Category Archives: Blog

Release Date Announced for BOLT ACTION REMEDY

My next novel, Bolt Action Remedy, will be released on October 2nd, 2017 by Down & Out Books. Here is a bit of a preview of what’s in store:

Former Pittsburgh narcotics detective Trevor Galloway has been hired to look into the year-old homicide of a prominent businessman who was gunned down on his estate in Central Pennsylvania.  When Galloway arrives, he determines the murder could have only been committed by someone extremely skilled in two areas:  Skiing and shooting.  He believes the assailant should not be too difficult to identify given the great amount of skill and athleticism needed to pull off the attack.  When he discovers the victim’s property is next door to a biathlon training camp, the situation becomes significantly more complicated.

Galloway makes plenty of enemies as he sifts through stories about lucrative land deals, possible drug connections, and uncovers evidence suggesting the homicide may have been elaborate suicide.  As he attempts to navigate through an unfamiliar rural landscape, he does his best not to succumb to an old drug addiction, or become confused by one of his occasional hallucinations.  Oh, and a Pittsburgh drug gang enforcer known as The Lithuanian – if he’s even real – is tracking Galloway and wants to take his eyes.  Galloway would rather keep those.   

In the coming months, the cover art will be revealed at BOLO Books, I will be posting an interview series with a world class biathlete, a biathlon blogger, and a writer who can ski a hell of a lot better than me (which isn’t saying much). I’ll also be participating in the Five Shots Blog Tour, with some of your favorite bloggers.

 

Advance praise for Bolt Action Remedy:

J.J. Hensley is a crime writer who deserves readers’ attention and trust, because beyond his ever-stronger prose, he brings his ex-badge carrier’s street smart eyes to this hard world we live in.  Hensley goes beyond clichés to the heart of his fictions and his characters, and delivers stories worth your time.  Put him on your READ list.”

— James Grady, author of Six Days of the Condor. Recipient of the Raymond Chandler medal and the Grand Prix du Roman Noir

 

In Trevor Galloway, J.J. Hensley has given us a deliciously flawed hero whose unique gift makes him a phenomenal investigator, but also leaves him teetering on the razor-thin edge of genius and insanity. In Bolt Action Remedy, the reader follows Galloway on a chilling journey into the snowy world of biathlon as well as into the shadowy vortex of his wounded mind where neither he nor the reader knows at what point reality ends and hallucination begins. Hensley weaves a captivating tale while providing an authentic voice and a dash of ironic humor.  

 -Annette Dashofy, USA Today Bestselling Author of the Zoe Chambers Mysteries

 

Fast-paced and funny, Bolt Action Remedy is an action-packed thriller that will keep readers guessing from the first to the final page.

 -Rebecca Drake, author of Only Ever You

 

Bolt Action Remedy is the real thing:  fast, dangerous, and with a unique setting used in interesting ways.  Oh, and another thing:  It’s entertaining as hell.

-Andrew Pyper, International Thriller Writers Award winning author of The Damned and The Demonologist

 

Bolt Action Remedy marks the welcome return of J.J. Hensley’s trademark blend of breathless action, haunting atmosphere and sly wit.

-Gwen Florio, award-winning author of Montana and Disgraced

 

Strap yourselves in. This author guides you to the conclusion through twists, turns, and drops that will leave you so engrossed, you lose track of time.

-Lucie Fleury Dunn, Movies in my Mind Book Reviews

 

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, a Thriller Award finalist which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

 

The Coolest Sport You Aren’t Watching

I knew after setting my first novel (Resolve) against the backdrop of a marathon that I would someday try to write another novel that in some way involved an endurance sport.  I tinkered around with creating a plot that revolved around a triathlon.  I considered developing a story that revolved around a cycling event.  But, none of these ideas felt right in my mind and were all abandoned with prejudice.  Then, one day it hit me.  If I was going to write a murder mystery involving a strenuous athletic event then why not choose one in which the athletes were highly trained with weapons?  No, not fencing (although that’s not a bad idea).  I’m talking about a sport that is wildly popular in some parts of the word, but not in the United States – which is kind of odd considering our love of guns.  I’m talking about the sport of biathlon.

Now, if you don’t know about biathlon then allow me to explain in the simplest terms.   The competitors, each with a rifle on his/her back, ski cross-country at ridiculous paces before stopping to fire at incredibly small targets.  Generally, missing a target means having to circle a penalty loop (one lap for each target missed).  Of course I’m oversimplifying this amazingly complex sport, but you can learn some of the basics here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biathlon

http://www.dummies.com/sports/olympic-sports/biathlon-in-the-winter-olympics/

The sport is absolutely fascinating and if you have ever tried to fire a weapon when your heart is racing and lungs are burning, then you can certainly appreciate the talent of the competitors.  The specialize rifles used in the competitions are lightweight and crazy-accurate.  And they look cool.

biathlon-photo

Now, I realized the challenges of writing a novel that dealt with biathlon.  First of all, I’m not a biathlete.  In fact, I can’t even ski.  So, I read up on the sport and then sought out some help from Olympic biathlete Curt Shreiner.  Then, I developed a story that wouldn’t require the reader to have any prerequisite knowledge of the sport.  Fortunately, the book was picked up by Down & Out Books and scheduled for publication in the Fall of 2017.

In the coming months, I’ll be posting interviews with several people from the biathlon world including Louise Wood who blogs about biathlon at https://biathlon23.wordpress.com/, Eric Chandler who has competed in biathlon and is a writer, and Clare Egan who is a biathlete currently working toward gaining a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for the 2018 Olympic Games.  Additionally, I’m going to be participating in the Five Shots Blog Tour (because of the five targets biathletes shoot – see what I did there?) which will involve several popular blogs to include The Book Wheel, The Suspense is Killing Me, Biathlon23, Running ‘N’ Reading, and Novelgossip.  All of this will lead up to the release of my book Bolt Action Remedy, which is a real thing… I promise.

So, please be sure to follow this blog and my other social media sites to learn more about this great sport and my upcoming book.  With the Winter Olympics less than a year away, it’s time to start studying!

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, a Thriller Award finalist which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com
http://www.hensley-books.com
https://www.facebook.com/hensleybooks
https://www.goodreads.com/JJHensley
Twitter @JJHensleyauthor

Watch for my new book, BOLT ACTION REMEDY, in 2017!

AVAILABLE NOW!

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

 

Interviewed by S.W. Lauden

I was interviewed (or, as he says “Interrogated”) by author S.W. Lauden on his site.  He asked things.  I said things.  I discuss why I set many of my stories in Pittsburgh and preview what’s to come in 2017 and 2018.

Interrogation—J.J. Hensley

 

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, a Thriller Award finalist which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com
http://www.hensley-books.com
https://www.facebook.com/hensleybooks
https://www.goodreads.com/JJHensley
Twitter @JJHensleyauthor

Watch for my new book, BOLT ACTION REMEDY, in 2017!

AVAILABLE NOW!

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

“INK” (short story) by J.J. Hensley is on Shotgun Honey

Writing “flash fiction” is a challenge, but I managed to put together a story in 700 words.  It’s called INK and it’s published at Shotgun Honey.  Here is the link:

http://shotgunhoney.com/fiction/ink-by-j-j-hensley/#more-6123

printing-press

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, a Thriller Award finalist which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com
http://www.hensley-books.com
https://www.facebook.com/hensleybooks
https://www.goodreads.com/JJHensley
Twitter @JJHensleyauthor

Watch for my new book, BOLT ACTION REMEDY, in 2017!

AVAILABLE NOW!

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

 

RECORD SCRATCH – Coming in 2018

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ANNOUNCEMENT!

In addition to my novel BOLT ACTION REMEDY (Fall 2017), Down & Out Books has picked up my novel RECORD SCRATCH for 2018. Both books feature former Pittsburgh narcotics detective Trevor Galloway, who has special insights into the criminal mind and scores of enemies. Some of them real. Some… not so much.

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, a Thriller Award finalist which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com
http://www.hensley-books.com
https://www.facebook.com/hensleybooks
https://www.goodreads.com/JJHensley
Twitter @JJHensleyauthor

Watch for my new book, BOLT ACTION REMEDY, in 2017!

AVAILABLE NOW!

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

Should Authors, Artists, and Musicians Be Political?

Like many of you, I’ve been struggling to process the results of the recent election.  The nation is divided, the political opinions polarized, and there is a contentious tone coming from all sides.  Throughout what seemed like an endless 2016 campaign, I took note of several high-profile writers and musicians who boldly conveyed their political views.  I say boldly simply because an author, artist, or musician risks alienating a portion of his or her fan base (and future fans) by opining on political matters.  This risk is tenfold for those of us who are significantly less popular than Stephen King or Beyoncé.  It has been my observation that this risk deterred many creative types from speaking out politically, and I think that is a shame.

I remember going to rock concerts in the late 80s and early 90s and hearing bands rail against various political happenings.  It was done without thought to alienating any fans, but rather to express whatever message the performers thought to be important.  Similarly, it seems writers were more willing to be political and less concerned with the possible blowback from the opinions expressed.  I went to several concerts this year and, for the most part, the bands were silent regarding politics.  As part of the writing community, there were certainly many who were vocal, but I got the sense that many authors were hesitant to discuss political views.  So, what changed?

Social media has changed everything.  Whereas a musician or writer in the 80s or 90s might express a strong political opinion, the reach of that individual’s opinion might be limited to the audience on hand and the viewpoint would have a somewhat limited echo.  Today, if a small press author tells a tiny book club that they believe Candidate X is a bigot, then word of this believe may spread to the Internet and even find its way into online book reviews.

For example, a book called Unloaded was published this year.  The anthology consists of a collection of stories that support gun control and the proceeds of the sales go towards a nonprofit that combats gun violence.  When first released, the book was immediately met with several one star reviews on Amazon although it was clear the reviewers had not read the book.  Rather, the negative responses were simply due to the anti-gun viewpoints in the stories and to the association with the nonprofit.  Occurrences like these can persuade those whose works are in the public eye to hold back politically and remain silent on social issues.  Are those who remain silent correct?  Do writers, artists, and musicians have a responsibility to speak up?

img_1595

I don’ t know.

But, I do know this.  This country has just entered into uncharted territory.  For the first time, the U.S. political and social landscape has been completely reshaped by social media, fake news stories, and policy proposals that defy simple tests of logic – yet have gained traction.  While I certainly understand the discontent that has led us to this point, I do not – and will not – accept racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia.  If that refusal costs me a few readers, then so be it.  History has provided us with a blueprint for times like these.

If those of us with a voice do not speak out now, we may not be able to do so later.

Note:  The next election is not in 2020.  It’s in 2018.  Vote!

 

Feel free to comment below! 

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, a Thriller Award finalist which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, Chalk’s Outline, and other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

https://hensleybooks.wordpress.com
http://www.hensley-books.com
https://www.facebook.com/hensleybooks
https://www.goodreads.com/JJHensley
Twitter @JJHensleyauthor

Watch for my new book, BOLT ACTION REMEDY, in 2017!

AVAILABLE NOW!

image1Cyprus Keller wants a future.
Jackson Channing has a past.
Robert Chalk has a rifle and a mission.  Kill Cyprus Keller and anyone who gets in his way.

 

An addict is killing Pittsburgh city officials, but Homicide Detective Jackson Channing has his own addiction.

cropped-measure-twice-750-x-1200-jpeg.jpg

Also:

In the Pittsburgh Marathon, more than 18,000 people will participate. 4,500 people will attempt to cover the full 26.2 miles. Over 200 of the participants will quit, realizing it just wasn’t their day. More than 100 will get injured and require medical treatment. One man is going to be murdered.  When Dr. Cyprus Keller lines up to start the race, he knows a man is going to die for one simple reason. He’s going to kill him.

resolve-cover art CL (1)

Finalist – 2014 International Thriller Writers Awards – Best First Novel
Named one of the BEST BOOKS of 2013 by Suspense Magazine!
Top Ten Books of the Year – Authors on the Air

 And look for my short story FOUR DAYS FOREVER in the LEGACY anthology

Interview with Jon McGowan: The Challenges of Media Tie-In Books and Stories

On The Thrill Begins:

Media Tie-In Books & Stories: Knowing is Half the Battle