Thursday, June 8, 2017

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: One S’more Summer by Beth Merlin @bethmerlin80 @XpressoTours

One S’more Summer
Beth Merlin
(The Campfire Series, #1)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: May 30th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary

If you love Sophie Kinsella and Emily Giffin, you’ll love this heartwarming debut from a fresh voice in contemporary chick-lit that offers a lighthearted and fun take on friendship, love, and how to recover from past mistakes.

For twenty long years, Gigi Goldstein has been pining away for her best friend’s guy. She knows it’s wrong and it has to stop, but she hasn’t been able to let go ever since they all met on the bus to summer camp back when they were 7 years old. The same week that her best friends finally announce their wedding date, Gigi loses her high-profile design job. With all of her dreams unravelling, she runs to the last place she remembers being happy.

Taking the Head Counselor position at Camp Chinooka, Gigi hopes to reclaim the joy she felt as a camper, but the job isn’t all campfire songs and toasting marshmallows. Gigi’s girls are determined to make her look bad in front of the boys’ Head Counselor—the sexy but infuriating Perry—and every scrap of the campground is laced with memories.

When Gigi finally realizes she can’t escape the present by returning to her past, she’s forced to reexamine her life and find the true meaning of love. But will she be able to mend fences and forgive herself before she loses her one real shot at happiness?

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Interview with Beth Merlin

What inspired you to write One S’more Summer?

After graduating from law school, I felt a bit lost. Ultimately, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be a practicing lawyer and regretted my decision not to follow my real passion which was writing. I remember jokingly saying to my husband that I wished I could run away from my adult life and choices and be a camp counselor for the summer. It wasn’t a realistic option for me, but that notion ultimately became my inspiration for the book.

Can you tell us a little bit about the next books in the Campfire Series or what you have planned for the future?

I am currently working on Book 2 of the Campfire Series, S’more to Lose. The story takes place four years after One S’more Summer and opens with Gigi being selected to design the wedding dress for the future queen of England. The opportunity forces her to confront Perry Gillman, her ex-fiance, now a successful composer of a hit show on the West End in London. As the world is gearing up for the wedding of the century, Gigi begins buckling under the enormous pressure of the task and the failures and insecurities of her past.

It’s been a lot of fun to get to revisit with these characters and explore what’s happened to them since leaving Camp Chinooka. I’ve also really loved writing about a fictional version of the royal wedding and exploring the world of the British aristocracy. Most of all the “will they, won’t they” dynamic between Perry and Gigi continues to be my favorite aspect of writing this series and becomes even more complicated in Book 3.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in One S’more Summer?

Our protagonist, Gigi (Georgica) Goldstein, is 27 and has spent most of her life in love with her best friend Alicia’s boyfriend, Joshua. After being fired from her job and finding out that Alicia and Joshua’s wedding is being moved to the summer, she decides to return to her childhood sleepaway camp to work as a counselor.

Perry Gillman is a British counselor from the Camp America Program with a serious chip on his shoulder. He and Gigi take an immediate disliking to one another but soon discover they have more in common than either realize.

Joshua Baume is the guy Gigi’s been in love with ever since she met him on the bus going to Camp Chinooka. Alicia Scheinnman is Gigi’s beautiful and supportive best friend. When Alicia breaks up with Joshua before heading off to London for a yearlong training program, Joshua seeks comfort from the very last person he should -- Gigi.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

I’m a big fan John Irving. He has an amazing talent for creating worlds and a sense of place. His characters feel wholly organic, wholly original, and so nuanced that when you are done reading you feel like you know them. The World According to Garp is still one of my favorites. It’s totally not my genre and nothing I could ever write, but I appreciate its originality and the way it pushed boundaries.

If you could time-travel would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go and why would you like to visit this particular time period?

Definitely the past! It’s probably because I’ve been doing a lot of research into the Elizabethan period for S’more to Lose, but I would totally love to get to experience what it was like to live in England during that time. Politics, art, fashion, religion - everything was so high stakes and exciting.

Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

I do! I have an almost 2-year-old Poodle/Cavalier Mix (Cavapoo) named Sophie. She’s a white fluff ball that can usually be found under my feet when I’m writing.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit with us today.

Author Bio:
Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.



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