About the book, Where the Echo Calls (Books for Dog Lovers #3)
- Publisher : Blue Zoo (October 14, 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 283 pages
- Series: Books for Dog Lovers
He’d lost so much he wanted to die. But a stray dog changed everything.
Left for dead in the gutter, Rio struggles to his feet and lurches into the shadows for a place to hide. Life has always been brutal, thanks to a monster of an owner, but at least he’d had food, a bed, a place to call home. Now…?
Ben’s life ended when he lost his family. Drink no longer dulls the pain; therapy is a joke; friends have moved on. He’d had everything, yet now…?
But when the broken man meets the broken dog, they discover something neither had ever dreamed could exist… a reason to go on.
In a story as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking, Where the Echo Calls explores how hope can be found in the most unexpected of places if only we have the courage to look for it.
Praise for the Books for Dog Lovers series:
- “Emotional, heart-wrenching and heartwarming. I was lost in this story from the very beginning. It’s beautifully written and will stay with me for a long long time.” Curled Up With A Good Book (book blog)
- “So Tear Jerkingly Beautiful” Janice Kujawa, Amazon
- “A great story with a beautiful, heartwarming ending.” Tom Kiker, Amazon
- “Thought provoking and well written. [I] loved it so much I’ve bought 2 paperbacks to give as Christmas presents! It’ll break your heart and rebuild it again.” C. Johnson, Amazon
- “A story that is equal parts intense beauty and heart wrenching agony… I know I’ll still think of this story years down the road.” Insatiable Readers book blog
- “A heartwarming, touching, and poignant novel about the love between a dog and a young girl.” Paula, Amazon
- “A perfect book for dog lovers. It is a story of courage, determination and love.” Library Lady, Amazon
- “I almost laughed myself into an asthma attack during certain scenes and cried at the end of this book, all the while wondering if this is how my own dog perceives me.” Kathy Banfield, Goodreads
- “[I] highly recommend it especially if you like books like Marley and Me, The Art of Racing in the Rain, and similar stories.” Storeybook Reviews book blog
Purchase and discussion links for this book:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
About the author, Steve N. Lee
Steve has three passions: anti-heroes, animals, and travel. To date, he’s visited 60 countries and has adopted five homeless cats, but he’s yet to prowl the streets in the dead of night to beat up bad guys (though he still daydreams about doing so, but who doesn’t?).
In pursuit of adventure, he’s cage-dived with great white sharks, sparred with a monk at a Shaolin temple, and explored exotic locales such as Machu Picchu, Pompeii, and the Great Wall of China.
Fortunately, his passions fuel his fiction. He loves to pepper his action-packed thrillers with the exotic places he’s explored and the unusual encounters he’s experienced, while his dog stories glow with the love and companionship that will warm the heart of any animal lover.
More recently, while on his travels, Steve came across two true stories from the Holocaust which moved him so deeply, he has based two novels on them, both of which will be released in 2023.
He lives in the North of England with his partner, Ania, the great-granddaughter of the 1924 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and two stray black cats who visited their garden one day and liked it so much, they moved into the house. Luckily, they graciously allowed Steve and Ania to carry on living there, even allowing Steve to continue paying the mortgage to give him a sense of purpose.
If you love stories of four-legged heroes, tales from histories darkest hour, or books with pulse-pounding action, you’ll love Steve’s three series. He wrote them for book lovers just like you!
Connect with Steve:
I’ve been a foster-mom to more than twenty-five dogs, and all the dogs I’ve ever kept have been rescues, so it’s no surprise that I’m a sucker for a good dog story. Where the Echo Calls is not merely a good dog story, though; it’s a fantastic dog story that really puts you inside the head of the dog at the center of the book. Rio (nee Razor) is a shepherd mix used as a fighting dog. When we meet him his owner is abandoning him on the streets. We travel with him through his confusion, heartbreak, and steadfast determination. We get to learn about the “messages” dogs leave in their p-mail. Hope finally comes when he’s brought to an animal shelter, only to have his first adopter betray him. Back at the shelter, Rio, like many dogs in similar situations – and I’ve seen this first-hand – Rio begins to shut down.
Finally Ben comes into the story and Rio is safe, but it’s not that simple. Like Rio, Ben has a tragic history. Not only does he have to learn to trust Rio, but Rio must learn to trust him.
I really loved seeing the inner workings of Rio’s brain. I’ve heard that well-trained, well-socialized dogs have an understanding of human vocabulary roughly equivalent to a human five-year-old, but we really never think about the fact that our pets are bilingual, in a sense, because their first language is one that combines scent, body language, and vocalizations (barks, growls, yips – my bigger dog is part Catahoula, and he sings.). They learn our language, and adapt to our lives. We don’t do the same. But Steve Lee gets it. And he writes the path to doggy comprehension amazingly well. Rio learns that “pocket-meat” (bacon) is for treats, and then he learns how to get it.
While much of this novel deals with serious things – depression and loss for both man and dog – there are some fantastic light moments that not only break the tension, but also warm the heart. Rio loves chin-tickles but pretends to only “allow” them in order to protect his tough-dog persona, and the bit with him eschewing, then secretly using, his “princess” bed is just hilarious.
I should note that though this is the third novel in a series, and characters from previous stories have cameo appearances, it’s absolutely self-contained, and readers should not worry if they haven’t read the first two. (That said, go read the first two, as they’re equally wonderful.)
Overall, this is a totally plausible, thoroughly engaging story told (mostly) from the dog’s perspective, and a copy of this novel should appear on every dog-lover’s bookshelf or e-reader. I laughed and cried and had to stop reading more than once to cuddle my own dogs. You will, too.
Goes well with: Bacon! And cool drink of water.
I’m so pleased you enjoyed Rio’s story, Melissa. And thrilled that someone with the wealth of experience you have believes I hit the nail on the head in exploring the character of a dog in such a predicament.
Thank you for sharing my book with your readers.