Special Event….Tessa Bailey and her Risking It All Location Photo Shoot

Hello! Thank you to Read-Love-Blog for having me today! When I wrote RISKING IT ALL, the easiest part of the process was visualizing where every scene took place. I live in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, but I’m familiar enough with nearby Bensonhurst and Coney Island that I could see every inch of the backdrop as I was writing. I wanted to share those places with readers, so my husband and I trekked around Brooklyn in our white Subaru and snagged some visuals to have on hand when you read the book! It was a lot of fun, but very cold. Enjoy!




Here we are in Coney Island! In the summertime, this place would be packed and we would have had to park multiple blocks away, but we’ve come in twenty-degree weather, so the only ones around are brave. Or taking pictures of locations in their book 😉 Behind me is the famous parachute jump and one of the newer roller coasters.




Toward the middle of RISKING IT ALL, Bowen whisks Sera away to Coney Island and they spend some time playing air hockey in an arcade (and some decidedly more memorable time in a photo booth). This is the arcade I envisioned as I wrote (on the left – you can see the Arcade sign). Unfortunately, it’s closed during the winter months, but I know the inside well. I wasted many a summer day inside in my early twenties. In the background is the famous Cyclone, which opened in 1927!



Boardwalk at Coney Island in winter





In RISKING IT ALL, Bowen opens up to Sera about some pretty emotional stuff involving his father and street fighter upbringing while leaning against the railing on the Coney Island boardwalk.




Also while in Coney Island, Bowen and Sera spend some time talking/eating breakfast on a bench – one of my favorite moments in the book. Beware of passing nuns 😉



Bowen and Sera’s Bench, Coney Island <3





In Chapter Fourteen, Bowen is forced to take Sera to Marco’s so he can discuss business. Without spoiling anything, the night ends with a near-melee on the sidewalk out front between rival crime outfits. This is the Homestretch Bar and Grill in Bensonhurst (Bowen’s neighborhood). It’s what I pictured Marco’s to look like. A little (a lot) run down, but a place that was probably a gem when it was new. Sera could have ducked into the red doorway to make that fateful phone call.




This is a building in Bensonhurst where I pictured Bowen living. It’s above an Italian restaurant, just like in the book.




Bowen’s building again. The entrance is on the side street where the buildings split. I think of Bowen watching Sera from across the street, smoking a cigarette while she searches his car. That scene takes place at the crack of dawn, so there wouldn’t by anyone around. ALSO: you can see my white Subaru parked of the left corner as I take the shot. LOL.




This is where I imagined Bowen taking Sera to church.  St. Ephrem’s Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn. That’s me on the steps (my husband took the snap).




In Chapter Seventeen, Sera leaves Bowen at the apartment and goes to the park where her brother was shot. This is the park I pictured her running away from Bowen when everything starts coming together in her mind.



Thank you so much, Tessa, for these amazing pictures and your thoughts on all of these locations.  It’s so amazing being able to see the places that inspired Risking It All, one of my favorite reads ever <3 

I hope you all enjoyed this special post as much as I did and thanks for stopping by! 


Risking It All is available now

Risking it all cover

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  1. Love this! Great post and fun looking location.

  2. These are GREAT Tessa! I am over half way through reading the book…I LOVE having these visuals…great job!

  3. Loved the special post now I can picture places clearly as I continue to read Risking It All 🙂

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