AUTHOR:Lyla Payne
PUBLICATION: Published April 1st 2014 by Createspace
GENRE: NA > Mystery | Paranormal
PAGES: 257pages (Paperback)
SOURCE: e-arc via tour host
RATING: 4 ★★★★



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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.





Look at me reading a ghost story and actually LOVING IT!


First of all, if you’re looking for a ghost story with spine chilling chapters, I don’t think this is for you. But if you want a ghost story with a heart and depth? HERE. READ IT. LOVE IT. SHARE IT WITH EVERYBODY. THE BOOK TWO IS ALREADY OUT AND IF YOU LOVE ME YOU’LL GIFT IT TO ME!

I did not type the last part. Maybe it’s Anne Bonny, idk

I admit, what I wanted at first is to get a creepy, scary and horror-like story. Not because I’m into that genre, HA, but because I want to challenge myself. I’m always avoiding those books and I thought “you know what, i’m tired of being a wimp” So yeah, I’ve seen ghost in the title and I just signed up. Ghost is pretty hard core for me already, mind you.

Anyway! Imma stop the blabbering. Let’s get down to business. Graciela Harper is a mess! From a  broken engagement, she went back to her hometown where she practically ran away from, Heron Creek. With her Grandfather counting the last days of his life, she must deal with the fact that her Gramps won’t always be at her side. She needs to cut off an old flame permanently, reconcile with lost relationships, deal with a brewing romance and… befriend a pirate ghost?

Graciela or Gracie is sooo amusing for me. Her inner monologues are always so interesting and even though there are some chapters that is spent nothing but just her thinking, I always found myself interested and fixated! Like, yes GRACIE THAT IS SO NONSENSE  BUT OKAY I’LL LISTEN. Characters are well done, I must say. Fully developed and well detailed. When you finish the book, there’s.. longing. You got to know them, and bonded with them so you’ll really miss them. No worries, as it was mentioned, THE BOOK TWO IS ALREADY OUT. 

The books atmosphere or/and setting is, just wow, I LOVE IT. Heron Creek (the setting of the book) sounds so enticing to me. When I was reading this book, I felt like I’m just there with Gracie, following her (there’s a chance that I’m really Anne Bonny). It’s like I also know those people, like I grew up with them. It’s because, Lyla Payne is such an excellent writer that when it comes to describing us a particular scene, it is nothing but brilliant!

If there’s one thing I’ll ask, it’s that Gracie needs to work on more to that ‘Nancy Drew attitude’ There’s some circumstances here where certain things are so obvious, I was practically yelling at her. It’s too obvious so it’s kind of impossible to miss it. (But then again, there’s a big chance she’s drunk at those times, LOL)

The Romance is.. how do I say this, uh, slow burning? I was struggling at first because I HONESTLY don’t trust Gracie’s love interest. I don’t know, there’s something fishy about him and besides, the author did not give him enough character background, so I’ll still keep my suspicion. But Ms. Layne, you need to fix this.




You know what I’m talking about! 😉

Overall, Not Quite Dead is a charming, mystifying and absolutely heartwarming read. It’s not everyday that you’ll come across a ghost story that will will satisfy your drama, mystery, and romance fix. A book with skillful writing,  endearing characters and satisfying plot, I HIGHLY recommend it!








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.comIf 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:





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