Excerpt: Chasing Swells by A.L. Goulden

An absorbing journey about riding the waves of life, overcoming childhood loss, and letting go of the mistakes that barricade us from our potential.
Chasing Swells
CHASING SWELLS
A.L. Goulden
Genre: Sports Romance
Publisher: Smashwords
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
A professional surfer struggles to reclaim the Championship when a travel writer is assigned to observe his journey between events. What seems like a dangerous diversion, both in and out of the water, forces him to accept that there's more missing from his life than another trophy.
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.
Loved it! A. L. Goulden knows how to keep you turning pages. The characters are fully developed and don't fall flat.
- aclaremont, Amazon Reviewer
Catching waves has never been sexier! This story is beautiful because you have a woman that is not confident doing a job where confidence is key to getting what you want and a guy who has all the confidence for both of them.
- The Book Fairy Reviews, Amazon Reviewer

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Excerpt

Landing Skids (her loss revealed in a helicopter)

Dean

***

She looks like one of those tarot cards my mom had. The Goddess one, with all the hair and fabric flying around her. I like this dress better than the yellow one. Dean watches the flutter of fabric around her breast, catching glimpses of the soft skin underneath. The only part of her dress that isn’t flapping in the wind is stretched across her lower back. Her curves are very, very nice. He can see the line of that black lacey thong he’d like another glimpse of while she leans against Garrett’s seat.

“Are you okay over there?”

Dean doesn’t realize she’s talking to him until her eyes remove his from her ass. "Yeah, I'm fine,” he says, amused by the return of her shy face. “Just taking in the view.” Azure sits back and secures her harness. Dean grows serious to prove he wasn’t ignoring her. "It must've been hard to be so far from your family. Were they in Oregon? Boston’s about as far away as you can get."

Her face goes blank and she turns away with a shrug.

Guess my bullshit smalltalk is even worse than my overly detailed wave analysis. When Azure stays distant Dean leans outside again, letting the wind sting all over. Don’t women always complain that we don’t listen? One minute she’s flirty, the next she’s not. Hope she’s not a cold-hot-cold kinda chick. I’ll pass on that, even for a quickie. The whole Candice mess is bad enough.

After a long minute Azure says, "I didn't have a family by then.”

There’s a still moment before Dean’s brain registers each sound of her words and their meanings, delivered so straight forward and simple. He pulls back into his seat slowly, searching for context in her face.

Azure puts her sunglasses back on, at first not looking away. "My parents and little brother died in a car accident when I was six. Drunk driver."

She retreats to the open air and Dean’s hand slides into hers. She doesn’t acknowledge it, but she doesn’t refuse it either. It feels like they're losing altitude, even though Bryce has them perfectly level. A truth rarely spoken about isn’t the kind of thing divulged over a microphone in a hurricane. No one knows what to say in the radio silence. It’s a familiar discomfort that Dean knows all too well.

"I'm really sorry," he says, "I lost my dad to a car accident when I was ten."

Of course, I still had my mom, so I’m an asshole for trying to compare shitty tragedies. I can’t imagine losing both. Losing everyone. And even younger than I was?

He puts on his sunglasses too, avoiding everyone before the emotions get too heavy. When she caresses his palm, still staring out into the reef, there’s a twist in Dean’s stomach. She doesn’t owe him any comfort. Especially not when his prying opened this can in the first place. But she’s done it. With the tiniest of movements on an inch of his skin, she sends the most soothing vibration through his whole body, making him feel less alone. His friends stay quiet in their unease, but what can any person say about a tragedy like they’ve faced?

Giveaway

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About A.L. Goulden

A.L. Goulden
A. L. Goulden has a BFA in Film Production from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Her love of a good story came way before college, but when numerous instructors and peers praised her dialogue she realized her creative writing hobby was a skill worth honing. Her 18 year career in interior design, production design and art direction for film and television have spun a unique perspective on visually emotional tales of relationships and the thread that ties all things together.
Connect with A.L. Goulden on social media:

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