I reviewed the second book of this story, and here’s the final part.
The story is Love You S’more by Beth Merlin (The Campfire Series, #3), out yesterday in the Adult, Comedy, Contemporary Genre.
Having successfully designed the wedding gown of the century, Gigi Goldstein is on top of the world – that is until it all suddenly comes crashing down around her. When the paparazzi captures her and Perry Gillman in a compromising moment the night of the royal wedding, she finds herself entangled in a scandal of global proportion. Convinced her carelessness has ruined every relationship in her life, she’s surprised and moved by her boyfriend, Gideon’s, sudden proposal of marriage and accepts it without a second thought.
Four months later, Gigi’s living at Badgley Hall contemplating an entirely new kind of life, while guilt, regret, and obligation keep calling her back to her old one. Will Gigi stay in South Gloucestershire, marry Gideon, and become the Countess of Harronsby?
Or, will unfinished opportunities and an old flame bring her back across the pond to confront her past and reclaim her future?
Fashion and The Campfire Series
The first time I told my editor I had a day job working in Human Resources I could hear the gasp on the other side of the phone. She knew I had a full-time career outside of writing, she was just positive, based on the details in the Campfire Series books, that I worked in fashion or fashion design. I like clothes and I do read all the major fashion magazines but, when push comes to shove I don’t know much about design or construction. Everything in the Campfire Series has come from research, not my own experience.
The truth is I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled into the idea of Gigi being a fashion designer. I knew I needed Gigi to have some sort of career that could get reignited at Camp Chinooka. I went through several options and at some point, in some draft, landed on the idea that she could design the costumes for the camp play, reigniting her creative juices. From that one spark of inspiration came everything that followed. I came up with the idea for Top Designer, a take on the show Project Runway and started adding in details that would make sense for someone who had an interest in design.
The idea that Gigi would design the wedding gown for the future Queen of England also came out of a narrative necessity. I knew I wanted the second book in the series S’more to Lose to take place at least partly in London where Perry was living, and I needed a device to get Gigi there. Designing the royal wedding gown seemed like a great way to get her across the pond and keep here there for some period of time. Of course, what I didn’t realize then was that creating even a fictionalized version of such a monumental gown would require a ton of research. That work snowballed into me adding in even more details about Gigi’s design aesthetic and before I knew it I basically created an entire fictional collection.
Love You S’more has the most fashion of the three books. From the gowns in the scene where Gigi goes shopping for her own wedding dress, the artifacts for the Met Ball, the costumes for Elizabeth, to Gigi reexamining her career there are a lot of fun fashion moments I’m really proud of.
Fashion unintentionally ended up being a secondary character in The Campfire Series and in the end, some of my favorite scenes to research and write. I’m not quitting my day job in HR anytime soon, but have a whole new appreciation for what designers do and all the ways fashion can influence.