ABOUT AUTHOR: JANICE THOMPSON is the author of over eighty books for the Christian market. She is best known for her comedic "Weddings by Bella" series from Revell Publishing. Her tagline "Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever Afters" pretty much sums up her take on life. Janice makes her home in the Houston area near her children and grandchildren.

Did your family have sayings like those of Hannah’s family and the Irish sayings you've listed in the book? Which ones do you find yourself reciting to your kids? Grand children?

Oh my goodness! Well, our “sayings” aren't related to our heritage, but I certainly heard a lot of these while growing up:
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” (I heard this every single time I didn't carry through with something.)
“People in hell want ice water” (My dad loved this one. Whenever we kids would ask for anything, we’d get this response.)
“For lack of a nail, the horse was not shod” (This always led into a lengthy tale about the need to be prepared.)
“Grandma was slow, but she was old” (My dad would say this whenever I moved too slow!)
“It is what it is” (Or my mother’s version: “What it is, is!”)

Nora: OHMYGOSH!! These crack me up. Thanks for sharing.

You mention Hannah’s BFF Scarlet who is a professional cake decorator and some of her beautiful cakes. I've checked out some of your cake decorations on your facebook page, lovely. What is your favorite cake to eat? What is your favorite cake to decorate and/or create? Favorite cookie? Cupcake?

 I've always told my kids this story: If you want to know if there’s life after death, just lean over my casket and whisper the words “Italian Cream Cake!” Chances are very, very good I’ll come springing up for one last slice before heading over to Jordan’s shore.

Seriously, I love anything with homemade cream cheese frosting. I’m best known for my white cake with raspberry filling and cream cheese frosting. I also adore carrot cake, but probably because it, too, has cream cheese frosting.

As you mention, I love to decorate cakes. I’m attaching a couple of photos so you can see some of my favorites. It’s easier to decorate a fondant covered cake, but the cream cheese frosting usually wins out, simply because of the taste!

As for my favorite cookie, I make a mean oatmeal/walnut/raisin cookie.
FYI, this conversation is killing me! I’m on a diet, you know, and I’m off of sugar!

Nora: These are BEAUTIFUL!! You are a woman of many talents!

You described an event in your book where Hannah looks down at her feet in an important interview with a reporter and discovers she has two different shoes on. Has this ever happened to you or something like it? If so, what did you do? If not, where you with someone this happened to? What did they do? What would you do if this happened to you or something similar?

Oy! You WOULD have to ask this! Three years ago I went to a Christmas brunch. The room was filled with other writers, and we had a grand time! We exchanged gifts, nibbled on Christmas foods, drank hot apple cider, and basically celebrated the season. I was in full-out-great-mood time when I happened to glance down. Yep, you guessed it. I had on two COMPLETELY different shoes. Girl, they weren't even close. Different color. Different style. Different toe, etc. From that moment on, I knew that I would have to create a character who did the same. Another thing I did once: I curled one side of my hair but not the other. In my own defense, I have A.D.D. I truly can’t seem to remember from one moment to the next what I’m doing!

Nora: I had wondered if you had experienced something like this, it felt real. I laughed so hard reading about this scene. I could so see this happening. It made me love Hannah even more!!

In your other series with Bella Laz and Rosa has a battle between which singer was better, Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin. In this one you talk about Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. There is even a special yearly party dedicated to these guys in Hannah’s family. What is your favorite movie from each of these guys? Why is it your favorite? What do you enjoy most about these two and how they worked together?

I love, love, love adding real heroes from old movies and TV shows to my books. I’ve always been a huge Dean Martin fan, and I’m nuts about Bob Hope. To answer your question, I’d choose the following favorite songs: Bing Crosby (White Christmas); Bob Hope (Thanks for the Memories). Interestingly enough, I’m not a huge fan of the movies these two fellas did together, but I loved White Christmas (Bing) and I’m still nuts about any old television show that featured the amazing Bob Hope. What classics!

Hannah responds to Bella’s comment, “See, that’s the problem. None of it is small stuff to me. It’s all huge.”

Bella replies, “Girl, I get it. I totally and completely get it. It’s going to sound so clichĂ©, but you got to stop trying to fix everything…I know, I know- this coming from the fix-it-queen. But you were never meant to hold all things together. Only God can do that.”  How did God reveal this concept to you? What had God turned around for you? Done far more than you could imagine?

 I’m the ultimate fix-it queen, just like Hannah. I've always had this motto: “Never pay anyone to do what you think you can do yourself.” Well, I HAD this motto until I crossed the wires on my A/C unit in 1987 and blew up the fan in the attic. Since then I've had to admit that some things just aren't personally fixable. Still, that hasn't stopped me from trying! I’m always trying to fix: relationships, problems, books, etc. Every now and again I get a little nudge from the Lord, reminding me that He’s the ultimate fixer, NOT me. Ha. I learned this first-hand back in 2007 when I shattered my ankle and was wheelchair-bound for nearly two months. God taught me a lot in my “ unfix able” state and has continued the lessons, (painful as they are), ever since.

Hannah says to Bella, ‘You’re pretty good at seeing inside my head.” “Told you, we’re two peas in a pod. Been there, done that. But if you want change, whether it’s in your personal life or your business, there’s really only one way-you have to start thanking God for it now, before you ever see a thing. In all things give thanks.” Bella grins. What was the hardest challenge you've faced? How did God help you get through? Through a Change? Praise your way through the storm? Help you stay focused and on course?

I’m a huge believer in praising God in the middle of life’s storms. This is scriptural, of course. “In ALL things give thanks.” It’s not easy, but we have to try. Between 2006 and 2007, several major catastrophes took place in my life: my 26-year marriage ended, my father died, my sister died, one of my best friends died, my first grandchild was born six weeks early and (as mentioned above) I fell down some stairs and suffered what the doctors called a “catastrophic” break to my leg/ankle/foot that required two surgeries and many weeks in a wheelchair (with tons of complications related to the meds afterwards). In the middle of all of this, I lost the one and only book contract that I had, thus ending (to my way of thinking) my career. A good friend reminded me to keep praising. . .and I did. It wasn't easy, but those words of praise encouraged me and kept me going. God turned my writing career around (praise His Name!) and I’m so grateful for the lessons I learned while in the valley.

Nora: I'm sorry to hear that so many things happened to you at once. Thank you for sharing your testimony and how God got you through! It's inspiring.

Hannah and Drew are excited about meeting Brock Benson (famous actor in your series) and are nervous about the photo shoot. You've worked in Hollywood writing scripts and things who did you get a chance to work with and/or meet that had you feel the same way Hannah and Drew felt about meeting Brock and Sierra the country singer in your series? Do tell!

Back in 1979, my dad moved our family to Los Angeles so that he could get into the movie business. We subsequently wrote Liar’s Moon and I was blessed to meet (and work with) Matt Dillon, Cindy Fisher and others. My favorite was Hoyt Axton. I still remember the day I picked him up from the airport and drove to the shoot location (about an hour and a half away). He played his guitar the whole way and sang love songs. What a precious memory of a well-known man who cared enough to make “normal” conversation.

Nora: Fun!

I wondered if you had a Jacquie Goldfarb in your life? If not where did the idea for this person come from? Do tell!

      Oh. My. Goodness. I can’t believe you actually asked this question! YES, I had a Jacquie Goldfarb in my life. NO, I will not give you her name. I will say that I was a drama kid in high school. I sang, acted and danced my way through life. But I never seemed to get the lead role in any show. I’d always get the “second-lead” (if that makes sense). Sounds silly, but at the time my Jacquie Goldfarb always got the lead. She was thin, pretty and had gorgeous long hair. She also sang like the wind and could play any role with ease. I hated her. Well, I didn't hate her, exactly, but I certainly envied her. Not publicly, of course. We were good friends. I've since looked back on that whole experience and laughed. How silly it seems now. We've both grown up and have seen many of life’s successes and failures. We’re equals in every regard. Funny thing is, we always were…I just never saw it.

Nora: Of, course I had to ask you this!! I think we all have a Jacquie Goldfarb in our lives!! Thanks for sharing yours!

You talk about the show Dancing with the Stars in this book. Do you like dancing? Do you watch the show? What is your favorite dance and part of the show?

I’m nuts about Dancing with the Stars. I watch every episode. I’m particularly partial to Derek Hough. (He’s adorable.) I also love watching the non-dancers give it their best shot. I dream of one day appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Hey, it could happen!


1. If you had the time and money to go anywhere you desired, where would you go and what would you do?

Easy! I would go to ItalyI've been dying to go for years. I’d love to leisurely travel from one end of the country to the other, staying in small B& B's and seeing the wine country in its entirety. (FYI, one of my favorite movies is “Life is Beautiful” which is set in Italy.)

2. Name two jobs you've had people might be surprised at hearing you did?

Some people don’t know that I bake cakes. Even though that’s not a “job” it feels like one at times! I also worked at a check verification company years ago. Not my bag, but it paid the bills. J

Nora: THANKS for sharing cake pictures. They are beautiful! 

3. You are shipwrecked on an uninhabited tropical island with a group of Christians – all friends and relatives of yours. You all have to work as a team to survive. Many roles have to be filled. Which role do you think you’d play?

Entertainment director? Seriously, I’d be the one trying to get everyone to see the bright side of the experience. Before long we’d put on a show and everyone would be smiling.

Nora: Of, Course! Sign me up!

4. What movie greatly impacted you as a child? Why? If you didn't watch movies as a kid what book affected you?

 The Sound of Music is still my favorite movie. There simply aren't enough words to explain my fascination with it, particularly the gazebo scene, which is pure bliss (and, to my way of thinking, the most beautiful love scene ever filmed). I played the role of Brigitta when I was in 10th grade. (As you might remember, she’s the one who arrived late because she was busy reading a book. Prophetic, perhaps?) As for favorite books, I loved the Bobbsey Twins. Read every single book and even wrote one of my own in 6th grade because there were no more to purchase!  


Yes, I love to hear from readers. They can reach me on the web. I'm on facebook, twitter and everywhere else.

Thanks for having me here! Want a peek at book two's Wedding by Design series book cover, The Icing on the Cake?" It will be out July 2013! 


Janice Hanna Thompson
"Love, Laughter and Happily Ever Afters!"

Thanks for stopping by and letting us get to know you and your novel, Janice. I enjoyed this book as much as The Wedding planner series you wrote in the POV of Bella Neeley. I’m thrilled that Revell Publishers will be giving away 5 copies of your novel starting the first of February. Everyone will have the opportunity to enter the drawing and you’ll have a chance to interact with readers Janice. They look forward to author interaction as much as winning the book. I’m looking forward to that discussion. 

I highly recommend this book to take you away from the troubles of the day and to read for book club. There is so much to talk about, Fun. Oh the book club goodies you could make! Grin!
All participants need to join TBCN. To join the fun AND the Discussion you must join The Book Club Network, its fun, easy and free. Go to

ALL ENTRIES ARE TO BE MADE @ TBCN TO JOIN IN THE FUN go to  not on this blog post.

Nora St Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins 


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