Guest Post with Giveaway ~ Chasing Swells by A.L. Goulden

Recline that lounge chair, turn up this soundtrack, and flip open Chasing Swells. You don’t have to surf, or even live near the ocean to enjoy the sandy, passionate escape inside these pages. Maybe it’s the filmmaker in me, but my soundtrack for each book is almost as important as the words. It sets the tone and pace of so many scenes as I write. I start compiling songs from the very beginning and add throughout the process. That usually means the list gets really long. It’s always tough to choose the top 16-20 tunes, but building a final soundtrack is part of my final process. This playlist will always take me back to these pages. And I hope it’s the same for you. As with all my books, I put together a Soundtrack through DragonTape, but you can find the full song rotation on Spotify.

DragonTape – Chasing Swells Soundtrack!/5155672723292160

Spotify Link (for full Chasing Swells playlist)


Chasing Swells Soundtrack (DragonTape Song List)

Inspiration is in the melody and lyrics. Dean is mellow most of the time. He’s in sync with the rolling tides and laid-back lifestyle of island life. But his career also throws him into intense moments of split-second decisions in competition as well as the constant spinning wheels of traveling the globe.

  1. “Black Flies (Nixon ReMix) – Ben Howard (video of Kelly Slater winning his 11th World Title)

The perfect representation of the glory and building intensity in Dean’s pursuit of the World Title.

  1. “Follow The Sun” – Xavier Rudd

The song that reflects the peaceful simplicity of an island life. 

  1. “You And Your Heart” – Jack Johnson

Dean travels the world with a crew of characters who add support to his competition efforts. Aside from his coach and personal trainer, his cousin and best friend are always by his side, sounding off and cheering him on. Jack Johnson is “da kine”, the ultimate fun in the sun artist who adds the playful sound that represents Dean when he’s with his crew. 

  1. “Sail” – AWOL Nation

This song is just a must when it comes to the pace of actually surfing a wave.

  1.  “Mr. Mellow” – Anuhea

Azure has her own rhythm that is 100% real. She’s not like the beach bunnies Dean’s used to, yet she slides into the mode with easy… and a catchy beat.

  1.  “Cruel Summer” –

Okay, I know this is totally a Blue Crush moment and there are no female surfers focused upon in this book… but who cares. It’s a great jam that sets up a competition on a surfboard, and during a cold winter, it brings the summer vibe.

  1.  “Drive Desperate” – Cold War Kids

This was mentioned in the book as one of the songs Dean listens to when he’s psyching himself up for competition.

  1. “Waves” – Young the Giant

This song makes me think of the confusion and excuses Dean and Azure both encounter as they’re trying to sort out their missed connections.

  1.  “Pumped Up Kicks” – Foster The People

The summer song that was always on when I came up with this book. It’s become sentimental, despite the lyrics.

  1. “Face The Sun” – Miguel

This is THE song. Once you read the book, you’ll understand.

  1.  “Paper Aeroplane” – Angus & Julia Stone

I can honestly say that I listened to more Angus Stone and Boy & Bear during this book than anything. It was impossible to cherry pick from their albums. This one has a sadness that reflects the longing and loneliness in both Dean and Azure’s life. 

  1. “Waves” (Tame Impala Remix) – Miguel

Another Miguel because his music is sexy hot and the subject is perfect. This is one of the many remixes, but I listened to the original song as much as this version

  1. “Wade In Your Water” – Common Kings

I love, love Island Reggae, which is reggae produced in Hawaii. It’s more mellow than Jamaican reggae and occasionally has ukulele.  

  1. “Jammin” – Bob Marley

Because no day, in my opinion, is complete without at least one Bob Marley song.

  1.  “Love Song” – 311

This was mentioned in the book as 

  1.  “Oceans” (Live) -Pearl Jam

This throw back is the ultimate surfer song. It swoons you into the currents and makes you want to bob on a surfboard watching the sunset next to Dean.

  1. “A Moments Grace” – Boy and Bear

This song was playing in the background when I wrote the first love scene at Dean’s Santa Barbara home.

  1. “Big Jet Plane” – Angus and Julia Stone

Since travel is a way of life for both characters, this song is so fitting.

  1.  “Black Water” – Of Monsters and Men Lyrics

This one makes me think of the dark, scary moments in the book. That’s all I’m going to say… no spoilers.

  1. “Waves That Rolled You Under” (backstroke remix) – Young Summer

I listened to her original version of this song a lot too. Young Summer is awesome. This song is about letting go and letting someone in once you understand what “waves” hold them down. I loved that Dean and Azure discover the darkness underneath, but continue to paddle into the deeper waters. Sharks and all.



Series: Chasing Swells, Book 1
Publisher: CreateSpace  (June 3, 2016)
Genre: Sports Romance
ISBN-10: 1533585520
ISBN-13: 978-1533585523
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


When he won his first World Title at eighteen, they said he’d be the greatest professional surfer to ever compete. Fourteen years later, Dean “DeBaz” Bazner is inching towards retirement having never clinched another Title. This year he’s pushing limits to prove his beginning wasn’t a fluke, and it’s working. Until she comes along.

You don’t have to know anything about surfing for it to change your life. Travel writer Azure Thomas can attest to that. She was navigating the changing world of freelance journalism when she took this gig. She wasn’t prepared for a man that connects to her profound loss and sacrifices everything, except his soul, to live his dream. He’s more than a hot magazine cover, and surfing is more than a hobby. The dangerous diversion, in and out of the water, forces Dean to accept there’s more missing from his life than another trophy.

Amongst tropical breezes, in the most beautiful locations on earth, CHASING SWELLS is an absorbing journey about riding the waves of life, overcoming childhood loss, and letting go of the mistakes that barricade us from our potential.


$10 Amazon Gift Card
Giveaway ends August 7th


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I'm a designer, author, wife, and dog-lover living in the South Pasadena area of California. I got my BFA in Film Production from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, but my love of a good story came way before college. I remember writing my first full story in fifth grade on a typewriter. I cut and pasted it into a book, complete with cardboard cover and taped binding. Things have changed a lot since then. With the magnificent digital age I can produce books and give them to the world without a sticky mess.

In college numerous instructors and peers praised my dialogue and pushed me to hone my storytelling skills. Of course the need to cut and paste was still there, so I went into the world of Production Design and Art Direction for films and television. It gave me the ability to connect design to storytelling in a way that no other career can. The past 18 years have spun a unique perspective on visually emotional tales of relationships and the thread that ties all things together. Now I'm shifting focus on the driving force that brought me here… stories. I hope that I can share a unique perspective on life, love and the pursuit in all of the above.

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