The beautiful daughter of a wealthy rancher, Bethie Jo has pined for the ranch hand next door for as long as she can remember.
★ Can she still love him when she learns who he really is?
Bethie Jo is in her senior year of high school, class of 1957, and is feeling the pressure to find a well-to-do rancher’s son to marry.
But none of the high school boys interest her. The man she’s known most of her life, however, the cowboy who works at the strange ranch next door, is the one she wants. And she is willing to go against all the prejudices of her friends, her parents, and the whole town to follow her heart.
But Calvin is hiding more than she realizes.
Cal’s own heart has been tied to Bethie Jo’s since he first met her. When she decides she’s ready to take their relationship to the next level, Cal tries his best to fit in.
But if they are going to be lovers, he must reveal to her who he really is and what is really going on behind the odd happenings at the Myer ranch. The rumored Skinwalkers are closer to her than she knows.
At first, his differences don’t matter — Bethie Jo loves him anyway.
But when she sees what the alien in him can become, something vilified by everyone in town, will she stay with him as she promised?
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I have a passion for alien conspiracy theories!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I tried to imagine those who would encounter aliens with the 1950s first contact.
Bethie Jo recognized one of the ranch hands. Though his sandy brown hair was hidden under a battered cowboy hat, she’d know that defined jaw and sturdy build anywhere. And when he flashed those strangely silvery-hazel eyes at her, she fairly melted.
“Hello, Calvin,” she said, waving at the men. Calvin set down his hammer and sauntered over.
Sauntered. Oh, the man has such a way about him!
“Well, hello yourself, Bethie Jo.” He used his index finger to tip the brim of his hat upward to see her better. “How are you doing today?”
She clasped her hands behind her back, letting her bound walnut locks swish around her shoulders.
“I’m doing just fine, Cal. How about you?”
“I’m doing just fine, Bethie Jo. Just fine.”
The deep baritone of his voice vibrated in her chest, and she giggled at him. Why did she feel like a silly schoolgirl every time she saw him?
They had lived next door to each other for a while. She was just starting middle school when Cal moved to the Myer ranch with his father. He let her pal around with her brothers, helping him with the more mundane chores.
When she started high school, her mother forbade her from helping on the Myer ranch, telling Bethie Jo she had enough chores on their own farm, but Bethie Jo knew the real reason. Her mother wanted to prevent her from seeming inappropriate with a ranch hand.
As she had grown, her feelings for the hunky cowboy had also grown — not that she would say as much to him. Polite though he was, she was certain he saw her as a little sister. She and Cal had remained friends, meeting often right at the property line to chat, walk the horses, or if her parents were out for the night, lay out on the grass and admire the stars.
Cal’s own fascination with the stars had rubbed off on her. Even as inappropriate as it might be for her to sneak off into the night to meet him.
“Can you meet up later? My bunkmate has a date in town, so I’m on my own tonight.”
Strawberry Chase has hippie parents, who evidently think naming kids is a type of party game. She has been writing for years and years, an old soul in an aging body. She drinks wine, eats brie, watches bad TV, and reads lots of books.
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