Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grand Ole Time At Bogart's Book Store


I love going to Bogart's Book Store in Millville, New Jersey even though it's a hike for me to get there and I always take the wrong turn and get lost. The delightful Amy, owner of this little gem of an establishment, always makes me feel like family whenever I'm there selling books with my sidekicks from the South Jersey Writers' Group.


This time, I took my daughter with me. While I was hustling books including Roof Oasis, the first in a series of apocalyptic tales with a twist, Re was selling her beautiful jewelry and she made a big hit with the pieces she brought with her that day.


Lots of people stopped by to say hello including friend George Scully and new friend, Linda Stevenson who bought a book from me.


Oh yeah and Amy showed me a photo of the ghost who lives in the basement. The spirits were there, but staying out of sight. One tapped me on the head as I was leaving. I don't think it was Andrew. I intend to go back and do some more investigating this summer with my friends from Keystone Spirit Seekers.

Bogart's always has something fun going on and as my daughter and I were packing up, a talented singer, Bob White, began to entertain the bookstore's guests. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay. ReRe had to get home to the kids, but I'm planning on catching the next Saturday performance.


My daughter and I were invited to participate in Amy's Third Friday Events. We will be back at Bogart's on September 19th. Hope to see all my friends, living and dead.

Oh, and before I forget...I am featured in Dark Gothic Resurrected Magazine. The Editor and Publisher, Cinsearae R. Santiago did an interview of me and my book, Roof Oasis. It is a wonderful magazine with lots of interesting stories. Check it out. You can order the magazine from Create Space. for the hard copy or you can get it on Kindle here:

                                           My husband, Dan, enjoyed reading the magazine.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Steampunk Granny's Review of Hairspay


I babysit a couple of times a week for Isabella and little brother Dylan. I’ve been watching Isabella since she was three months old; she’ll soon turn five. These two kiddies are loved by me and my family as if they were my grandkids. But…Isabella is jealous of the time I spend with baby brother. Gee, that kind of reminds me of how I was when my sister Jane showed up on the scene.

Too make a long story short, trying to teach Dylan and keeping Isabella from selling him to the mailman takes its toll on this old granny at the end of the day. Today, I was so tired that I just flopped on the sofa as soon as I came home. I wasn’t ready to work on my writing or interviews so I flicked on the television and scanned through the guide. I was in luck. I found the original version of Hairspray and I settled down to watch it.

Hairspray 1988

Written and directed by the marvelous John Waters, Hairspray is a comedy and musical film that brings up segregation in the 60’s and the trials and tribulations of overweight women.  Divine (Harris Glen Milstead) played two parts in the film, Mrs. Turnblad and Arvin Hodgepile the owner of the television studio. The film also starred Ricki Lake, Debbie Harry, Sonny Bono, Jerry Stiller, Leslie Ann Powers, Ruth Brown, Colleen Fitzpatrick and Shawn Thompson.



Tracy Turnblad (Ricki Lake) and friend Penny (Leslie Ann Powers) want to be part of the Baltimore Corny Collins Show which is like Philadelphia’s Bandstand; it’s the place to go if you like to dance and it’s based on the real-life Buddy Deane show. Overweight people and black people are not welcomed on the show by the owner, Hodgepile (played by Devine) although Corny Collins (Shawn Thompson) is ready to make the show integrated and he likes Tracy’s dancing abilities.


Tracy’s dancing is so good, that even though she’s overweight, she becomes the star of the show, infuriating the show’s reigning queen Amber Von Tussle (Colleen Fitzpatrick). Amber is rich, spoiled and so are her parents, Velma (Debbie Harry) and Franklin (Sonny Bono) who owns an a segregated amusement park. Amber’s boyfriend falls in love with Tracy and Amber and her parents begin to plot on keeping Tracy from winning the title of Miss Auto Show 1963.

Tracy's is not at all embarrassed by her weight and is hired as a plus-size model for the Hefty Hideaway clothing store  Tracy’s teased and dyed hair causes her to be placed in a special education class, where she meets black classmates that were put in the class to keep them back academically. Tracy, her mother (Devine) and father (Jerry Stiller) fight the segregation going on at the Corny Collins show, but Tracy is arrested.


I love this show. I love the dancing and the music. I was an expert at the mash potato, twist, Bristol Stump, and all the dances that were out during the sixties. I even played hooky from high school a few times to take the bus with friends and go to the Bandstand show that was hosted by Dick Clark. I remember my sisters and me driving my father nuts because we were using up his stock of hairspray. We couldn’t help it. We had to have the look!  We would set our hair in empty frozen juice cans to make our hair fuller, followed by teasing our hair a mile above our heads before smoothing it into a style and holding the set with the spray.


This was my teenage years, and yes, it was a time when teenage America found its voice both with its music and with its acceptance of people of different races and cultures. It wasn’t that many years later that we used our voices to protest the war in Vietnam.

Side note: I never understood why that war was started, but our young soldiers from that war were never given their due respects and honor, but having both family and friends fight in that war, I will always be eternally grateful for the bravery of all our Veterans. Oorah!


There was a newer version of Hairspray  in 2007which was directed by Adam Shankman and starred John Travolta as Edna Turnblad, Christopher Walken as Wilbur, Nikki Blonsky as Tracy, Michelle Pfeiffer as Velma, Brittany Snow as Amber, and Queen Latifah as Motormouth Maybelle.


I loved this version just as much, and especially John Travolta's and Christopher Walken's take on Edna and Wilbur.


If you get the chance, watch both, and then let me know which version you enjoy the best...and make sure you brush up your moves on the dance floor.

Uriah Young's Interview with Actors Stephen Hill and Brandon Fobbs



Check out Uriah Young's podcast interview with actors Stephen Hill and Brandon Fobbs. Uriah is a writer with a upcoming novel, blogger extraordinaire, teacher, and his interviews are right on!! And, he is Steampunk Granny's friend. Check him out on Facebook and his Blog


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Steampunk Granny's Visit to Laurel Hill Cemetery and New Hope

                                          At the Laurel Hill Cemetery. This place is very active.           

I was a busy bee this weekend, but I met such lovely people. I love meeting new people and learning from them. Saturday night I was at the Laurel Hill Cemetery volunteering with fellow ghost hunter Rita. She won’t let me tell people her last name, but she's part of our ghost hunting team.

We weren’t there to investigate, but to help out the staff at the cemetery with a pretty neat event, here is the advertised event


Venture out of the bars and into the cemetery as you team up with Laurel Hill Cemetery’s Young Friends group, The Antemortem Society, for a game of trivia amongst the tombstones. Hosted by the Gentlemen of the Athletic Base Ball Club of Philadelphia,


Philly’s premier vintage 1864 Baseball Team; your knowledge will be tested on 19th century sports, brew and culture. This is not your average game of quizzo! Enjoy pub snacks and beer as you compete in regular quizzo categories with a vintage twist. Winning gets you bragging rights and a great prize for your team.


Laurel Hill Cemetery hosts events most of the year and I’m strongly suggesting that you check this beautiful place out. Like right now! Go check the site: and pick an event to go attend. I’ll wait for you to return…….
Good you’re back. Did you pick an event to go to at Laurel Hill? You might see me there volunteering.

                                                Uriah with Marie Gilbert at her book launch of Roof Oasis                                            
A fellow writer Uriah Young had recently sent out a Facebook message that a good friend and fellow writer of his would be doing a book signing at Farley’s Book Store in New Hope. I love New Hope, so my wonderful editor and partner in crime, Patti O’Brien and I took the road trip. I've decided I need new glasses, because as Patti was parking the car. I saw a sign for a shop across the street. I thought the sign said "Fudge Chicken" Not convinced that everything should be covered in fudge, I said to Patti, "Why would they cover chicken in fudge. I wonder if it's fried?"


I had to wait for Patti to stop laughing before she could point out my error. It said Fudge Cakes...sigh...I need new glasses.


It was a lovely day in spite of the muggy weather and Patti and I even enjoyed our coffee on the bridge that leads to Lambertville. Then we headed to the bookstore where we had the chance to chat with Austin S. Camacho and the lovely Sandra Bswangin Webster who were at the store to sell their books. They are both with Intrigue Publishing.

Austin S. Camacho is the author of The Payback Assignment, The Orion Assignment, and his latest thriller, The Piranha Assignment. Camacho is also known for writing The Hannibal Jones mystery series. Austin was a presenter at the recent Philadelphia Writers Conference in Center City Philadelphia in June. By day, Camacho is a public affairs specialist for the Defense Department. For more than a decade, the American Forces Network carried his radio and television news reports. Here are Austin S. Camacho's links:


Sandra Bswangin Webster has her first book out and I can't wait to order it. It's called Let Me Just Say This. As Sandra explained to Patti and I, it's a book about family drama and about a woman named Cheryl who thinks she is living the American dream, but is she? The sequel, The Stiletto Stalker will be released next year.  Sandra also has her own talk show WLVS Radio, and I've listed her links below.



To end a perfect day at New Hope, Patti and I met with Uriah Young a very talented writer, teacher, interviewer, blogger; this kid is amazing, and his lovely bride for a drink before heading home. Here is Uriah's links:

Here is Patti's links.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Part Three of Steampunk Granny's Interview with Actress Genoveva Rossi

                                                 Genoveva Rossi in The Enchantress                     

Hello readers and welcome back to my blog and the final part of my interview with the lovely and talented actress, Genoveva Rossi. If you’ve missed part one or parts two of the interview, you can check them out here and here.

Marie Gilbert: “Before we end, I wanted to know if you had the chance to star in any movie that’s out now, which one would you choose.”

Genoveva Rossi: “The only thing that comes to mind is I would like to be in a Dario Argento film. I’m a big fan of Argento,   the Italian director. I would like to be in something more ambitious, with a larger budget. 

I wanted to tell you what movies I’m working on now, one is The Enchantress where I play a sorcerous with Hylo Dekan studios. It’s not on my IMDb yet, but it’s on my Facebook profile. I have a folder filled with some great productions pictures. It’s a pretty exciting movie that’s being filmed in the Buffalo area and another film that I’m working on is Hunters and it stars Linnea Quigley, a scream queen that's been acting since the 1980’s and she’s pretty huge in the horror genre. I’m a big fan of hers been in Night of the Demons, Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and other horror movies. The film has already been mentioned in Fangoria MagazineAdam Ahlbrandt is the director, he is amazing to work with, and he has a quite a cult following.

                                                         Scene from The Enchantress                         

I play Edna and it’s probably going to be my most disturbing role to date and probably my most risqué film. This is a very shocking movie and the director is anticipating possible death threats after the release.”

Marie Gilbert: “Really?”

Genoveva Rossi: “Yes, he wanted to push the envelope and create some controversy and go into some uncharted territory in the horror genre.”

Marie Gilbert: “This sounds like an interesting film.”

                                                         Hunters with Genoveva Rossi                 

Genoveva Rossi: “I’m really excited to try things I haven’t done before and it’s a unique film and I’m very excited to be part of it. I’m in it with Jason Vail, who is a great actor and he came up from Atlanta Georgia to play in this film. He has been on the Guiding Light series and some other things. I’m excited to work with him and I’ve seen some of his previous work as an actor including his short, The Cabin. Then there is another girl named Mel Heflin who came up from Florida to work in the film. It was my first time working of Adam Ahlbrandt and I’m hoping to work again with him in the not so distant future. He’s kind of a mad genius when it comes to directing films. This film has the potential to explode when it’s released.”

Hunters with Mel Heflin, Jason Vail & Genoveva Rossi

Marie Gilbert: “I’ll be keeping my eyes open for that one. I have one last question. Did you ever have a part that you felt uncomfortable with?”
Genoveva Rossi: “There was one Bill Zebub movie called Jesus, Daughter of God, which is a religious comedy and because I consider myself a Christian and Catholic and the film sort of makes fun of religion, but I talked to the director before I did the film to see how far he would push the anti-Christian element, but since I‘ve played a Satanist in a lot of movies and stuff like murderers, cannibals, zombies and vampires; I figured acting is just acting. It’s not an extension of who you really are, but every now and then people will contact me and tell me, you’re such a slut and this and that.”

Marie Gilbert: “Oh my God…”
Genoveva Rossi: “Yeah, and I say you know if I’m playing a doctor, or Satanist, or murderer, zombie, or witch in a movie, but that’s not who I really am after I leave the set.”

Marie Gilbert: “That is so bizarre that they would think it is.”

Genoveva Rossi: “Maybe some people have a hard time separating fantasy from reality. If you play your character that well, people, sometimes people believe that’s the real you. One actor told me to take it as a compliment because you did such a good job playing that role that those people didn’t think you were acting.”
Marie Gilbert: “Thank you, Genoveva. Is there anything that you would like to say before the interview is over?”


Genoveva Rossi: “Your readers can find me online. I’m Genoveva Rossi, the Scream Queen of about fifty films. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook, in fact, I’m writing a column for Malevolent Magazine, called “A Day in the Life of a Scream Queen”. In every issue I will talk about my experiences with acting, my films, going to conventions and meeting horror fans. People are always interested in what goes on behind the scenes.”


Horror fans can also meet me in person at:

Connecticut Horrorfest on August 23rd

Long Island's Blood and Babes Comic Con Sept 12-14th

Marie Gilbert: “I’ll keep my eye open for that and let my readers know when and where they can find this.”

Genoveva Rossi: “Malevolent Magazine is a fun magazine and I was featured as a scream queen in its second issues and the editor wanted to keep me on board and I suggested this. I was happy to write the column because people are always asking me about all the wacky things that can happen behind the scenes. So look for my column "A Day in the Life of a Scream Queen".

Marie Gilbert: “I would love to know about stuff like this. It’s the perfect thing to write about because it’s so interesting.”


                              Scene from a Dark Place Inside with Boyle & Rossi
 Genoveva Rossi: “I’ll tell you about one thing that happened on the set of A Dark Place Inside, one of the three films I’m screening. I forgot to tell you about that one. In that film one of the stars plays the mother of the little boy who will become a serial killer. It got a great review in the 2014 issue of HorrorHound Magazine. It was a difficult subject matter and the movie is really about the action instead of the dialogue because it is about a serial killer's daily life.

A Dark Place Inside with Rob Dimension, Genoveva Rossi & Kieran Boyle

We did a screening of the film to see how it would work and I did an actor’s commentary as the film played, and after, people said they actually liked it better that way with me explaining what was going on in each scene and also with me telling them about the whole process of filming. I was working with a child actor who was only eight years old on and in what was a very difficult subject matter and people said it was very interesting to hear about how we filmed.”

Marie Gilbert: “That is so interesting and maybe you would be able to do that with other movies. You could give all the background information especially if they’re showing a film at one of the conventions like at the Paranormal Unity Expo that we both attended.”

Genoveva Rossi: “I was there because I’m a professional psychic and tarot card reader.”

Marie Gilbert: “I didn’t know that.”

Genoveva Rossi: “Yes, I travel all over. I do Tarot Card readings almost every week privately and travel all over the country. Perform readings in person, via skype, email, on chat, etc. Find my tarot page on Facebook: Tarot by Genoveva


Marie Gilbert: “I was wondering why you were at the Paranormal Unity Expo. I knew you were an actress, but I saw you sitting in Dave Juliana’s class, I assumed you were just interested in the subject matter and not that you were able to read cards. So, do you also go ghost hunting?”

Genoveva Rossi: “Besides the Tarot card readings, I’m also a Spiritualist and I give spiritual advice to people. I was doing psychic reading at Bizarre AC as well as promoting my horror film work. One woman contacted me and said that what I had read on Saturday; came through for her that Monday at work. She came into work and they give her a whole new position. I told her that on a Saturday and this happened to her on a Monday.”

Marie Gilbert: “She contacted you when this happened?”
Genoveva Rossi: “Yes, she contacted me on my Facebook page to tell me that everything I said would happen did happen. She told her coworkers at work and they were all a little bugged out.”

Marie Gilbert: “That is so nice. What about the ghost hunting. Do you ever go on an investigation?”

Genoveva Rossi: “I’ve never done that, but I would be opened to that. Recently I’ve had experiences with a friend at several Chiller Theatre and at Bizarre A.C. My friend has several photographs from horror conventions in particular where you can see orbs hanging near his head or shoulder… He lost a person in his life years ago and this spirit accompanies him to Chiller and Bizarre A.C. His love still accompanies him to all the conventions much like she did when they were still together.”

Marie Gilbert: “You would do great at ghost hunting. You are sensitive to paranormal events and would pick up things right away.”

Genoveva Rossi: “Well, I do some medium work as well because sometimes when I’m reading people, I’ll pick up spirits and converse with them as well. So I’ve never been on an investigation, but if the opportunity arises, I would like to go to one.”


Marie Gilbert: “I’ll let you know the next investigation that I go to. I did recently go to an investigation at Salem Mansion in Norristown with the Keystone Spirit Seekers and that building was very active. I wrote an article for Biff Bam Pop on the experience because I’m one of their senior writers. If we go back to Salem Mansion, I will let you know.”

Genoveva Rossi: “Please do that because I would love to come with you. When I travel all over the country sometimes I’ll go on ghost walks in New Orleans and Savannah where they tell you ghost stories, but a ghost hunt would be great.”

Marie Gilbert: “Yes, because we spent most of the night at Salem Mansion and there were two groups there. We were invited to join the Keystone Spirit Seekers who had all the needed equipment like cameras, video set ups, and I think you would enjoy participating.”

Genoveva Rossi: “One thing I wanted to tell you was that I actually had a paranormal experience in one of my films, The Bible Belt Slasher, part 2. There was this one scene where a woman is playing dead in a bathtub. The microphone that they were using picks up everything and there were some serious strange sounds that popped up on the recording. The director decided to use those sounds in the background. If you ever watch The Bible Belt Slasher and you come up to the scene with the woman in the tub, then what you’re hearing is probably paranormal activity. It sounds so other worldly and the director swears that he did not add anything in, but he decided to use it because it was so cool. Maybe the violence in the scene attracted a spirit in the house.”


Marie Gilbert: “Most old homes usually have a guest and the director is probably right because you were doing a horror film and the scene gave energy to the spirit.”

Genoveva Rossi: “It was a very violent scene and it could have attracted this entity. So don’t forget to call me when you go on your next investigation.”

Marie Gilbert: “I will. I’m planning on going to this one mansion that I know is very active and both my young granddaughter and I both had experiences while there for a rehearsal dinner, so I will definitely call you if we’re given permission to investigate. I want to thank you Genoveva for being so gracious and accommodating for this interview. It was a true pleasure getting to know more about you.”

Thank you so very much, Genoveva for being a guest on my blog. It was a true pleasure spending time with you, and if my readers are interested in learning more about Genoveva Rossi, you can find her on Twitter and Facebook. Don't forget these upcoming dates to meet Ms. Rossi.

Connecticut Horrorfest on August 23rd

Long Island's Blood and Babes Comic Con Sept 12-14th

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sisters, All for One and One for All

             Marie                                        Lucy                                    Jane

I have lots of sisters! Sure, I have my wonderful and lovely biological sisters Jane and Lucy, whom most of you have met either in person or in my “Life with Fred and Lucy” stories, but I also have close friends that I call sister.


We are all the daughters of Eve in a genetic and evolutionary way. If Eve did exist in the biblical sense, then she was framed big time and we have suffered the repercussions ever since that fateful day. Yeah, I’m talking about the crime to beat all crimes; taking a bite of the forbidden apple. Where was Eve’s lawyer? The woman was innocent.

My take on the Garden of Eden is this. GOD made Adam and then told him, “Get to know your world. I’ll check on you in a day or two.” When GOD returned to check on his prized creation, he realized that Adam would not last until the big creation celebration at the end of the week/ evolutionary chain of events.  Adam had a bad attitude and he assumed that he could do whatever he wanted to do, after all, he was a man and above all of nature.
GOD called all his trusted winged messengers in for a, emergency conference. A heated argument broke out with Lucifer who thought that the Dinosaurs should have never been exterminated, but in the end, the resulting decision was to make a helpmate for the arrogant man. Eve was created as Adam’s equal and GOD’s new and improved version of the human race. GOD gave Eve the order, “Keep that knucklehead out of trouble.”

Eve had her hands full. Adam had already acquired an attitude about taking a woman's advice. Adam wanted the forbidden apples. Lucifer came up with a plan to prove GOD wrong. First he approached Eve with a deal. “Eat the apple from that tree. It will give you knowledge, and as a added benefit, you can eat all the chocolate in the world and never gain an ounce.”

“I already have knowledge, and what the hell is chocolate?" Knowing the devil for the trickster that he was, Eva  sent him packing, saying, "Hit the road, Jack.”

Later in the week, Adam was approached by Lucifer, but this time the devil offered a sweeter deal. "You get to do what you want and I'll throw in a recliner, beer and junk food to watch all your football games." 

Adam not only ate all the damn apples, but he blamed Eve. The rest is history.


Sisters, we are many and we have to look out for each other: Stop calling other women nasty names; stop gossiping about each other; stop breaking up marriages; stop being nasty to your daughters.

We need to stand up for each other. We need to speak out when we see other women being attacked or abused by men. No religion, country or state or man can tell us what to do with our bodies. We cannot be forced to bear children against our will, and no religion can claim that a man is master over a woman; it is a lie!

The crimes against women around the globe must stop now. We are every woman’s sister. We are equal to men. Women should never be denied education. The men who try to stop them are evil. We are the children of GOD. Stand up and speak out for all your sisters around the Globe

Monday, July 7, 2014

Independence Day, First Prize and a Magic Garden


July 4th weekend was lots of fun this year. My grandson Jimmy was on leave for a few days from the Marines and as soon as he came home, Joshua and Jimmy practiced their martial arts. Their mother, my daughter, was stressed out with some of the flips they were doing.


July 4th    began with a town parade and later I was at a barbeque/birthday party for my oldest grandchild. She’s 26 and I’m suddenly feeling very old. Allie’s mom Suzanne had her house beautifully decorated for the holiday and she won First Prize for the best decorated house in Audubon. I think the judges should have checked out the back of her house, too. They would have been amazed.
                                                               Butterfly Garden                                       

Every year, Suzanne works furiously on her garden getting her yard ready for the big picnic and every year she not only adds more flowers, but also makes her Gnome village bigger.


                                                         Entering the busy Gnome Village

When you enter her garden, you're entering a scene that tells a story. Each part of the Gnome garden has a theme. The first thing her guests do when they arrive for the party is to check out the garden to see what Sue has added to the Gnome, Fairy or Butterfly section of her yard.

                                                     overlook of entire village

Sure the food that is served at Suzanne and Jim’s party is delicious, and sure we love the birthday cake and the special candy concoction that Sue makes each year, but what her guests really come for besides the great company and the fireworks at the High School, is her magic garden. Sue has plans to build an Alice in Wonderland World in her yard and I can't wait to see the Red Queen. I plan on interviewing Suzanne about winning first prize for best decorated house in 2014 and on her growing garden. Sue and her friends are trying to teach me how to play dungeon and dragons. It's like Game of Thrones on speed...and I love it.
Is that a dragon emerging from the forest to terrorize our gnomes? These pictures really don’t do justice to the magic garden, but I do want to share them with you.

Gnome Village is quite busy and very friendly
Oh! are we going horse riding?
Fritz the Gnome is having a meeting with the town leaders about the Fairies
Oh my! There seems to be a disagreement on taxing the Fairies
Gnome business does not interest the winged creatures who spend their days, enjoying nature
The Queen of the Fairy folks lives in that tree. She does not like to be disturbed.