Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Heartbeat Away

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Heartbeat Away
David C. Cook (September 1, 2012)
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.


When a brilliant surgeon undergoes a heart transplant, her life transforms as she begins experiencing memories of a murder she never witnessed.

The residents worship her. Nurses step out of her way. Her colleagues respect and sometimes even fear her. But surgeon Tori Taylor never expected to end up on this side of the operating table.

Now she has a new heart. This life that was formerly controlled and predictable is now chaotic. Dr. Taylor had famously protected herself from love or commitment, but her walls are beginning to crumble.

And strangest of all, memories surface that will take her on a journey out of the operating room and into a murder investigation.

Where there once was a heart of stone, there is a heart of flesh. And there is no going back.

If you'd like to read the first chapter excerpt of A Heartbeat Away, go HERE.


Few things make me as happy as opening a new novel by Dr. Harry Kraus, and A Heartbeat Away is his best yet. I LOVED this book! It's another one of those that causes me a bit of a dilemma: should I read it quickly to see what happens? Or read it slowly to savor every detail? The tagline for Kraus' fiction is "Grace from the cutting edge" and that aptly describes this novel. The concept of cellular memory fascinated me as I read. Like a few surgeons I've worked with in my nursing career, Tori Taylor's tongue could cut as sharply as her scalpel, but trading her scrubs for a patient gown results in a change of heart--literally. But was the change due to her transplanted heart or due to her brush with death and the emotional impact of surgery? Kraus' experience as a surgeon lends detail and credibility to the novel that only a seasoned professional can provide. His tenure as a medical missionary in Kenya adds depth and a personal touch to a secondary story that is interwoven with Tori's quest to solve the mystery of her new memories. And the element of danger and suspense make this a pulse-pounding read. This is a captivating and thought-provoking story that will stay with me long after I've turned the final page; don't miss it.

Watch this interesting and brief video that Dr. Kraus and his son filmed on his front porch in Kijabe, Kenya, as he talks about the premise that sparked this novel.


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Beth said...

He is one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to read this book. My reading time has been cut drastically by going back to work full time, but I still manage to get some time. Thanks for a great review.

Catherine Castle said...

I love the title Stainless Steel Hearts! What a great line.