Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blog Tour: Not Quite Dead by Lyla Payne - Review & Giveaway

Not Quite Dead
A Lowcountry Ghost Story

Lyla Payne

New Adult Paranormal Mystery
April 1, 2014

Amazon * B&N

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.

My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

They say you can't go home, and that's even more true when talking about a small town. Graciela knew that when returning, but that couldn't stop her need to run and escape when her life fell apart. In many ways the paranormal mystery takes a backseat to Graciela recovering and pulling her life back together. Though I really think the ghost helped that more than hurt. Fortunately Graciela was open minded about the paranormal, so rather than the ghost bothering her, she embraces the mystery presented.

Graciela was really hurting. She'd lost her mother, her grandmother, not to mention her broken engagement when she caught the rat cheating on her. She also had to deal with her grandfather's fading health. She spent much of the first third of the book rather depressed as one would expect. Really, the list of crap this woman has had to deal with is long and very sad.

I liked Graciela. She was sassy and fun (when she finally stopped her pity party). She seemed to meet her match in the new mayor Beau, who she loved to call Mr. Mayor to irk him. I enjoyed their budding friendship and relationship. Frankly I was worried she might go after her first love in her despair. Not Quite Dead isn't just a paranormal mystery, it's a story about mending friendships, starting over-- and it really makes one realize how precious life really is.

The mystery surrounding Anne Bonny's ghost is interesting, and I liked the romps back through history. While I really enjoyed the plot, it moved a tad slowly for my taste. I found myself skimming more than I like to. It was also quite sad and a bit of a downer at times. I do not recommend reading this if you're feeling down, save it for a brighter day. The ending is quite intriguing, letting the reader know that Graciela's life will not be boring.

About the Author

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.

Author links:

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  1. The characters sound really well written and charismatic in this. I also love sassy heroines so woot! Great review, Kim!

  2. Great review. I can't wait to read the book.

  3. Hi! I was surprised to come to Kimber Leigh's site and find all these other potentially great authors too! That was a bonus surprise! Of course once I read their books I will be able to confirm that they are great! LOL (sorry no offense meant there!) I can't wait to be able to try some out! After KL's of course! <3

    1. I'm so happy I was able to introduce you to some new authors!

  4. Yeah! Lyla is gonna do another lowcountry ghost story! Keep them coming and thanks!

  5. Love the sound of this book! Reading the summary at first, I thought it was going to be a good contemporary fiction book, but when the Anne Bonny ghost twist was thrown in, I was hooked! And the fact that the heroine is sassy is right up my alley--count me in! :D

    1. It's really a nice combination of contemporary and paranormal


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