Sunday, July 5, 2015

Book Blitz & Giveaway ~ Corner of Ocean and Bay by Gina Azzi {Guest Post + Excerpt}



Corner of Ocean and Bay
by Gina Azzi
Publication date: June 15th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Nessa Moore has sought reliable stability since her father’s death. Now, she’s over it. Tired of always being the mature adult, constantly worrying about her alcoholic mother, stressing about being able to afford college, she wants to have one normal, carefree, fun summer. And be more like her best friend Jacie.

Jacie Hayes is struggling to overcome the recent breakup with her first love. The one that ripped out her heart and left her devastated. Frustrated and bored with her own self pity, Jacie wants nothing more than to forget about Dylan, to go back to her old ways, her old self. To be the fun loving, live-in-the-moment girl who gossips about boys and sips mojitos.

Best friends since childhood, Nessa and Jacie have been through all their ups and downs together. No matter what. Now, the summer before their senior year of high school, they accept an invitation from Jacie’s aunt to join her in Lockwood Quay, New Jersey, a summer beach getaway.

Determined to make this their best, most memorable, summer yet, both girls push their own boundaries, accept new challenges, and find themselves keeping secrets from each other.

But sometimes, stepping out of your comfort zone has consequences.
And some secrets can’t be forgiven.

Or forgotten.

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How the Writing Process Surprised Me

Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to guest post on your blog! My name is Gina Azzi and I recently self-published my first novel, Corner of Ocean and Bay. The novel highlights the friendship of Nessa and Jacie during the summer before their senior year of high school. Primarily focusing on teen topics such as underage drinking, family issues, and first loves, the novel explores how Nessa and Jacie navigate these challenges and the impact certain situations have on their friendship.

Now that I’ve self-published, many people have asked me various questions about the process: How did I do it? How long did it take? What steps were involved?

The truth is, when I first began writing Corner of Ocean and Bay, I didn’t even realize I was going to write a book. The entire concept started as a two-page assignment for a writing course I was taking at The Writer’s Studio in New York. Then, I developed the two-pages into a short story for a writing class I was taking online at Gotham’s Writer’s Workshop – about two years later. Afterwards, I sat on it for months and months. Little by little, I added more two-page ideas and suddenly, I had a whole first chapter! It wasn’t until that moment that I realized I wanted to turn what started off as an assignment into a full length Young Adult novel.

But then what?

I was stuck.

I pondered for weeks about Nessa, the main protagonist. I agonized over her social interactions, her character development, her relationship with Z. And then, I realized that Jacie, Nessa’s best friend, was just as equally an interesting character. One who had just as much to say as Nessa did. Suddenly, I began writing scenes from Jacie’s point of view. I realized the story was more balanced if both characters were contributing their individual thoughts, personal dilemmas, and histories to the plot. After this realization, the writing flowed and I fell in love with Nessa and Jacie’s friendship – the kind that you only ever share with your best, truest friend.

At this point, I realized that the core of the story, the underlying theme of all the drama and changes and relationships that occur in Corner of Ocean and Bay, is friendship.

I didn’t have this fantastic epiphany until page 200.

Sometimes, you outline. You have incredible ideas. You have great plans.

Sometimes, the writing takes over and your characters teach you more than you can ever instill in them.

I’m grateful that Nessa and Jacie reminded me of the importance of friendship, how amazing it is to let yourself be silly with someone who appreciates the wild in you just as much as you do. Someone who really, truly, gets you. 

I’m grateful for how much I learned through writing Corner of Ocean and Bay.

And I think that the learning part – the discovery, the realizations, the bond I experienced with the characters – is really how I wrote the book and how the process all came together!

When I give myself the once over in the mirror, I notice the high flush in my cheeks. I’m nervous, excited. The last time I had this look, Dylan was taking me to dinner for our one-year anniversary. I was so excited for that dinner that I changed my dress four times. Finally, my mother had convinced me to stay in my first choice.
          Is tonight a date?
          At nine fifteen, I enter The Tackle Box, relieved that I left home before Aunt B came back from her card game. Or was it bingo? It would be tough to explain where I was going without Nessa tagging along. The Tackle Box is dark and smoky.  Small lanterns flicker every few feet. There is a guy and girl duo on a small stage in the corner, playing guitar and singing. The booths have high backs, allowing customers privacy while they eat.  I scan the restaurant, looking for Dave. It’s difficult to see anyone clearly with the high, closed-off booths. Dave must have spotted me though because I see him as he stands up and starts waving at me.
          “Hey,” I say, kissing his cheek in greeting.
          “Thought you stood me up,” he jokes. So, this is a date.
          “Never. I just had to be fashionably late.”
          He laughs. “You’re so refreshing, Jacie.”
          I think I beam at him. Ugh, stop cheesing so hard.
          When I sit across from Dave in the booth, I notice he has already ordered drinks, a beer for him and a mojito for me. I raise my eyebrows at him and he winks back. Well, I’ve never been known to turn down a drink.
          “Cheers,” I say, raising my glass to him.
          “Bottoms up.”





Gina Azzi spent all of her childhood summers at the beach in New Jersey - it was magical! Gina is a passionate reader, frequent globetrotter, and coffee enthusiast. She currently resides in Dubai with her husband, Tony.

Gina loves meeting new people and would love to hear from you! Get in touch with her at:

Email: ginaazziauthor@gmail.com