All posts for the month May, 2015

Girls Afternoon Out!

Published May 30, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7526Vegan deliciousness from Loving Hut, Matawan, New Jersey

It was super awesome spending an afternoon out with my friend Linda J., one of my favorite people! (Her boyfriend and my husband are great friends). Linda is vegan and I was dying for her to come to Loving Hut in Matawan, New Jersey ( The great thing about Loving Hut as opposed to other vegan restaurants is that it’s not just about fake meat, it’s about freshness!

We shared the spring rolls (above). The sauce was peanut mixed with Hoison. These wraps were so fabulous. They had mint leaves inside them!

We both had a kale salad mixed with dried cranberries and sunflower seeds and chickpea soup with straw mushrooms.

I had a raw vegan coconut macaroon for dessert.

After that we went shopping: health food store shopping, fine wine shopping and finally clothes shopping.

Then nothing beats walking into a store and hearing your favorite band HIM doing “The Sacrament”! ❤ With all the garbage you hear when you’re in stores, this was a super refreshing treat! I almost died of happiness overkill!!

I just love spending my Saturdays with girlfriends! It’s such a blessing!

SAM_5880From last summer: Left to right, Darlene, me and Linda

Empty Hearts and The Dough Boys at Wonder Bar (Asbury Park)

Published May 30, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7515The Empty Hearts

My husband and I had the most fabulous time at the Wonder Bar, Asbury Park seeing The Doughboys and The Empty Hearts

We missed most of The Doughboys set but what we saw was phenomenal! This was the second time we saw them and they are just off the hook. They’re a New Jersey garage rock band and have been around since the 1960s.

Next up were The Empty Hearts — my new favorite band, power pop at it’s finest, as you have the legendary Elliot Easton (guitarist from The Cars), Clem Burke (Blondie drummer), Wally Palmer (of The Romantics) on vocals and guitar and harmonica, and Andy Babiuk (of The Chesterfield Kings) on bass (and he broke a string! Did you ever see a bassist break a string before? Those strings are THICK!).

They played every song from their CD and also Cars, Blondie and Romantics songs. We were so lucky to get right in front of the stage, but unfortunate for the band, the place wasn’t packed. So sad, it was the greatest show everyone missed.

After the show they signed autographs. I grabbed their set list and got that signed. Enjoy my pictures! (All taken by my husband, Dennis. Please do not swipe!)

SAM_7491Power Pop Guitar Legend ELLIOT EASTON!

SAM_7504Clem Burke

SAM_7507Wally Palmer (left) and Andy Babiuk

SAM_7516Elliot’s guitar!

SAM_7514Wally’s guitar and Andy’s bass

SAM_7506Elliot’s pedals!

SAM_7517Andy, Me, Elliot

SAM_7518Clem Burke



SAM_7524Set List

They only did ONE encore, so we didn’t get to hear the last two songs. Not fair.

I almost cried during “Just What I Needed.” ❤

SAM_7486Lighting setting is off, but I wanted to show my cute outfit

(before I got so sweaty from all that jumping around!)

“Love Cats” Kindle Version Trumps Paperback

Published May 29, 2015 by Maryanne

back cover proof CORRECTLove Cats back and front cover

According to Amazon rankings, as of 8:08 a.m. May 29, 2015, “Love Cats” on Kindle is trumping the paperback. Doesn’t anyone like to hold a book anymore? Ha-ha!



In other writing news:

Book #3 “The Gypsy Smiled” (fiction) is now finished and I’ve been sending out to traditional publishers. (Stay tuned for synopsis).

I’m writing two other books: “Grandpa Guts and the Happy Young Punks” (fiction) and “Ghost Writer in the Sky” (fiction). And a short fiction story: “Backward to the Future.”

And my first book, memoir, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” is still going strong:

Cover proof 4“On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist”

back cover proof 2Back cover “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist”

My First Fiction Book — Available on Amazon and Kindle!

Published May 27, 2015 by Maryanne

back cover proof CORRECTLove Cats (front and back)

Hey Gang!

Love Cats is published and available for orders! Thanks for your support!


Beauty by Tarot

Published May 27, 2015 by Maryanne

tarot-141(Photo swiped from Google)

Ah, as women we beat ourselves up way too much — and too often. As much as I like to come across as someone who is casual about my looks, I obsess just as much as the rest of them. Whether it’s over new glasses or weight or hair or make-up, I’m obsessing.

My latest fixation is that two weeks ago I got my hair cut twice in a week, by two different stylists, and it’s still not short enough. It’s summer and I want short hair damn it!

I even put an ad on Craig’s List seeking a new stylist because it seems like the ones I find never go short enough. I haven’t had a real short hairstyle since 2001.

I made another consultation for Friday for another hair salon. Then I thought about it … why am I obsessing? Over the years every time I was in-between haircuts, I did such cute things with my hair: a side ponytail, braids, headbands, up-dos, hats, etc. Hell, I rarely ever just let my hair be, the way a stylist cut it. But that’s the thing — with a really good haircut, you don’t need to fuss with all that other stuff, right? Knowing me … wrong, I’ll still fuss and obsess.

So what should I do? I consulted The Tarot. Should I get another haircut? Yes or No or Maybe wait a little bit.

The two most positive answers were “Yes” and “Maybe wait.” (I’m so happy “No” wasn’t in the picture!) And what does this tell you? That women — all of us — can look beautiful with any hairstyle, short, long, or with accessories. So if you’re like me and time and life in general is keeping you away from the salon a bit longer than you’d prefer, just go with it and rock that in-between look!

SAM_7381Homemade hair accessory, a bunny clip

Silly = youthful and fun

5-Star Memorial Day Weekend!

Published May 25, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_7397Cool cupcakes from Party #1 (that’s the icing!)

My husband and I had a five-star Memorial Day weekend. Sunday we had two parties hosted by friends, all either musicians, music fans or music journalists … so you can just imagine the great music and great conversation. (And of course, great food!) It was absolutely awesome seeing old friends and meeting new ones too.

SAM_7401Me (left) and new friend Nikki from Rhode Island


And today we spent the day with my father-in-law at a private lake. An adorable little girl was determined to talk to me. She was staring at me and smiling at me all day. Of course I always smiled back and waved. She finally got the nerve to approach me and she told me that her dad’s initials were “P.P.” I laughed so hard.

I always wonder when children become focused on a particular person like that, if she was reincarnated and knew me in a past life. It just strikes me bizarre, out of all the people at the lake she chose me to talk to.

In addition to all the loved ones we spent time with, we also spent a lot of time with cute animals. From a bunny to baby ducks to horses, I certainly got my animal therapy this weekend!

SAM_7446Too cute!

SAM_7459Beyond cute!


SAM_7430Pop and Me

SAM_7465Making more friends!

Win a Copy of My Upcoming Fiction Book “Love Cats”!

Published May 23, 2015 by Maryanne

back cover proof CORRECTBack and front cover of upcoming “Love Cats”

Hey Gang!

Enter for a chance to win my upcoming fiction book “Love Cats”

Giveaway ends July 30, 2015.

In Support of Bruce Jenner and Transgender Community

Published May 22, 2015 by Maryanne

Bruce-JennerBruce Jenner (Photo swiped from Google)

Last night I watched the Bruce Jenner Special with Diane Sawyer with great interest and compassion.

In my career as a journalist I’ve interviewed many transgendered people over the years. In fact, I’d be the first to volunteer to write the articles as my way of showing support and enlightening the public on a very sensitive topic. One of the most significant things I’ve ever done in my life was writing the article “Transgendered People, Transgendered Lives” for The Montclair Times. In my research I’ve interviewed many transgendered people, both male to female and female to male. One of the most touching stories was from a mother who had a transgendered child (male to female). Her daughter was young, only in her 20s when she made the full transition. She was living in California and very happy, and in love and engaged, when she got killed in a car accident. The mother thanked me several times for the article (as Montclair is more of a township than a city and we’ve run into each other a bit over the years).

Prior to my support of the transgender community at Montclair Times, I interviewed a very famous transgendered celebrity for a body modification magazine called “In the Flesh.” (Though for some reason the article didn’t run in “In the Flesh” and a local music magazine picked it up instead). That celebrity was Jayne County, a punk rock singer who was formerly known as Wayne County (and the Electric Chairs) — and I was a fan. Jayne spoke to me very candidly about her operation (nose job, breast job, but she still kept her penis because she shared that her psychologist said she wasn’t mentally ready for that yet).

maryanne and jayne countyMe (left) and Jayne County, early 1990s

(Photo by Diane McGowan)

According to the Diane Sawyer interview, about 80 percent of people have gay friends, but only eight percent know a transgendered person. I knew many and was close enough to two to have them in my home (one who met my mom at an Elvis impersonator show) and a third, a much older male to female (probably Bruce Jenner’s age) who I went to parties and shopping in NYC with.

Living in harmony with transgendered people was so easy and natural for me. They were always around and they were fabulous. At parties, night clubs, dress shops (I used to buy most of my party clothes at a place called “Dressing for Pleasure” that catered to transgenders by carrying larger sized shoes) and even in my own back yard. Yes, in my own back yard! One evening, when I was still single and living alone in an apartment complex, a woman named “Debbie” was hanging out with my neighbors. Debbie was transgendered and she took a special liking to me. Debbie wanted to be like everyone else and have what everyone else has: love, acceptance and a place to feel secure in her own skin. Debbie shared that she was looking for a place to live where she could be accepted. We encouraged her to move into our complex. My neighbors and I accepted Debbie with open arms and she was always welcome to come talk to us. Then she mysteriously disappeared and we never knew what became of her. I do hope we were able to make her just a little happy in that short time, knowing she had cool people who really liked her.

In more recent years, a transgendered woman approached me to tell her story in book form. I was eager to get started. This woman was on Oprah Winfrey sharing her story. We never did get started and I’m guessing it could have been a money issue. Her name was Denise and I’m sure I still have her photo hanging around on my hard drive as I did promote her upcoming book in one of my newsletters.

I suppose by Law of Attraction, the universe put transgendered people in my path because it was a safe place for them, as I’ve always been loving and accepting. I learned a lot in the early 1990s when I read a book called, “All She Wanted” by Aphrodite Jones. It was the devastating story of a female to male transgender, who went by Teena Brandon and was brutally murdered, motivated by trans-homophobia. The story was later on a movie called “Boys Don’t Cry” starring Hillary Swank (who I met at a charity function around the same time she received her well deserved Academy Award). “Boys Don’t Cry” was one of my favorite movies, but I could only watch it once because it was so horrific. Just thinking of Teena’s tragic story makes me cry like a baby. It was because of that book, that I sought out transgenders and the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender community during my time as a journalist and wanted to write articles to help and support (as well as attend rallies, the gay parade in NYC and Wigstock).

Everyone deserves the right to live their lives as they feel most comfortable. Even if we don’t understand, the best we can do is to love and be a friend — that is how you learn. And always allow others to be safe around us.

Always remember, we are all human beings.

In closing, here are some transgender FAQ from GLAAD:

“Love Cats” Coming Soon! (One Step Closer!)

Published May 21, 2015 by Maryanne

back cover proof CORRECTLove Cats (back and front cover)

I am ecstatic to say that “Love Cats” is on it’s way.

It’s my second book, but my very first fiction book. Chick Lit, perhaps, but also a deep look into human nature and what it’s like to be 20-something. Dark wave is used as the soundtrack to sexual exploration, mistrust, lies and deception. Cats, as secondary characters, mysteriously move the story along to the next level as main characters grow, live and learn.

Little side note: Oh my God, I’m so loving the spine!

It’s now up on Amazon, but not available for purchase yet, as I still have to “okay” the live copy, which I’ll be getting in snail mail sometime next week, just to make sure the color is right.

Still looks good to have my second book on Amazon, check it out:

Derick sez, “Put ‘Love Cats’ on your ‘wish list’!”


Read what people are saying about Love Cats!

“Maryanne Christiano Mistretta draws you in from the very first page. This book will make you find yourself yelling at the characters. I laughed out loud, I cried; my emotions were all over the place. With engaging characters and a unique story-line set in 1980s New Jersey, ‘Love Cats’ is a story that will captivate you and stay in your heart long after you read the last line.” – S.C. Miotto, author “Moonstone Dreams” and “Diamond Love.”

“Maryanne’s zeal for life and passion for creativity shines through in all of her work. Here in her first book of fiction she gives us multidimensional characters mitigating love and growing pains as they manicure their pop culture lifestyle at the tail end of the 80s. It’s romance — Gen X style! I could not get enough of Janey and Beck, but don’t take my word for it, stop reading my words and start reading Maryanne’s compelling opus ASAP!” – Scott Schiaffo

In “Love Cats,” Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta really takes you there, to the fun and electricity of running around, being young in the 1980s, in New Jersey, but enough universal magic so we all can relate: the spontaneity, adorable flirting, daring and exploring, making mistakes and finding your way. Maryanne treats tricky, sensitive and intimate topics with the most refreshing honesty. – Zaphyrella, designer.

Happy Birthday Susan Cowsill

Published May 20, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_5938Susan Cowsill (Photo by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta)

Last summer was probably the best summer of my life. I was celebrating my life as a new author and it just so happened I got to see many bands I never saw before that were on my music bucket list. One such band was The Cowsills. My husband and I trekked out to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to see their outdoor concert. See my blog here:

After the show we were honored to meet such legendary talents!

Susan started performing with her brothers (and Mom too!) in The Cowsills when she was a little girl in the 1960s. They were the REAL Partridge Family! (That’s where they got the ideas from The Partridge Family — from The Cowsills!)  From day one, you could see what an adorable little ham she was, working the camera. It’s wonderful that Susan is still performing and touring, both solo and with The Cowsills.

Note, they were slightly before my time. I was turned on to this amazing band, thanks to my husband who is five years older than me (the age I’d prefer to be!) and was more in tune to the classic rock generation (while I was the punk rock and new wave generation, now making up for lost time with the classic greatness!)

SAM_5951Me and my husband Dennis in the back

Original Cowsills members up front!

On Susan’s birthday, today, here’s some great stuff I found on You Tube. WHAT A VOICE! (Note that when you hear her singing with the Cowsills her harmonies are so amazing it sounds like TWO girls singing!)