audiobook creation and marketing will also help you decide whether to voice your own book or hire a great narrator. The Author's Guide to Audiobook Creation includes the critical details of audiobook self-publishing on Amazon's Audible, iTunes, and beyond. Over $2 billion dollars in audiobooks were sold in 2015.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Absolute Must-Read for All Authors and Narrators.

  • By Striker on 03-22-16

A Must-Have for Authors

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-31-16

Richard Rieman presents a remarkably organized way to for authors to understand the audiobook process and get their book produced in one of several ways. It's easy to understand, and an enjoyable listen thanks to Richard's excellent presentation in both tone and pace. If you wonder whether turning you book into an audiobook is worth the effort, this guide will seal the deal, and make it much easier and faster to get it on the market. It cuts through mountains of information that would otherwise seem pretty confusing or daunting.

While I was given this book at no charge in exchange for a fair review, I honestly can't say enough good things about the way it handles this topic.

  • Plan Bea

  • By: Hilary Grossman
  • Narrated by: Lisa Beacom
  • Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 25

On the outside, Annabel O'Conner has it all - the perfect husband, two adorable children, an amazing job, and a mother from hell! Just when she gives up trying to regain her overbearing mother's love, an unexpected call turns her world around and makes Annabel question everything she believes about her life. Could falling in love give a cold, stubborn, and selfish woman a second chance to open her heart back up to her family?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good Story

  • By Amazon CustomerBeliever on 09-05-16

Great Listen that Puts a Smile on Your Face

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-31-16

What made the experience of listening to Plan Bea the most enjoyable?

Lisa's Beacom's characters are very well done and consistent. From the children's voices of Violet and Harley to that of Anna's over-the-top mother, Bea, and those in between, she does a great job. The storyline might be a lighter listen, but it's filled with family surprises and it's just plain feel-good fun.

What other book might you compare Plan Bea to and why?

Lots of books include family secrets and revelations, but maybe because I don't read a lot of books in this genre, I can't really come up with a good comparison.

Which scene was your favorite?

The wedding planning scenes all come to life, but the stationery store happenings were probably my favorite, although the histrionics on the wedding day are a close second. Loved the ending which definitely surprised me.

Who was the most memorable character of Plan Bea and why?

It's a tie between Anna and Bea as this mother and daughter learn so much about one another and themselves after being at odds for so many years.

Any additional comments?

My only complaint about the book is that there are a few obvious grammatical errors. Regardless, I think there's a hint about an upcoming book in what may turn out to be a series and I'll happily listen to it.

This book was provided to me at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful