As part of the Stray Ally blog tour, I’m happy to host a guest post by Troy Lambert
Who’s Your Stray Ally?
Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
To my dog, Houston. You were my best friend for a long time, and have been gone for a while, but I still miss you. Here’s hoping you are chasing a ball somewhere in doggie heaven, where there is no more doggie blindness and your nose is as strong as ever.
–Troy Lambert, Dedication of Stray Ally
I’m a dog person. Sure, I’ve owned cats (or they owned me) but for some reason I just identify better with dogs. I always wanted one growing up, and my single mother (God bless her) tried a couple of times, but it was not until I became an adult and really settled down that I was able to have one, and truly appreciate dogs.
I found myself really down. My first marriage ended, and I felt adrift. A friend offered a room to rent in Northern Arizona, and I took her up on it. Unbeknownst to me, the room came with a dog too. He was her dog, but he latched on to me, and we were together for the next nine years.
During that time, I got my life back, met my second wife, and she gave birth to my youngest son. Houston went partially blind, and he managed to escape the yard and get hit by a car on my birthday, Black Friday almost six years ago.
So when I wrote a book about a man accused of murder, wandering in the Idaho wilderness who encounters an extraordinary dog who then helps him through a rough spot in his life, it was only natural to dedicate the book to Houston.
My current Stray Ally is a 95 pound yellow lab named Indie. He is looking at me right now, waiting for a game of fetch over lunch.
Without his Stray Ally, Sparky, Todd Clarke (the hero in the book) wouldn’t know quite what to do at times. Neither would I, without mine. So dog lovers, who’s your Stray Ally?
Stray Ally Excerpt:
He came at me.
“You killed my boy!” His shout filled my world, shattering the bubble I’d been in.
“You piece of shit, you killed my boy!”
“Stop!” A voice, the Good Samaritan driver.
The cop launched himself at me, hands outstretched, as if to strangle me.
My body didn’t consult my brain. It rose from its sitting position in one smooth motion. As the incensed father approached, it moved on its own, spun away from him, struck him on the back as he roared by, increased his momentum, and watched as he fell awkwardly onto the asphalt. He wasn’t done.
I’d killed his boy.
He rushed back at me, and my body once again responded as I had trained it to. All of those hours. Strike, twist, pull, strike.
My fist impacted his side, then his chest. My foot lashed out, struck his knee with an audible crunch. He half fell again, and drew his gun.
Another cruiser rolled onto the scene.
A fire truck.
They all saw me do it.
He raised the gun. I spun inside his aim. My hands went to work, striking his wrist, breaking it.
Grabbing the gun. Turning it in my hand.
Firing. Not once, but twice.
Double tap. Fighting like I was trained.
Just like that, I was a cop killer.
I killed a cop’s son. Then I killed a cop.
Self-defense sure, but unreasonable force used in response to a threat.
And I was trained.
It was my training that caused the judge to lock me up. I went to jail. Marsha paid my bond, I jumped bail, and went on the run. That’s when things went from bad to worse.
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.
Stray Ally can be purchased here
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.