Friday, November 2, 2018

Virtual Book Tour: A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love by Arden Powell (Meet The Cast + Giveaway)

Hi, I’m Arden Powell. I’m here to share writing tips, anecdotes, and behind-the-scenes notes about my new release, A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love. Comment on my blog tour for a chance to win a $20 gift card!
About A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love
What he wanted was a music career. What he needed was love.
When Kris Golding leaves his dusty Kansas hometown for a fresh start in New York, he thinks an apartment and a job are waiting for him. But when he finds neither, rather than admit defeat, he takes his chances busking—and meets Rayne Bakshi of international rock band The Chokecherries. Rayne needs a new guitarist, and gives Kris his first break since leaving home.
Rayne wears makeup and glitter and thinks nothing of kissing Kris in front of twenty thousand screaming fans for the attention. Instantly infatuated, Kris begins to question whether he might have a crush on Rayne—could he be bisexual? But since Kris originally claimed to be straight, Rayne’s wary of getting involved offstage.
As their tour gains momentum, Kris’s sexuality becomes the least of his troubles. Between his conservative brother hell-bent on “rescuing” him from his life of debauchery, a peacock that may or may not be the avatar of a cult god, and a publicity stunt that threatens to upend the band, Kris is definitely not in Kansas anymore.

Queer Identities in Summer Soundtrack: Meet the Cast
A lot of LGBTQ+ romance focuses more on the G and less on the everything else, but there’s a whole spectrum of rainbow identities waiting to be written about. Here’s a list of characters from A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love and where they fall in that spectrum, whether it’s under the G or somewhere else. None of them are defined solely by their gender/sexuality—in some cases, it has nothing to do with the story whatsoever—but for the sake of the list, that’s how we’re going to break it down.

Kris Golding: The main character. Summer Soundtrack is Kris’s coming out story: he grew up in a tiny, conservative Midwest town and only dated girls before moving to New York and meeting Rayne and The Chokecherries. He always suspected he was bi, but he never had the chance to explore it before leaving home. Now he just needs to work up the courage to make a move on Rayne and see if he’s right.

Rayne Bakshi: The love interest. Rayne is the out-and-proud vocalist in the indie rock band The Chokecherries. He’s flamboyant, fashionable, and not remotely shy about his sexuality, or about kissing Kris on stage for attention—but he’s been burned in the past by guys who wanted to use him to explore their sexuality, and he’s not keen on making that mistake again.

Angel: The best friend. Angel is a black trans woman, makeup artist, and burlesque club owner/dancer. While she’s comfortable in her skin and not shy about talking about her experiences as a trans woman, her being trans isn’t essential to the plot, either. She doesn’t get outed, and she’s not there to serve as any kind of lesson for the other characters. I just wanted to write a trans character chilling and living her best life, trauma free. So I did.

Calloway: A recently outed gay vocalist of another band, whose management decides to use his outing to drum up some publicity.

Stef: The Chokecherries’ non-binary bassist. I’m non-binary myself, so I had to include at least one instance of enby rep. Stef uses they/them pronouns, dresses like a hipster, and ends up with a punk drummer girlfriend, so they’re basically living the dream.

Cassie: Kris’s younger sister who arrives on the scene and immediately wants in Stef’s pants. It’s never explicitly stated whether she IDs as pan, bi, or something else, so we’re going to say pan, or maybe just ambiguously queer.

Billie and Jay: Members of The Chokecherries’ opening act Passionfruit, and ostensibly straight—they’re both engaged to different girls—but they also enjoy violently making out with each other on stage, so there may be some soul-searching in their future

Freddie Mercury: The peacock, not the singer. Not enough data present to make a case either way, except that, like his namesake, he was clearly born to be the center of attention.

There’s no single way to be queer: identities can overlap or shift over time. A label that fit as a teen might get changed as an adult, or a label you’d never heard of before might suddenly change how you see yourself. Or you might reject labels entirely. I didn’t try to represent every single queer identity in Summer Soundtrack—I left out the lesbians, for one, which I’ll have to remedy in future projects. I just wanted to offer a range that doesn’t get seen as often as the standard cis/gay in M/M romances. But whether you see yourself in Summer Soundtrack or not whether you’re interested in different queer identities or not—I hope you find it a fun read, whether for the characters or the adventure or the mayhem of the plot. The rainbow is just the icing on the cake.

About Arden Powell
Arden graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with an Honours degree in English literature and the realization that essay writing is just another form of making up stories. They also came away with an overriding and all-abiding love of semicolons, to the general dismay of their editors.
Arden lives in Ontario with a dog, a fellow human, and an unnecessary number of houseplants.
Connect with Arden:

To celebrate the release of A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love, one lucky person will win a $20 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 2, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


  1. Sounds good!
    jlshannon74 at

  2. I love the title. Congrats

  3. I loved this post, and I can't wait to read this book. Great job! (

  4. sounds great congrats
    jmarinich33 at aol dot com

  5. congrats on the new release


  6. Thank you for the post and good luck with the release!
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  7. Congrats and thanks for the post. This sounds great, and I definitely like books where they are "definitely not in Kansas anymore."
    - TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com