Sunday, January 11, 2015

Read an excerpt from 'Chasing Lightning' by Rachel York


Scarlett Faye Turner belongs to a generation of women undone by love – a fate she intends to escape. When she isn’t mouthing off and shocking everyone in the backward river town of Dillinger, Pennsylvania, Scarlett has her nose buried in a book dreaming of a life far away where fame and money can keep her safe from the bogeymen of her childhood and the consequences of following her heart. Scarlett believes falling in love makes you as crazy as her neighbor who chases after thunderstorms with her camera. She is positive no one in their right mind would risk being struck by lightning any more than they would by love.

But all that resolve quickly crumbles when seductive Gina Jamison shows up Scarlett’s senior year and knocks her heart sideways. Their improbable meeting and steamy love affair starts Scarlett on a journey that will take her across the years and through a succession of lovers…from a women’s college in West Virginia to the magical desert of New Mexico to the sexual liberation of Paris in the 1960s…from the arms of a woman she can never forget to the depths of her own soul and a painful realization that promises to transform her completely.

Read a sample chapter:


The taste of Gina’s lipstick was still on Scarlett’s mouth as they walked into the Katmandu. A few women stared at them, smiled and then went back to their drinks as a new Tom Jones song blared out of the speakers. It was an exciting, sexy place to be. It was the first time Scarlett had ever been to a lesbian bar.
The club’s high-charged atmosphere was heightened even more by its flashing strobe lights, the cigarette smoke hazing the air, the scent of commingled perfumes, the edgy sensuality and, on the dance floor, the syncopated rhythm of the hunt, uninhibited, playful, intense—the collective erotic rush.
Not just French women came to the Katmandu, there were women from everywhere. The club was world famous. Being named after the capital of Nepal, however, might seem a bit odd since the spiritual side of a woman was of no apparent interest here. Sitting off in one corner Scarlett noticed half a dozen men seated at tables surrounded by women.
“What are those men doing here?” Scarlett asked Gina.
“They’re Johns.”
“Men who keep women.”
“But the women they’re with are lesbians. Aren’t they?” asked Scarlett incredulously.
“Yes,” answered Gina.
“Then why are they with those men?”
“They have an understanding,” said Gina. “The women they’re with are here with their own girlfriends.”
“That’s cozy!” observed Scarlett sarcastically. “Now that just doesn’t make any sense. Does it?”
“I’ll explain later,” said Gina, taking Scarlett’s hand and leading her to other side of the club. She wanted to discourage any further questions for the time being. “There they are,” said Gina, gesturing toward five gorgeous high-fashion models, all friends of hers, and all lesbians except Britt, a blond from Sweden, and a red-head called Patrice, the most beautiful of them all. “This is Scarlett,” announced Gina, raising her voice above the music.
“So you’re the one we’ve heard so much about?” said Britt.
Scarlett was surprised and embarrassed, even nervous. Beautiful women always did that to her. They appealed to the shallow side of her nature and at this point in her life, that side was still extensive.
“Sit down, Scarlett. Here, next to me,” said Patrice with a French accent, patting a spot on the couch. “I want to hear all about you. This time from you.”
Gina smiled. “Go ahead, Scarlett. But be careful. Patrice loves to dish.”
Scarlett finally sat down, so nervous not a syllable left her mouth. Patrice was just too gorgeous.
“Gina’s description hardly does you justice. You’re lovely,” said Patrice. “And some legs,” she looked over at Gina. “You never said anything about her legs.”
Gina smiled again and lit a cigarette. “There are a lot of things I never told you about Scarlett. They’re private.”
Patrice laughed. “Gina has such a diplomatic way of putting you in your place. Doesn’t she?”
Scarlett didn’t answer. She just kept trying not to stare at Patrice but it was impossible. Head to toe, she was flawless. Not one feature could have been improved. Before Scarlett came off as completely rude, a waitress arrived at the table with a magnum of expensive champagne and everybody began singing “Happy Birthday” to Gina. The cork was popped and the dry sweetness flowed. Britt proposed a toast and everyone at the table raised their glass.
“To Gina Jamison, Paris’s future couturier formidable,” said Britt. “And we won’t mention her birthday again.”
As everyone laughed and made more toasts, Scarlett looked around at the other women in the club. Some were dressed like men, looked like men, but not many. Most wanted to look like what they were, women. Scarlett’s eyes drifted back over to that other corner, the one with the men and their lesbian dates. For the life of her, she could not understand how gay women could be whores.
A large number of single women stood at the bar cruising the others and keeping an eye on the door, just in case someone new walked in. One woman caught Scarlett’s eye. She looked familiar but Scarlett could not place her. The woman saw Scarlett looking at her and smiled. Scarlett turned away. She did not want to give the stranger the wrong idea. She was with someone.
“Want to dance?” asked Gina.
“Yes,” said Scarlett and she got up. “I haven’t heard this song in a while.”
“Me either.”
Gina guided Scarlett out onto the floor and pulled her to her. A revolving kaleidoscope on the ceiling bounced colored light around the club in time with the music. Gina pulled Scarlett still closer. Dancing next to them were two tall, extremely attractive women, one dark, one blond, oblivious to everyone else. Gina watched them for a moment and then turned her attention back to Scarlett.
“Are you enjoying yourself?”
“Yes,” answered Scarlett. “I like your friends a lot. Especially Patrice. She’s a real trip.”
“He certainly is.”
“What!” exclaimed Scarlett, staring at Gina in total disbelief. “What did you say?”
“He. Patrice is really Patrick.”
“You’re kidding?” replied Scarlett incredulously.
“No,” said Gina with a wry smile. “You’re looking at Paris’s top model. He’s on more Vogue covers than the rest of them put together.”
“A transvestite!”
“That’s right,” laughed Gina. “One who sells a lot of clothes. Women will pay anything to own an original worn by Patrice. They all want that look and they think Patrice can give it to them.”
“It’s hard to believe,” said Scarlett still staring at the man who looked better in women’s clothes than most women did. “What if they found out?”
“They won’t,” assured Gina. “Just a couple of us know.”
“Is he gay?” asked Scarlett.
“You really don’t think a straight man could pull that off, do you?”
Scarlett shook her head unable to keep her eyes off Patrice. He smiled and waved a little feminine wave in her direction. “No. I guess not,” said Scarlett, looking around. “This club is something else. I’ve never seen so many beautiful and exciting women in one place.” She glanced over at the same two women Gina had noticed earlier. “Is it always like this?”
“Always.” The music ended and Gina brushed her lips up against Scarlett’s. “I love you.”
“Me too,” said Scarlett spontaneously. She looked surprised, obviously caught off guard by her sudden admission and how vulnerable it made her feel. She pulled away from Gina.
“Where does a girl freshen up around here?”
Gina smiled and nodded toward a darkened hallway on the other side of the club. “Over there.”
“I’ll be right back.”
“Don’t flirt with anyone,” kidded Gina.
“Moi? Never.”
As Scarlett made her way to the bathroom, a lot of ladies looked in her direction. More confident now, Scarlett smiled at them and wondered where that face was she had seen earlier, the one that was so familiar. When Scarlett opened the bathroom door, she quickly found out. Standing there was Delores Sheridan, the face Skeeter Boyd loved to jerk off to back in high school, the actress whose face had adorned more movie magazines than Scarlett could count.
“Hello,” said the sultry voice.

“Hi,” answered Scarlett.
“I’m Delores. Delores Sheridan,” she announced, giving Scarlett her hand.
“Scarlett Turner. Nice to meet you.”
“First time at the ?”
“Yes,” said Scarlett. “First time in .”
“Ever been to Greece?”
“No,” said Scarlett.
“Would you like to?” asked Delores.
“Sure. Someday. Who wouldn’t?”
“I’m going tomorrow,” said Delores and she pushed a piece of paper into Scarlett’s pocket. “Here’s my telephone number. You can make that someday any day you want.”
“I’m with someone,” objected Scarlett but nonetheless flattered.
“My number is for when you’re not. Nothing is forever.” With that Delores smiled and walked out of the bathroom.

Available on Amazon

Rave reviews!
“If you like grand adventure with lots of passion, then don’t pass up the chance to read CHASING LIGHTNING. From friendship, self-discovery, acceptance, and the true nature of love, she covers all the bases, showing what a complex set of rules we sometimes create for ourselves, and the havoc they can wreak. CHASING LIGHTNING is one of the best lesbian coming-of-age novels I’ve read.” --

“Lightning strikes twice in this novel…when you read it and when you think about it later!” – Rita Mae Brown 
“Chasing Lightning is sexy and fun!” -- Sandra Bernhard

Read an other chapter here. 

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