Tag Archives: novel

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 October 2017! Available 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!

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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5 Things You Learn When Your Preschooler Sees the Summer Olympics for the 1st Time

My child is not yet 5 years old, therefore this is the first time she has really seen the Summer Olympics on television.  When I first turned it on, I expected her to show zero interest in the games since many of the sports are completely alien to her (inexplicably, they don’t do a lot of Whitewater Canoeing at her preschool).  So, I figured she might ask a couple of general questions and then demand these shining spectacles of human accomplishment and perseverance be replaced by reruns of Paw Patrol.  I was extremely wrong.  It turns out when innocent eyes view the Olympic Games for the first time, you learn some things.

1.  Swimming is awesome

Young children can relate to the sport of swimming since they are still trying to learn the skill.  Many kids my daughter’s age can stay afloat to a reasonable extent and therefore understand and respect the general mechanics of the various strokes.  Other kids, like mine, still struggle with the basics and the only stroke they demonstrate is the lesser-known Plummeting Anchor.  My daughter watched in amazement as athletes shot through the water as if the act of swimming required little or no effort.  She also observed that none of them appeared to be wearing “floaties” or water wings, which may inspire her to shed her crutch sooner than later.

SwimCarnival 010

2.  Volleyball makes sense

Some events are more difficult to explain than others.  However, a preschooler can easily pick up the basics of volleyball since there is one ball and a net separates the two sides.  My child had never seen a volleyball match, but was absolutely fascinated by a women’s match between the U.S. and China.  And when I explained that most of the women were taller than her daddy, she gazed on in amazement as she surmised giants really do exists.

3.  Springboard Diving defies belief

Somehow I’ve taken for granted that there are people who can do somersaults and twists in the air before heading downward and knifing into a pool of water.  To eyes which have never seen this, it’s a phenomenon that defies all explanation.  My daughter quickly grasped the basic concept, but became impatient when divers stood on the springboard to collect themselves.  She couldn’t understand how they could control their excitement at having the opportunity to bounce off the board and splash into the blue (or later green) water.

4.  Synchronized Swimming may kill all of us

Much like her father, my child quickly became bored by this event.  At one point she yelled out, “I wish water didn’t exist.”  Confirming my suspicion that if she ever finds a genie in a bottle, we’re all toast.

genieLampHeart

5.  Fencing is anticlimactic and not at all like Star Wars

Imagine the disappointment on my sweet daughter’s face when, in spite of the competitors wearing cool masks and wielding “swords”, not one of them lost a hand prior to learning the true identity of a parent.  Additionally, not one competitor seemed to identify with the Empire or the Rebellion.  Instead, they all represented boring entities like actual countries.  Also, from the way some of the fencers whined about points, it was pretty clear none of them had trained in the Dagobah system and they probably needed to toughen up a bit.

Overall, watching the Olympics with my little one has been a fun experience.  The beauty of the games are that if my daughter is bored by one event, there is always another one to watch.  While she is less interested in some of the events I’d like to watch (distance running), many of the other events have become the subjects of long conversations that have led into general discussions regarding competition, nationality, adversity, and expectations (she asked me if I’d ever won a marathon).  In fact this Olympic Games may end up being my favorite of all time, even if nobody loses an appendage.

What has been your favorite event in 2016?  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.

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

 

A New Book Scheduled for Release in 2017!

I’m excited to announce that my fourth novel, Bolt Action Remedy, has been picked up by Down & Out Books and is tentatively scheduled for release in late 2017.  This mystery introduces a new protagonist named Trevor Galloway.  He has been hired to solve a cold case that revolves around a biathlon training facility.  Galloway has a habit of making enemies and a little bit of difficulty distinguishing which of those enemies is real.  I can’t wait for you to meet him!  Thanks to all of the readers who keep providing me with the motivation to keep cranking out the words.  You are the best.

J.J.

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.

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

 

Protective Neutrality: The Secret Service and Political Viewpoints

A lot of things have made me cringe during this election year, but one misconception that tends to make me shake my head in disbelief is that a President or Presidential candidate is surrounded by a group of Secret Service agents who support a particular platform and remove protestors from events. This simply is not the case and for good reasons. In this post, I will attempt to dispel a few myths and explain why those who bravely serve in the United States Secret Service do not allow personal beliefs to factor into the way the job is performed.

 

What President did you report to?

I’ve been asked that question multiple times by people who mean well enough but do not understand how the United States Secret Service functions. I served in the agency from 2000 to the end of 2006 and at no time did I report to any President, Vice President, candidate, or any other individual who was designated to receive Secret Service protection (a protectee). I started my career during the Clinton administration and finished it during the administration of George W. Bush. During that span, I helped to protect individuals associated with both of those administrations as well as countless visiting foreign heads of state. My colleagues and I approached the job in the same manner regardless if the protectee was a Republican, a Democrat, the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or the President of Micronesia.

A misconception held by some is that Secret Service agents work for the President.

A misconception held by some is that Secret Service agents work for the President.

Agents report through the Secret Service’s chain of command and not to any politician. This is logical since elected politicians come and go, but the agency is a permanent fixture. Agents are trained to follow procedures that ensure the rights of individuals are respected while threats are addressed using the minimum amount of force. For agents to take orders from protectees who may not be familiar with specific policies, use of force regulations, and federal statutes, would be risky for all involved. Not only would it be unfair to expect a protectee to understand the intricacies of protective operations, but visiting heads of state could not possibly be expected to be familiar with laws in the United States. Thus, agents do not work for, or report to, anybody they are assigned to protect.

 

Why did the USSS remove that protestor?

First of all, please note the proper abbreviation for the agency is USSS, not SS. The abbreviation “SS” has a negative connotation to it from the days of Nazi Germany and there are already enough people out there who misunderstand the role of the USSS.  Let’s not make things any tougher for the agency.

As for why the USSS removed a protestor: The chances are they did not. Agents do not remove protestors unless they potentially pose a physical threat to the protectee. Time and time again, we have seen news clips of protestors being removed from events and sometimes those removing the individuals are wearing suits and earpieces. Usually, those individuals are event or campaign staff members who have asked the individual to leave and then removed the person for trespassing once the protestor failed to depart. Just as if you hosted a party in a large banquet room for which you paid and decided you wanted somebody removed, political committees and event hosts can do the same thing. Most of the time, the protestor is being removed for violating some local statute such as trespassing, disorderly conduct, or disturbing the peace. You may disagree in the legality of this process, but I am only pointing out that the Secret Service does not get involved in these matters as the main focus of the agents is, and should be, the welfare of the protectee.

 

How could you possibly protect someone who believes ________?

Can you imagine the nightmare that would ensue if Secret Service agents started deciding what viewpoints warranted protection? It would be similar to having individual police officers decide they are not going to enforce any laws with which they disagree. The result would be pure chaos.

Protecting the President and the White House is only one duty of the USSS.

Protecting the President and the White House is only one duty of the USSS.

Look. Here is the bottom line. The Secret Service is in the business of protecting lives, not assessing a value to those lives. Perhaps you think some lives are not worth protecting and that is your prerogative. However, every successful assassination makes a future assassination seem more feasible in someone’s mind. If we cannot protect world leaders in the United States, a place where we place a great deal of emphasis on freedom of expression, then it becomes open season on leaders everywhere. Aside from all this, when an attack occurs, agents react according to their training. The practiced reactions become reflexes and when decisive action is needed the last thing an agent is thinking about is the protectee’s stance on abortion. How reflexive are these reactions?  Allow me to give a real life example.

A few years ago, I was with a protectee at a baseball game which was in a rain delay. A storm with strong wind gusts had forced the spectators into the crowded concourse area and the protectee decided to walk around the concrete walkways. Suddenly, a deafening “bang” rang out from behind us. Without any hesitation, I draped myself over the back of the protectee and began moving her toward the motorcade.

Of course, it took me a few seconds to remember I had not been an agent for quite a while and the “protectee” was actually my wife who was wondering why she was being forcibly abducted by her own spouse. But, it was a learning experience for me. I discovered that the reactions that had been engrained in me were still present and that a portable concession stand toppling over onto concrete sounds a lot like a gunshot. Seriously. The similarity is uncanny.

My point is that agents react according to the hundreds of hours they have spent training to ward off an attack. To train people to step into the line of fire instead of jumping behind cover is incredibly difficult and once the training is instilled in an individual, it does not simply fade away (as many Pittsburgh Pirates fans now realize after watching me accost my wife).

So this election year, please remember that not everything is political. Although Secret Service agents are thoughtful individuals  who certainly have their own political viewpoints, those opinions vanish when it is time to go to work. The apolitical nature of the job is actually refreshing when you stop to think about it.

Imagine what it would be like if more people focused on doing their jobs and upholding their oaths regardless of personal ideology. Not only would we be incredibly efficient, but we would all be considerably safer from rouge concession stands.

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

Five Reasons Books Make the Best Gifts

It’s the holiday season and you are completely out of gift ideas for your friends, family, and coworkers.  You’ve run the gamut when it comes to purchasing clever presents and how you are staring down at a list of possibilities that includes a Shake Weight and PajamaJeans.  Then, it strikes you.  What about books??  But, are books really the answer to your infomercial infected prayers?  Yes.  Yes they are.  And here is why.

Books are versatile.  Both hardcover and paperback versions of this ancient form of storytelling can serve as paperweights, coasters, doorstops, and leveling devices you can stick under table legs to balance things out.  Not to mention, if you aren’t hypnotized by what’s going on with The Walking Dead, you can even read these spectacular inventions.

Devour the works of your favorite authors

Devour the works of your favorite authors

Books can be signed by the author.  Let’s face it – the odds of you getting Suzanne Somers to sign the Thighmaster you got from Aunt Helen in 1987 were never that good.  But, the chances of being able to get a signed copy of a book are significantly better.  Most authors are willing to make arrangements to sign copies of their works and may even have instructions on how to go about it on their websites.  Or better yet, look to see if the writer is having a live event near your home and go get your book signed.  But, don’t show up a the author’s house to make that request.  It’s creepy and your next gift will likely contain a bit of text limiting you to 500 yards of various locations.

Books can be shared.  While you may be hesitant to share your new sweater, iPad, or Special Edition DVD collection of Airwolf episodes, books are meant to be shared and discussed.  Of course this depends on the book.  You may not feel entirely comfortable lending your copy of Fifty Shades of Grey to your teenage sister.

The meaning of a book changes over time.  Have you ever re-read a book after not having read it for twenty years?  I’ll bet the book had a different impact on you when you were twenty then it did when you turned forty.  Maybe you thought Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was profound the first time you read it, but a jumble of thoughts the next.  Or perhaps you struggled with Crime and Punishment in college, but marveled at it later in life. That’s the beauty of the written word.  The individual letters in the words may not change, but the context alters the readers interpretation of the text.  Therefore, books become gifts that adapt to your life.

Books endure.  Do you still have that sweater, Thighmaster, blanket, or Betamax player (look that one up if you don’t remember)?

It's hard to get autographs on sweaters. True story.

It’s hard to get autographs on sweaters. True story.

No, you probably don’t.  That’s because people don’t make Thighmaster shelves or devote entire buildings to storing old video cassette players.  But, we have bookshelves and libraries because we have always needed books.  When you give someone a book, you aren’t giving them sheets of paper wedged inside a book jacket.  When you give someone a book, you give them a piece of the collection of all human knowledge.  You are giving that person a small piece of eternity.  That is the gift that keeps on giving.

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

 

 

COVER REVEAL – Chalk’s Outline by J.J. Hensley

My third novel, Chalk’s Outline is scheduled for release in February 2016 through Bad Day Books, an imprint of Assent Publishing.  I’ve teamed up with the awesome book bloggers The Book Wheel and Running ‘N’ Reading for this cover reveal/interview/giveaway event.  Check this out!

Sincerely,
J.J. Hensley

Cover reveal: http://www.thebookwheelblog.com/j-j-hensley-new-book-and-interview/

Win a copy of Measure Twice:  http://www.runningnreading.com/?p=6221

file000598171861

 

 

Teaching Your Child About Death: Someone Is Doing It Worse!

I’ve killed lots of people.

death

Sure they’ve all been fictional, but I’ve been fairly creative in the way I’ve dispatched professors, politicians, drug dealers, and an assortment of others.  So, you would think explaining the concept of death would be an easy task for a crime fiction writer who spent a decade working in law enforcement.

“Daddy, can we walk down the street to see the big white dog?”

Such a sweet question coming from my preschooler while we were taking a walk through our neighborhood on a beautiful Spring day.  There was one problem.  The big white dog we usually saw hanging out in a neighbor’s back yard had died months ago.  Now I had to explain this, and therefore the concept of death, with my three-year-old daughter.  She is our only child and my wife and I had never discussed the topic with her before.  Now, I was out on the street without my spousal back-up (she’s infinitely smarter than I am) and I was going to have to tackle the subject on my own.  But, I’m a writer.  I carefully choose and manipulate words to achieve a desired effect.  I had this well in-hand.

“I think Juno went away,” I said cleverly.

Nailed it.

My daughter asked, “Where did Juno go?”

Drat!!!!!!

Brilliant aversion plan:  FOILED.

Well, I was going to have to be an adult and explain the circle of life to a girl who up to this point believed Elsa and Anna’s parents just went away on an extended twenty-year cruise.

I took a deep breath.  “Juno died, Sweetie.  Do you know what that means?”

She looked up and shook her head.

“Juno was very old, so he went to sleep and didn’t wake up again.  Everything eventually dies and that’s okay.  That’s just the way things are.  Do you understand?”

I knew I was supposed to add something more, but the look on my daughter’s face told me she was trying to comprehend my words.  We walked hand-in-hand in silence for several seconds before she stopped and looked down at the sidewalk.  I knew then that some realization had finished processing in her impressionable mind.  As she stared at the concrete path in front of us, my mind raced:

Oh, no.  She’s going to cry.

She’s going to think our own dogs are going to die – this week.

She’s going to ask me if I’m going to die… THEN she’ll cry. 

I’ve scarred her for life and doomed her to a life of alcoholism or worse – reality television.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

“Daddy,” she said softly.

“Yes, Sweetie.”

“At school, my teacher said when things die they go —“

What followed was my daughter crossing her hands around her throat, sticking out her tongue, rolling her eyes back in her head, and swaying back and forth while loudly making a grotesque gurgling sound.

My eyes opened wide as I watched this overdone theatrical death play out in front of me.  Finally, the surreal street performance scene ended and my daughter looked up at me for confirmation that she had properly mimicked the act of dying.

I slowly nodded and said, “Okay.  Good talk.”

We then continued our walk as I discovered I had a newfound confidence that I had never known as a parent.  I now realized that just as with that initial fear of trying to write your first novel, much of the worrying is completely unnecessary.

Always remember:  No matter how bad you tell the story, somebody out there has already done it much much worse.

(Disclaimer: Don’t get mad a the aforementioned teacher.  It turned out she was explaining how plants could die if they didn’t get enough water when she had made the choking gesture.  She’s a wonderful teacher who apparently does fantastic impressions.)

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 LEGACY anthology

Legacy cover