LAURA S. JONES
Breaking and Entering is my collection of thirteen short stories published in 2011 by TIDAL PRESS. The stories explore what happens when the barriers or bonds between people are broken, whether by a chance enounter, a long forgotten choice, or a simple mistake. In these stories - as in the real world - there is magic and tragedy in each ordinary life, but often in vastly unequal proportions.
And, as in my real world, dogs often appear as characters.
One of the stories in the collection, Fallout Shelter, inspired by a South Carolina man's refusal to lower the flag for Jesse Helms' death, was included in Short Story America's inaugural anthology. It was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. You can read it here and buy the collection on Amazon or from the publisher or at your local book store.
Fouled Out is the first in my new mystery series featuring Gale Hightower, a seasoned reporter with a fondness for her vintage Corvette, drinking scotch, and breaking rules that need to be broken. Not always in that order.
The story begins in a bucolic college town in the mountains of Virginia, where basketball player Connor Braxton is on trial for brutally killing his girlfriend and a teammate. Gale is sent by her editor to cover the story against her will. Soon, though, Gale becomes determined to get justice for a man she despises - something about a rich college athlete facing the death penalty with only a crappy lawyer at his side just smells fishy to her. (And despite all her years as a swimmer, Gale really doesn’t like fish.) She discovers that what appeared to be a grisly lovers’ quarrel is really something much more sinister with broad implications for all of college basketball. In the process she ends up with some strange bedfellows - a three-legged pit bull, a racist Southern belle, and a wheelchair- bound head coach among them - and learns firsthand how far some people will go to win, both on the court and off.
Saving Sadie and Sasha was published in 2014, also by TIDAL PRESS. It is the story of my year fostering a pair of troubled pit bulls and driving them across the country - in the middle of winter with a good friend and another pit bull named Pooch along for the ride - for their last chance at a home.
I have shared space with dogs all my life, but it wasn’t until I began working at my local animal shelter that I really saw them in all their diverse glory. While there, I developed an affinity for frightened pit bulls. I felt I understood the roots of their fear, and I empathized.
When I decided that it was time to step up to the plate and foster a dog (for it is through fostering that many shelters are able to save more dogs), the staff sent me home with a pair of terrified pit bulls who had been left in a backyard cage for the first year of their lives. On our first night home, it hailed. Thus began the journey that became the story of Saving Sadie and Sasha. Read the introduction here.
A minimum of two dollars from the sale of every book will be donated to animal welfare organizations so they can help more dogs like Sadie and Sasha.