Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Blog tour: Not Quite Dead by Lyla Payne + review & giveaway

Hello and welcome to our stop on the Not Quite Dead blog tour hosted by Xpresso Reads. We apologize for the lateness in our post. There were some internet connection problems to deal with this morning. We are now able to share our review of this enjoyable New Adult contemporary with a paranormal twist. There's also a tourwide giveaway to enter. Thanks for spending time with us.

Not Quite Dead by Lyla Payne
(A Lowcountry Ghost Story)
Publication date: 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.

Purchase: Amazon | B&N

In Not Quite Dead Graciela Harper may have grown up in Iowa but she spent her summers with her grandparents in Heron County. She considers that quaint southern town her home. Now at 25 she's back home, her truck stuffed with her belongings, her heart and engagement broken by a cheating fiance, she's nursing a hangover from cheap wine and her elderly Gramps is concerned. She's supposed to be there to help him since she's heard he is ailing and alone since her Grandma died six months earlier. Being back brings with it old memories of old loves, broken friendships and questions of trustworthy friends. Add a smitten handsome mayor, a 200-year-old ghost of a female pirate, and Gracie is about to be called certifiable.

Oh Gracie made me laugh. I loved her snark, her wit, the quirky way she looks at things and her Southern charm. Her Gramps quickly became one of my favorite characters. Not Quite Dead is all about family, love and reconnecting but then there's this whole other side to it with the non-talking ghost, the mayor Gracie wonders if she can trust, childhood friends and a first love now married and a father who is like a constant reminder of her own failures in life. The family dynamics are very realistic and I enjoyed the mystery. Why is the ghost of Bonny bothering Gracie? 

Not Quite Dead is the first book in A Lowcountry Ghost Story series by Lyla Payne and I will confess right here that I am hooked. Gracie is a great narrator and her story is refreshing with touches of humor, sarcasm and truth. She is surrounded by a cast of fully-fleshed out secondary characters and what a lot they are! Since I'm already a fan of Lyla Payne--having loved her Whitman University series--I had to pick this title up and read it. I'm glad I did. The novel makes me want to rent a house in the South and sit on the porch swing and read. Not Quite Dead is a fun, delicious read. Give it a chance and I know you'll be hooked too!

Rating: 4  Really liked it!
Cover comment:
Very mysterious. The cover art drew me in immediately.

Book source:
I received a promotional copy during a book tour.


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 her website

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: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

Tour-wide giveaway 
Open to US and Canada
$10 Amazon gift card, signed copy of Not Quite Dead, plus swag


  1. I already love the sounds of Gracie! Any MC with that kind of sense of humor will click with me. I just love great wit and snark >.< It also sounds like it has so much depth with the great cast and family dynamics which I love to see in books! Great review, Laurie!

  2. this sounds very interesting! added to my tbr list!

  3. This book had me at "ghost of 18th century lady pirate." It's going on my to-buy list!

  4. Thanks all! Kayla, I hope you enjoy the book!