Friday, August 15, 2014

Blog Tour: Not Quite Dead Review+Giveaway!

Title: Not Quite Dead by Lyla Payne
Series: A Lowcountry Ghost Story
Publication date: April 1st 2014
Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Paranormal
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A broken engagement sends Graciela Harper crawling back to Heron Creek with her tail between her legs, but finds the sleepy little town too changed to set her life right. Not even her budding drinking problem can obscure her Gramps’s failing health, or erase the mental picture of her first love happily married to her childhood best friend. To top it all off, she’s having a heck of time convincing the town’s dashing young mayor of her unfit-for-dating status.

When the ghost of 18th century lady pirate Anne Bonny starts insisting on a near daily audience, Graciela has to confront something else she never expected—being certifiably nuts at twenty-five years old.

Her brand new “I don’t give a crap” attitude makes it easy to dismiss the mysterious threats that seem to be tied to her search for more information on the long dead pirate, but when her family becomes a target, Gracie knows she needs to find out why the ghost insists on being a constant, reeking companion.

If Graciela can put aside her prejudice against people without a pulse, she may discover that Anne Bonny’s problems are intricately linked with her own. The past harbors answers could help the cantankerous spirit find closure, but she is, after all, already dead. If Graciela doesn’t move fast, she might find herself doing the haunting, instead of the other way around.


Not Quite Dead is an emotional roller-coaster that I didn’t want to stop riding!

In the beginning it was a little hard to deal with Graciela’s incessant pity party over how her life is currently going, but I really did feel for her and I could empathize with her situation. Having to return to the small town where she spent her summers as a child, to take care of her ailing grandfather and to escape from her world of a cheating fiancé and friends who know about his sexcapades and never said a world. Graciela spends the most of the start of this story in a depressive fog with the help of loads of alcohol. This doesn’t make her very popular in her old stomping grounds. Graciela is, understandably, hurting.

This story is not about Graciela’s sadness, it’s about her pulling herself and her life back together. Once she starts to get her head together she’s a great protagonist. She’s spunky and funny! The new mayor Beau is exactly what she needed, even if it takes her a while to realize it. Their relationship grows throughout the story and it’s wonderful to read about. Graciela is also forced to face some past demons that she would rather just not deal with.

This is a paranormal story although it’s more like a love story with a little bit of paranormal mixed it. Anne Bonny’s ghost keeps showing up with some mysterious and dangerous task for Graciela that takes the reader deeper into the history of Heron Creek which was really interesting to learn about. And I think these themes will move into the rest of the series.

This is a great guilty pleasure read, perfect for a vacation or a rainy-day. The plot is a little slow throughout so I’m giving Not Quite Dead 3.5 stars. 

Lyla Payne has been publishing New Adult romance novels for a little over a year, starting with Broken at Love and continuing with the rest of the Whitman University series. She loves telling stories, discovering the little reasons people fall in love, and uncovering hidden truths in the world around us - past and present. In her spare time she cuddles her two dogs, pretends to enjoy exercising so that she can eat as much Chipotle as she wants, and harbors a deep and abiding hope that Zac Efron likes older women. She loves reading, of course, along with movies, traveling, and Irish whiskey. Lyla's hard at work, ALWAYS, and hopes to bring you more Whitman University antics and at least one more Lowcountry ghost tale before the end of the year.

Lyla Payne is represented by Kathleen Rushall at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

If you want to know more, please visit her at

If you're a fan of Young Adult fiction--science fiction or otherwise--please check out her work that's published under the name Trisha Leigh.