Tag Archives: books

Publication Day!

Forgiveness Dies is now available via paperback and ebook. The audiobook will be available sometime in 2020. Publishers Weekly said some nice things about the novel, and you can read the review here.

As you know, Forgiveness Dies is the third book in the Trevor Galloway series. I’m planning on writing at least one more book in the series, but possibly more. I’ve I’ve got a couple of short stories being published for anthologies in 2020 and I’ll have news on those at a later date.

The Bouchercon World Mystery Convention is in Dallas this year and I’ll be attending. You can catch me there November 1-3 and I’ll be on a panel discussing Agatha Christie on Friday, Nov. 1 at 1PM.

I can’t thank all of you enough for the continued support I’ve received. The constant interaction I experience through Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads is a reminder of how amazing the reading and writing community can be. I’m astonished every single day. You rock.

Image is Everything

So, I haven’t written a blog post for a while. For once, I have valid reasons for my absence from the blogging world. First, I’ve been working hard on completing the final edits for my upcoming novel Forgiveness Dies, the third book in the Trevor Galloway series, and now it is set for release in October 2019. Second, I’m busy writing the next book in that series. Additionally, I have some short stories coming out in a couple anthologies, but those will be announced later. The third reason I haven’t posted lately is I didn’t have much else to post about and reading about a writer writing is about as fun as reading about a plumber… plumb (That doesn’t sound right). Anyway, I’m going to discuss something vitally important that I know you all have been wondering about for a while now. It’s the question you’ve all had on the tip of your tongue. What will be J.J.’s next tattoo? 

So, yeah. If you didn’t know, I have a few tattoos. And I’ve been planning on getting another one, probably a turntable (because of my novel Record Scratch). However, something happened over the past year that changed my thinking. My young daughter became interested in owls. Actually, interested isn’t the right word. Obsessed is more like it. The kid absolutely loves owls. So, we ended up buying owl books, reading all sorts of online articles about owls, and visiting places where we could see owls. One such place was the Center for Wildlife Education in Statesboro, GA. I’d read there was an aerial show and, not wanting to drive an hour to have my daughter disappointed, I emailed a gentleman named Scott Courdin to make sure owls would be present. Scott assured me there would be and even made sure owls would play a prominent role in the show. (For his generosity, Scott’s name is now being used for a character in a story to be included in an anthology that will be published in 2020. He might even live. We’ll see.) We got more than we bargained for with the owls, as our encounters were… close (see video below).

Thanks to my daughter, I’ve now studied up on owls as well. Before studying up on the creatures, I knew owls were… birds. That’s pretty much it. Of course, I understood they also symbolized knowledge and probably mystery. However, they are so much more. First off, they are bad ass predators. And some types are huge. The Eurasian Eagle Owl (below) has a seven-foot wing span. Think about that. The lady ducking certainly noticed.

Eurasian Eagle Owl – Center for Wildlife Education, Statesboro, GA

Owls seem to hear and see everything and are masters at camouflage. If you don’t believe me, just do an internet search of the terms “owl camouflage”. Of course, now I notice that I’m hearing owls every morning when I leave the house. However, I never see them because they don’t want to be seen. But they watch you. Oh, they watch you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As my daughter and I learned more about the various types of owls, I became more interested in the history of the symbolism in various cultures. The owl has been tied to the Greek goddess Athena and appears on coins from ancient Greece.

via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owl paintings have been found in ancient grottoes in France, dating back to over 20,000 years ago – indicating the creature was held in high regard or had religious meaning. The owl is found in Egyptian hieroglyphics, in African art, in artifacts found on various islands, and all from time periods spanning tens of thousands of years. For some cultures the owl has symbolized knowledge, wisdom, or watchfulness. For others, danger or death. Whether found on Alaskan carvings created by anonymous craftsmen, or in the works of Michelangelo and Picasso, the symbol of the owl has always had great historical, religious, and cultural significance.

And they can be super cute.

Screech owl. Center for Wildlife Education, Statesboro, GA.

So, I’m guessing my next tattoo will include an owl. At the time of this writing, I’m a few hours away from a consultation with a tattoo artist in the Savannah area. If I do get an owl image of some type, I’ll be doing what thousands of people, speaking countless languages, living all over the world, have done. I’ll be paying tribute to one of the greatest raptors in the world by bearing a symbol with deep meaning. At a time when we seem divided as a people, I kind of like the idea of having a reminder that we all have much in common and that history is bigger than all of us.

Besides, I looked up those Greek coins on eBay and those suckers are expensive!

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, Bolt Action Remedy, Record Scratchand other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

Available Now!

RECORD SCRATCH

Amazon

“There are two types of men you must fear in this world: Men who have everything to lose—and men like me.”

It’s a case Trevor Galloway doesn’t want. It’s certainly a case he doesn’t need. The client—the sister of a murdered musician—seems a bit off. She expects Galloway to not only solve her brother’s homicide, but recover a vinyl record she believes could ruin his reputation. Galloway knows he should walk away. He should simply reach over the desk, give back the envelope of cash that he admittedly needs, and walk away. However, when the client closes the meeting by putting a gun under her chin and pulling the trigger, his sense of obligation drags him down a path he may not be ready to travel.

A story divided into twelve songs from Jimmy Spartan’s final album.

Praise for RECORD SCRATCH:

Record Scratch shocks you out of your ordinary groove. Sometimes witty, other times haunting, but when the needle jumps the track, the body count screams.” —Marc E. Fitch, author of Paradise Burns and Dirty Water

“In Record Scratch, Hensley, a former secret service agent, gifts us with a bounty of goods: a solid mystery, a damaged but relatable main character—one you root for, and swift plotting that weaves a compelling, compulsive tale of music and death and the demons carried by those in law enforcement. Bring me more Trevor!” —Shannon Kirk, international bestselling author of Method 15/33

“J.J. Hensley’s Record Scratch is a tersely written and tightly plotted gem, featuring one of the most unique protagonists around, Trevor Galloway, a man who has a way of getting himself into and out of trouble at an alarming rate. The book is action-packed with a dash of mordant wit, and I can’t wait to read more in this intense, engaging series.” —David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

“J.J. Hensley’s tale of a stoic PI investigating the murder of a has-been rock star is equal parts classic whodunnit and gritty noir, peppered with high-octane action scenes that will leave you breathless. Record Scratch is like a throat punch: powerful, shocking, and unapologetic, but the surprising poignant ending will stay with you a long after you’ve finished the book. This is a thriller that crackles from the first page to the last.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts

Available Now!

BOLT ACTION REMEDY

Buy it on Amazon!

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 Bolt Action Remedy, the typically quiet streets of Washaway Township, Pennsylvania become the epicenter of a mystery involving elite athletes and old grudges. For Galloway, the problems keep piling up and somebody out there believes problems should be dealt with by employing the most permanent of remedies.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local Author Day in Savannah: Mingling and an Actual Murder

I admit I saw the movie first. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil hit the theaters in 1997 and I don’t think I watched it until at least 2000. My wife and I read the book in 2002 and made the journey from our home in Virginia to visit Savannah for a few days. We were enchanted by city’s history, architecture… and humidity. Neither of us had any clue we would end up moving to the area by the end of 2017.

A lot had transpired throughout that fifteen-year journey that led us to the Georgia coast, one unforeseen change was my becoming a novelist. Having spent a decade establishing a bit of readership in the northeast, I am completely aware I’m lesser known in Savannah. And by “lesser known”, I mean not at all. Thus, is one reason I set up a table at this year’s Local Author Day, right in the heart of the city. Now, here’s a little secret about local author days:  if they aren’t run well, they can be AWFUL. It ends up being a bunch of writers staring at each other, eventually talking to each other, then taking each other’s cards for no reason whatsoever. I was afraid this might be the case with the event in Savannah. But… IT… WAS… AWESOME.

Not only was there lots of foot traffic from tourists, but plenty of locals stopped by. And when I say “locals”… well, remember Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah.

Savannah has some local flavor. There were men who may or may not have been bellhops. Women wearing enormous fur coats on a very warm day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least one poodle who wasn’t having ANY of this walking stuff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There was a kid with a Minotaur mask. A bishop staring at the kid with the Minotaur mask.

Oh… and readers too. I got to speak to lots of wonderful people who had a real interest in books. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there was the occasional lull in the action, but there were soooo many dogs around and I’m a huge dog person. One of my favorites was THIS guy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may be asking why I’ve expertly disguised his face. This is because I am a firm believer in the principal of innocent until proven guilty. Which obviously leads us to the story of Chicken BINGO. Obviously.

This entire event was part of a birthday celebration for esteemed writer Flannery O’Connor, who was born in Savannah. As part of this celebration,  something called Chicken BINGO was occurring on the other side of the square from where I was set up. From what I’m told, Chicken BINGO involves a large board of numbers and when a real live chicken defecates on that number, some lucky ticket holder wins… something. Anyway, I don’t know if it was before, during, or after the BINGO session, but I guess the chicken got away from the owner and strayed away from the fecal game card and away from its cage. And… well, did I mention there were lots of dogs around?

I couldn’t see it, but I heard plenty. A woof. Screams. Gags. Someone yelled, “Oh, my God!” Some people turned away and started crying. Through the pedestrians and shrubs I saw my large, white furry friend being escorted away. It was a shameful perp walk if there ever was one. That poultry never stood a chance.

But, THIS IS SPARTA… I mean, Savannah. Five minutes later, after the carcass had been scooped up, a band – complete with an accordion player – formed up, and led a line of children in a parade around the square. It was as if nobody remembered the chicken.

 

 

 

 

 

 

But I remember you, nameless chicken. I remember.

Now, all of this may seem a bit surreal to some of you. But, here is the best part. Throughout the afternoon, I watched all of this unfold and observed the faces of the writers who have lived here for many years. What I saw in their faces was – nothing. Other than the few moments surrounding the poultry homicide, nobody seemed to find any of this activity the least bit extravagant. It reminded me of a scene  in the movie version of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil when John Cusack’s character tells someone, “This place is fantastic; it’s like ‘Gone With the Wind’ on mescaline.”

I’ve never tried mescaline. But, Savannah is certainly fantastic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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, Bolt Action Remedy, Record Scratchand other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

Available Now!

RECORD SCRATCH

Amazon

“There are two types of men you must fear in this world: Men who have everything to lose—and men like me.”

It’s a case Trevor Galloway doesn’t want. It’s certainly a case he doesn’t need. The client—the sister of a murdered musician—seems a bit off. She expects Galloway to not only solve her brother’s homicide, but recover a vinyl record she believes could ruin his reputation. Galloway knows he should walk away. He should simply reach over the desk, give back the envelope of cash that he admittedly needs, and walk away. However, when the client closes the meeting by putting a gun under her chin and pulling the trigger, his sense of obligation drags him down a path he may not be ready to travel.

A story divided into twelve songs from Jimmy Spartan’s final album.

Praise for RECORD SCRATCH:

Record Scratch shocks you out of your ordinary groove. Sometimes witty, other times haunting, but when the needle jumps the track, the body count screams.” —Marc E. Fitch, author of Paradise Burns and Dirty Water

“In Record Scratch, Hensley, a former secret service agent, gifts us with a bounty of goods: a solid mystery, a damaged but relatable main character—one you root for, and swift plotting that weaves a compelling, compulsive tale of music and death and the demons carried by those in law enforcement. Bring me more Trevor!” —Shannon Kirk, international bestselling author of Method 15/33

“J.J. Hensley’s Record Scratch is a tersely written and tightly plotted gem, featuring one of the most unique protagonists around, Trevor Galloway, a man who has a way of getting himself into and out of trouble at an alarming rate. The book is action-packed with a dash of mordant wit, and I can’t wait to read more in this intense, engaging series.” —David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

“J.J. Hensley’s tale of a stoic PI investigating the murder of a has-been rock star is equal parts classic whodunnit and gritty noir, peppered with high-octane action scenes that will leave you breathless. Record Scratch is like a throat punch: powerful, shocking, and unapologetic, but the surprising poignant ending will stay with you a long after you’ve finished the book. This is a thriller that crackles from the first page to the last.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts

Available Now!

BOLT ACTION REMEDY

Buy it on Amazon!

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 Bolt Action Remedy, the typically quiet streets of Washaway Township, Pennsylvania become the epicenter of a mystery involving elite athletes and old grudges. For Galloway, the problems keep piling up and somebody out there believes problems should be dealt with by employing the most permanent of remedies.

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

 

I’m on Strike… and Nonessential (I guess)

In my non-writer life, I work for the federal government and if you’ve followed the news at all lately you have probably heard there is a partial government shutdown. I’m part of the “partial”, so therefore I’m furloughed – or, as POTUS stated he would like it framed – on strike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, I’ll return to work once my demands are met. I don’t know what those are at the moment, but I suppose I better come up with something. Anyway, I’m not using this unexpected hiatus to sit around, play video games, and use my new, totally cool Oculus virtual reality system. Well… not completely. Proof of this is that I’m actually writing this blog entry which is something I’ve not been doing as often as I should.

So, time to catch up everyone up on some key happenings and observations:

My sixth novel is with my publisher. Forgiveness Dies is with my publisher and is due out in October 2019.

I started writing the fourth Galloway mystery and the working title is Falling Resurrections. Hopefully, it will be ready to go for October 2020.

I’ve got short stories in two separate upcoming anthologies over the next two years. Details on those to come.

My novel Record Scratch was recently an Honorable Mention for one of the Best of 2018 in Suspense Magazine.

I watched Aquaman the day after Christmas. Since then, I’ve started a Jason Momoa weightlifting workout. I do not look like Jason Momoa.         Yet.

I’ll be attending the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in Dallas, Texas. It runs October 31st to November 1st, 2019. Come find me. I’ll be the writer who looks like Jason Momoa.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m still a contributing columnist to The Thrill Begins. If you haven’t seen our site, you really should check it out.

Now… there is a lot of crazy rhetoric being tossed around about what a government shutdown means and the terms “essential employee” and “nonessential employee“. I’ve got nearly 19 years of federal time under my belt, so allow me to explain.

During a shutdown, some employees may be deemed “essential” and will have to work although they may not get paid. This may include Secret Service agents (my former profession), Customs and Border Patrol officers, TSA screeners, Air Traffic Controllers, and a slew of others. In the past, these individuals do get paid after the shutdown concludes, but legislation has to be passed to allow that to happen (not an absolute guarantee these days). Also, this does not help those who live paycheck to paycheck which is often the case, especially for entry-level employees in major metropolitan areas. Another consequence is contractors and support staff (cleaning crews, kitchen staff, etc. do not work and do not get back pay). This is an incredible hardship.

Other employees (like myself) get labeled “nonessential” and get furloughed. Yes, it’s a wonderful feeling to get called nonessential – but, let’s put that aside. What does that really mean? Well, nonessential employees include analysts, specialists, linguists, training staff, and dozens of other positions that support agency operations. For instance, one could be furloughed from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), which is vital to supplying well-training operational (and essential) employees to the field) because that individual’s position falls into the nonessential category. Thousands of future federal agents and officers come through FLETC each year, but things don’t operate quite as well when… you know… a bunch of employees are missing. Needless to say, essential positions don’t function for long without the so-called nonessential positions.

One only has to read the comments section of news articles to realize how many people out there believe a government shutdown is actually a good thing. Nor do many seem to have any empathy for the tens of thousands having to deal with the fallout from a political battle. Yet, many of those who love to flex their Twitter Muscles are the first to claim they support those who serve in the military and believe those who protect this country deserve respect.

Those nonessential government workers include those who inspect our food. They include those who help train our nation’s federal agents. They include those who keep people safe in our national parks, those who protect our environment, and those who protect your money.

And the federal government is about the same size it was in the late 1960s although it serves a much larger population, so please don’t fall for the “government needs to be downsized anyway” trap. The government needs to be open and this is not a strike. Mexico isn’t paying for a wall and it’s time to move on to the business of letting those who serve this nation do their work.

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, Bolt Action Remedy, Record Scratchand other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

Available Now!

RECORD SCRATCH

Amazon

“There are two types of men you must fear in this world: Men who have everything to lose—and men like me.”

It’s a case Trevor Galloway doesn’t want. It’s certainly a case he doesn’t need. The client—the sister of a murdered musician—seems a bit off. She expects Galloway to not only solve her brother’s homicide, but recover a vinyl record she believes could ruin his reputation. Galloway knows he should walk away. He should simply reach over the desk, give back the envelope of cash that he admittedly needs, and walk away. However, when the client closes the meeting by putting a gun under her chin and pulling the trigger, his sense of obligation drags him down a path he may not be ready to travel.

A story divided into twelve songs from Jimmy Spartan’s final album.

Praise for RECORD SCRATCH:

Record Scratch shocks you out of your ordinary groove. Sometimes witty, other times haunting, but when the needle jumps the track, the body count screams.” —Marc E. Fitch, author of Paradise Burns and Dirty Water

“In Record Scratch, Hensley, a former secret service agent, gifts us with a bounty of goods: a solid mystery, a damaged but relatable main character—one you root for, and swift plotting that weaves a compelling, compulsive tale of music and death and the demons carried by those in law enforcement. Bring me more Trevor!” —Shannon Kirk, international bestselling author of Method 15/33

“J.J. Hensley’s Record Scratch is a tersely written and tightly plotted gem, featuring one of the most unique protagonists around, Trevor Galloway, a man who has a way of getting himself into and out of trouble at an alarming rate. The book is action-packed with a dash of mordant wit, and I can’t wait to read more in this intense, engaging series.” —David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

“J.J. Hensley’s tale of a stoic PI investigating the murder of a has-been rock star is equal parts classic whodunnit and gritty noir, peppered with high-octane action scenes that will leave you breathless. Record Scratch is like a throat punch: powerful, shocking, and unapologetic, but the surprising poignant ending will stay with you a long after you’ve finished the book. This is a thriller that crackles from the first page to the last.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts

Available Now!

BOLT ACTION REMEDY

Buy it on Amazon!

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 Bolt Action Remedy, the typically quiet streets of Washaway Township, Pennsylvania become the epicenter of a mystery involving elite athletes and old grudges. For Galloway, the problems keep piling up and somebody out there believes problems should be dealt with by employing the most permanent of remedies.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things That Will Cause a Novelist to Kill You

I’m on Facebook and Twitter as much as the next writer and I’ll occasionally send out a tweet or post about something somebody has done to annoy me and how I’m tempted to create a thinly veiled version of that individual and have them…well, die.

In a book.

Yes, definitely in a book.

Which got me to thinking about what my latest Top Ten list would be for these annoying activities. I say “latest” because a list like this needs to remain fluid. We are all human and our levels of annoyances regarding certain activities can differ from one day to another. For instance, there was a time when simply having neon lights outlining the bottom of your Honda Accord that you loaded down with a $3000 stereo might have me considering getting you hit by a locomotive in Chapter 4 of a future thriller. However, I’ve mellowed.

So, for the moment here is my Top Ten ways to get yourself killed in one of my books.

10. General idiocy – This broad category may include racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, or the belief my home state of West Virginia is near the ocean. It’s not. That’s why the word WEST is in there. Any of these may get you shot, stabbed, dismembered, or electrocuted. Understandably, the multiple avenues of ignorance here necessitate the multiple possibilities for your demise.

9. Singing in the gym – You wore headphones. Nice work. You realized not everyone wanted to hear your favorite music. Awesome. However, now you’re singing and everyone can hear your karaoke version of Enter Sandman. It’s not pretty. You’ve chosen poorly and it’s likely you get crushed by dumbbells in a particularly gruesome chapter.

8. Referring to your vacation as a “vaca” – Your “vaca” is not okay. I admit this seems minor, so perhaps I haven’t mellowed. But, when I hear anyone say they are going on a vaca it makes me crazy. Or as some people like to say, it makes me “cra-cra”. Which, not coincidentally, will also get you killed.

7. Shooting off fireworks after the legal cut-off time – Get off my lawn! Yes, this is my grumpy ol’ man item, but I have a young child, two dogs who are terrified of fireworks, and everyone in Georgia seems to like shooting them off in the neighborhoods. I have to tolerate it up until the cut-off time, but then I’m done. You’ll die in some sort of explosion in a future book. Or perhaps I’ll only give you a painful disfigurement. Hey! I have mellowed!

6. Watching and believing Fox News – I’m not even going into this other than to say a television is going to fall on you and you’re going to stop breathing.

5. Using the word “we” when discussing your favorite sports team – Look – you’re exempt if you’re actually part of the aforementioned sports team. However, the odds are you aren’t. You didn’t throw the pass, score the goal, or hit the home run. You watched from the stands or from your couch just like millions of others. Oh, you were wearing a jersey???! Guess what? Still doesn’t count. You die in one of the later chapters of a novella in which a sports mascot dressed as a snapping turtle ironically, and tragically, snaps.

4. Being late – I’m super punctual. In fact, I’m usually early. Did you hear the one about the writer who actually beats his deadlines? Yeah, that’s me. So, I don’t deal well with anyone being late. If you keep me waiting for something there’s a better than average chance a character resembling you will be a step too slow getting out of the way of something moving really, really fast.

3. Telling me I should’t drink coffee – Are you suicidal? I mean…this could get you hurt in real life! So, if you do this then you better expect to get scolded to death in a short story somewhere along the way. Psycho!

2. Keeping your dog tied up outside all the time – I’m probably going to do the same to a character with a name like yours and nobody is coming for you. Ever.

1. Being unable to drive in a roundabout – Yes, it’s a road. Yes, it’s a circle. It’s both! Look, I get that Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. is busy and confusing. I’ll grant forgiveness for messing that one up. However, that tiny, single lane roundabout that popped up outside your suburban neighborhood is not some sort of giant codex that you need to solve before you can pass through. Whoever is in the circle has the right of way. Don’t stop in the roundabout. Doing so is real bad. Failure to adhere to basic traffic laws may cause and accident and will certainly get you whacked in an early chapter of a mystery. It might be a hit and run and the killer may never be caught. Because let’s face it – you don’t deserve closure.

Do you have a Top Ten? Comment below! Now remember – we’re talking about fiction here!

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, Bolt Action Remedy, Record Scratchand other works. Hensley is a former police officer and former Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service.

October 2018

RECORD SCRATCH

Preorder

“There are two types of men you must fear in this world: Men who have everything to lose—and men like me.”

It’s a case Trevor Galloway doesn’t want. It’s certainly a case he doesn’t need. The client—the sister of a murdered musician—seems a bit off. She expects Galloway to not only solve her brother’s homicide, but recover a vinyl record she believes could ruin his reputation. Galloway knows he should walk away. He should simply reach over the desk, give back the envelope of cash that he admittedly needs, and walk away. However, when the client closes the meeting by putting a gun under her chin and pulling the trigger, his sense of obligation drags him down a path he may not be ready to travel.

A story divided into twelve songs from Jimmy Spartan’s final album.

Praise for RECORD SCRATCH:

Record Scratch shocks you out of your ordinary groove. Sometimes witty, other times haunting, but when the needle jumps the track, the body count screams.” —Marc E. Fitch, author of Paradise Burns and Dirty Water

“In Record Scratch, Hensley, a former secret service agent, gifts us with a bounty of goods: a solid mystery, a damaged but relatable main character—one you root for, and swift plotting that weaves a compelling, compulsive tale of music and death and the demons carried by those in law enforcement. Bring me more Trevor!” —Shannon Kirk, international bestselling author of Method 15/33

“J.J. Hensley’s Record Scratch is a tersely written and tightly plotted gem, featuring one of the most unique protagonists around, Trevor Galloway, a man who has a way of getting himself into and out of trouble at an alarming rate. The book is action-packed with a dash of mordant wit, and I can’t wait to read more in this intense, engaging series.” —David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter

“J.J. Hensley’s tale of a stoic PI investigating the murder of a has-been rock star is equal parts classic whodunnit and gritty noir, peppered with high-octane action scenes that will leave you breathless. Record Scratch is like a throat punch: powerful, shocking, and unapologetic, but the surprising poignant ending will stay with you a long after you’ve finished the book. This is a thriller that crackles from the first page to the last.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts

Available Now!

BOLT ACTION REMEDY

Buy it on Amazon!

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 Bolt Action Remedy, the typically quiet streets of Washaway Township, Pennsylvania become the epicenter of a mystery involving elite athletes and old grudges. For Galloway, the problems keep piling up and somebody out there believes problems should be dealt with by employing the most permanent of remedies.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bolt Action Remedy Featured on West of Mars

Bolt Action Remedy is featured on West of Mars. I tell you what song reminds me of my upcoming novel and I promise it’s not ‘Blame it on the Rain’.

http://westofmars.com/blog/susans-book-talk/featured-new-book/featured-new-book-spotlight-bolt-action-remedy-jj-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 October 2017! Preorder now!

Buy it on Amazon!

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 Bolt Action Remedy, the typically quiet streets of Washaway Township, Pennsylvania become the epicenter of a mystery involving elite athletes and old grudges. For Galloway, the problems keep piling up and somebody out there believes problems should be dealt with by employing the most permanent of remedies.

AVAILABLE NOW!

Cyprus 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.image1 

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

 

Money for Something and Clicks for Free

Recently, I was visiting my hometown of Huntington, WV and my brother who is in the music business told me a story. I’d heard similar stories over the past few years, but this was the first one I had been told from someone with direct, first-hand knowledge. My brother, who we will call Brian (because that’s his name) told me about the bassist of a up-and-coming hard rock band. It was a band I had heard of and they were played frequently on my favorite radio station, SiriusXM Octane. Not only had this band been busy touring, but they had been touring on ShipRocked which is an incredibly popular event.

The band was really doing well. They were gaining fans.

They were… usually sleeping in a van in various Walmart parking lots.

They were… usually broke.

They were… soon to be without a bassist. It turned out he recently quit the band and moved home with his mother.

Those in the music industry are experiencing the same issues as most of those in the writing business. Streaming music sites and the proliferation of self-publishing have taken a toll on these industries as the supply is larger than the demand and the available content has been diluted. This isn’t to disparage those who place their music on streaming services or self-publish. This ability to get one’s work out into the public is fantastic and should continue.

However, a side-effect of these changes are that it is harder than ever for writers to make a living and the same goes for musicians. If a novelist sells 10,000 copies of a book, she is lucky to make $20,000 and there is no guarantee that income will continue for any real duration of time. Musicians face similar struggles. This article from 2016 gives a detailed breakdown of what a Metal band makes and has to spend if they play to 500 people per night.  It’s not pretty.

http://www.metalinjection.net/its-just-business/detailed-breakdown-of-how-much-a-band-earns-spends-playing-to-500-people-a-night

While writers and musicians have it tough, musicians have an extra burden because most of the money they do make is from touring. For those with families or who don’t want to live out of vans, urinate into a jug, and shower at truck stops, the lifestyle is less than ideal.

For writers, books tours are nice but not essential. But even with sales, fame and fortune may be elusive. My friend Wendy Tyson recently wrote a column on a site I contribute to called The Thrill Begins. In the piece, she explains what it’s like for writers when expectations meet reality. 

Again, not a pretty picture. Or at least not the rock star life some think may think successful writers may lead. By many measures, I’m a successful novelist and like 95% of the writers I know, I have a full-time job not related to writing. Out of the other 5%, I’d say 4% are retired and 1% (or less) are famous.

For all but the absolute biggest rock stars, the days of private jets and huge mansions are over.

For all but the most popular writers, the days of huge publishing contracts filled with massive advances are gone.

It’s all a trade-off. Is the trade-off worth it? It’s up to the consumers to decide.

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 October 2017! Preorder now!

Buy it on Amazon!

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 Bolt Action Remedy, the typically quiet streets of Washaway Township, Pennsylvania become the epicenter of a mystery involving elite athletes and old grudges. For Galloway, the problems keep piling up and somebody out there believes problems should be dealt with by employing the most permanent of remedies.

AVAILABLE NOW!

Cyprus 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.image1 

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