by Luana Ehrlich
Book 1: One Night in Tehran
In Tehran, while hiding out from the Iranian secret police, CIA intelligence officer, Titus Ray, finds shelter with a group of Iranian Christians. While urging Titus to become a believer, they smuggle him out of Iran to freedom in Turkey.
Back in the States and forced to go on medical leave, he discovers he’s been targeted by a Hezbollah assassin. Now, while trying to figure out what it means to be a follower of Christ, he must decide if the Iranian couple he meets in Norman, Oklahoma has ties to the man who’s trying to kill him, and if Nikki Saxon, a local detective trying to solve a mystery, can be trusted with his secrets.
“To say I was delighted with the story line is an absolute understatement.”
“What gives One Night in Tehran its authentic feel is the author’s knowledge of the situation in the Middle East, her familiarity with its customs, and her intense research into the processes of the FBI and the CIA. All is extremely convincing. But it takes more than depth of research to grab a reader’s attention from the beginning of a story and hold it to the very end. That requires imagination… and the skill to turn that imagination into words. Ms. Erlich has that enviable quality in her writing that really good actors have. The writing never obtrudes or causes the reader to look at it in any questioning way. It is that perfect mix of quality prose and dialogue that is so natural that reader is aware only of story, drawn unwittingly into the very heart of what is happening.”
“Should definitely make people think.”
Book 2: Two Days in Caracas
Titus Ray travels from Costa Rica to Venezuela in an effort to stop Ahmed Al-Amin, a Hezbollah assassin, from murdering a high-profile government official. Along the way, a family crisis jeopardizes his mission, and an Agency division head threatens to destroy his career. As the danger mounts, he’s forced to partner with an untested operative to complete the mission and bring Ahmed to justice. Will he make it in time?
“Titus Ray makes being a spy so cool. I loved how he thought through situations before actually plunging ahead and I loved how his life is changing because of his commitment to Christ.”
“It’s smart and readable with spiritual themes woven naturally throughout.”
“Such a perfect blend of Christianity and suspense.”
CIR: What inspired this series?
EHRLICH: I was inspired to write One Night in Tehran after hearing about the persecution experienced by Iranian Christians in Iran. Since I’ve always had a passion for the mystery/suspense/thriller genre, I asked, “What would happen to a veteran CIA intelligence officer if he encountered the faith and commitment of a group of Iranian Christians? What changes might he have to make in his career and lifestyle if he tried to live a totally different life, a life of faith?
CIR: What was your favorite part of writing this series?
EHRLICH: The most enjoyable part of writing was describing how Titus, the main character, begins to grow in his faith. He’s aware he has a new heart, and, when he reverts to his old nature, he’s suddenly convicted about his behavior. Forgiveness plays a huge role in Two Days in Caracas, and it was interesting to write the stories of how forgiving and being forgiven affected each of the characters.
CIR: What messages do you hope your readers will get out of this series?
EHRLICH: Of course, I want my readers to be entertained by the sheer excitement . However, I also hope they will be encouraged by Titus’ efforts to tell others of his new faith in Christ and will be enabled to overcome their own difficulties as they watch Titus struggling with some of the same issues all believers face.
CIR: Tell us about Titus.
EHRLICH: Titus Ray, the main character in the book, is a veteran CIA intelligence operative, who’s recently been converted to Christianity, brought to faith in Christ by a group of Iranian Christians. After making his escape from Iran, he returns to the States, where he faces many uncertainties. Can he continue to function as a spy while seeking to live the Christian lifestyle? How can his extensive training in deception and the art of lying apply when he’s following the teachings of Christ? Titus is a strong, tough personality when dealing with America’s enemies, but when it comes to understanding Biblical truths, he discovers he has a weak and vulnerable side as well.
CIR: Is there more coming, and will they continue the counting themed titles?
EHRLICH: Yes. There will be five books in the Titus Ray Thriller series. The next one, Three Weeks in Washington, will be published in 2016. I’ve already started fleshing out the story, and it will begin exactly where Two Days in Caracas ended, with Titus traveling to Washington to deal with a crisis brewing there.