A grown-up granddaughter finally learns to savor her Czech-flavored heritage. A gifted young clarinetist would rather be a baton twirler but fears telling her musical mother. A Clandestine Claudia's clerk takes a disastrous turn as a store-window lingerie model: "It's like being a gerbil at the pet store - a half-naked gerbil wearing nice underthings, but a gerbil nonetheless."

Publishers Weekly said Laura Maylene Walter's debut short-story collection, "Living Arrangements," "focuses on the significance of memory and place, the challenges of being an independent woman ... and struggles with death and grief" while offering "well-crafted and keen entertainment."

The 1999 Hempfield High School graduate and former Scholastic Writing Award winner will present a reading, signing and discussion of the book at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Lancaster Public Library-West, Mountville.

The book, full of understated drama and subtle humor, won the 2010 G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction, was published by BkMk Press (University of Missouri-Kansas City) and is priced at $15.95.

Walter is also the recipient of the Ohioana Library Association's 2011 Walter Rumsey Marvin Grant, and her novel-in-progress was named a runner-up in the 2010 James Jones First Novel Fellowship.

Her essays and articles about writing have appeared in both Poets & Writers and The Writer magazines. Her short fiction has appeared in Inkwell, American Literary Review, South Dakota Review, Crab Creek Review, and elsewhere.

She is a senior editor of a trade magazine based in Cleveland and lives in Lakewood, Ohio. She blogs at lauramaylenewalter.com.