Featured New Book: Measure Twice by JJ Hensley


Ahh, the beauty of writers’ groups. If you’re a writer, find yourself one. Find a good group of folk who don’t merely lift you up when you need it, but who always always always lift your writing up.

Author JJ Hensley is in one of my writer’s groups. He’s also one of the few people who knows what I look like, so be extra nice to him and maybe he’ll spill the goods. Of course, we’ve only seen each other face to face once, and that was at a table in a restaurant, so who knows how much of me he actually saw.

Measure Twice 750 x 1200 jpeg

Anyway, JJ’s got a new book out, Measure Twice. He’s garnering some good reviews, so be sure to check them out, as well as the book.

Let’s get down to business. JJ, what song makes you think of your book?

Man of Constant Sorrow


This is a traditional folk song that has been covered by multiple artists since 1913.  Many people are familiar with the tune from the George Clooney movie Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?  However, I’m not really into folk music, so the version I like is by a hard rock band called Charm City Devils. 


My new novel, Measure Twice, is a story about addiction, recovery, and the search for redemption. An addict, Lester Mayton, is methodically killing Pittsburgh city officials and Homicide Detective Jackson Channing is on the case. However, Channing has his own addiction and a dark secret that is tearing him apart.


Like true men of constant sorrow, both of these characters struggle to be free of their addictions in very different ways. Mayton’s addiction to religion has to be broken if he is to complete his terrifying plan, while Channing’s alcoholism is threatening his career and his sanity.


The novel is divided into 12 chapters, or “steps”, mirroring the 12 steps of recovery as defined by Narcotics Anonymous. This literary 12 step program propels the reader through a plot unlike any other.


While the lyrics of Man of Constant Sorrow do not exactly reflect the content of Measure Twice, the underlying theme of the song makes me think of the novel.  In fact, this song pops into my head whenever I think about the climax of the story and envision the scene. 


And I certainly do not see George Clooney.


Charm City Devils. Good choice, JJ! And killing Pittsburgh officials… why do I think this was written near the end of the Ravenstahl administration?

Ready for what the book is about? I sure am.

Lester Mayton is struggling to break free from his addiction. In his particular case, the drug of choice is religion. Now with his wife dead and city officials to blame, Mayton is out for revenge. In order to commit the atrocities necessary to spread his message of justice, he must change his ways and become the evil he has always abhorred.

Pittsburgh Homicide Detective Jackson Channing is struggling to break free from his own addiction. His alcoholism may have already cost him his marriage and now threatens to sweep away his sanity. Ever since he and his partner were brutally tortured by a sadistic murderer, his life has spun out of control. Following a failed suicide attempt, Channing decides his life must have some meaning and the only way he can put the pieces back together is to break free of his addiction and commit acts of redemption.
When the body of a city official is discovered in a public location, the entire city of Pittsburgh bears witness to a form of evil that is difficult to comprehend. Channing learns the killer is patient, methodical, and precise. In order to stop the killing, Channing will have to pull his life together and come to terms with a secret that is tearing him apart.

With each chapter of this thriller representing one of the 12 steps of addiction recovery, Measure Twice is a story of personal struggle, revenge, and the search for redemption. Pay attention throughout this heart-pounding pursuit. The details are important because every cut is lethal.


Now, I don’t usually delve into author bios, but here, I feel like I need to. That’s ’cause, you see, JJ? He’s the real deal. Former cop and Special Agent with the US Secret Service. Cool, huh?

I know neat people. Love it.

So. Ready to pick up your copy?

Smashwords (affiliate link, so be sure to use it. Those three cents add up!)


And before I’m out of here for the day, let me make one more comment about why you should pick this up: a portion of the sales for Measure Twice go toward breast cancer research through the non-profit group Par for The Cure. Anyone who’s read my Trevor’s Song knows this is an issue near and dear to my heart. 


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