Not Quite Dead
(A Lowcountry Ghost Story)
by Lyla Payne
Genres: 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.
This book was filled with so much win. There were all these different elements that the author was able to tie together seamlessly. It made the story and characters relatable and enjoyable. The build of suspense over the course of the story was engaging, as well. I'll admit; I'm a huge wuss when it comes to scary things. Lyla Payne was able to handle the presence of the paranormal without shying me away from the story. I was left intrigued instead of frightened.
I know this is a ghost story, so I sound crazy. But this book feels authentic. The sayings that the characters use are ones that I've heard growing up in the south. Seeing "crap on a cracker" left me laughing uncontrollably and remembering whenever I heard my grandmother and her sisters say it whenever I was a child around them. The connection between Graciela and her Gramps had me in tears. I can relate to their relationship so much, and there were several moments during the book that I shed a tear over the beauty of it. There is even a smidgen of romance tucked in between the rest of the story, and I enjoyed it immensely.
If you grew up in the south and you like to reminiscence as you read, you will simply adore Not Quite Dead. If you didn't have the privilege of growing up south of the Mason Dixon line, read this and find out what you missed out on! This story was so beautiful, and I'm glad to have stumbled upon it. I cannot recommend it enough.