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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

An Open Heart

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
An Open Heart
David C. Cook (June 1, 2013)
Harry Kraus

A Word from Harry:

I started
writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."
My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.
I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you'll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels. 
Harry can be reached through the Contact link on his Website.

Their Messages—From Beyond the Grave—Might Destroy Him ...
They hover between life and death, their hearts stopped on the surgery table. And the messages Dr. Jace Rawlings’ open-heart surgery patients bring back from beyond the grave cannot be ignored. For they predict the deaths of people around him, and point a finger of suspicion straight at him.
It thrusts Jace into a firestorm of controversy and danger. A maeltsrom blown by the darker winds of political intrigue and spiritual warfare. And the forces working against him will do anything to stop him from uncovering a truth they will kill to hide. He’d come to Kenya to establish a heart-surgery program for the poor. But what he will find in that place where he grew up will put everything at risk–his marriage, his career . . . his life.
If you would like to read the first chapter of An Open Heart, go HERE

My Thoughts:
I discovered Harry Kraus's writing just one book ago when I read A Heartbeat Away...and I was an immediate fan.  An Open Heart has only solidified my loyalty as a reader of his books, which will all be on my keeper shelf!  Kraus's characters are rich in history and come to life as real friends in his novels.  In An Open Heart, Kraus transports you to Kenya with vivid descriptions of the landscape and culture.  I immediately loved Dr. Jace Rawlings from the very first page and was drawn to Heather and her crisis of faith.  The medical drama in this one is breathtaking and allows the reader to explore their own thoughts about the afterlife.  I appreciated the discussion questions provided in the "After Words" section that David C. Cook provides in many of their novels.  One of the questions was this:  If you were advising me on writing the sequel to this novel, what would be the next challenge for Jace and Heather?  My answer:  Please write a sequel!  I wasn't ready to let these two go and very much want to see what is in store for them.

Happy Reading,