Saturday, 16 August 2014

Book Highlight : 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.

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.

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Sneak Peak

In retrospect, perhaps drinking myself to sleep in my grandparents’ driveway hadn’t been
the best idea.
The epiphany arrives with a blast of sunlight and a knock on the driver’s-side
window that explodes my brain into pain soup. I manage to make out a shadowy form
through the tightest eye squint in history, its elderly, feminine hand shading a gaze that’s
directed more or less toward the two empty wine bottles on the passenger-side
Annoyance mingles with nostalgia, because the hand can belong to no one but Mrs.
Walters. She’s made a career out of being the neighborhood busybody, and spent half my
childhood chasing me back toward this very house with a garden hose turned on to full
After driving for almost a full day with no sleep, last night’s alcohol spectacular only
amounts to one of this morning’s problems, and my face and breath would be more at
home on a hooker who just came off a double shift. Not the fancy kind of hooker, either.
There’s nothing to do but crank down the window, which ushers a refreshing wash of
cool morning air into my oven of a car. Late May in South Carolina isn’t exactly
temperate. Regardless of the thin, disapproving line of her mouth, no amount of
childhood memories can summon a smile.
"Good morning, Graciela."
"What time is it?" I ask without acknowledging her greeting.
The grooves beside her lips deepen. "A little after seven."
"Christ. It had to be sunny." I shove the door harder than necessary but she steps
back, avoiding a good smash to the knees. I press my toes to the concrete, taking a few
gulps of fresh coastal air before grabbing the doorframe and wobbling to my feet.
"Are you ill?"
"What? No, not exactly."
"Is Martin well?" She crosses her arms over her chest, her faded brown gaze flicking
toward the house.
"I just got here. You’re the one who called me, remember?" Maybe Mrs. Walters had
gone batshit crazy since I’d last spent any real time in Heron Creek. Maybe I should have
considered that option before packing my entire crappy life into my crappy car and
hauling it from Iowa to South Carolina.
"He’s no worse off than when I called. I just wondered why you arrived in
this…harried state."
"Oh." I put my back to the rising sun, refusing to follow her eyes as they take in the
giant pile of clothes and shoes and hangers and toiletries crammed in my backseat. The
distaste curling her lips toward her chin says she might be wondering how many Iowa
City rats hitchhiked with the rest of the mess. "I was in a hurry."

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