The Gypsy Smiled – Chapter 3, I’m Gonna Make You Mine

Published October 23, 2016 by Maryanne


Lou Christie (Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

I’m incredibly psyched that my story “The Gypsy Smiled” — inspired by the music of Lou Christie — won a spot on Noise Medium!

This music fiction story will be featured, every Sunday, over the next six weeks. It’s the story of a young girl trying to make it in the music business in the early 1990s.

Enjoy Chapter 3, “I’m Gonna Make You Mine”:

Grammy Winning Producer Reflects on Livingston Roots

Published October 20, 2016 by Maryanne

rob-at-bitter-endRob Fusari (Photo by Alex Castaneda)

This article originally appeared in The Livingston News, October 2016. 

Grammy Winning Producer Reflects on Livingston Roots

By Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

Best known for having #1 hits with Beyonce, Will Smith, Whitney Houston, and Lady Gaga, Rob Fusari made it to the charts again this year, co-writing three songs for ABC’s release “Lexicon of Love II.”

“Lexicon of Love II” entered the UK album charts at #5. Fusari co-wrote “Confessions of a Fool,” “Singer Not the Song,” and “The Ship of the Seasick Sailor,” with lead singer Martin Fry.

Fusari said that he modeled his production and sound after ABC, whose debut album was released in 1982. “This is surreal,” he said in regard to having such great success with ABC. “I have to pinch myself. ABC is such an inspiration. I remember sitting in front of my mother’s TV watching ABC on MTV. The songs were crafted so well.”

Fusari will be the supporting opening act for ABC on their UK tour over the next few months, doing a one-man show. In addition to backing tracks, Fusari sings, plays piano and keytar – a lightweight electronic keyboard supported by a guitar strap. He plans on testing out new songs.

Fans experienced a taste of his one-man show September 14 at The Bitter End in New York City. Fusari paid tribute to the 1970s and 1980s by playing “mash-ups” – which take two different hit songs by other artists and combining them into one. For example, “Careless Whisper” by George Michael and “Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol. He even mashed up one of his own productions with a tune by The Bangles. Then Fusari brought the house down when audience members joined him onstage to dance to a mash-up of the Bee Gees disco hit “Staying Alive” and Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.”

He also performed several of his own exquisite songs, like “Don’t Let Love Down,” “Spin U Around,” and “Paparazzi.” During these performances Fusari received standing ovations not only for his great songwriting but for his consummate showmanship.

Performing is natural and easy for Fusari, as he started very young, playing a piano recital at Carnegie Hall when he was 8-years-old. “When I look back, it’s surreal,” he said. “We didn’t have iPhones, video, and camera. I’d give anything to have footage.”

Born and raised in Livingston, Fusari said he can look back now and appreciate a lot more about the town than he did as a kid. “In the eighties, there was a lot of music in Livingston,” he said. “During the holidays, they’d have bands at The Circle. I never realized how much was there for the taking. I remember attending Battle of the Bands shows in the high school auditorium. Livingston itself allowed me to focus on a sense of musicality – and be close to Manhattan. I’d take the bus in and out to find new music there and see what the culture is like. It’s such an amazing place to be.”

Fusari is still very connected to Livington, often staying with family and friends in the town. “I think it’s amazing,” he said. “The success is coming full circle in terms of getting back to where the roots are and what’s real. You get caught out there in the whirlwind of the entertainment business; there was more disconnect. In the last five years I’m spending more time in town than I ever had. I appreciate it more than I ever had. Now I feel like, to live in a town like Livingston, that seems to be the reward.”

As a child in Livingston, Fusari grew up in a musical household. He said, “My mother was big into Liberace. As a piano player, when I’d play as a kid, she wanted me to play more extravagant. As I got more and more into my performance, I started to take that in. Liberace is a huge influence on me. My oldest brother was into progressive rock, like Toto. My other brother was listening to the disco thing. Listening to records – that’s your education right there. I’d listen to piano … drums … ‘How did they get that sound?’ All these different styles were getting into my soul.”

Fusari’s mother was a singer, but she didn’t pursue a career in music like Fusari did. “It was a different time,” he said.

His father, Charley Fusari, was a retired well-known prize fighter.

When Fusari received a full scholarship to Berkeley School of Music, his father passed away and threw him off his track. Instead he went to school for business at William Paterson. He got a job working 9 to 5, but still felt a calling in music. When the job didn’t work out, Fusari turned to music – treating it like a job, getting up at 9 a.m. and working all day and night.

“I couldn’t stop,” he said. He started recording demos and met up with the late hit songwriter Irwin Levine, who was also a Livingston resident.

“I gave him the cassette,” Fusari said. “Sure enough Irwin called and said, ‘Could you come over to the house in Livingston and meet me?’”

He met with Levine every day for two years. He said, “He told me how to craft a lyric and massage a melody.”

Fusari wasn’t an overnight success, but eventually he got his first song published, “No, No, No,” with Destiny’s Child, and it went to #1.

Of the countless number of legendary recording artists Fusari’s worked with, he feels it’s unfortunate that he never got to work with Prince, who died earlier this year.

Fusari continues to seek artists for his own independent music label “Last Quarter Records.”

“People are always sending me stuff,” he said. “I’m so specific to the artists I want to find. I’m very picky, but I’m always looking for that next Bowie.”

After the tour with ABC, Fusari said he’ll be compiling a seven or eight song album. He also has a side project with R&B singer Andrea Martin, who wrote songs for Toni Braxton, Monica, and En Vogue, to name a few.

“We have thirty songs for the album,” he said. “We’ll write five or six songs per night. She’s so fast.”

When Fusari isn’t writing music, he said it’s still in his head. “That’s something I struggled with my whole life. Friends and family notice I’m writing in my head. I went to Tahiti a few weeks ago. I said, ‘I’m not gonna take my lap top.’ I’m making the effort. Music’s been my life.”

For more information on Rob Fusari, visit:

The Gypsy Smiled – Chapter 2 “Lightning Strikes”

Published October 16, 2016 by Maryanne


Lightning Lou Christie (Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

I’m incredibly psyched that my story “The Gypsy Smiled” — inspired by the music of Lou Christie — won a spot on Noise Medium!

This music fiction story will be featured, every Sunday, over the next six weeks. It’s the story of a young girl trying to make it in the music business in the early 1990s.

Hope you enjoy! Here is the link to Chapter 2, “Lightning Strikes”


The Gypsy Smiled — Chapter One

Published October 9, 2016 by Maryanne


Good friend, Ashley Patino as Lucy Christensen 

I’m incredibly psyched that my story “The Gypsy Smiled” — inspired by the music of Lou Christie — won a spot on Noise Medium!

This music fiction story will be featured, every Sunday, over the next six weeks. It’s the story of a young girl trying to make it in the music business in the early 1990s.

Hope you enjoy! Below is the link to Chapter 1

NJ Health & Wellness Expo

Published October 8, 2016 by Maryanne

sam_1380Got Meals

I can’t always make it, but this year I was thrilled that the NJ Health & Wellness Expo (NJ Convention & Expo Center, Edison, New Jersey) fit into my schedule, today — October 8. The expo will still be going on tomorrow! For more info, visit:

While there were three keynote speakers, including Derrick Desilva Jr., MD, and seven session speakers on various topics, I was there to support the vendors and spent three hours at the event doing so.

In no particular order, these were the ones that resonated most with me and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for being so amazing!

Got Meals (  I had a very late lunch today and Got Meals was a super go-to quick meal. At the expo I purchased a box of six meals including: Fire Steamed Brussels Sprouts, Candy Chicken Broccoli and Yams, Sauteed Cannellini Beans & Yam, and Ginger Carrot Buttery Mushroom.

Just pop them in the microwave for a quick meal. I combined the Candy Chicken Broccoli with the Fire Steamed Brussels Sprouts. They were delicious together. Meals are pressure-cooked, paleo-friendly, BPA-free, and free of chemicals, additives, filler and preservatives. They are also organic and gluten-free.

Doterra ( many who follow my blog know, I’m a Young Living distributor. However, I am not one who is at “war” with the competitor, Doterra. I feel that there is room in the universe for everyone, especially any company that is using natural oils for health and wellness.

At the expo today, I purchased “Cheer” just because it smelled so awesome! The ladies were so great, they also gave me samples of “Motivate” and “Serenity” as well as the Doterra cough drops I love so much! (I know because a very good friend of mine uses Doterra and has shared them with me).

After the holidays I plan on coming aboard with Doterra because I can’t get enough natural oils and I love them just as much as I love Young Living Oils.❤

Lure Home Spa (’m no stranger to cupping as I’ve had it done in acupuncture. I’ve heard about age defying cupping and decided to give it a try and purchased Lure Glam which targets fine lines and wrinkles, headaches, sinus congestion, improves facial contours, collagen and elasticity, helps product absorption and nutrient delivery to skin, stimulates lymphatic drainage (detox) and reduces puffiness. I’ll definitely be checking back in to share the results!

ShopRite (, yeah — ShopRite!!! I’m telling people all the time how great ShopRite has become over the years. They are totally paleo friendly with treats you can’t find anywhere else (like Caveman cookies!) They had a ton of healthy samples today. It’s truly a one-stop go-to place for me that I frequent several times a month.

Life Coach David ( S. Bartky is fabulous! He’s a certified Law of Attraction life coach. He was giving sample sessions today. I’m no stranger to Law of Attraction. I’ve been doing it since I was 12 without knowing what I was doing. Sometimes I am so on the money with it, winning at life and winning things in general. Just this year alone I won a $100 gift certificate towards a Ujena swimsuit, a $250 gift certificate from Kings, concert tickets, protein powder shake, vitamins, etc. But sometimes life can get in the way of a winning streak, that’s why we need some positive tools to keep the fire burning! And David is the man for that! He’s a great soul with a ton of positive energy. Plus, he can pick up on your energy too, so in a short time you can move mountains. I very highly recommend this man to help achieve your life goals.

Purium ( I really enjoyed the Purium samples made up of non-GMO organic superfoods.

Rootology ( the past two weeks allergies have been a bitch. I’ve been using acupuncture and ear oil to get rid of my middle ear allergy issue that has been giving me dizzy spells. I’m almost out of the woods and Rootology’s “Breathe Free” has contributed to opening me up and making me feel not so lousy!

Healthmate Forever (, this product is super! I had a little shoulder pain when I sat down for a treatment and it was gone shortly afterwards. It feels really good and you can control how intense you want it. For me, I love the intensity. It’s pricey, but definitely on my “wish list.”

From their website: HealthmateForever combined TENS & PMS units are nerve stimulators for pain relief and muscle stimulators for muscle conditioning that use self-adhesive electrode pads to target specific nerve and muscle areas. Our electrode pads do not require gel or creams to be applied to the skin and can be used up to 100 times with proper maintenance. We offer a wide variety of high quality replacement electrode pads in varying sizes, shapes, and colors to allow for effective pain treatment and muscle conditioning.

Quality Nutrition ( all the sample choices they had, I went straight for the Green PHorce. It was excellent!

From their website: Greens PHorce is an amazing natural greens supplement that helps you to get all of the things your body needs each day in one serving. The easy-to-mix powder contains a rich blend of nutrients from vegetables, fruit, herbs, enzymes, and probiotics, so that you can live a healthy life.

Thanks to all the vendors for contributing to my super happy day! Wishing everyone the best in health!

sam_1251Health enthusiast, Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, age 53

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a writer and public speaker. Her lecture “Healthy Pasta Alternatives” is a success in New Jersey libraries. She’s also a ghost writer and book editor. She’s helped dozens of people prepare their books for publication.

She’s available for public speaking events. 

To contact Christiano-Mistretta, email: 

Soft Skin Scrub

Published September 27, 2016 by Maryanne

sam_1359Soft Skin Scrub

Winter is on it’s way and now is a great time to start prepping. You can make your skin super soft with this wonderful recipe.

Mix the following:

Two cups sea salt

10 drops Orange Young Living Oil

Base of one cup coconut oil

Rub in circular motions all over your skin. Shower.

You’ll feel super fresh, clean, and your skin will be its softest ever!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a writer and public speaker. She gives many lectures on health in libraries throughout New Jersey. She is also a Young Living distributor. Contact Maryanne at: 

Congratulations to Ashley & Mitchell

Published September 25, 2016 by Maryanne

sam_1304I was honored to officiate the wedding of Ashley and Mitchell Patino

Yesterday I was so touched to join two beautiful souls together — Ashley and Mitchell.

Officiating weddings is not something I do, but Ashley had asked me to, so I got my certificate. Ashley and I have been friends about two years and she is like a sister to me.

And this is the story of how I came to be the officiant at their most beautiful day.

The precious thing about life is that you’ll never know what a new day can bring. Pure magic can happen in a split second. Two years ago I was doing one of my first book signings ever. Ashley and Mitchell were there, in the audience. I did not yet know them. And it was one of their first dates.

While I was reading, from my own memoir, with my own love story, I noticed Ashley looking wide-eyed and attentive. We spoke after the reading and found out we had a lot in common, even though I was 26-years-older than her! We both loved the music of HIM, poetry, reading, and animals. We remained friends and saw each other from time to time.

It was earlier this summer that I received a call from Ashley, asking if I’d officiate her wedding. I was honored.

Between the rehearsal dinner on Friday night, and the actual wedding day, I can honestly say I have never seen so much love! Ashley and Mitchell both have the greatest family and the greatest friends. My husband and I had the time of our life! From start to finish, it was incredible. Hearing music by HIM, David Bowie, and The Cure. The gothic theme, with pumpkins along the aisle, Edgar Allen Poe and ravens set up at the reception area. The DJ and two percussionists that had the party going full hilt. And the food, especially the chocolate mousse dessert. It was the first time I had sugar in months!

It was certainly a day and night I’ll never forget. Wow. Just wow!❤

All the happiness to Ashley and Mitchell as their FOREVER has just begun!

I’m sharing just two more photos below, but feel free to check out my Facebook page to see the rest:

sam_1357Maryanne (left) with Ashley — I love this girl!! sam_1326The cake!