too cute

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Happy National Cat Day!

Published October 29, 2015 by Maryanne

Derick and SparkyDerick and Sparky

Happy National Cat Day!

For the record, I love all animals, which is why I started my non-profit organization, ROAR (Respect Our Animals’ Rights) — you can “like” us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/respectouranimalsrights/?ref=bookmarks

But let’s be honest, cats have that extra something special. Most people think that cats are independent, but get to know a cat — I mean REALLY know a cat — and you’ll learn it’s just the opposite.

I’ve owned two cats in my life, Billy and Derick. Billy Cat died in 2013 at the age of 19. He was the biggest snuggle bunny you’d ever want to meet. Derick is now 19 and he can’t get enough attention, especially when company comes. He’s a very diplomatic cat who will go from one lap to the next and then cry when company leaves.

They are smart as whips and grow with you as the years go on. Which is why I just had to include a cat theme for my second book “Love Cats” (available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback versions: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513).

I wrote “Love Cats” after Billy Cat died. I was going through such a hard time, writing a book with a cat theme helped tremendously.

“Love Cats” is a book about a rich, selfish, 20-something girl named Janey Peyton. It’s not cars and money this rich bitch wants, it’s love. And she goes about it all the wrong way, via sex, using people (and being used). She also hates cats. (Can you imagine?!)

But it’s two cats, Morticia and Pumpkin, who bring sweetness to Janey’s crass story. ❤ (And my Derick got to model with me for my author photo!)

Love Cats front and back cover

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

SAM_7405Samantha

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_7428Enjoying!

SAM_7430Pop and Me

SAM_7465Making more friends!

“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: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432208047&sr=1-1&keywords=love+cats+by+maryanne+christiano-mistretta

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

Derick

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.

Thoughts and Dreams (An Author’s Pre-Publish Excitement and Jitters)

Published May 18, 2015 by Maryanne

Darlene - Hallowed GroundPhoto of me, by Darlene Foster

I’ve always been of the mindset that we all have psychic powers within us and are able to guide ourselves through life by messages from the universe. I use these techniques in various ways. Because when we open our eyes, the signs are always there right in front of us. One time I was very sad about something and on a very windy day, a piece of light cardboard with a photo on it appeared in my backyard. The cardboard looked like a CD cover. I picked it up and it was a perfume called “Angel.” I took it as an omen that an angel was telling me things were going to be alright. And they were.

For the past few months I’ve been trying to self-publish my second book, “Love Cats.” I’m incredibly tense about it because it’s my first work of fiction and has four major sex scenes since it’s about singles in their 20s. As a former writer for “Screw” and “Gasm” I must say these are not your boring cliche simultaneous orgasm modern romance novel sex scenes. These are sex scenes as people really have sex … fumbling for condoms, or the WIO method, nervousness, trying to unhook bras, first time same-sex experiences … you get the picture. Nothing is left to the imagination. So you can see why I’m nervous about getting this stuff published.

“Love Cats” also deals with parental neglect, heartache, friendship break-ups and a main character who is unkind to animals. The more I re-read my book, the more frightened, yet anxious I am about having it published. Frightened because though it has it’s humorous situations, it’s incredibly intense.

The intensity reached my subconscious in sleep last night, when a beautiful brunette woman came to me, smiling, and wanting to be friends. I had no idea who she was. This image continued to haunt me throughout the morning as I tried to figure out who she was. Then when I was looking up famous musicians birthdays for the day, I saw that it was the birthday of Martika. I was unfamiliar with her work, except for the song “Toy Soldiers.” I Googled what she looked like, and that was the girl in my dream! So I searched for the answers in “Toy Soldiers” and immediately after reading the lyrics, I felt the pain of the characters in my fictitious “Love Cats.” Beck and Janey, loved so deeply and were going through a rough time, with much heartache and tears … something I haven’t known in ages since I am so happily ecstatic with my husband and soul mate.

I had to dig to the darkest corners of my soul to come up with these feelings expressed in “Love Cats.” How I felt, hurt in my 20s, and then exaggerated it ten-fold in order to creative good fiction because in my 20s I had such a “devil may care” attitude about everything bad that happened to me. I didn’t know real pain until I reached my 30s. After the death of my grandmother, it was like, so this is what heartache really feels like.

“Toy Soldiers” could have been a perfect accompaniment to my soundtrack for “Love Cats” even though it’s not in the new wave/dark wave genre of other work I’ve included such as Iggy Pop, The Cure, Joy Division, Kate Bush and so on …

As I was making friend with the woman in my dream, I’m making “friends” with what her song represents — that yeah, this book is harsh and I just have to take a deep breath and just put it out there. JUST LET GO!

Oh, and there is part two.

Also in the dream was a friend of a friend I lost touch with. Why was this person in the dream? We barely ever spoke to each other. But the cool thing was, we respected each others work. I always loved the bands this guy played in. And he came to one of my live poetry presentations and said he liked it. When I used to be on Face Book, this same person gave me the “thumbs up” when my first book, “On the Guest List: Adventures of a Music Journalist” was published. So I looked him up. He was easy to find because does a lot. He’s also less than six degrees separated from Iggy Pop … which is another connection to “Love Cats” because as I noted before, I wrote to Hal Leonard to gain permission to use Iggy’s lyrics in “Mass Production.”

So what this is all telling me is that all roads are leading to “Love Cats.”

“Love Cats” “Love Cats” “Love Cats” — that is all that’s been on my mind all day and night as I wait to get my paperback copy to approve in the mail. Hopefully this week. And hopefully, if goes as planned, pre-sales will be on Barnes & Noble Store and Amazon THIS WEDNESDAY!

I’m obsessively imagining who I’d love to play my characters in a movie. In spite of my descriptive words and what the book cover illustrates, I dream of a young Laura Leighton as my leading lady, Janey Peyton. Just both her in some goth clothes and she’s good to go.

laura leightonLaura Leighton

And the late Razzle from Hanoi Rocks is definitely the look I want for my Beck Stewart character. Let’s undead him for my movie! Beck is the hard-working, humble romantic who is madly in love with Janey.

Razzle-hanoi-rocks-34007384-400-574

Razzle (Hanoi Rocks)

I’d also want to go back in time, to get a very young Nicolas Cage to play Adam Durian, the eccentric, egotistical famous rock photographer. This character was so grand, he just had to be named after a fruit such as the Durian — a fruit that makes an entrance.

nicolas cageNicolas Cage

Then there is Morticia (or “Tish Girl” as Beck calls her) the green-eyed black Maine Coon, who is Beck’s pride and joy. Problem is, Janey hates cats. Can this beautiful little bugger change her mind?

black-smoke-maine-coon-cat

Maine Coon cat

And what happens when a little orange fur ball shows up on Janey’s doorstep during her darkest hour? Does she turn a blind eye to a kitten in need? Or does she remain a cat hater?

Pumpkin

Little Pumpkin

Is anyone enticed for the soon to be released “Love Cats”?

back cover proof CORRECTLove Cats back and front cover

 COMING SOON ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE STORE!

(KINDLE TOO!)

For Mom, The Best Life Lessons You Taught Me!

Published May 9, 2015 by Maryanne

vintage-mothers-day-01Happy Mother’s Day!

Dear Mom,

It means the world to me that you follow my blog! So I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you, and my fellow bloggers and readers, the top three things you taught me in life. These lessons are incredibly wise and made me who I am today. And to think, you were a very young mother when you led by example, which is incredibly impressive. I highly doubt I could have done what you did!

You’ve told me before that you’re not a “huggy/kissy” mom, but this Mother’s Day weekend is to honor you — and you’ll just have to accept this “huggy/kissy” tribute to YOU!

Lesson #1

You told me this when I was a little girl. “If someone has something you want, don’t be jealous of them, be happy for them.” That is the greatest thing any mom can embed in the brain of a child. Because it worked! In a stressful world, I can say it’s a big relief that “jealousy” isn’t one of my problems. I’m always happy for people who have nice things, whether they achieved them through hard work or were simply blessed. Being happy for others is good karma that always comes back to me. Life can be hard sometimes, but I feel very fortunate with all I have. Plus, it’s just not cool to begrudge.

Thank you for setting a very important ground rule for me early on; it gets me through the tough times.

Lesson #2

“Wait until your 30s or 40s to get married and you’ll have a marriage that lasts forever.” You told me this when I was a teenager crying over some stupid guy. Ever since then I never wasted much time on someone who wasn’t worth it. Though it seemed to others (even Grandma) that I was being “too picky” I’m glad I waited so long for the right one to come along. Dennis is more than a dream, he’s my heart and soulmate. And he loves having you as a mother-in-law!

Lesson #3

ANIMALS! Thanks for being the kind of mom that always had animals in the house! From what I can remember, the kind, loving German Shepherd, Misty, was the first dog I knew. She was a very patient dog with me. I’ll never forget her big brown marble eyes. I was so fascinated with those eyes I liked to poke at them. Then you taught me, “Don’t do that to Misty, you’ll blind her.” This is when I learned animals are not toys and you should be gentle with them.

We also had Peanuts, a pretty cat who once had three kittens. At a young age I was able to see the miracle of a mother cat tending to her young. I still remember the one white kitten that I favored and how sad I was when the last person came and took her away. A very good lesson for a child — that you can’t always get what you want. But hey, I know both of us would keep all the animals in the world if we could, right?!

Being brought up with animals taught me that animals are a lot more than just “pets.” They are FAMILY. I’ve experienced this first hand with my Billy Cat and Derick. It blows peoples’ minds when I tell them that Billy lived to 19. And now, at 19 Derick is still going strong, bless his little heart and soul!

Other than Dennis, you are definitely my “go to” person when I want to talk about a cute animal show or movie. Or share something funny that Derick did, that many others just won’t “get.”

Animal lovers have that special bond that no one else does!

I LOVE you Mom, Happy Mother’s Day!

Much love,

Maryanne 

P.S. (Don’t roll your eyes over all this MUSH, I’m still your little pain-in-the-ass! SMOOCH!) xox

DonkeyMe and Mommy

Disney Nature Monkey Kingdom

Published May 3, 2015 by Maryanne

Monkey KingdomKumar, Maya and little Kip

(NOTE: CONTAINS SPOILERS!)

I was thrilled that my husband took me to see “Disney Nature Monkey Kingdom” last night! It was an incredible documentary about the lives of monkeys living in the ancient ruins of Sri Lanka, adorably narrated by Tina Fey.

You know you’re in for something really special when a movie about monkeys opens up with “Hey, Hey, We’re The Monkees” by The Monkees.

And you learn something new right from the start. I never knew monkeys had cliques and classes just like humans do. The Monkey Kingdom is ruled by alpha male Raja and a trio of high status nasty bitch monkeys called “The Sisterhood.” The Sisterhood could do whatever they want, and their little monkeys could do whatever they want. (Pfft … sounds like some townships I know of in New Jersey, but I’ll keep my mouth shut!)

Immediately, your heart goes out to Maya, who is at the low end of the class. She gets the least food of all the monkeys and is treated poorly by The Sisterhood. It’s kind of like the story of Cinderella and her evil stepsisters. But Maya never becomes jaded. And of all the monkeys, she’s really a looker! You can see her soul through her blue-lidded eyes (which looks like she’s wearing eye shadow!). She was really a good monkey — all she ever wanted was to provide for herself (and later her family). Pretty is as pretty does!

During mating season, Kumar, an outsider, gets his heart set on attracting Maya. He flirts by chattering his teeth, making a lot of noise to get her attention. She likes him, but Alpha male Raj is determined to keep the outsider OUT.

It’s a Romeo and Juliet situation, but the tragic couple do find some time together and Maya becomes pregnant. Since Kumar is an outsider and forbidden into the Kingdom.

Life isn’t easy for a single mom, especially not in Monkey Kingdom. Maya has to raise little Kip on her own, hunting every day to find the best food to make the best milk for him.

The Sisterhood punish Maya for stealing their food and take little Kip away from her. Maya is heartbroken — and so seems little Kip. When The Sisterhood get bored taking care of Kip, they desert him and the little monkey baby is now lost and scared. (See, I told you they were nasty bitches!)

Kip and Maya cry for each other and eventually find each other again.

Meanwhile, Kumar doesn’t give up on wooing his lady. He’s a strong, chivalrous monkey and is able to entice Alpha Raj with some jack fruit. Kumar also makes friends with some of the younger monkeys in the tribe by playing with them. Raj finally accepts Kumar and allows him into the Kingdom to reunite with Maya. But Kumar has to work for it — his job is grooming other monkeys. And for the first time Kumar meets his son, Kip. Kumar, Maya and Kip become a happy family.

All is well until the Kingdom is upset by an outside tribe and the monkeys are forced to temporarily live elsewhere. Maya becomes a heroine when she teaches The Sisterhood how to hunt for food in the “real world.”

“Low class” Maya showed them how it’s done!  She makes it a “high class” style party, leading all the monkeys into a village where they hit the jackpot when they break into a hut and all hell breaks loose. The pickings were plentiful: cake, fruits, and other delights. The monkeys learned something they never knew before — a sense of a full tummy!

The story has a happy ending with Kumar and Maya moving up in class and having another baby monkey, a little sister for Kip. And little Kip ended up having the same great personality as his parents, wanting to make friends with all the other monkeys.

It was all so precious, I was crying my eyes out. Kumar and Maya stole my heart — they are my favorite celebrity couple!

In addition to monkeys, this film has other animal cuteness like deer, bears, squirrels and other wildlife.

I highly recommend this unforgettable adventure!

Here’s the official trailer from Disney: