17 Nov 2015

The Last First Game by Gina Azzi

The Last First Game by Gina Azzi
(The Senior Semester Series, #1)
Publication date: November 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

When Lila Avers accepts a medical internship through Astor University in California for the fall semester of her senior year, she doesn’t expect much. In fact, she’d rather work on her tan and meet a surfer instead of logging long hours at the hospital and studying. But before she even boards her flight to LA, she meets Astor University wide receiver, Cade Wilkins. A football player. When Cade turns out to be so much more than just muscle, Lila is smitten. Maybe a semester away from her friends won’t be so bad after all.
Cade Wilkins is beyond ready for his last season at Astor. Already being scouted and projected as a NFL draft pick, he’s riding a natural high and all set to breeze through his senior year. To sweeten the start of the fall semester, he meets his dream girl at the airport on his way back to LA. Lila Avers, a blonde, blue-eyed angel. Could life get any better?
When Cade is sidelined by an unexpected injury, he’s devastated to learn of more serious health concerns. As his world implodes, Lila holds him together. But is she strong enough to see him through his recovery?
As their own insecurities and doubts emerge, their new, fragile relationship is tested. Can Cade and Lila handle the ugly truths of falling in love when tensions flare, boundaries are violated, and uncertainty looms over the future of their relationship?

Hi Fiction Dreams! Thank you so much for having me share on your blog!

A pleasure Gina! Tell me, what inspired you to write this particular book?

The Last First Game is the first book in The Senior Semester Series. The series was largely influenced by my own experiences and lessons I learned while at university, particularly in regards to studying abroad, interning, rowing, etc. More than that, The Last First Game was influenced by something I wish I did in college –go to California! I still have never been and look forward to making a trip to CA!
Lila’s and Cade’s characters came about from a variety of sources – personal experiences, common twenty-one year old experiences, and current events. For example, one of the obstacles that Lila faces – whether or not to change her major – was a huge decision for me in college. Other issues like handling parents’ divorce or the death of a loved one may be experienced for the first time during university years. Additional themes such as dating, going to parties, finding love, and building strong friendships are generally associated with a collegiate experience in the US. I think a lot of people can relate to these experiences and may have faced similar situations during their university years.
An important aspect of The Last First Game is the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses. The statistic that one in four women are victims of sexual assault during their university years has prompted a reaction from the US government and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights with regards to Title IX obligations. US colleges have recently expanded their response to handling sexual assault on campuses by introducing new trainings into orientations to inform students on how to respond to sexual assault, the resources available to them, and how to assist friends who may experience sexual assault. I think this is an incredibly important issue – and consistent with a broader dialogue that is currently taking place on campuses across the country.
My goal in writing The Last First Game was to create ordinary college-aged characters and portray them experiencing challenges that readers can relate to. I truly enjoyed the entire writing process and hope readers identify with Lila and Cade’s story while reminiscing about their own university years.

Gina Azzi loved every moment of college – especially her study abroad experiences, internships, and travel adventures! She drew on her college experiences to create the storylines for The Senior Semester Series.
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

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