Tag Archives: resolve

On The Thrill Begins – Shutting Places Down Like Eliot Ness

Many of you may not know this, but my road to publication came with some major potholes. As part of the Tough Times series on The Thrill Begins, I explain how I started to feel Untouchable – in a very bad way.

http://thrillbegins.com/2017/05/11/shutting-down-places-like-eliot-ness/

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.

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

 

Release Date Announced for BOLT ACTION REMEDY

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

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

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

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

 

Advance praise for Bolt Action Remedy:

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 -Rebecca Drake, author of Only Ever You

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

-Lucie Fleury Dunn, Movies in my Mind Book Reviews

 

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

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

 

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

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

Also:

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

resolve-cover art CL (1)

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

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

 

The Coolest Sport You Aren’t Watching

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

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

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

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

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

biathlon-photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

AVAILABLE NOW!

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

 

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

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

Also:

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

resolve-cover art CL (1)

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

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

 

Interviewed by S.W. Lauden

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

Interrogation—J.J. Hensley

 

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

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

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

AVAILABLE NOW!

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

 

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

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

Also:

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

resolve-cover art CL (1)

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

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

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

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

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

printing-press

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

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

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

AVAILABLE NOW!

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

 

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

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

Also:

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

resolve-cover art CL (1)

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

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

 

RECORD SCRATCH – Coming in 2018

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ANNOUNCEMENT!

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

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

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

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

AVAILABLE NOW!

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

 

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

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

Also:

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

resolve-cover art CL (1)

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

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

Book Cover Design for Dummies… or Just Me

Did you ever wonder how book covers are selected? I had no idea until I became a published novelist and I assumed authors had a great amount of input in to the way his or her creation would look. When one views the covers of my first three novels, it seems obvious there was an intentional effort to create a “branding” of sort since I’ve had two publishers yet each of the covers are black and red. Yep. Deliberate. Intentional. Part of a master plan.

Or not.

Many people think the author is the person who chooses the cover design, but that is usually not the case with traditionally published works. In the case of my first novel, Resolve, I had received an email from the publisher letting me know it was time for the cover art selection. I thought, “Great! I’ve got so many ideas!” I replied to the publisher letting them know that my incredibly artistic mind (I did pull down a solid C in my eighth grade Art class) was ready to go. The publisher politely responded with a thanks, but we’ve got this message. I was shocked. I was deflated. However, I was determined to have my creative genius play a role in this vital process.

So, I asked the publisher what kinds of cover designs they were considering. They reluctantly told me they were going to select from five drafts they had on hand. I asked if I could see the drafts. They reluctantly sent me the drafts. None of the drafts were close to what I had envisioned, and being a first-time author with no track record, I decided it was wise to let them know I wasn’t thrilled with any of the selections. They didn’t care. Ever determined to have my voice heard, I decided to tell them that IF they were going to insist on going with one of the drafts, then the obvious choice for a book set in Pittsburgh was the one with the black cover and gold font.

Have you seen the cover for Resolve?

Not black and gold.

Not black and gold.

Now, it turns out the publisher was a lot smarter than me. Covers with red font and graphics stand out in the sea of novels, especially in the e-reader world in which we often only glance at a thumbnail image on a screen. The cover I would have gone with would have been lost in the myriad of images we scroll through on a home computer or Kindle. Lesson learned.

My next book, Measure Twice, was picked up by a different publisher as part of a two-book deal. When that publisher sent me an email letting me know it was time for the cover art selection, I decided to prove I had grown as an author and remained silent. I politely responded that I’m sure they had some great ideas and would come up with a great design. To my great surprise, the publisher immediately responded that they would love my input into the design.

I was ecstatic.

I was elated.

I ran to my wife (my creative partner-in-crime fiction) and said, “The publisher wants our ideas for the cover of Measure Twice! They actually want our input!”

My wife replied, “Do we have any ideas?”

I stood with my mouth agape. After a few seconds I said, “No! I didn’t think they would want any!”

My wife and I (okay, mostly my wife) came up with an idea for the design and I quickly sent it off to the publisher. It wasn’t until two or three days later I realized that in my email to the publisher, I had failed to mention my preferred color schemes. This one could be in black and gold. I sent another email to the publisher, pointing out the omission.

The publisher responded with, “No worries. The cover designer took a look at your first book and knew you must like the black and red scheme. So, here is what she came up with. We’re going with this.”

Also not black and gold. But my wife came up with the awesome ruler/knife combo.

Also not black and gold. But my wife came up with the awesome ruler/knife combo.

Of course.

By the time my third novel, Chalk’s Outline, was set for publication, people were associated the colors black and red with my books. Needless to say, I suggested we stick with black and red and here is where we ended up.

Chalk's Outline cover. White flag of surrender not pictured.

Chalk’s Outline cover. White flag of surrender not pictured.

I don’t know what my future book covers will look like (now I actually love the black and red), but I’ve chosen to take the only speak when spoken to approach, as there are many people smarter than me in the book industry and it seems things have a way of working themselves out. That being said, if the cover of my next mystery contains a bare-chested, muscular man, with flowing locks of hair… I’m probably going to deviate from my silent approach.

Feel free to 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