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.

Learn more about Harry and his books 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 maelstrom 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.



An Open Heart  is not only a suspense-filled and dramatic novel but it is also one that can open the reader’s eyes to some previously unknown points. It is obvious from the cover description that the reader will receive a glimpse into the spiritual realm that is seldom shared. I have often wondered why many of our missionaries are not prepared for the spiritual warfare they encounter when serving in foreign lands but the author offers a very good explanation for it. The missionaries who have experienced such battles are reluctant to share because they fear they will not be believed or considered crazy. Another detail I never considered before reading An Open Heart is the fact that doctors in substandard hospitals in other countries need to be even more skilled than the ones who practice in the U.S. simply because they do not have the advanced diagnostic equipment available to them. With this new knowledge, I have even greater respect for the men and women who serve on the missions field.

Aside from those facts that stood out to me, I enjoyed the novel. The primary character,  Jace Rawlings is running from God but doesn’t realize it. In fact, he is not entirely sure what motivates him. Son of missionaries to Kenya, he has made a name for himself in the states as a skilled heart surgeon but after a serious accident, he sensed that his deceased sister wanted him back in Kenya. Upon his arrival in Kenya, Jace found himself in the center of a battle between the forces of light and darkness that threatened to end his life. His determination not to serve God endangers his eternal existence but God has not given up on him.

Harry Kraus paints a vivid picture of life in Kenya, especially giving readers an inside look at the life of medical missionaries. With plenty of drama, danger, and suspense as well as an intense spiritual thread, An Open Heart held my interest until the end.