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“Tales of an Inland Empire Girl” available now!

Now Available!
Tales of an Inland Empire Girl

Tales of an Inland Empire Girl, the new YA novel by Juanita Mantz, is out now!

Front CoverJenny, her barely-younger twin Jackie, and their baby sister Annie try to navigate their parents’ troubles. The story zooms in on Jenny as she descends from stellar student to angry punk rock dropout, hiding in shame under the high school bleachers as her twin sister graduates from high school. It’s the story of Jenny hitting rock-bottom, and finally, slowly picking herself up and starting to put the pieces of her life back together.

Order Here!

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About the Author

Author Less ShinyJuanita E. Mantz (“JEM”) is an alumna of the Voices of our Nations Arts Foundation and the Macondo Writers Workshop. She has been published widely, including in The Acentos Review, Aljazerra, As/Us, The Dirty Spoon, Entropy, Inlandia, MUSE, “San Bernardino, Singing,” and Riverside Press Enterprise, among others. She has presented at the UCR Punk Conference, AWP, and Beyond Baroque.

You can find out about her podcasts and more at https://juanitaemantz.com.

What people are saying about Tales of an Inland Empire Girl

“In her first novel, Juanita E. Mantz goes back to the old house to unshackle the ghosts that still inhabit the charred curtains and broken windows of her youth.  We meet The Wonder Twins, a Wolfman Jack stand in, The Flintstones, a young Wonder Woman with tinfoil wristbands & Nancy Drew incognito via unexpected introductions into Mantz’s life growing up in The Inland Empire.  This is as creative as autobiography gets without veering from the hard truths herein.  Maybe you saw the cartoon once, and thought it fantasy, but read this book and then firmly believe that underdogs can fly.”
—Dennis Callaci, author of 100 Cassettes

“Tales of an Inland Empire Girl is a searing, beautiful memoir that illuminates the struggles of parents who are beaten down by life and their arduous working-class jobs and of children who are trapped in the middle of their parents’ battles. A compelling read—raw, honest, and hopeful. I wish this book existed when I was growing up. It would have been my life preserver.”

—liz gonzález, author of Dancing in the Santa Ana Winds

“In Tales of an Inland Empire Girl we know we are in for a bumpy ride from the very opening pages of the first story, “A Shit Day,” which recounts the author’s journey home to Southern California’s less-than-glamorous Inland Empire from her high-powered attorney life in San Francisco, arriving at grungy “Ontario, the kind of airport no one wants go to.” The purpose of this visit: her father is dying. From this gripping opening, Mantz takes readers into a deeper journey of a childhood and coming of age filled with turbulence and tight-knit family love, and she writes with blazing grit, flashing joy-de-vivre, and an occasional comic overtone that feels natural coming from this self-professed punk-rock girl. This collection of stories spares no stone unturned, no watershed truth – both hard and celebratory – unexamined. And through it all, shines an anthem call of what matters most in life: the unbreakable bonds of family, and this family’s enduring love for one another.”

—Ruth Nolan, born in the I.E. and editor of No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of California’s Deserts

“Tales of an Inland Empire Girl, set in the fast-growing Eastern region of Southern California and told in Mantz’s smack-in-your-face honesty, lures one into the places of childhood––of first home and lasting memories. One learns to live, however awkward life might be, in a house ‘the color of dirt’, finding a place to call one’s own in a Plastic Cheese chair, and love, even through girl fights. Through dexterous use of language, Mantz tosses her readers into a reality where a little girl finds herself in tears of frustration and shame with two left shoes, a drunken dad and screaming mom, but loves deeply anyway, and deals with her situations with twin-powered bravado and punk rock: ‘I feel as if I could dance forever,’ says Mantz.”

—Hồng-Mỹ Basrai, author of Behind the Red Curtain

Tales of an Inland Empire Girl is deep and funny and true. A remarkable story of resilience and love told in bright prose, and written from a place of rigorous vulnerability that draws us in from the start.”

—Brett Paesel, author of Los Angeles Times bestseller, Mommies Who Drink

Order Here!

“Tales of an Inland Empire Girl” available for pre-order now!

Now Available for Pre-Order!
Tales of an Inland Empire Girl

Tales of an Inland Empire Girl, the YA novel by Juanita Mantz, will be released January 7th!

Front CoverJenny, her barely-younger twin Jackie, and their baby sister Annie try to navigate their parents’ troubles. The story zooms in on Jenny as she descends from stellar student to angry punk rock dropout, hiding in shame under the high school bleachers as her twin sister graduates from high school. It’s the story of Jenny hitting rock-bottom, and finally, slowly picking herself up and starting to put the pieces of her life back together.

Pre-Order Here!

About the Author

Author Less ShinyJuanita E. Mantz (“JEM”) is an alumna of the Voices of our Nations Arts Foundation and the Macondo Writers Workshop. She has been published widely, including in The Acentos Review, Aljazerra, As/Us, The Dirty Spoon, Entropy, Inlandia, MUSE, “San Bernardino, Singing,” and Riverside Press Enterprise, among others. She has presented at the UCR Punk Conference, AWP, and Beyond Baroque.

You can find out about her podcasts and more at https://juanitaemantz.com.

What people are saying about Tales of an Inland Empire Girl

“In her first novel, Juanita E. Mantz goes back to the old house to unshackle the ghosts that still inhabit the charred curtains and broken windows of her youth.  We meet The Wonder Twins, a Wolfman Jack stand in, The Flintstones, a young Wonder Woman with tinfoil wristbands & Nancy Drew incognito via unexpected introductions into Mantz’s life growing up in The Inland Empire.  This is as creative as autobiography gets without veering from the hard truths herein.  Maybe you saw the cartoon once, and thought it fantasy, but read this book and then firmly believe that underdogs can fly.”
—Dennis Callaci, author of 100 Cassettes

“Tales of an Inland Empire Girl is a searing, beautiful memoir that illuminates the struggles of parents who are beaten down by life and their arduous working-class jobs and of children who are trapped in the middle of their parents’ battles. A compelling read—raw, honest, and hopeful. I wish this book existed when I was growing up. It would have been my life preserver.”

—liz gonzález, author of Dancing in the Santa Ana Winds

“In Tales of an Inland Empire Girl we know we are in for a bumpy ride from the very opening pages of the first story, “A Shit Day,” which recounts the author’s journey home to Southern California’s less-than-glamorous Inland Empire from her high-powered attorney life in San Francisco, arriving at grungy “Ontario, the kind of airport no one wants go to.” The purpose of this visit: her father is dying. From this gripping opening, Mantz takes readers into a deeper journey of a childhood and coming of age filled with turbulence and tight-knit family love, and she writes with blazing grit, flashing joy-de-vivre, and an occasional comic overtone that feels natural coming from this self-professed punk-rock girl. This collection of stories spares no stone unturned, no watershed truth – both hard and celebratory – unexamined. And through it all, shines an anthem call of what matters most in life: the unbreakable bonds of family, and this family’s enduring love for one another.”

—Ruth Nolan, born in the I.E. and editor of No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of California’s Deserts

“Tales of an Inland Empire Girl, set in the fast-growing Eastern region of Southern California and told in Mantz’s smack-in-your-face honesty, lures one into the places of childhood––of first home and lasting memories. One learns to live, however awkward life might be, in a house ‘the color of dirt’, finding a place to call one’s own in a Plastic Cheese chair, and love, even through girl fights. Through dexterous use of language, Mantz tosses her readers into a reality where a little girl finds herself in tears of frustration and shame with two left shoes, a drunken dad and screaming mom, but loves deeply anyway, and deals with her situations with twin-powered bravado and punk rock: ‘I feel as if I could dance forever,’ says Mantz.”

—Hồng-Mỹ Basrai, author of Behind the Red Curtain

 

Tales of an Inland Empire Girl is deep and funny and true. A remarkable story of resilience and love told in bright prose, and written from a place of rigorous vulnerability that draws us in from the start.”

—Brett Paesel, author of Los Angeles Times bestseller, Mommies Who Drink

Virtual Book Launch for Victoria Waddle

On behalf of author Victoria Waddle and Los Nietos Press, thank you again for purchasing Acts of Contrition. We would like to tell you about a virtual book launch party hosted by Inlandia, featuring Victoria Waddle and her book Acts of Contrition, alongside fellow Inlandia author Marj Charlier and her new book The Rebel Nun.

Thursday, June 3

7-8:30 PM Pacific Time

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Registration is free: use the link below to register

https://tinyurl.com/ContriteRebels

 The authors will will read short excerpts from their books, , followed by a conversation about writing and the path to publishing. An audience Q&A will immediately follow.

 ContriteRebels 2

 

Themes of CONTRITION, REBELLION and so much more . . . how cool is that!  Register now!

https://tinyurl.com/ContriteRebels

Acts of Contrition is here!

Acts of Contrition, a gripping short story collection by Victoria Waddle, is now avaliable!

Created with GIMP

Claremont resident Victoria Waddle has created a gripping short story collection about the complex lives of modern women. Now available from Los Nietos Press or your favorite retailer, this is a collection that will keep you captivated and wanting more.

Purchase Here

What reviewers have to say:

 Acts of Contrition is a great collection, one I read in a single sitting, the stories sly and engaging, hilariously dark and always surprising. The women of Victoria Waddle’s fiction are characters I’d spend much more time with – they are brutally honest, have excellent talents at remembering, and they soldier on with grace and humor and wine.”
Susan Straight, author of eight novels, including Highwire Moon, and one memoir, In the Country of Women 

In “Solvent,” one of the later stories in this collection, a reformed Evangelical-Christian-turned-New-agey-vegan-spiritual pyramid scheme saleswoman demonstrates the effectiveness of a caustic cleaning product over an heirloom dining table to a pair of tipsy Mormon missionary boys and a mother-daughter team of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In this one anecdote, the entire collection is distilled.”
—Cati Porter, author of The Body at a Loss, Director of Inlandia Institute

“I love Victoria Waddle’s Acts of Contrition for the way it sees life not as mundane but as meaningful. What a lesser writer might have missed about the meaning of those moments that pass us by, Waddle is able to explore, and her stories are extraordinary. They are magic. They draw out both the absurdity of personal mythologies found in tarot cards, prayers, and omens and the wonder in them as well. They find the magic in the extraordinary and in the every day.”
—John Brantingham, Poet Laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Victoria Waddle Author Photo cropped 1_5 x 1_5Victoria Waddle has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, is a Bosque Magazine Fiction Prize finalist and is included in Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest. She is the managing editor of Inlandia: A Literary Journey, the literary journal of the Inlandia Institute.

“Acts of Contrition,” Arrives March 15th!

“Acts of Contrition,” Arrives March 15th!

Created with GIMP

Claremont resident Victoria Waddle has created a gripping short story collection about the complex lives of modern women. Now available for presale here or at your favorite on-line retailer, this is a collection that will keep you captivated and wanting more.

Release Date for Acts of Contrition is March 15, 2021!

What reviewers have to say:

 Acts of Contrition is a great collection, one I read in a single sitting, the stories sly and engaging, hilariously dark and always surprising. The women of Victoria Waddle’s fiction are characters I’d spend much more time with – they are brutally honest, have excellent talents at remembering, and they soldier on with grace and humor and wine.”
Susan Straight, author of eight novels, including Highwire Moon, and one memoir, In the Country of Women 

In “Solvent,” one of the later stories in this collection, a reformed Evangelical-Christian-turned-New-agey-vegan-spiritual pyramid scheme saleswoman demonstrates the effectiveness of a caustic cleaning product over an heirloom dining table to a pair of tipsy Mormon missionary boys and a mother-daughter team of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In this one anecdote, the entire collection is distilled.”
—Cati Porter, author of The Body at a Loss, Director of Inlandia Institute

“I love Victoria Waddle’s Acts of Contrition for the way it sees life not as mundane but as meaningful. What a lesser writer might have missed about the meaning of those moments that pass us by, Waddle is able to explore, and her stories are extraordinary. They are magic. They draw out both the absurdity of personal mythologies found in tarot cards, prayers, and omens and the wonder in them as well. They find the magic in the extraordinary and in the every day.”
—John Brantingham, Poet Laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

 

Victoria Waddle Author Photo cropped 1_5 x 1_5Victoria Waddle has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, is a Bosque Magazine Fiction Prize finalist and is included in Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest. She is the managing editor of Inlandia: A Literary Journey, the literary journal of the Inlandia Institute.

“Acts of Contrition,” by Victoria Waddle

Acts of Contrition, by Victoria Waddle, is now available for Presale.

Created with GIMP

Los Nietos Press is pleased to announce the upcoming release of Acts of Contrition, a collection of short stories by Victoria Waddle. Presales are available now; the book release date is March 15, 2021.

A resident of the Inland Empire, Victoria Waddle has created a gripping short story collection about the complex lives of modern women. The women in Acts of Contrition face society’s devaluation, from parents, from elders, from all who assume authority of them. Some can look back and laugh, some find luck in their escape from harm, some engineer their own good fortune, all the while riding a wave of dark humor. They battle oppressions as simple as gender stereotyping, as complex as prerequisites to friendship or love. What all the characters come to understand is that silence places them at greater risk than speaking out. They progress toward freedom through the telling of their stories.

Why Presales?  Presales are important to the the life and popularity of the book, to the author, and to the press. They show other potential readers, and book sellers,  that readers value the author’s work and are looking forward to the release.

Order your presale here!

Here is what reviewers have to say:

Acts of Contrition is a great collection, one I read in a single sitting, the stories sly and engaging, hilariously dark and always surprising. The women of Victoria Waddle’s fiction are characters I’d spend much more time with – they are brutally honest, have excellent talents at remembering, and they soldier on with grace and humor and wine.”
Susan Straight, author of eight novels, including Highwire Moon, and one memoir, In the Country of Women 

In “Solvent,” one of the later stories in this collection, a reformed Evangelical-Christian-turned-New-agey-vegan-spiritual pyramid scheme saleswoman demonstrates the effectiveness of a caustic cleaning product over an heirloom dining table to a pair of tipsy Mormon missionary boys and a mother-daughter team of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In this one anecdote, the entire collection is distilled.”
—Cati Porter, author of The Body at a Loss, Director of Inlandia Institute

“I love Victoria Waddle’s Acts of Contrition for the way it sees life not as mundane but as meaningful. What a lesser writer might have missed about the meaning of those moments that pass us by, Waddle is able to explore, and her stories are extraordinary. They are magic. They draw out both the absurdity of personal mythologies found in tarot cards, prayers, and omens and the wonder in them as well. They find the magic in the extraordinary and in the every day.”
—John Brantingham, Poet Laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Victoria Waddle Author Photo cropped 1_5 x 1_5Victoria Waddle has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, is a Bosque Magazine Fiction Prize finalist and is included in Best Short Stories from The Saturday Evening Post Great American Fiction Contest. She is the managing editor of Inlandia: A Literary Journey, the literary journal of the Inlandia Institute.

 

 

Behind the Red Curtain — Signed Copy Sale extended

Behind the Red Curtain: a Memoir, by Hồng-Mỹ Basrai

 Dear Reader,

The ongoing pandemic has changed the lives of so many of us. In light of these circumstances, the formal launch of this new and important book has been postponed. However,  we will continue to offer signed copies of Behind the Red Curtain  for the indefinite future.

Signed Copies are available here.
 Hong-My and her books
Follow the ongoing activities and adventures of Behind the Red Curtain on Facebook at: @BehindtheRedCurtainamemoir
When things return to normal, news and events will be listed on HongMyBasrai.com
Praise for Behind the Red Curtain.

“With Behind the Red Curtain, Hồng-Mỹ Basrai has rendered a  compelling and courageous story of her life and survival during the fall of South Vietnam. In gripping prose, she recounts her family’s repeated desperate and dangerous efforts to emigrate afterwards, and even harsh imprisonment under the post-war communist regime. With a deft writer’s hand and eye for detail, Basrai brings us into the intimacy and beauty of her Vietnamese culture and her family’s heritage, and then launches us into a journey that is heartbreaking, hopeful and triumphant all at the same time. Behind the Red Curtain is a must-read book that will keep readers glued to the page and change their lives forever.”

—Ms. Ruth Nolan, M.F.A., M.A., professor of English at College of the Desert, editor of No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of California’s Deserts and author of Ruby Mountain.

“The heart of Behind the Red Curtain consists of the nearly unimaginable difficulties of escaping to freedom; the details of repeated failed plans; the brushes with injury and death by land and by sea; the loss of savings; and the work to start over and over again. The tenacity of the family, their collective will power as they help one another through everything, including imprisonment, is inspiring.”

—Victoria Waddle, retired teacher librarian, managing editor for the journal Inlandia: A Literary Journey and contributor to Southern California News Group’s “Literary Journeys” feature, which celebrates writers and their work.

“A riveting and poignant memoir written in lyrical and moving prose. This story will touch your heart.”

— Kathleen Harrington, Highland Lairds Trilogy

Hong-My Basrai Updated CroppedBorn and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, Hồng-Mỹ Basrai (née Lê) is fluent in Vietnamese and French. Hồng-Mỹ’s love for literature and languages was evident from a very young age. Transplanted at twenty-two to Southern California, she picked up English and improvised with the borrowed language to make it her own. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from California State University, Pomona and an informal degree in self-taught English. She is a member of the Writers Club of Whittier. Hồng-Mỹ ‘s writings can be found in Eastlit Literary Journal2011 Writing from Inlandia AnthologyEast Jasmine Review, and Invisible Memoirs “Lionhearted”.

Follow this book on Facebook at @BehindtheRedCurtainaMemoir

Behind the Red Curtain available for Pre-Sale

Available for Pre-Sale
Behind the Red Curtain: a Memoir, by Hồng-Mỹ Basrai

               Coming April 2020 from Los Nietos Press

BtRC HB Front Cover 2020_01_10 LO RES

 

Pre-Orders Available Now!

To Pre-Order a signed copy from Los Nietos Press, Click here

Praise for Behind the Red Curtain.

“With Behind the Red Curtain, Hồng-Mỹ Basrai has rendered a  compelling and courageous story of her life and survival during the fall of South Vietnam. In gripping prose, she recounts her family’s repeated desperate and dangerous efforts to emigrate afterwards, and even harsh imprisonment under the post-war communist regime. With a deft writer’s hand and eye for detail, Basrai brings us into the intimacy and beauty of her Vietnamese culture and her family’s heritage, and then launches us into a journey that is heartbreaking, hopeful and triumphant all at the same time. Behind the Red Curtain is a must-read book that will keep readers glued to the page and change their lives forever.”

—Ms. Ruth Nolan, M.F.A., M.A., professor of English at College of the Desert, editor of No Place for a Puritan: the Literature of California’s Deserts and author of Ruby Mountain.

“The heart of Behind the Red Curtain consists of the nearly unimaginable difficulties of escaping to freedom; the details of repeated failed plans; the brushes with injury and death by land and by sea; the loss of savings; and the work to start over and over again. The tenacity of the family, their collective will power as they help one another through everything, including imprisonment, is inspiring.”

—Victoria Waddle, retired teacher librarian, managing editor for the journal Inlandia: A Literary Journey and contributor to Southern California News Group’s “Literary Journeys” feature, which celebrates writers and their work.

“A riveting and poignant memoir written in lyrical and moving prose. This story will touch your heart.”

— Kathleen Harrington, Highland Lairds Trilogy

Hong-My Basrai Updated CroppedBorn and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, Hồng-Mỹ Basrai (née Lê) is fluent in Vietnamese and French. Hồng-Mỹ’s love for literature and languages was evident from a very young age. Transplanted at twenty-two to Southern California, she picked up English and improvised with the borrowed language to make it her own. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from California State University, Pomona and an informal degree in self-taught English. She is a member of the Writers Club of Whittier. Hồng-Mỹ ‘s writings can be found in Eastlit Literary Journal2011 Writing from Inlandia AnthologyEast Jasmine Review, and Invisible Memoirs “Lionhearted”.

Follow this book on Facebook at @BehindtheRedCurtainaMemoir

Press Release: Behind the Red Curtain

Press Release:
Behind the Red Curtain: a Memoir, by Hồng-Mỹ Basrai

               Coming April 2020 from Los Nietos Press

Hong-My Basrai Photo OriginalLos Nietos Press is pleased to announce the upcoming release of a book-length memoir by Southern California author Hồng-Mỹ Basrai, to be published in April 2020

Behind the Red Curtain begins in Saigon in 1975 as South Vietnam falls to the Communist North Vietnamese. In the voice of a young teenager, the author unfolds the story of her family in a world turned upside down with the political re-making of the country. In breath-taking detail and with a keen insight into the souls of her family and the many other people she encountered, Hồng-Mỹ writes about the gradual disappearance of all aspects of her former life and the impact it had on all those around her. The family’s struggle to survive, their several attempts to escape and the imprisonment that they experienced is laid bare in heart-breaking intimacy, yet the connection to the universal themes of dislocation and the will to struggle for survival are never lost.

Within the larger events that affected a whole country and its people, this story is also about youth. The author’s anguish over her shortcomings, her self-doubt and needs are the same as those experienced by every youth growing up. And the author’s ability to maintain a sense of humor throughout all of this, her ability to connect on a person-to-person basis with all around her and her constant sensitivity to the culture and traditions of Vietnam make this memoir an amazing read. In this tale of pain and poetry, readers cannot help but simultaneously cry hot tears and roll with laughter.

Born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, Hồng-Mỹ Basrai (née Lê) is fluent in Vietnamese and French. Hồng-Mỹ’s love for literature and languages was evident from a very young age. Transplanted at twenty-two to Southern California, she picked up English and improvised with the borrowed language to make it her own. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from California State University, Pomona and an informal degree in self-taught English. She is a member of the Writers Club of Whittier. Hồng-Mỹ ‘s writings can be found in Eastlit Literary Journal, 2011 Writing from Inlandia Anthology, East Jasmine Review, and Invisible Memoirs “Lionhearted”.

Follow this book on Facebook at @BehindtheRedCurtainaMemoir

Thomas Thomas – “Star Chasing”

Los Nietos Press is pleased to announce the publication of
Star Chasing, the latest poetry collection from Long Beach poet Thomas R. Thomas.
Star Chasing 07_26 Front 1020x684
Brendan Constantine (Dementia, My Darling ) writes “Thomas R. Thomas’ new collection Star Chasing is like a telescope that brings its own sky. These passionate and formally innovative poems chart new constellations, celebrating childhood, marriage, death, and the gods of America. Thomas’ rare eye brings this zodiac into breathtaking focus. This is a book to take on the road. These are poems to get you home.”
“Thomas R. Thomas’s Star Chasing is a chronicle of dreams, disappointments, and tragedies, boyhood to manhood, in tract-house Southern California. The deaths of JFK and RFK in childhood, the booms and busts of tech-economy and personal losses in adulthood tell the poignant story of a man’s life. One of my favorite poems “in my dreams,” captures the wistful spirit of this book. The last two stanzas: living again/the days of/my youth//when running/was like flying.”
—Donna Hilbert, author of Gravity: New & Selected Poems

 

Thomas R. Thomas SmallerIn addition to his writing, Thomas is the publisher of Arroyo Seco Press and its latest Anthology, Redhift. One of the goals of Arroyo Seco Press is to publish poets who do not yet have a collection published.

“Thomas’s minimalist lines are filled with empathy and purity. He is able to dissect both blinding pain and fragile acts of redemption with the same steady, incisive hand. This expressive, genre-spanning collection will draw you in and then echo through your mind in the small hours of the night.”
—Scott Noon Creley, author of Digging a Hole to the Moon
ThomasRThomas.org.
 Los Nietos Press Store