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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Interview & Giveaway! Ray Ellis ~ Author of N.H.I.: No Humans Involved!!

Welcome to Christian Bookshelf Reviews, Ray! Will you tell us a little about yourself?

Hi, thank you for having me. I began my writing career while working for the Orange County Sheriff's Department in Orange County, California in the spring of 1989. After working for a number of years in the maximum-security facility, I transferred to patrol working along Orange County's coast as well as the inner canyons and barrios. After 8 years there, I moved to Idaho and continued my law enforcement career, serving as an instructor for the Idaho POST Council.

I was ordained into the ministry while living in Orange County and now serve as the Associate Pastor in my home church. I also served as a United States Marine in the early 1980’s prior to Desert Storm. I now do public speaking to groups of all sizes on the topics of writing and the creative process, as well as community and personal safety. I am currently working as an active duty police officer, having worked as the lead sex crimes investigator for almost 10 years and am now back on the streets in patrol.  I have been married to the same beautiful woman for 28 years, have three grown children, and live with my family in Idaho.

What is N.H.I.: No Humans Involved about?

Well, N.H.I. stands for “No Humans Involved” a term used by cops, as slang, to represent a group of people or a person that is running beneath the standard of a decent citizen: literally a person or people without value. The book deals with this concept. When Nate Richards, a newly appointed homicide investigator, finds himself assigned to investigate the violent death of a young gang member, he thinks it may be his lucky break; perhaps this would be his one big chance to prove himself to the investigative team. But when the death is linked to the mayor’s office and a new street gang known as Abyss, Nate soon realizes he has been thrust in the midst of a struggle of racism, drugs, and the possibility of police involvement.

      Overnight his new life is shattered, and Nate finds himself caught between an evil gang lord and political pressure to make it all just go away. Drugs, vice, and the lust for power all converge on Detective Nate Richards and threaten to draw him into a darkness that will consume him and destroy his fledgling faith. Nate has to solve the murder and discover the identity of the mysterious leader of the new street gang all before his girlfriend, who turns up missing, is destroyed by the evil unleashed on the streets.

     Can Nate hold up against the pressure put on him by his command and stop the swelling tide of fear threatening to take over the city and will he find his girlfriend alive? The fate of a city and one man’s faith hangs in the balance.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Actually, like most, I wrote my first book when I was child, a super hero serial. I even drew the pictures, knowing Marvel and DC Comics would be knocking on my door at any minute.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have completed three full-length manuscripts and a number of short stories. As for my favorite, I think it’s the one I’m working on now, the third book in the Nate Richards series. But, of the finished pieces, I think DRT is my favorite.

Where do you get your information and/or ideas for your books?

As I mentioned earlier, I am bi-vocational: I am a minister and a police officer. My inspiration comes from the mixture of these two worlds.  As read the scriptures and see the condition of man juxtapose to the grace and goodness of God and then see, those same realities lived out on the streets, the ideas just come to me.

What would you say is the best and/or worst part about being a writer?

The best and the worst is a mixture the same. In writing I have the opportunity to live in and explore this wonderful world of make believe, but it can be a lonely place for the real world. I can’t take my wife and family there until after it’s been created and polished for guest. The highpoint is, of course, being able to present the message of God’s love and forgiveness to a great mass of people who would never otherwise open their Bibles to explore these same truths for themselves.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I love teaching. I teach a Bible study out of my home, and when I’m not preparing for that, I like to get a good workout in, read, and of course the best of all, take long, hot bubble baths with a good book for company.

What are three things you wouldn't want to do without (besides the Bible, food, and family)?

Three things, huh? Books would be one, and the second, would have to be friends, and lastly bubble baths.

PhotobucketIs there a place you’d like to visit, but haven’t yet?

Yes, I would love to go Washington DC. There is just so much history there and to spend a week or two in the Smithsonian.

Do you have a favorite song and/or movie?

My favorite gospel song is “Your Grace and Mercy” by the Mississippi Mass Choir, and my favorite none church song, at least one of them, is “Just my Imagination” by the Temptations. 

Do you have any favorite authors?

Yes, my favorite authors are Francine Rivers and C.S. Lewis.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse?
Psalm 27:10  “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” This passage is one of my favorites because it speaks of the steadfastness and faithfulness of God’s love. I know I can trust Him.

Are you currently working on any new novels? If so, could you tell us a little about it?

Oh yes, could I? [Smile] As I mentioned earlier, the third book in the Nate Richards series is called I.A.I. and stands for Internal Affairs Investigation. In this story, while it still holds its thriller edge, it will move us deeper into the heart of Nate as a character. This will be a much more dramatic telling and emotional story. For that reason alone, I am looking forward to exposing the heart of the average police officer to a reading audience; perhaps in such a way that understanding and hope can be shared.

I am also in the process of editing and having edited my very first novel, a sci-fi piece that is every bit the thriller, but still carries with it the message of God’s love and grace. I am very excited about these projects.

Thanks so much for being here! Where can we find you on the web?

Thank you again for having me as your guest. All my books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com

Book giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of N.H.I: No Humans Involved! Open Internationally! Winner has the choice of either a print or eBook copy of N.H.I.

Enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below (here is a tutorial, if you aren't familiar with Rafflecopter). The mandatory entry is to leave a comment on this blog post - after you do that, the other entries will become available. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Sounds like an intriguing book, and series. Good luck with it all!

  2. thanks for the great giveaway

  3. Great interview! This series sounds very interesting!

  4. Very intriguing. I've never heard of Ray Ellis before but I like the premise of his books. Look forward to reading him.

  5. Ooh, I love thrillers. Pragya on the Rafflecoter.

  6. Very interesting! The book looks awesome, and I'd love to read it. :)

  7. Sounds intriguing! I love C.S. Lewis too!

  8. That sounds so cool. Thanks again for having him stop by and chat. His books sounds so interesting and I'm going to have to keep him in mind when looking at books. Thanks.

  9. I have not read this author before, but would love to try his books. Will add to my list!

  10. Great interview! Sounds like a really interesting read! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  11. Oops sorry-forgot to put my name in the last post.
    Lost butterfly=Jeannette Laframboise

  12. Great interview! It's great to meet the author of books!

  13. Thanks so mcu for the giveaway
    sandy1955 at comcast dot net

  14. Great giveaway! Sounds like a good read.

  15. Sounds very good! Thanks for the chance to win!

  16. This book sounds interesting! Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Looks like a good book. Thanks for the giveaway! Tammy on Rafflecopter

  18. Sounds like a very good book.


  19. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  20. Sounds like an interesting read!


  21. Sounds like a good read :)

    - Arika Riaz

  22. I'd love to win this book for my husband. He'd love it!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net


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