I remember the first time I saw his face. Long haired and panting, there was no place for him to sit in the small car but on my lap. We both got as comfortable as we could for the hour and a half ride from Phoenix to Prescott. Poor dog had been as abused as me. The first time I went to sweep the porch with him outside, he cowered.
But he’d fetch a ball until his dying day, when he was blind and chasing it with his nose. Really, it was his love that started to heal my heart after the divorce. His name was Houston, and even though he left this world for doggie heaven almost six years ago, I think of him often. Can others be so different?
So when the idea of Stray Ally woke me up early one morning, I had to write it. An ex-soldier, hiding in the Idaho wilderness befriends an extraordinary dog. From that moment forward, his life and the story is not the same.
Why of all people, did this dog pick him? Does he find a way out of the trouble he finds himself in? Will he reunite with his wife, and is their love rekindled? For these answers, you will have to read the book. But what I can tell you is under all of the action and suspense in Stray Ally, there is a love story.
It’s the story of a man and his dog, who does for him what no other friend could. Sometimes, love is where you find it, and sometimes it finds you when you least expect it.
My current Stray Ally is a big yellow lab named Indie. Do you have one? What’s your pal’s name?
Giveaway: Best story of a dog (Stray Ally) that you rescued or that helped you through a hard time sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 29th wins a $25 Amazon gift card. Winner and story shared on my blog Monday, March 31st. Share your story today!
Stray Ally Excerpt:
She’d heard something, not imagined it.
Then it came again. A soft scratching at the back door. Down low.
She hadn’t had a dog since she was a kid, but it sounded like one scratching to be let in. The knob rattled, claws scratching on either side of it. It couldn’t be.
Surely the dog wasn’t trying to open the door?
Slowly she made her way around the table, flipped on the porch light and peeked through the blinds. No one. Looked down as low as she could, but couldn’t see a thing closer than the first step.
As quietly as she could, she eased back the dead bolt, hearing an urgent whine outside.
Slowly she eased the door open. A medium sized mongrel pushed it open, out of her hand, causing her to cry out.
The door swung wider, headed for impact with the wall. The dog was quicker, around the door like a flash, swinging it closed. The pooch stood on his hind legs, his paws on either side of the door, looking up at the lock. He barked once.
Marsha reached out, shooting the bolt home.
The dog plopped down on all fours, and then she got a good look at him.
Long scraggly black fur and droopy ears framed a kind face. An arrow of white and gray fur decorated the chest, and he wagged his tail.
He didn’t wear a collar, but there was a mussed line of fur where one had rested not long ago and by the look of it for an extended stay.
Marsha moved warily forward, and the dog closed its mouth, stopping its panting tongue for a moment, cocking his head as if listening closely. He lowered his head with canine respect, stretching his neck out.
Go ahead, pet me, he seemed to say.
She reached out, scratching him behind the ears, rubbing his head. The strange dog responded enthusiastically, dancing about her kitchen with giddy excitement, but not barking.
Marsha giggled as he did. Strange, but even with this dog showing up unannounced at her house in the middle of the night, she felt oddly at ease.
He smelled though, like the dog she remembered from her childhood when he’d gone off running or been playing really hard, and needed a bath.
The dog was sweaty, and thirsty. His tongue hung from his mouth, but no drool fell from it. She found an old metal bowl in the cupboard, and filled it, setting it gently on the floor.
He quickly dropped his head, lapping eagerly.
She smiled again, wishing for the umpteenth time that Todd was here to share this oddest of moments.
The front doorbell rang.
The dog took off before she had a chance, barking fiercely, his tail no longer wagging.
Marsha followed close behind, wondering who could be at her door so late at night.
A strange accident on the freeway, accusations of murder, and an encounter in the Idaho wilderness all propel Todd Clarke into a new friendship with a dog named Sparky. But Sparky is no ordinary dog, and there is more going on than Clarke could have imagined.
A military commander he investigated for Aryan activity and links to domestic terrorism is after him, and he’s not sure why until another chance encounter provides the answer.
With Sparky and the help of his canine friends, will he be able to figure out the Colonel’s plan and stop him in time? All Clarke knows for sure is none of it would be possible without the help of his Stray Ally.
Troy works as a freelance writer, researcher, and editor. He writes historical site characterization reports for those performing remediation on former resource extraction sites, software instruction and help guides, and edits the research of others as well. His true passion is writing dark, psychological thrillers. His work includes Broken Bones, a collection of his short stories, Redemption the first in the Samuel Elijah Johnson Series, Temptation the sequel to Redemption, along with the horror Satanarium, co-authored with Poppet, a brilliant author from South Africa and published by Wild Wolf Publishing. His next novel, Stray Ally, will be published March 4th by Tirgearr Publishing. The final in the Samuel Elijah Johnson Series, Confession will be published May 1st.
Troy lives with his wife of twelve years, two of his five children and two very talented dogs. He is a skier, cyclist, hiker, fisherman, hunter, and a terrible beginning golfer.
Author Website: www.troylambertwrites.com
Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/Troy-Lambert/e/B005LL1QEC