Thursday, June 27, 2013

Out of Africa, a Barbecue: Guest Author Harry Kraus M.D.

** Wednesday July 3, 3:30 PM  Congratulations to our giveaway winner, O. Chavez!  **

See this apron? Yes, those are zebra stripes. It was a must-have, because today's guest sent this post from East Africa where he and his family serve as Christian missionaries. In addition to that incredible calling, he is a surgeon, best-selling medical suspense author, and (we learn now) a passionate foodie. I completely love this humorous and colorful post, and think you will too.  Please join me in an enthusiastic Authors' Galley welcome for:
Dr. Harry Kraus!  

"Cooking, Writing...It's All the Same to Me!"
by Harry Kraus, M.D.

The guidelines for participation in this blog were pretty easy for me.
            I cook like I write. Seat of the pants, with a bit of an outline.  I look up a recipe for something I want to make, but I just can’t resist adding a bit of this or that along the way.  Mostly, it works, but occasionally, an ingredient will threaten to take over, like a minor quirky character who is fun to write about, but doesn’t seem to understand that they aren’t the main character. Kind of like the time I made ginger cookies with about three times the normal ginger. Hey, if a little is good…
            What I’m really good at is marinades.  Like the one I made for the goat roast for the guys in the fellowship of the gray goatees last week.
            You see, there are a handful of missionaries here in Kenya, all serving in Kijabe, and all sporting gray goatees. So, in the spirit of some good fun, we decided to celebrate our little “fellowship” in true Kenyan fashion.  You see, Kenyans love nothing better than nyama  choma (grilled meat) and their favorite is goat. So I, along with the other members, decided that the guys with gray goatees should eat a gray goat and refresh our thirst with tea (also, a Kenyan favorite). Corny, I know, but often the best times are wrapped around a little craziness and involve food.  Here’s the guys, standing around the grill.

            My goat marinade consisted of garlic saut√©ed in butter, soy sauce, a little red pepper, basil, oregano, and a bit of white wine. Yeah, I didn’t tell my missionary bros about that last ingredient.
            You can use a similar base for all meat marinades. When I’m in a place where it is available, I love to add the shakable Parmesan cheese, especially for chicken.
            My latest novel, An Open Heart, is the first novel that I’ve written that is primarily set in Africa. (OK, a lot of my stories are touched by this continent, but here it is front and center.)

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.

           In order to bring Kenya alive for my reader, I use things that are authentic to this setting, including the food.
            In fact, my protagonist, Dr. Jace Rawlings, goes to one of our real local restaurants in Kijabe, Mama Chiku’s Hotel, for a grand reunion with the comfort food he grew up with in Kenya. It’s all spelled out on page 34. Ugali, stew, cabbage, chapatis, and sukuma wiki.

Here’s a picture of the actual local watering hole, walking distance from our apartment and the hospital
where I (and my protagonist, Jace) work.

            The novel is part medical thriller and part romance, with a bit of political corruption, African witchcraft, spiritual war and a struggling professional marriage sprinkled in. Hmmm. Starting to sound like the way I cook. 
            A great meal can be prepared by following an exact recipe or…can be an experience of surprise and spontaneity…kind of like a good story!

Fellowship of the Gray Goatees . . . while I must say I'm grateful not to qualify, I am really looking forward to Harry's new release. It sounds amazing. One of YOU will probably get a chance to read it before me, if you are our lucky giveaway winner. Towards that happy end, Wynn-Wynn Media is offering this fun package:

A copy of Harry Kraus's An Open Heart, plus some delightful Tazo tea AND a pretty cup to sip it from! 

To enter, please leave a comment below including your e-mail address. US entries only, please. The winner will be selected (via Random.Org) on Weds. July3rd and contacted by e-mail. Please remember to leave that contact information or another name will be chosen.

Until then, happy reading . . . and Bon Appetit! 


Hutt-Write Voice said...

No, I'm not from the US, but I feel compelled to comment (not that I wouldn't want to win this...)Anyway, loved this post, because Harry Kraus is one of my favourite authors. Everything he writes is insightful, rich and beautifully put together. The guy has a way with words!! He almost had me wanting to try goat meat, but not quite. (-:

Anonymous said...

Love anything Harry writes so of course I would love to win his book....


Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing other authors and there work. If There end up being 2 posts from me, I'm not trying to up-stage anyone! I already made a comment but don't see it now;....hence, this post!

MaryAnn said...

What a fun post, the book sounds really good. I haven't read anything by Dr. Kraus, but the book sounds really good.


Unknown said...

Hi everyone, Harry here, reading from interest from East Africa! Don't you know that 70% of the red meat consumed in the world is goat meat?

I didn't know that either until recently. Seriously, it is a Kenyan favorite. I've only come to appreciate it since moving to the great dark continent.

Grace to all my readers!
Foodie Harry!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...

OK, I obviously can't figure out how to post from here, cause I duplicated the last comment, but it still doesn't identify me properly.

The author!
Harry Kraus

CandaceCalvert said...

LINDA: I'm with you, totally on Harry's talent--he is one of my top faves. And though I've recently become vegetarian, a great mariade or rub combine with smoke, always speaks to me!
WILMA: great to see you here. Yes, this new book sounds wonderfully intriguing.
ALI LALLI: So appreciate you stopping by the blog.
MARY ANN: You are in for a treat, Harry's books are amazing.

CandaceCalvert said...

HARRY: (smile) I fixed your duplicate post. Thanks so much for taking the time to mingle with readers here: I know how busy you can be from your posts on FB--sometimes traveling overland to small villages, often in surgery . . . cooking up goats . . .
Love your post and honored to have you here this week.
I'm going to download that new book to my Kindle--sounds great!

Anonymous said...

I am so excited to meet a (new to me)author of medical suspense! Thank you for sharing, Candace!

Barb said...

I have read a couple of Harry Kraus's books. They are great! I love medical Christian fiction and look forward to this book.

Ann Street said...

The marianade sounds really good. My aunt was a missionary in Nigeria and loved it there.

Jen said...

Sounds interesting. We just had missionaries home (in the states) for furlough last week. They are in Kenya and eat a lot of the foods you mentioned. Just read one of Dr. Kraus books last week - an interesting read.

Debra E. Marvin said...

I really enjoyed Harry's A HEARTBEAT AWAY. It was difficult to put down and I expect the same from this second book.

I'd love to be in the drawing.
debraemarvin (at) yahooooo

Mocha with Linda said...

Loved this post. Don't enter me, I've already read, LOVED, and reviewed this book - another stellar read from Harry.

Anonymous said...

Love the sound of your book & your style!....also love tea AND collect teacups! ;) Pinkie's up while reading....ahhhhh!

Anonymous said...

oops...forgot the email to my post.....I love your style...tea & collect teacups! PLUS love reading too! Pinkie's up!

bonton said...

Haven't read any of Harry's books - but would like to, this looks like a good one! Thanks!


Anonymous said...

As a charter member of the Fellowship of the Gray Goatees, I can atest to Harry's skill with marinades! The goat was good but the fellowship much sweeter!

Patty said...

Harry is a new author to me, but it certainly sounds like he has the knowledge and experience to write a great medical drama!


Topper said...

What an inspiring post! I'd I'd love to read more, coint me in!

Carol said...

Sounds like I would enjoy reading Harry Krause books.

JoAnn said...

I enjoyed the sense of humor in the post which always makes an author's writing more intriguing I think! So I will be checking out this book! Thanks for sharing here Mr. Kraus and thanks Candace for introducing him! Fun post!

Connie Brown said...

I loved the post. You are a little braver than I am because I usually follow the recipe the first time and then fiddle with it the second. I really like barbequed goat. I've had it several ways. The university near me (an agricultural and mechanical)used to have a goat day with informational seminars and a goat bbq contest. I helped one of the competitors by adding cute garnishes to his plates. Guys getting together in something like this is good and alcohol is good to cook with (i'm baptist), great flavors.

Anonymous said...

Harry's books sound intriguing and I am crazy about tea. Thanks again, Candace, for introducing me to great authors, their books and culinary expertise. :)
huletthouse (at)

Richard Mabry said...

I admire Harry, not only for the quality of his writing (it's excellent) but for the work he's doing on the mission field. Since I don't much care for cabrito (goat, the way we fix it here in Texas), I'm not a fan of the main dish at the cook-out the gray goatee group had, but a bunch of guys getting together like that is a wonderful thing.

Candace, thanks for featuring my friend, Harry Krause. And, Harry, thanks for all you do.

Anonymous said...

Candace, loved learning more about what author, Dr Harry Kraus does on the mission field. The marinade sounds delicious. Years ago, I would have happily donated goats to you, Harry! I was tired of them getting out and eating my vegetable plants and flowers. To my DH's amazement I called the stockyard to pick them up and took the money for a day at the hair stylist's. Smile. DH laughed!
mddavix127(at)ymail. com

KayM said...

I love this entertaining and interesting post! It seems as if Dr. Harry Kraus has a way with words, which makes me anxious to read his book! I would love to win a copy!
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

Anonymous said...

This will be my first book by Dr. Harry Kraus, but it sounds like a great one! I love when an author I like recommends another author.

Anonymous said...

Have not read any either...but it would be a treat.

CandaceCalvert said...

Congratulations to our giveaway winner, O. Chavez! And thank you ALL for stopping by the blog.

Unknown said...

I have never had goat before and am always willing to try new things so this may be next on my list! I love to marinade when I barbecue and yours sounds so delicious.