Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Dead By My Side by Gloria Galloway

Dead By My Side by Gloria Galloway
Published By: CreateSpace
Release Date: July 25, 2011
Format: Paperback - 228 pages / Kindle - 406 KB
ISBN: 145657910X
Genre: Mystery - Suspense - Thriller

About The Author:

I first embraced the world of make-believe as a little girl of seven, when my dolls were the characters for my stories. Of course, back then I didn't want to kill them.

As a teenager, I spent every spare moment at my local library. I devoured books. I read instead of doing homework, I read instead of doing chores, and I read instead of sleeping. It was about that time that I first put pen to paper. My tastes were very eclectic. I enjoyed romance and science fiction and mysteries. Think Nancy Drew dating the football hero at a high school on Mars!

My first serious foray into writing stemmed from my love of romance novels. I constantly told my husband that "I could write that." I guess he finally got tired of hearing me say it and told me to do it. I took up the challenge and wrote my first book: Only In My Dreams, a historical romance set in Mexico during the era of Maximilian. It took me ten years to write it. And that's not a typo. I loved writing romance novels and although I had an agent for a time, it was never quite the right fit for me. My daughters are trying to convince me to self-publish the book. I'm thinking about it.


BUY THE BOOK: Dead By My Side

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and for hosting a virtual book event on my book review blog site.

Virtual Book Event: On Friday, July 13, 2012, author Gloria Galloway participated in a virtual book event with an Author Guest Post on Jersey Girl Book Reviews.


$15 Amazon Gift Card 

Contest Dates : July 13 - 27, 2012

One (1) lucky winner will be randomly chosen to win the $15 Gift Card given by author Gloria Galloway. 

Enter the contest giveaway by clicking on the Rafflecopter contest entry form.

Additional points (entries) will be given for posting a comment on the contest giveaway post, and by following Gloria on Facebook, her website and on Goodreads. 

We will be using Rafflecopter to randomly select the winner. The winner will be notified by author Gloria Galloway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Description: 

Julia Reynolds is a homicide detective with beauty, brains, a smart mouth and a sharp investigative eye. She is the perfect foil for Tony Camarelli, who is handsome, tough, dedicated and thorough. Together they make a great team, trading banter, fighting crime, out to catch the bad guy. It all sounds like a normal day at the office for these two partners. Except for one little detail ... she's dead. Julia and Tony have worked together for twelve years. Their partnership is cut short the day that Julia is killed in the line of duty and Tony is left to pick up the pieces. When Julia's ghost comes back to haunt him, she wreaks havoc on his peace of mind, plays on his nerves and interrupts his love life. It soon becomes clear that she won't leave him alone until he agrees to partner up again. As she did in life, Julia helps Tony with the investigation, but this time she has a new and unique perspective from beyond the grave, and they will need it. The duo is about to face the most challenging case of their careers. A cunning serial killer, who doesn't fit any criminal profile, stalks the young women of Sacramento, daring the local authorities and the FBI to catch him. Hot on the trail of a sadistic monster, they must fight against time while trying to adjust to their new "living" arrangements.

Book Excerpt: 

                                                   Chapter 1

Detective Anthony Camarelli brought the barrel of his gun up in a two-handed grip, took careful aim, and put three rounds into the perp in rapid succession. He allowed himself a moment of satisfaction when all three shots hit their mark.

Removing his headphones and goggles, Tony pressed the button to retrieve his target. Julia Reynolds, his partner, peered around him and whistled.

"Not bad, Camarelli. A nice tight grouping. That last round, though, was a little off. But it's tiny. Infinitesimal. Hardly noticeable at all."

He quirked an eyebrow, his only acknowledgement of her observation. He might have reminded her of the numerous medals and trophies for marksmanship currently cluttering his closet, but it would only encourage her. They cleaned their weapons and headed out to the parking lot.

Tim Johnston, a uniform on the night shift, greeted them. "Well, if it isn't the Sacramento Sheriff's Department's finest. Hey, Camarelli, you exercising your trigger finger? Competition's not that far off. Top Gun '06 and '07. This'll be three years running. You do us proud."

"Count on it," Tony replied.

Johnston shot him a mock salute.

Tony hadn't even settled into the driver's seat before Julia pulled out her new purchase and traded her sensible shoes for a pair of strappy spiked heels. "You know we're on duty tonight," he said.

She sighed in mock ecstasy as she lifted her foot and placed it on the dash. "Jimmy Choos, baby. They're the best."

Eyeing her tall and leggy body, he marveled at her ability to pretzel herself around in that confined space. She was turning thirty-five tomorrow, yet she still had the lithe body of a woman ten years younger. The chestnut hair caught up in a ponytail and her fresh-scrubbed face added to the image. He admired her slim ankle even as he frowned at the impracticality of her purchase.

"We're still staking out Lopez, right?"

"That's the plan."

Her heavy sigh had him grinning. "Come on, it'll be a blast."


"Hey, I'll be there. We can play truth or dare."

"I repeat. Boring."

"Yeah, CI duty sucks. But with this flu bug out there, all the departments are short-handed. And besides, Lopez knows the guys from Vice. He catches sight of them, he'll bolt. With any luck, this will be our last night and we'll be back on homicide where we belong."

"If Lopez does show up, do not pull that old sweethearts-making-out-in-the-car routine."

"What, you don't like my kisses?"

"Oh zip it, Camarelli. The bad-boy good looks, the dimples, and that toothy grin are lost on me. And what's with the lock of hair falling so artfully onto your forehead? How long did it take you to train it to do that? Just keep your hands to yourself. That's all I'm saying."

"You think I'm good looking?"

"No, I think that's how you picture yourself." She traded her shoes back and quickly changed the subject. "Why do you suppose they call them confidential informants? It's an awfully fancy name for a snitch."

"Jurors tend to get a bad connotation from the word snitch."

Julia laughed. "You saw his mug shot. Lopez is a walking, breathing bad connotation."

Tony pictured Lopez and had to admit she was right. The man was in his early thirties and looked twice that age. Years of drug abuse had definitely left their mark.

Back at the station they each tried to catch up on some last-minute paperwork. Tony looked up and cringed when Leo Barclay came up behind Julia. The detective was always a pain in the ass, but when he and Julia were in the same room, fireworks soon followed. This was no exception.

Leo picked up the shoe box she'd set down on the edge of her desk and snorted a laugh, "This Jimmy guy can't even spell shoe. What an idiot!"

Julia snatched the box out of his hands and sneered, "Choo is the designer's name, numb nuts!"

Leo glared as snickers from other occupants of the room erupted. When his hands balled into fists, idle minds suddenly got busy. "Camarelli, you'd better reign in your bitch before I take her outside and teach her some manners."

Tony's leg blocked her charge as Julia came out of her chair ready to come to blows. "Let it go, Jules."

Tony and Julia both fought back the urge to wipe the smirk off Leo's face as he sauntered out the back of the squad room. Julia shoved at Tony's leg before plopping back in her chair. "Butt out of my business, Camarelli. I can take care of myself."

"Never said you couldn't. With this flu bug out there, I didn't think we could afford to lose another body when you put Barclay in the hospital. Just looking out for my best interests."

Only partly mollified, Julia turned back to her computer. She frowned at the ancient relic as Tony headed for the men's room. The screen froze again. She cursed a blue streak and slapped a hand against the monitor, which promptly went dark. "Are we ever going to catch up to the twenty-first century around here?" she asked of no one in particular.

The sarge chose that moment to stick his head out of his office. "Reynolds, get in here. Where's Camarelli?"

"The can." She quickly slipped on her suit jacket before heading into Tennyson's office. He didn't invite her to sit, so she stood just inside the door.

"OK, listen up. You and Camarelli are still on watch out for the snitch, but you'll be staking out his mom's house tonight. Apparently he's avoiding his apartment. Here's the address."

Julia glanced at the slip of paper. "The town of Hood? That's a quiet little community."

"It's a change of scenery. You can bring Tony up to date. Be safe out there."

Tony had still not made his way out of the head. Impatient to get going, Julia walked down the hall and pushed open the door to the men's room. Tony was bent over the sink, and Leo was just finishing up at the urinal. She looked Barclay up and down and hooked her thumb toward the door, "Shake off Little Leo and get out."

Leo cupped his dick with his right hand and leered at her. "Want some of this action, baby?"

"In your dreams, Barclay. I've seen livelier noodles in my wonton soup."

Tony bit back a laugh. "I hate to break up you lovebirds, but we need to be out of here."

Back at the car, Julia blew out a breath as Tony started the engine. "That man sets my teeth on edge."

"Come on, he's nothing more than a big, bald buffoon - don't let him get to you. Just keep in mind that he's pretty close to retirement, and you won't have to put up with him much longer."

"I've got news for you, he's already retired. The paperwork just hasn't caught up to him." She pulled the scrap of paper Tennyson had scribbled on out of her pocket and handed it to him. "The sarge switched things up on us. We'll be staking out Lopez at his mom's house in Hood."

My Book Review:

What do you get when you pair one bad-boy good looking homicide detective with his returned from the dead female partner? A dynamic duo that is on the hunt to track down a serial killer in Sacramento. What more could Detective Tony Camarelli ask for then to have his partner, Julia Reynolds, as a ghost dead by his side solving the homicide cases!

Sacramento Sheriff Department homicide detectives Tony Camarelli and Julia Reynolds have been partners for twelve years. They knew each other inside out, and despite the rumors that frequently circulated the squad room, they were never romantically involved. Tony did love Julia, and he suspected that she was aware of it, but Julia made it clear that there would be no romantic entanglements, and he respected her wishes. While on a late night stakeout, Tony and Julia stop at his sister's bakery for coffee, and before going in for their purchases, Julia takes off her bulletproof vest, only to be shot dead by a shotgun blast to the chest at the bakery's door by a robbery suspect. Tony takes out the suspect with three shots, and he frantically works on Julia even though her chest wound was fatal. Grief stricken and numb, Tony is placed on administrative leave and hasn't seen a sober day in over a week since Julia's funeral. After being on a seven day drunk, Tony knows it's time to clean up his act when Julia's ghost appears before him at his home. He goes back to work and gets a homicide case where a young mother of twin girls is bludgeoned to death in her bed. Julia's ghost makes another appearance, and Tony thinks he is hallucinating, but she sticks by him and partners up with him once again to track down the murderer, who turns out to be a demented serial killer who is terrorizing women in Sacramento.

Dead By My Side is a gritty and intriguing mystery suspense thriller with a paranormal twist. With a fast-paced plot that immediately draws the reader into the story, this is one heck of a page turner. Rich in detail and vivid descriptions that could rival a CSI show, the story has a lot of drama, suspense, realistic law enforcement investigative procedure and forensic evidence, and twists and turns that captivates the reader and brings them along for the ride with Tony and Julia as they hunt down the serial killer.

The author has created an intriguing cast of characters that are realistic and quirky, that are easy to relate to, and who will pull you into their lives. I thoroughly enjoyed the quick wit and quirky banter between Tony and Julia, it was really humorous and balances the grittiness of the crime scenes. With a host of supporting characters like family, friends and neighbors, the serial killer, FBI, law enforcement, and a quick-witted medical examiner, their dialogue, interactions and contributions to the story make it that much more entertaining and compelling.

Dead By My Side is the debut novel for author Gloria Galloway. She has created a richly detailed and engrossing mystery suspense thriller with a neat paranormal twist that is sure to satisfy crime thriller fans.


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