Not Quite Dead by Lyla Payne
(A Lowcountry Ghost Story)
Date of Publishing : April 1st 2014
Genres: Mystery, New Adult, Paranormal
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.
Did you see the genres this book is marked into? DID YOU FUCKING SEE THAT? God. This is so embarrassing. I’m still reeling from this, and apparently, I hadn’t even seen that Not Quite Dead is a paranormal story when I signed up for the blog tour. I disappoint myself well and truly.
BUT, Not Quite Dead worked for me like a charm (which is a delicate way of saying that I had to snuggle with my sister in the night in case of monsters). The book is just crazily good and holy shit. Can I say I just loved the characters? ALL OF THEM.
Not Quite Dead is the story of Graciela Harper and her return to her grandfather’s house in Heron Creek. He’s old and weak and Graciela runs from life with her “tail between her legs” and finds it in herself to spend time with and take care of him in his final days. But she’s deciding whether she’s an alcoholic and still reeling over the fact that her engagement was broken thanks to her stupid, cheating ex.
And also, she’s seeing the ghost of a two hundred and something old years lady pirate Anne Bonny.
Quite predictably, Graciela is all woe is me, shaking fist at the heavens, why-god-why in the beginning of the book. Something like this:
But then she runs into Anne Bonny and the absolutely gorgeous Mayor Beau…something and might I say that I loved this guy. I did. He’s so ungh and his words are so, so ungh and omg dimples.
I like that along with a bit of a ghost problem, Gracie (can I call you Gracie?) also has to sort through some of her own family issues. There’s a lot to be said about how she handles people but hindsight is 20/20 and now that I know her history with each of them, I can see now that there’s no other way she could have possibly reacted to these people.
I honestly loved the relationship Gracie had with her grandfather. While there were no parents in the book, the entire dynamic with her grandfather is just absolutely heartwarming.
There’s also a warning I’d like to give. There’s a specific part that deals with domestic abuse. It’s not too much, just one scene and you’ll know when you get there but it’s…you know, it’s there.
If I went into detail with the supporting characters, that’d be too meh, and I like my reviews to be anything but meh, so here’s what I think: They’re all important, they’re all believable and I can honestly say that Miss Payne is an expert storyteller because these characters? They grow on you.
I, for one, did not like a certain Mel in the beginning. But she grew as a person and that makes me real happy. It’s a nice thing to read and as someone who was very, very invested in these characters, it was absolute perfection.
Can we talk about Mr. Mayor now?
Is there anything about this guy that isn’t perfect? He’s all crooked lower teeth and sweetness and pasta and wow I’m not making any sense.
But no, seriously. I loved reading this guy. He was logical and strong and brave and someone help me I can’t stop talking about him!
I’m not going to mention anything about Anne Bonny. She’s basically a pirate lady ghost person and anything I tell you about her is a spoiler. My advise, though? This isn’t your typical ghost.
Anne Bonny pretty much kicks ass and I really, really liked the way she was written in the book. So, I Google’d her (because why the fuck not) and found…Assassin’s Creed 4? If someone could be kind enough to help me understand where exactly the two fit in, that’d be real swell. Is she like a pirate in the game or the villain or the prize or what?
Also, wow, this is what I found:
Kids these days. I’m pretty sure she didn’t look like she’d walked out of a breast implant commercial (no seriously, there are those. See my favourite here).
What were we talking about in the first place?
Are people going to let me host blog tours again?
Open to US and Canada – Ends August 19th
$10 Amazon gift card, signed copy of Not Quite Dead, plus swag
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 http://lylapayne.com
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. http://trishaleigh.com
*I was provided a free ecopy of this book in exchange of an honest review*