Chapter One

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire


I make cakes. It’s what I do. It’s what I love.

But today, I’m standing over a mermaid, wondering what’s wrong. She’s as long as my arm, and beautiful — no doubt about that. Carved from devil’s food, she’s got a cute face, pouty red lips, fierce bloned hair. And her tail fin is nothing short of amazing.

It should be. Last night, while most girls my age were panting over their boyfriends at the Grand Rapids Cineplex, I was sculpting fish scales out of fondant.

The colors are perfect: shades of teal, indigo and turquoise. On the board beneath her, there’s an underwater garden on a cobalt blue buttercream ocean. There are coral-colored gum paste anemones, green royal icing seaweed, graham cracker sand, and silver oysters made from modeling chocolate. And inside each oyster, a single, edible pearl.

But something is definitely missing, and it’s making me nuts.

Excerpt© 2011 Christina Mandelski

About the book:

In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she’s decorating a cake. Unfortunately everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable.

But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems – only her dad’s about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed.

Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys, The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.

What people are saying:

“This sensitive story explores the need to embrace the reality rather than the fantasy of love, both familial and romantic.”–Kirkus

“A triple layer of sugary perfection complete with a sprinkle of shimmer dust, THE SWEETEST THING will satiate your need for a delectable summer read.”–The Book Swarm blog

Released: May 10, 2011

About the author:

Christina Mandelski loves to bring the characters in her head to life on the page. When she isn’t writing, she’s spending time with her family, volunteering, traveling or reading (preferably under an umbrella at the beach). Although she’d love to create amazing cakes like the main character in her book, THE SWEETEST THING, given past experience she’s decided to stick with eating them. Christina lives with her husband and two daughters in Houston. You can visit her at


Christina is doing a drawing for people who take a picture of the book and post it on The Sweetest Thing’s Facebook page. The contest goes through the end of May.