All posts for the month March, 2015

A Journey to the Gallows

Published March 18, 2015 by Maryanne


A shout out to Tommy Coletti, co-author of “A Journey to the Gallows” (available April 14, 2015).

Last year, around this time, Tommy Coletti used my services ( I was honored to edit this amazing book, the fictionalized story of American hero Aaron Dwight Stevens who fought for the rights of African Americans during the Harper’s Ferry raid.

For more information on “A Journey to the Gallows” by Vic Butsch and Tommy Coletti, please visit:

Contact me for proofreading and editing services by phone 908-276-1514 or email:

Rates are reasonable. Free consultation, up to one-hour by phone or in-person.

And the best of luck to Vic Butsch and Tommy Coletti! Thank you for choosing Pear Tree!

“Luck of the Irish” at Hudson View, North Bergen, NJ

Published March 17, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6943Maryanne Mistretta (left) and Carol Erickson

Today was the last of my “Luck of the Irish” presentations until next year. This year was extra special as I had guest vocalist Carol Erickson sing a few Irish songs following my presentation. I’m thrilled to share that the Hudson View Care and Rehab Center ( gave both of us standing ovations!

To hear Carol Erickson’s lovely voice, please visit:

Carol and I are available for assisted living facilities, libraries, Jewish Community Centers, senior groups and rotary clubs. In addition to “Luck of the Irish,” I’ve recently added Carol as a guest vocalist for my presentations: “History of Valentine’s Day,” “History of Motown,” “History of Santa Claus,” and “Holidays Around the World.”

For more information on my presentations, please visit my website at:

For pricing and availability, please contact Maryanne at: 908-276-1514 or

An Italian Girl Lectures on St. Patrick at a Jewish Community Center

Published March 17, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_3745At one of my “Luck of the Irish” presentations, March 2014

For almost two years, I’ve been a public speaker at assisted living facilities and libraries. I’ve also included Jewish Community Centers to my roster.

Yesterday I spoke at the Jewish Community Center in West Orange and received a ton of compliments. It was just the kind of magic that transpires when you have a true connection between speaker and audience. It’s still cold in New Jersey, so I wore a snowflake necklace my husband gave me when we first started dating. Interesting, it also looks like a Jewish star and over the years I’ve received lots of compliments on the necklace over the years.

When a lady in the audience complimented me on my “Jewish star” I told her I was Jewish at heart.

She asked me why and I told her because I eat a lot of kosher food: kosher cheese, goji berries with the parve label, potato latkes, falafels and pickles (my favorite thing at the famous Katz Deli!)

And as a St. Patrick’s Day side note, which I share in my lecture, corned beef and cabbage is not an Irish dish. Originally the dish was bacon, but it was too expensive and the Jewish New Yorkers, from the Lower East Side, taught the Irish about a cheaper alternative.

Whenever I present this lecture, I ask the audience if anyone has ever visited Ireland and if so, what did they like best about the country. Every time I get the same answer: the people.

I was truly touched that a Jewish audience embraced the Irish (and me, as an Italian, giving a lecture about Ireland to a Jewish audience!) This just goes to show that we’re are all not as separate as you’d think. The world is one big melting pot and we can all learn from each other and live in harmony.

After the presentation, as I always do, I invite audience members to sing Irish songs. This time we not only had a singer, but a pianist. Both brought the house down!

I said to the audience, “Do I know how to host a party or what?”

And as always, I was treated to a grand round of applause. It was an honor.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all my blog followers!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is available for public speaking events. For a list of topics available and upcoming events please visit:

For availability and pricing, call Maryanne Christiano Mistretta at 908-276-1514 or email:

Richie Furay and Brewer & Shipley at SOPAC

Published March 15, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6940Tom Shipley, me and Michael Brewer

Last night my husband and I went to a fabulous double bill at SOPAC (South Orange Performing Arts Center) in South Orange, New Jersey. We had eight row center for Shipley & Brewer and Richie Furay.

Prior to last night, all I knew of Shipley & Brewer was their hit “One Toke Over the Line” on an AM Gold 1970s compilation. But, boy was I blown away. Almost two hours of melodic acoustic tunes and story telling from the American folk rock duo.

Check out more awesome tunes by Brewer and Shipley on their website:

Next up was The Richie Furay Band. Richie Furay is an American songwriter and a founding member of Buffalo Springfield and Poco; and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member. His band had me hooked from the get go with high energy, catchy tunes and a few love songs Furay told the audience he wrote for his wife Nancy that he was with over 40 years. At 71 Richie Furay rocked the house with one standing ovation after another.

My favorite song of the set was “A Good Feeling to Know,” originally recorded by Poco. And of course, the famous “For What It’s Worth,” originally recorded by Buffalo Springfield.

Richie Furay’s website:

After the show my husband and I took pictures with both acts. I was an honor to meet these legendary artists. As usual everyone was so nice. Musicians are truly THE BEST!

SAM_6938My husband Dennis, me and the legendary Richie Furay

And a little shout out to our friends, musicians Gerard and Diane Barros, who we happened to run into. Check out their website, as they are great talents too:

SAM_6941Diane Barros, Gerard Barros and Me

Luck of the Irish Presentation

Published March 8, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6933Luck of the Irish Presentation

(Left to right: Carol Erickson, Maryanne Mistretta and Bridget Briant)

For the second year, I’ve been presenting “Luck of the Irish” in libraries and assisted living facilities. This year, I have special guest, Carol Erickson ( accompanying me, singing a few Irish songs at the end of some of the lectures.

At the latest lecture, Bridget Briant stopped by. She and I do a children’s recyclables program together. It’s a joy to have great people to work with that all support each other! For more information on my programs, visit:

Here is the synopsis for Luck of the Irish:

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta, an award-winning writer, author and public speaker, will explore Irish topics such as the Irish wake, Irish wedding traditions, Ireland’s main crop – the potato — and of course, St. Patrick’s Day.

Irish folklore is also included in the discussion such as leprechauns, the pot of gold and where the term “Luck of the Irish” came from!

There will also be a guest vocalist ending the afternoon with a favorite Irish tune.

Whether you are Irish or not, you will enjoy this fun, informative – and inter-active event.

Carol Erickson and Maryanne Mistretta are available for libraries, assisted living facilities, seniors groups and clubs. For pricing and availability, please contact Maryanne at:


Confirmed! I’ll be Speaking for NotMom in Cleveland this October!

Published March 7, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_6304Proud to be a Kitty Mom!

“National Be Heard Day” is a perfect day to share that October 9, I’ll be speaking for The Not Mom Summit in Cleveland, Ohio. My topic is: “Mean, Rude, or Ignorant? Smart Responses to Unsolicited Comments.”

I’m extremely honored that The Not Mom ( choose me to speak and even more proud is that they found me via this WordPress blog!

When I received an email from them, I was thrilled! For a little over a year I’ve been a public speaker in New Jersey at libraries, women’s groups, antique groups and assisted living facilities. Occasionally I’ve traveled to Pennsylvania to speak, but this will be the first official road trip I’ll be taking. The hotel where the event is held is right across the street from The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. I’ve been there before, but not with my husband, so we’re making this event an exciting road trip too.

For those interested, here is the blog that got the attention of The NotMom, my blog about Mommy Jacking:

I’ve also written another “not mom” type blog which I feel should be brought to attention as well, “Having Kids is a Blessing, But so is Not Having Kids”:

As a person who is basically shy and mostly vocal around people I love and trust most (or in front of an audience) blogging and writing professionally has helped give me a voice — a voice that spoke volumes, inspiring and influencing other people.

With this blog post, I’d love to encourage all of you readers, especially those who are shy and/or quiet, to continue writing your thoughts and views. You never know what the grand result may be.

See you in Cleveland!

Note: For a list of public speaking topics I offer, visit my website ( For pricing and availability, contact me at:

Stubborn Intellectual

Published March 3, 2015 by Maryanne

maryanne-1211Looking smart in my glasses

People have called me “too sensitive” more times than I care for. But my general make-up goes beyond sensitivity. “Smart” plays into the factor too. This is the first time I’m admitting this in public, but I truly feel if I wasn’t as smart, I wouldn’t be so sensitive.

I took this test on Face Book where they analyze your personality according to things you “hate” (the choices aren’t anything intense, just minor nit-picky things such as ironing). Turns out I’m actually a “stubborn intellectual” which makes a lot more sense than just being stereo-typed as “too sensitive.”

Here are my test results:

When you express hatred, it comes from a place of intellectual frustration and the belief that the world should make sense. There is nothing worse than people and things that waste your time and rational energy.

You are remarkably smart, but more than that, you are adept at analyzing and understanding situations and people. More than anything, you are concerned with understanding the world around you and grasping its ideas and functions. You should continue making thoughtful choices and the world will follow your lead!

It’s true I want the world to make sense more than anything! I don’t like when people waste my time. I want life to run smoothly. Some may ask, “who wouldn’t?” but many people do thrive on drama and disorganization. It’s the American way.

It’s also so true that I am adept at analyzing and understanding situations and people — to a fault almost where it backfires on me. I can see right through people who are jealous and I have a keen sixth sense when someone is not on my team. So that always makes me the person who can say, “I told you so.” But most likely I won’t, because, well, I’m sensitive and don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. Then on the other hand, I hurt more deeply because I always “just know.” It’s a very intense feeling to pick up on people’s vibes like that. Though on the flip side of the coin, I know when I’m loved too.

I don’t like the word “stubborn” as I do feel I’m very flexible. But I guess I admit I’m stubborn about the most important things in life. My standards are very high and I like to be around the same kind of people.

If you’d like to take the test, visit here:

And let me know if you’re a “stubborn intellectual” too!

Happy Read Across America Day!

Published March 2, 2015 by Maryanne

Cover proof 4

Happy “Read Across America Day”! Some of you may know I wrote a book called “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist.”  It’s a positive book from my teenage years up until my happy marriage. While there are some cool stories about people I met in my career, there’s a lot more about people I met by chance! It’s fun and upbeat.

Below is the back cover with all my celebrity endorsements. The book is available on Amazon or via my publishing company, Next Century:

back cover proof 2

Aw, National Pig Day Today!

Published March 1, 2015 by Maryanne

pigs(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Piggies(Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Aw, National Pig Day, today! I fell in love with pigs after seeing “Charlotte’s Web” in the movies. I started reading everything I could about pigs.

For pig lovers, I highly recommend “The Good Good Pig” by Sy Montgomery, the true story about a woman who kept a pig for a pet. Sy illustrates how incredibly smart pigs are — equivalent to a 3-year-old toddler! Or check out “The Christmas Pig” by Kinky Friedman, a fictitious tear-jerker about a young boy’s friendship with a barnyard pig.

I took the two above photos at various visits to farms. Aren’t they the cutest things?