Friday, September 6, 2013



Scarlet isn't sure if she has just the right ingredients for true love--or utter disaster

Scarlet Lindsey is busy making her dreams come true. She's moved her bakery to a prime spot on Galveston's most popular street, she's planning an extravagant cake for her best friend's wedding, and she has a great relationship with Bella Neeley, the island's most popular wedding coordinator. Business is booming and Scarlet is enjoying the ride.

But when Bella's dangerously handsome brother Armando breezes into her life, Scarlet is faced with a sticky situation. Should she stay with the safe, sweet guy who's been a fixture in her life for years? Or will this brash Italian hunk melt her guarded heart?

Fan favorite Janice Thompson is back with more wit, more weddings, and more of what you love best--bridal-business drama laced with laughs.

"Not only does Janice Thompson know how to spin a delightful tale, she knows weddings and wedding cakes. If you've ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes, take a big bite of this sweet, romantic story. It will leave you laughing and looking for the nearest confectionary!"--Lisa Wingate, bestselling author of Firefly Island and The Prayer Box

"Janice Thompson has done it again! From characters that will jump right off the page and into your heart to a story that had me laughing even as I cheered them on, The Icing on the Cakeis a sweet treat. I urge you to indulge--you won't be sorry!"--Kathleen Y'Barbo, bestselling author of The Secret Lives of Will Tucker series


Before I opened “Icing on the Cake” written by Janice Thompson, I anticipated lots of fun and many surprises.  Janice’s sense of humor and tongue in cheek quotations at the beginning of each chapter were so entertaining – my favorite being “Families are like fudge, mostly sweet with a few nuts.” (Author unknown)  Having read the prequel “Picture Perfect,” in this series – Weddings by Design -   many of the characters were familiar to me in the beautiful setting on Galveston Island.  Janice’s stories are written ingeniously around wedding productions created by Bella Neely and Club Wed; and the whole cast of characters from Bella’s odd family; Scarlett’s family and other familiar characters like Hannah and Drew whose wedding is being planned in this episode.  There is not a family on this Island that isn’t sweet with a few nuts!

Our main character Scarlett Lindsey had just opened her own bakery, Let Them Eat Cake, on the popular Strand.  Her friend Kenny worked in the bakery and had a crush on Scarlett, however she was a bit of two minds where romance with Kenny was concerned.  Little did Scarlett know what she was in for when her spinster Aunt Willy, an infamous first-rate chef, financed Scarlett’s venture.  Not only was Scarlett planning an elaborate wedding cake for her best friend Hannah’s wedding, she was in charge of planning the church fund raiser. 

We met Armando, Bella’s brother, in “Picture Perfect” as the problem child of the Rossi family with a reputation of being a real womanizer.  He swept in and out of the first story like a bird on the fly and had a dislike for staying on the Island.  Scarlett had issues with her self-image because of being overweight.  Many, including “moi” can relate to her inner feelings and insecurities.  Let Them Eat Cake was located next door to John’s Pizzeria where Armando worked in his family’s business.  Scarlett and Armando found themselves pushed together at a Rossi family event – not at all to Scarlett’s liking.  An indefinite relationship sets in motion…and Scarlett begins to perceive Armando differently.  He volunteers to help solve the sound problem at the church which meant more time spent in each other’s company.  When Scarlett fills in for Armando’s mother on a Food Network competition with a secret recipe for Italian Wedding Cake, she decides to drop a few pounds so she’ll look better on camera.  Now the real fun begins, so hold onto your hat!

Ms Thompson has an innate talent at developing a plot that serves the heart in hilarity to sentiment along with beautiful spirituality throughout.  What does “sticky buns” and “Lucille Ball of I Love Lucy” have to do with Scarlett’s anxiety?  It was entertaining as the author allowed the reader into Scarlett’s inner thoughts and I laughed loudly at the zany debates she argued with herself.  One never knows what to expect in the stories Janice Thompson writes.  She is perceptive in creating characters that are well rounded and real.  Her characters build as the story moves forward and can be loved in one chapter and disliked in the next.  Scarlett reminded me so much of myself that that I wondered who might have been the role model for Janice.  Honestly, I’ve never met Janice Thompson in my life….although I’d consider it an honor to do so.


Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series, as well as Picture Perfect. She lives in Texas. 

Visit for more.

This book was provided for review by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013




The red warning light on her car dashboard drove Lainie Davis to seek help in the tiny town of Last Chance, New Mexico. But as she encounters the people who make Last Chance their home, it's her heart that is flashing bright red warning lights. 

These people are entirely too nice, 
too accommodating, 
                          and too interested in her personal life for Lainie's comfort--especially since she's on the run 
and hoping to slip away unnoticed.

Yet in spite of herself, Lainie finds that she is increasingly drawn in to the dramas of small town life. An old church lady who always has room for a stranger. A handsome bartender with a secret life. A single mom running her diner and worrying over her teenage son. Could Lainie actually make a life in this little hick town? Or will the past catch up to her even here in the middle of nowhere?

Cathleen Armstrong pens a debut novel filled with complex, lovable characters making their way through life and relationships the best they can. Her evocative descriptions, observational humor, and talent at rendering romantic scenes will earn her many fans.


What goes on in a small town?  Plenty!  Lainie Davis was about to find out that dark desolate night her crippled used Mustang rolled to a dead stop in Last Chance, New Mexico, abruptly ending her escape from life in Palm Springs to El Paso where she would be safe with her friend Lindsay…at least for awhile.  Her phone was also dead and the only light was in the High Lonesome Saloon across the parking lot where her car had given up the ghost.  Was this a dead end to her running as far as possible from the threatening dangerous ex-boyfriend, Nick?

The bartender Ray wasn’t too warm toward frazzled Lainie when she dragged into the bar to ask for answers about what to do next.  The town’s only motel was closed while the owner was attending a mayor’s convention.  She would need to wait until morning to contact the only mechanic in town.  While in the bar, the town drunk Les tried to “be friendly” with her and Ray squelched that, telling Les to go sit in the truck and wait for him to take him home after he closed the bar.  Lainie appeared brazen when she asked if Ray had an empty spot for her.  In desperate resolve she slept in her car.

Lainie began to experience the kindness offered to strangers when she entered the Dip ‘n’ Dine café across the street from the High Lonesome Saloon the next morning.  Fayette, the owner, recognized immediately that Lainie was in desperate straits and offered her a shower, breakfast and even called Elizabeth to ask if Lainie could stay with her while the car was being fixed.  That arranged. Lainie was uncomfortable over Elizabeth’s insistence that members of her household attend church.  However she trudged on to meet this unusual woman with momentary promise of rescue.

After showering, Lainie found something hidden in her backpack that sickened her and filled her with fear.  The package she found was evidently put there by Nick.  During her time in the café, she was able to contact her friend Lindsay and heard frightening news that Nick had called Lindsay looking for her.  Never before had Lainie had so many people, strangers at that be so concerned for her well being.  In a way it caused her to feel like running “like the wind.”   She noticed a police car pulling up to the café and wasn’t sure what to do by then, so she slapped a ten dollar bill on the counter and headed for the door when Fayette called out that she had change coming.

And indeed, Lainie had many changes coming!    Last Chance was certainly a town where everybody – all 743 - knows your name….and your business.  Cathleen Armstrong wrote her characters well with defining qualities about each one.    Everyone has a personality that’s either strong, weak or somewhere in between.  It was an engrossing read, so much so that it kept me from getting my needed rest at night.  Having been born and raised in a small town, I could identify with those things considered normal or unusual that happens in Everytown, USA.

Ms Armstrong writes strongly with color and conveys vividly the beauty of the country around Last Chance; romance with caution between the characters; the true Christian nature of the Last Chance residents; and problems in single parenting a self-indulgent child.  Lainie wasn’t familiar with Christian principles and values, but surprised herself when she sought to know more about God….and particularly when she began singing in the church choir. Cathleen Armstrong left a few conclusions unwrapped and hopefully this fine author will give another chance at a sequel to Lainie’s last chance.

About Cathleen Armstrong

Cathleen Armstrong lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Ed, and their corgi. Though she has been in California for many years now, her roots remain deep in New Mexico where she grew up and where much of her family still lives. After she and Ed raised three children, she returned to college and earned a BA in English. Welcome to Last Chancewon the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for Women's Fiction.

“Available August 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

I received this book through the Revell Book Blogger's Tour, and was not required to give a positive review.