Giveaway: Not Quite Dead by Lyla Payne
Posted by brriske
Not Quite Dead
by Lyla Payne
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 the first book in the Lowcountry Ghost Story series. The story can be read as a standalone, but the ending introduces the beginning of book 2.
We are introduced to a drunken Gracie, who is returning to her grandparents home to care for her elderly grandfather. She spent a lot of time growing up in the town and painful memories abound. The relationship between Gracie and her grandpa was so sweet. The writing regarding their relationship was excellent. Gracie meets the handsome, single, Mayor Beau, who, it seems, never really works. Late in the book, even Gracie remarks upon this fact! At first, beau seemed odd to me. There was no real reason for his attraction to Gracie, but really, in life, sometimes there is no reason. The paranormal element is introduced when Gracie is visited, a lot, by the smelly ghost of pirate, Anne Bonney. The interactions between those two are one sided, but very funny. Anne sets Gracie upon a road of discovery that will ultimately save her heritage.
There was some suspense as Gracie is anonymously threatened to stop her search. Add in a mean aunt, scary librarian and the smelly ghost and the plot really takes off. I enjoy romantic suspense and the scenes between the Mayor and Gracie begin to really heat up, while you never know what will happen. This book was heartbreaking in places, along with equal parts suspenseful, romantic and funny.
This book is for an audience of 18 or older, due to violence, including spousal abuse. There is no graphic sex in the novel.
I’m giving this book 5 fangs.
> goodreads – Not Quite Dead –https://www.goodreads.com/review/edit/20824605
> amazon – Not Quite Dead –http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews?ie=UTF8&action=preview
Maybe it’s lingering fear of Anne’s ghost, or a sudden urge to burn some fat, but my feet find the sidewalk instead of my butt finding the driver’s seat of my car. I have an hour, and the walk will take fifteen minutes. I’ll regret it later, when the trek home in a hundred muggy degrees drenches me from head to toe, but that’s then.
I’m out to prove that I don’t give a shit about consequences after all. Fuck adulthood.
Avoiding my car turns out to be a moot point when, less than two blocks from Gramps’ house, the scraggly redhead from my backseat joins me on the sidewalk. Her gait matches mine, but her feet don’t make any sound on the concrete despite her clunky, knee-high leather boots. Lord if she doesn’t smell bad enough to gag a maggot, even outside.
Yesterday, I ran. Today, for some reason, it’s as though none of this is happening in real life and I don’t go faster, or slower, just keep going, eyes forward, clinging to the hope of waking up. It’s like swimming through the air with my blood pumping through me ten times too fast, depositing a chilly sweat on my brow and palms.
She doesn’t talk, but based on my sideways glances, the premise that she’s Anne Bonny seems legitimate. The smell and her stiff men’s shirt, trousers, and boots, combined with the sword and dagger belted at her waist, convince me that she’s Anne Bonny or that I’m going nuts. Or both.
The expression on her face wavers between frustration and sorrow, but nothing about it or her posture suggests causing harm is on her agenda. We walk side by side a few more steps, me and my reeking ghost, before my nerve returns out of nowhere.
Dead or not, she’s kind of starting to bug me.
“What do you want?” The question would sound more at home in the mouth of the first victim in a horror flick, but it has to be asked.
Even so, Anne—if it is Anne—doesn’t reply. Maybe she thinks it’s a dumb thing to ask, too.
“Okay, obviously you left your tongue in your grave. Let me guess, you want to grab a coffee and a bagel? I’m thinking about stopping at Westies, but I’m not sure…Oh,” I gasp as my body turns to ice.
No one notices me leave the sidewalk and traipse around to the rear of my place of employment. It’s darker back here, away from any street lamps and lit signs. The unlocked window slides up under the pressure of my palm with no resistance and, most importantly, no noise. I have to jump a few times before my hands hook the sill, and it’s clear that I need to do more than walk to work if I’m going to get back into shape.
My grunts don’t carry far, and after a few more minutes of trial and error, I manage to hoist my hips over the painted wooden lip. It digs in, scraping hard enough that it’ll leave a bruise, but there’s no time to worry about that while my body is dangling half in, half out. The chance that anyone will wander back here seems slim, but there’s no excuse in the world that will work if I get caught like this.
I kick my feet and use my forearms to tug my body forward, which doesn’t work, until it does. I fly through the rest of the way, toppling face-first into the edge of the toilet.
“Holy shitballs, that’s gonna leave a mark.” Quoting Tommy Boy, even to myself, is usually good for a chuckle, but at the moment my face feels as though it’s made of broken glass and pulsing pain.
My nose throbs, my vision blurs, and it takes more than five minutes of sitting still with my head between my knees before the dizziness subsides enough to allow me to stagger to my feet. The mirror reveals a weeping red line across the bridge of my nose, which promises to turn into at least one black eye. So much for Gramps not noticing I went out.
Oh, well. Onward and upward.
There’s no alarm system in the library, and no one else is in the building. Neither fact makes me slow down or feel less watched, and my steps move quickly toward the front desk. Mrs. LaBadie keeps her key in the locked top drawer, but she doesn’t know about my long and storied career picking locks with nothing but unbent hairpins. Another Nancy Drew–inspired talent. The multiple Carolyn Keenes had no idea what kind of delinquents she would spawn with those books.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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
Buy Links for Not Quite Dead:
iBooks: C:\Users\Michele\AppData\Local\Temp\Macintosh HD:\If you’ve been waiting for NOT QUITE DEAD to go live on iBooks, they’ve finally decided to join the party!!!! https\–itunes.apple.com-us-book-not-quite-dead-id849991979?mt=11
Lyla will be awarding a $20 Bookstore GC (winner’s choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, a Signed paperback of NOT QUITE DEAD + swag (US only) to another randomly drawn commenter and a final prize of an eBook set of THE ROSE GARDNER MYSTERIES by Denise Grover Swank to one more randomly drawn commenter during the tour.