Tag Archives: money

Is Your Money Counterfeit?

In my upcoming novel Record Scratch (preorder here) I take the reader into the world of counterfeit currency. This was a field in which I got involved when I was a Special Agent with the U.S. Secret Service and counterfeit currency cases were the favorite criminal cases I worked.

Although cash transactions are fewer and fewer here in the U.S., they are still common and counterfeiting is still an issue. In fact, it’s been a problem in North America since before the creation of the United States.

Shells and Stones May Break My Bones…

In colonial America, shells and stones were used as currency. These were easily counterfeited (upon penalty of death) and colonies eventually moved toward metal coins. However, with the eruption of the Revolutionary War, using metal for coins wasn’t much of an option since metal was needed for weaponry. Now the colonies had already been playing around with using paper money in various forms, with interesting results. For instance, Benjamin Franklin had printed money in Pennsylvania and integrated intricate anti-counterfeiting security features such as detailed engravings of leaves into his work. Most interestingly, he would misspell “Pennsylvania” intentionally, so that would-be counterfeiters would believe THEY had inadvertently picked up a counterfeit bill and would correct the misspelling when they printed the money, therefore giving themselves away.

The front of a Franklin printed bill

The back of a Franklin bill – note Pennsylvania is misspelled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the Revolutionary War, the British took advantage of the colonial paper money by counterfeiting much of it, and devaluing the currency. Hence the phrase, “Not worth a Continental” which you probably don’t say too often today. Maybe you do. Your call.

Civil War

Near the end of the Civil War in 1865, nearly two-thirds of the currency floating around was phony. Not only did each state seem to have its own money, but many banks issued their own notes. So, nobody really knew what money was supposed to look like! Currency was nationalized and Abraham Lincoln created the United States Secret Service to covertly combat counterfeiting (the agency had nothing to do with Presidential protection until much later).

Evolution of Security Features

Over time, and with the transition from lithographic printing to offset printing, security features in money have become more advanced. There are currently seven denominations of paper currency considered to be in circulation:  $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. The higher the denomination, the more advanced the security features (there is no profit in counterfeiting a $1 bill). The security features have changed over time based on the Series (new designs) of the notes (all U.S. paper currency are technically “Federal Reserve Notes”) and there is a great resource to view all the features. The resource is the U.S. Currency Education Program and it’s run by the Federal Reserve Bank with assistance from the Secret Service and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. I LOVE this website.

Anyway, the key security features in U.S. paper currency are:

  • The paper:  It’s actually 75% cotton and 25% linen.
  • Red & blue fibers:  These are woven into the paper.
  • Microprinting:  Difficult to duplicate unless using an offset printer.*
  • Raised printing:  You can feel the ink raised off the currency paper.
  • Color-shifting ink:  Changes color when tilted.*
  • Watermarks:  Can be viewed through paper when held up to light.*
  • Security Threads:  Embedded in the paper.*
  • 3D Security Ribbon:  In the paper and includes shifting images.*

*present on some denominations

Most modern-day counterfeiting is small-time, low-quality, and done on computers. However, some mass offset printer counterfeiting still occurs and a good deal of decent counterfeit comes out of Lima, Peru as you can see here.

Know Your Money

So to make sure you’re carrying the real stuff, check out the U.S. Currency Education page, specifically the denominations section https://www.uscurrency.gov/denominations. Make sure you look at the correct Series of the note you are checking and click to expand on the Additional Features section on the right side of the screen (if available) to see all the security features of a particular denomination.

Don’t play the fool!

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.

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Finally Wrote About Funny Money

If you follow my blog, then you probably know I was a Secret Service agent. If you’ve read any of my books, then you probably know I haven’t really written anything related to the Secret Service. This is completely intentional, as I’ve always been uncomfortable with mixing business with pleasure – or, at least, THAT business with book business.

However, a few years ago I was having lunch with fellow author Tom Sweterlitch (The Gone World, Tomorrow and Tomorrow) at a five-star restaurant in New York City (it was actually bad Chinese food in the basement of Grand Central Station) when my usually mild-mannered friend chastised me for not incorporating more of my background into my works of fiction. Although I was reluctant, I did take his advice to heart and now we are a few months away from the release of Record Scratch. Of course I was cautious as to what to include in the novel, but it turns out it wasn’t difficult to use my training and knowledge and not disclose anything sensitive.

While the protagonist of Record Scratch isn’t a Secret Service agent, he does become entangled in one of the agency’s investigations. Better yet, it’s the kind of investigation I enjoyed working the most – counterfeit currency.

Most people associate the United States Secret Service (USSS) with protecting the President, Vice-President and their families. However, the original mission of the USSS was to combat counterfeit currency which was a major threat to the economy at the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865. In fact, the USSS did not fully take on presidential protection responsibilities until 1901. Even today, the agency is the United State’s primary enforcement entity in regards to counterfeit currency and coordinates such investigations both domestically and overseas. The quality of counterfeit “notes” (paper money is technically referred to as Federal Reserve Notes) varies greatly. Some notes reproduced on home computers are quite bad while counterfeit notes created with offset printers (a rarity) can be good. The currency “paper” is unique, as it isn’t really paper, but is actually a cotton/linen mix – sort of like blue jeans. And of course there are security features built into U.S. currency and those features are updated every few years.

If you want to be a complete currency dork (like me), you can learn about the various security features here: https://www.uscurrency.gov/denominations

These days, most high-quality counterfeit notes come from Peru. It used to be Colombia, but the Colombian government got on board with cracking down on the manufacturers. Unfortunately, this resulted in the illicit operations picking up and moving next door. Vice News did an entire special on the counterfeit underworld in Lima and it’s fascinating: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RoZrtBijRY

There are a variety of methods in which counterfeiters work the system. To get around the problem of obtaining actual currency paper, they will sometimes bleach $1 bills and reprint higher denominations on the paper. They will use creative means in an effort to replicate the effects of color-shifting ink. They will… well, watch the Vice News video. It’s impressive and labor intensive. Depending on the quality of the product and the marketplace, counterfeit currency will fetch a price of about twenty cents on the dollar. So, a manufacturer selling $1000 in counterfeit notes may sell that product for $200 in genuine currency. The purchaser of the counterfeit notes may then go out on the street and pass the currency at various unsuspecting retailers by making small purchases and then they get genuine currency in return as change. I’m oversimplifying the process to some extent, but that’s essentially how it works on a small scale.

So get ready for Record Scratch! It involves music and money. (scratch… money… get it?) It’s set for Release in October, but can be preordered directly from the publisher now and the deal on it is amazing.

In conclusion, I leave you with an extremely young Willem Dafoe manufacturing counterfeit currency while wearing a kimono… or something.

 

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.

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

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

 

The Motivating Effects of New Toys & Money Spent

After I got into distance running, I learned various ways to motivate myself to get out there and pound the pavement.  One surprising motivator I found was money.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve never had ANY chance to run a race fast enough to win any cash.  In fact, there have been races in which I should have paid any spectators who had to witness the horrible expressions on my face as I entered mile 12 of a half-marathon.  The monetary motivation I’m talking about is the money I’ve already spent.  I’ve found that if I shelled out $100 on a pair of running shoes or a GPS watch, I’m more likely to run.  Additionally, once I pay anywhere from $50 to $100 to register for a race, you can be damn sure I’m running that sucker!  Lately, I’ve discovered the same motivation has been helpful with my writing.

A Dollar Saved Is A Dollar Not Creating Guilt-filled Motivation

A Dollar Saved Is A Dollar Not Creating Guilt-filled Motivation

I’m not a real “gadget” person.  I’m usually content with any device that is simple and works.  My running watch is about ten models old and is about the size of Captain America’s shield.

Not a user-friendly running watch

Not a user-friendly running watch

I don’t use any heart rate monitors or dive into any software that calculates my optimal stride length or calorie intake.  When I write novels, I open up Microsoft Word and type away while marveling at how many of my sentences become underlined with green for poor grammar or in blood for my atrocious spelling.  It’s a simple program that has been around forever, which is fine with me.  I simply buy what works and stick with it until it dies.  This is what happened a few weeks ago when my computer died.

I’ve become a MAC guy, just because I like the way the keyboard functions and the laptop I owned fit perfectly on my lap.  However, the MAC started crashing and randomly shutting down so I decided to purchase a Microsoft Surface Pro.  Even though I got the Surface Pro 3 instead of the more up-to-date Surface Pro 4, the tablet/laptop was still expensive.  I shelled out quite a bit of money for a device that I would mostly use for nothing more than writing.  What I discovered (other than the fact I LOVE the Surface Pro 3) is that I was motivated to write more in order to get my money’s worth out of the device.  I know.  It’s totally illogical.  The money has been spent and will remain so whether I write one novel or ten novels on the thing.  The money is history.  Gone.  Devoured by the teeth of consumerism.  Buried up on (Re)Boot Hill.  It’s not coming back.

Yet, I have been writing like a madman because of my new toy.  It’s like I bought a new pair of running shoes, a modern GPS watch, and paid a $100 race entry fee all at the same time.  I’m motivated.  I’m fanatical.  I’m not cursing at a frozen monitor while praying my last three pages can be recovered.  It’s exhilarating!

Then, I remember how many great runners have run races in shoes that were little more than pieces of Paper Mache bound together by stitching.

I remember how many amazing writers constructed masterpieces with old pencils and scraps of paper.

I remember and I feel inadequate.

 

But, then I take the keyboard off of my Surface Pro and use it as a tablet.  Seriously, the thing is freaking AWESOME!  You couldn’t do that with a quill dipped in ink and some tattered sheets of parchment!    

What motivates you?  Comment below!

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, 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.

2014

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

Legacy cover

 

 

Crushing Toy Dinosaurs in Your Home Gym

I’ve had many gym memberships over the years. Much of that time was when I was an apartment dweller and lacked the space or resources to have my own personal workout equipment. But even when I became a homeowner, while I was able to stay in adequate shape with a regimen of push-ups, sit-ups, and running, I sometimes missed weight training and the variety of exercises available at a local gym.   Even after my wife and I purchased a home with plenty of space, I frequented a 24-hour fitness center and shelled out $40 per month for the privilege of torturing my body. They gym was great because when I went to the gym I knew I would workout. I know that seems silly, but the simple act of walking through that front door meant that I was going to exert myself for the next hour or two because I’d gone through the trouble of paying the gym fee and making the trip. But as I got older (and busier), my wife and I accumulated some equipment for our home. The initial expense wasn’t insubstantial, but the various devices we purchased paid for themselves over time. The best part is, we can fit everything into one corner of our basement.

I present to you… our gym.

gym 1

Yeah, I know. It doesn’t look like much.  And there are no dinosaurs… but, I’ll get to that.

First, let’s look at how you can get great workouts with relatively few pieces of equipment. You’ll notice there is no treadmill pictured, as I’m not a huge fan of those things and I prefer to run outside if at all possible.

THE WEIGHTS:

I think these were a Christmas present from my wife and they are outstanding. They are Bowflex SelecTech adjustable weights that can set anywhere from 5 to 52.5 pounds each. I admit they are expensive ($299), but I use these babies for bench pressing, shoulder presses, shrugs, curls, and anything else you can think of that you can do with dumbbells. While I own some regular 15 lb dumbbells (pictured sitting in front of the Bowflex weights), I almost always use the SelecTech weights. Now, for those of you hoping to bulk up like Wolverine, 52.5 lbs probably isn’t enough for you. For those of us who are satisfied with falling somewhere between the goofy kid from the movie Road Trip and Wolverine… this will be fine.

gym 3

THE BENCH:

We picked this thing up for about $100 and the best part is that it inclines. It’s great for bench presses, incline presses, rows, and a variety of other exercises. My preschooler likes to climb on this thing an growl while she lifts her purple 2 lb weights, so you KNOW it’s the real deal.

FREESTANDING PUNCHING BAG:

The base is filled with water and it DOES tend to scoot around the room when you punch it hard enough, but this $130 purchase is great when I need a quick cardio workout (or close-quarter combat training in case I’m going to be speaking to a rowdy book club). The height is adjustable and you can buy some gloves relatively cheap.

RECUMBENT EXERCISE BIKE:

I have mixed feelings on this one. It was expensive ($400 – $500) and while it’s been good to have during the winter months, it feels like I have to be on the thing FOREVER to get a really good workout. However, we’ve had it for years and put a ridiculous number of miles on the thing. And watching a movie while peddling is better than simply sitting on the couch.

PULL-UP AND DIP STATION:

Surprisingly, this was not crazy expensive (approx. $140) yet it gives us the opportunity to do exercises that are great for multiple muscle groups. One side of the station allows the user to do pull-ups – not an easy thing to do, or maintain. The other side lets the user do dips and leg lifts. I really like this piece of equipment, as I’ve never been able to get door frame pull-up bars to work well, and there are few other ways you can do dips unless you are at a gym.

Gym 2

 

EXERCISE BALL:

I don’t use this as much as I probably should, although I do a variety of other ab exercises. Maybe it’s because part of me thinks the whole exercise ball thing is a passing fad that will seem silly in another 10 or 15 years, but you can buy a ball for $20 and there are some good core exercises you can perform on the ball. Not to mention small children love to take the things and roll them over toy dinosaurs, although you rarely see those photos in the ads.

dinosaur

 SPEED ROPE (not pictured):

Jumping rope is great for cardio and agility. Ropes are cheap ($10 or less) and speed work burns fat. Rocky Balboa knew it. Now you know it. Get to it.

OTHER OPTIONS:

I already mentioned my semi-hate / hate relationship with the treadmill.  But, many people swear by them and I can understand why.  If you are a runner and need to get your miles in and mother nature, work, kids, etc. won’t cooperate, then the treadmill can be your salvation.  Some people enjoy having more elaborate weight machines.  It all depends on your preferences.  I’d like to have an elliptical and would probably use it quite a bit.  However, a marathon coach I know burns up his treadmill, but avoids the elliptical.  Some people like rowing machines and others hate the things.

Regardless, you can create a fantastic home gym with a few pieces of equipment.  It will cost some money (our setup was created over several years), but when you consider the annual cost of a gym membership plus the time and gas spent going to and from the gym, it’s not a bad situation.  If you have children, you can exercise with them in the same room (sometimes) and therefore you won’t feel guilty bailing out for an hour or two.  And sometimes you can incorporate your kids into your workout.

Do you need any of this stuff to stay in shape?  Of course not.  However, you CAN get the feel of a complete gym workout without buying an entire gym.

What equipment do you have/want in your home?  Comment below!

 

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, which is set against the backdrop of the Pittsburgh Marathon, Measure Twice, 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

AVAILABLE NOW!

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

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 upcoming LEGACY anthology: 

 

 

 

Moments with the Badge: Pregnant Drunks, Presidents, and Poorly Thought-out Suicide Attempts

I’m frequently asked if I draw upon my experiences in law enforcement for my writing.  I do, but rarely do I use any specific incidents.  The reason I avoid doing this is that I want my work to feel authentic to the reader and sometimes law enforcement is actually stranger than fiction.  I’m often concerned that if I refer to an actual event when writing a novel, the retelling of the real story will end up feeling too unrealistic – even for fiction.  However, I do try to take bits and pieces from my past and integrate those experiences into my books.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of some of these moments and I came up with 10 which I think demonstrate how the profession of law enforcement is unlike any other.  Some of the events were absurd.  Some were enlightening to me at the time.  Some involved coincidences that are difficult to believe.  All of them show why we should never assume what a “normal” day might be for a person carrying the badge.

1.  As a patrol officer, once I was dispatched to drive my patrol car past a spot where someone was shooting at cars that were traveling past that spot.  Think about that for a moment.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2.  Several years ago, I was part of a major manhunt for an individual believed to be in Washington, D.C.  We had a one hour briefing and a dozen agents were tasked to methodically check various parts of the large city.  We had maps.  We had equipment.  We had detailed plans.  We were prepared for long days of scouring the streets for this needle in a haystack.  At the conclusion of the briefing, I drove out of the office parking garage and immediately spotted the individual who happened to be walking past our building.

3.  I had to write a report about the Vice President shooting his hunting partner in the face.  Oddly, this event only happened once in my career.

4.  The first time I tried to kick in a door, I bounced right off.  The same thing happened the second and third times.  I came to the conclusion that cop shows on TV might be a tad bit unrealistic.

5.  During a foot pursuit through a Virginia shopping mall, a suspect ended up on a ledge and threatened to jump.  I said, “Go ahead.”  He jumped.  He had been 6 feet off the ground.  Shockingly, he lived.

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6.  As a rookie agent at the 2000 Democratic Convention in L.A., I was instructed not to let any of the scheduled greeters onto the airport tarmac until the White House staff showed up with a verification list.  The staff member did not show up until Air Force One was landing, so I couldn’t allow the greeters to meet the plane.  President Clinton exited the plane (expecting greeters) and began waiving to an empty runway.  It was an embarrassing moment for the White House and I had to explain to a supervisor that I had followed procedure.  I had followed the rules, but it was an uncomfortable situation for a new agent.  At the time, I thought I might be in big trouble.  Years later, an officer with the Secret Service Uniform Division in D.C. (who had no idea I had been in L.A. for the convention) told me the story of one of the “strangest moments he had seen in his twenty years on the job”.  He then recounted the incident on the tarmac in 2000.  I just nodded and said, “Yeah.  That sounds weird.”

7.  I once worked a case in which I interviewed a counterfeiter in Richmond, VA.  We knew the suspect had been using counterfeit money to buy drugs, but did not have enough evidence for an arrest.  I told the suspect that law enforcement was the least of his worries if he continued to rip-off drug dealers.  He responded with some unkind words.  A few months later he was murdered in a field outside Richmond.  Years later, I was having dinner at a restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA (344 miles from Richmond) when the waiter decided to make small talk.  It turned out he was from Richmond and had been friends with the murdered counterfeiter.  I never went back to that restaurant.

8.  The only time I had to fire my weapon in the line of duty was at a rabid raccoon.  It did not bite me.

9.  I was once assulted in the line of duty by a drunk, pregnant lady.  She bit me.

teeth

10.  I once chased a guy down a busy D.C. street.  He had a shirt hanging off one arm, making it appear that he was wearing a cape.  The radio traffic from one of the other agents came out, “Hensley is chasing some guy with a cape.”  The response from one agent on the radio was, “Why is Hensley wearing a cape?????”

J.J. Hensley is the author of RESOLVE, 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.

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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.

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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