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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Book blitz:Corner of Ocean and bay by Gina Azzi +Author interview and guest post!!!

Book & Author Details:

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.


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:

Twitter: @gina_azzi

Author links:

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!

Ten Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Wrote a Novel

Thank you so much for inviting me to share on your blog! I’m Gina Azzi and I recently self-published my first novel Corner of Ocean and Bay.

Here are ten things I wish someone told me before I wrote a novel:

1.      It’s OK not to have all the answers. They’ll come to you in time.
2.      Your best ideas come from the most unlikely places – and in very surprising moments.
3.      Honest friends are more important than friends who don’t want to hurt your feelings.
4.      Have several people read your book – before you send it to the editor.
5.      The cover is incredibly important.  Yes, people do judge a book by its cover – it’s true!
6.      You don’t have to accept every suggestion someone offers on how to improve your novel – the ultimate decision to accept or reject a change is yours. But you should always listen first.
7.      Be open and receptive to criticism – you’re characters may grow a bit more, your ideas may develop, etc. – if you are open to understanding the perspectives of others.
8.      Some days, the writing will not come. And it’s ok. (Other days, it will flow. These days are awesome!).
9.      Your characters are not you. Or your friends. Allow them to form their own identities.
10.  Have fun – and enjoy the process! It’s amazing how much you will learn and grow and develop.

Happy writing!

An interview with Gina Azzi
Question: Tell us more about yourself.

Answer: My name is Gina and I’m a passionate reader. I’m obsessed with my Kindle. I also love traveling, iced coffees, and mint chocolate chip ice cream. I’m a pescatarian – I enjoy sushi too much!

Corner of Ocean and Bay is my first novel and taught me more about myself than most undertakings in my twenties.

Question: What is Corner of Ocean and Bay about?

Answer: Corner of Ocean and Bay centers on the friendship of Nessa and Jacie the summer before their senior year of high school. The themes present in the book focus on common teenage issues such as underage drinking, first loves, sex, family issues, etc. The underlying, core theme is the friendship, and all its complexities, between the two girls.

Question: How did you create the setting of Lockwood Quay?

Answer: The setting was largely inspired by my childhood summers at the Jersey Shore. Even though I have visited many other beaches, the Jersey shore holds a very special place in my heart. I think summers at the beach during my teen years were magical and contributed greatly to my outlook, sense of adventure, and enjoying the moments as they happen. I’ve never felt more carefree than I do at the beach.

Side note: I don’t think people outside of NJ ever refer to the beach as the Shore.

Question: What was the last book you read and loved?

Answer: I’m torn – it’s a toss up between Deborah Harkness’s All Souls Trilogy and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series. I just started book five, The Fiery Cross.

I absolutely loved the All Souls Trilogy and am really enjoying the Outlander series. Both are comprised of books you just can’t put down. They are good for summer reading if you have a lot of time because once you start, you will most likely spend the whole day reading!

Question: What do you do when you’re not writing?

Answer: A lot of the time, I’m reading! Lately, I’ve been trying my hand at cooking and learning new recipes. I would love to learn how to bake. I also enjoy yoga and Pilates – currently, I’m attending the pre-natal classes since I’m expecting my first baby in November. I also blog at Bookmarks and Champagne ( It began more as a way for me to keep in touch with family and friends back home but has evolved to include bits about travel and expat life. My best friend and I are considering a book blog as we both love reading and are attached to our Kindles half the time.

Question: Have you always wanted to be an author?

Answer: Writing a book has always been a dream of mine – just not one I ever thought I could turn into a profession. I’m very grateful for the support of my husband and family and friends to stick with this project and give it a try. I enjoy writing every day and feel very fortunate to do something I feel passionate about.

Question: What were your favorite childhood books?

Answer: When I was young, my mom read to me every night before bed and I would always beg for one more book. My favorite childhood book was Love you Forever by Robert Munsch. As I got older, I was obsessed with The Babysitter’s Club – I wanted to be like Dawn. I also really enjoyed  the classics: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, everything by Jane Austen, and Wuthering Heights. Harry Potter is my favorite series of all-time. I wish I could go to Hogwarts.

Question: What is your favorite place to write?

Answer: Since my husband and I live abroad and travel often, I find myself writing wherever I can – on plane trips and in airport terminals, in little cafes and coffee shops, in many news cities surrounded by new influences. But right now, the traveling has slowed down since I’m pregnant, so it’s my kitchen table! We’ve got this huge picnic style table from Ikea and I love spreading my notes and journals and coffee mugs all over it when I sit down to write.

Question: What are you working on now?

Answer: Currently, I’m working on a four-book series about four best friends embarking on their senior year of college. Each book will focus on one of the girls and the experiences she has during her last year of college – whether that be as a study abroad student, an athlete, a candidate for a competitive internship, etc. – as well as her personal growth and love interest! The first book is scheduled to be released in November 2015.

Question: If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?

Answer: I feel very fortunate to write. In the future, I imagine myself doing all sorts of things. I would love to own a café one day – one that only serves breakfast food and amazing coffee. I’ve always wanted to work on a vineyard and learn about winemaking. We’ll see what the future holds but right now, I’m really happy to be exactly where I am, writing!