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Title: 30 Seconds Before
Prequel to 30 Seconds
Genre: Mainstream Thriller
Page Count: 60 (novella)
Blake Herro is a cop in the Cleveland Police Force. Ever since he was a child he wanted to do right by the city he loved by cleaning up the streets and protecting its citizens. Red, a notorious mobster, has other plans.
On a bitter December night, ten police officers are drawn into a trap and killed by Red’s followers. Blake wants to bring down the Mob to avenge his fallen brothers and to prevent other cops from being murdered. Except the only way he can do that is by infiltrating the Mob.
Every minute he’s with these mobsters he’s in danger. Around every corner lies the threat of coming face to face with a gun. Will he make it out of the Mob alive or will he be their next victim?
- What initially got you interested in writing?
When I was a child, my mom pursed publication. She would sit at our dining room table and write either with a pen or a typewriter. I watched her craft children’s stories, illustrate them, and bind and laminate them. Then she’d read them to my siblings and I. I was simply enchanted. I made my first attempt at writing when I was five. Later, I started my first novel at twelve, which flourished into a series.
- What genres do you write in?
Romantic-suspense and fantasy-romance.
- What drew you to writing these specific genres?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved fantasy. As a kid, I read anything that had to do with unicorns and witches. Then I discovered romance books via Danielle Steel and Nora Roberts when I was fourteen. 30 Seconds Before is actually my first story without a drop of romance in it. As for suspense, I’m a sucker for fast-paced stories.
- How did you break into the field?
I took a chance. I think that’s what we all do. I was struggling with getting an agent for a specific project, so I wrote a story that I knew very well…a hurricane story set in Florida. Hurricane Crimes ended up being a novella, and I found a small press that accepted stories of that length. I sent a query, received a full request from the senior editor of the romantic-suspense line, and then I got the acceptance!
- What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
I want readers to be entertained. I wanted them to feel as though they had gone on an adventure with my characters, were right there beside them through all of the romance and suspense.
- What do you find most rewarding about writing?
This may be a cliché, but writing is the most enjoyable part for me. I wouldn’t be a writer, or still be writing, if I didn’t enjoy the act of writing and crafting stories.
- What do you find most challenging about writing?
Most writers would say editing is the most challenging, and it can be, but I actually enjoy editing. I like to polish my stories, and I’m a freelance editor. The only part of editing that becomes tedious for me are the final rounds of revision before it’s published. At that point, I am sick of my story because I’ve read it dozens of times.
- What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Don’t give up. I’m know everyone says that, but it can’t be said enough. I was deep in depression when I sent off that query for Hurricane Crimes. I didn’t give up, though, and look what happened. So hang in there and keep pushing forward no matter what.
- What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Romance. Suspense. Romantic-suspense. Paranormal-romance. Fantasy-romance. You can see a trend here, right? 😉
- Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I share a lot with my readers on my blog. Here are the two things they found most interesting.
1) I had spine surgery when I was fifteen to correct severe scoliosis, which means I have a rod screwed into my spine.
2) For the longest time, I had a phobia of being in a car accident, which stopped me from driving. My books have car chases and monster truck scenes in them, but I hadn’t owned a driver’s license when I wrote those scenes.
- What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
Blake’s gaze continued to scan the area. Too many officers needed help. Blake
strained his eyes to see if the nearest officer was still breathing, but the darkness and
flashing lights obscured his vision.
Dread was ripe in his veins, twining his intestines into knots. The assailants who attacked the officers could be lurking nearby, watching and putting him in their sights. Being out in the open with nothing but his Kevlar vest as protection was not where he
wanted to be, but the officer he was helping would bleed out if he moved.
Blake studied the officer. His lips were an unnatural shade of blue. He was shivering from the frigid December night as well as blood loss.
“Did you see them?” Blake asked. “Do you know who did this?”
The officer’s lips moved.
Blake leaned forward, bringing his ear to the officer’s mouth. “What was that?”
The officer took a shuddering breath. “Red.”
AMERICAN MOB FACTS:
- FBI Agent Joe Pistone was undercover in the Mob (the Boname Crime Family) for 20 years.
- Pinball was illegal for 30 years. James B. Elkin, a Portland crime boss, became an organizer of operations for this coin-operated gaming machine.
- Mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger reportedly went to see The Departed, a movie with Jack Nicholson who supposedly portrayed him on screen.
- Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa, two NYPD cops, were secret hitmen for the New York mafia.
- Members of more than 53 gangs have served in the U.S. Military, including Bloods and Crips.
- When former mafia associate Sal Polisi robbed banks, he used “I Love New York” bags.
- Some mobster aliases have been: Tony Bagel, Junior Lollipops, Jack the Whack, and Vinny Carwash.
- In 2002, high-ranking women from the Graciano and Cava crime families engaged in a shootout in a local hair salon after insults were thrown.
- Greg Scarpa’s nickname was “The Grim Reaper.”
- When the Pope visited Mexico in 2012, he was welcome by the Knights Templar cartel, who pledged not to cause violence during the Pope’s stay.
30 Seconds, the story that follows 30 Seconds Before, is on sale for 99 Cents. Get it at this discount so you can read the entire story from start to finish!
Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series (Hurricane Crimes and Seismic Crimes), as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. She is an administrator for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and heads their monthly newsletter. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press. 30 Seconds Before can be found on Amazon. Find out more about her and her books at www.ChrysFey.com.