Jim Kraus is a longtime writer and editor who has authored or co-authored more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction. His best-selling humor book, Bloopers, Blunders, Jokes, Quips, and Quotes, was published by Tyndale House Publishers, sold more than 40,000 copies and inspired several spin-off books. Jim, and his wife, novelist Terri Kraus, and one son, live in the Chicago area.
Also residing with them is a sweet and gentle miniature schnauzer named Rufus. Coincidently, Rufus is also the name of the dog in Jim's latest book, The Dog That Talked to God. "What a coincidence," Jim said. "What are the odds of that happening?" They also share space with an ill-tempered Siberian cat named Petey.
Jim recently was awarded a Master of Writing Arts degree from DePaul University. "Now, I am able to write more better," Jim said. (Yes, that is supposed to be humorous.)
Passionate about writing, Jim loves to create true-to-life characters. "I tend to be the one at the party that is on the edge of things--observing how folks act and react. Plus, I'm not that crazy about people in general--so it works out fine." (Again, it's supposed to be funny.)
The idea of the last book came from Jim's twice-daily walks with his dog, Rufus. "I tend to think through problems as we walk, and I sometimes, softly, pose questions to the noble dog Rufus. And if he could, he would answer them. I know he wants to. Sometimes I give his answers a voice. And I imagined that most pet-owners do the same thing. The idea of a talking dog didn't seem so far-fetched. And the story grew from there."
A light-hearted love story about a young couple brought together by a four-legged bandit.
When a stray dog helps himself to a bone from a display in the supermarket, he doesn't know his actions will brand him a criminal and spark a romance between two humans. Stewart Coolidge works as a bag boy at the store, and his outraged boss offers a reward and demands Stewart catch the thieving animal. He fails at that, but now he finally has the perfect excuse to talk to his cute neighbor, Lisa.
Lisa has always dreamed of being a journalist and asks Stewart if she can interview him for the local paper. As she gets to know Stewart, she likes him more and more, and she's delighted to learn he shares her Christian faith. Stewart can't bring himself to tell her she's mistaken, that he's not religious at all. And that's not Stewart's only deception. When the dog shows up on the doorstep of their building, Stewart decides to harbor the furry fugitive. But this is no ordinary dog, he has a divine sense of how things should be--and recognizing how much Stewart needs Lisa, he decides to do all he can to bring them together.
George Gibson is determined to check off the last item on his bucket list: a trip across America. He hops in his RV to visit - and sketch - the buildings and places across America that he and his wife never got to see. When his daughter learns of a young boy forced to give up a beloved Saint Bernard named Lewis, she suggests George adopt the animal as a traveling companion. The dog even fits perfectly in the sidecar of George's Vespa motor scooter.
As George warms to his travel mate, he begins talking to Lewis, sharing stories from his life and his unrealized dreams. Along the way, Lewis seems to attract people and make instant friends with the quirky and charming, funny and odd people who cross their path.
Could it be that his new friends - and this strange dog - will help George to finally confront the secret he's been hiding? Can Lewis's devotion to the truth be enough to save George from himself?
Jake Wilkerson, a disillusioned young pastor who is an expert at hiding his fears, takes on a new assignment at a small rural church in Coudersport, Pennsylvania. It's a far piece from anywhere and full of curiously odd and eccentric people, including Emma Grainger, a single woman and a veterinarian who dismisses all Christians as "those people," and Tassy, a young runaway with a secret. His first day on the job, however, Jake is adopted by Petey - a cat of unknown origins and breed - but of great perception. Petey believes that he is on a mission from God to redeem Jake and bring him and his quirky friends back to the truth.
A wonderfully quirky, heart-breaking, heart-warming and thought-provoking story of a woman's dog who not only talks to her, he talks to God. Recently widowed Mary Fassler has no choice except to believe Rufus, the miniature schnauzer, who claims to speak to the Divine. The question is: Will Mary follow the dog's advice, and leave everything she knows and loves? Is this at the urging of God? Or is it something else? Will Mary risk it all or ignore the urgings of her own heart?
"I loved this story. Quirky and unusual, this unique tale wove a spell around me and drew me in. It wasn't what I expected at all, and when I turned the last page, it left me wanting more." - Ane Mulligan, Sr. Editor of Novel Rocket
"The Dog That Talked to God is a moving and powerful read, inspirational long after the last page has been turned." - New York Journal of Books