Monday, August 27, 2018



Marley meets… Cujo ?

What would you do if there was a dog in your neighborhood forced to live outside day in/day out, at the mercy of abusers, wild animals and brutal weather?

Walter does nothing—at first. Then,  an accidental meeting with Lance, a Border Collie, sets the wheels in motion for a down-to-the-wire, life-saving rescue and a disappointing discovery: Lance turns out to be a threat to anyone he can get his teeth on—including his rescuers!

Their lives turned upside down by this semi-feral “pet”, Walter and his wife Clara are forced to answer a painful question: do they euthanize the dog they rescued? Making their life-or-death choice even more difficult is Lance’s hilarious quirkiness; when not threatening, he’s incredibly entertaining—though a State Trooper, the local drug dealer, and a Megan’s Law parolee, among many others, would beg to differ.

This rollicking, thought-provoking, and—at times—heart-wrenching true-life account of the unorthodox rescue of an unorthodox dog is guaranteed to captivate:

-Dog lovers
-Recovering addicts (there are numerous passages that the 12-step community will relate to)                      
-Survivors of child abuse (the author reveals his own poignant connection with Lance)
-Any reader who can laugh, cry, or enjoy having her/his faith in humanity restored.

Book Details:
Title: Lance: A Spirit Unbroken
Author: Walter Stoffel

Genre: Memoir

Publisher: Diamond Publishing International (December 2016)

Page count: 244
Read chapter 1


Q: How long have you been writing, and how did you start? 
A: Although I dabbled with writing for several decades, I’ve only been writing with a purpose for the past eight years. In 2010, after starting and never finishing several creative projects in the areas of writing, music and advertising slogans, I made a commitment to myself to start and complete a book.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?
The fact that I wasn’t getting any younger and the sense that I was wasting whatever creative potential I had within me motivated me to write a book. The unique dog I rescued motivated me to write this book.

Q: How long did it take you to write this book?
A: The first sentence of the book was written in 2010 and the book was published in 2016. Although I’m not a particularly quick study as a writer, the excessive attention to detail given to this book resulted in a product I feel confident about.

Q: What do you hope readers will get from this book?
A: One of the book’s editors told me that Lance’s story is “profound on several levels.” If a reader’s life is enriched by any one of those levels that’s all I, as an author, could hope for.

Q: How did you come up with the title of your book? 
A: The working title had been The Dog Nobody Wanted. Then I did some research and saw that there had been a book and also several articles using that title. To avoid product confusion, I came up with Lance: A Spirit Unbroken. In reality, Lance, the dog nobody wanted, turned out to be a spirit unbroken.

Q: Do you have a day job? 
A: I am a drug and alcohol counselor and GED teacher at local correctional facilities.

Q: How would you describe your book in a tweet? 
A: Move over, Marley! Cool it, Cujo! Lance is the new top dog in town! Survivor, comedian, teacher—Lance has it all! Want proof? Read Chapter 1 for free!

Q: Tell us about your favorite chapter in the book. 
A: Thanks to Lance, it’s not easy to pick just one. Perhaps the most soul-stirring chapter is the one describing the death of my brother-in-law and Lance’s shocking reaction to it.

Q: What’s one of your favorite quotes?
A: “Rescuing a dog doesn’t change the world but it changes that dog’s world.”

Q: For what would you like to be remembered?
A: “Remembered” sounds so final. I’m not ready to leave this planet yet, so for now, I’d be happy to be known as a person who rescued a unique dog and an author that wrote a page-turner about that experience.

Q: What choices in life would you like to have a redo on? 
A: That, as they say, is a loaded question. Right now, I’m all about total acceptance of my past and present and optimism about my future. I can’t afford the luxury of a single negative thought.

Q: What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write? 
A: The self-disclosure in Lance: A Spirit Unbroken. I had to think twice about how much about myself I would reveal. Once I decided such self-revelation would make the book better and might even be of help to others, it was full speed ahead. After that personal information was scrutinized by the members of my critiquing group and I didn’t have a meltdown, putting it out there in public became easier to do.

Q: What are you working on now? 
A: I’m about 90,000 words into a fictional memoir (I know there’s no such genre so perhaps I’m a trailblazer) about a young boy growing up on Long Island.


Walter Stoffel is a substance abuse counselor and GED teacher in correctional facilities. When not behind bars, he likes to read, travel, work out and watch bad movies. Major accomplishment: He entered a 26.2 mile marathon following hip replacement surgery and finished—dead last.
The author currently lives with his wife Clara, their dog, Buddy (another rescue), and cat, Winky (yet another rescue).

Connect with Walter:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Buy the book:

Purchase the paperback through Diamond Publishing International and a portion of each sale goes to pet rescue operations Walter has personally vetted. Plus, you get an autographed copy of the book complete with Lance’s bookmark!