The Good, The Bad and the Morally Ambivalent
Aspiring history professor Bonnie Borle is offered the key to her success, but the price is steep. She must go back to 1881 to mend a tear in Billy the Kid’s timeline.
Once there, she can’t resist tweaking a few events surrounding the Kid’s final days. When her tampering proves disastrous, she and Billy must race across New Mexico territory, pursued by Sheriff Garrett, a posse and the possible end of the world.
Billy’s seen a lot in his young life, but he’s never met anyone like Bonnie—quick mind and an ability to curse that turned it into an art form. The strange do-hickies in her futuristic purse would put any Jules Verne novel to shame and they come in handy when trying to put the posse off their trail. Trouble is, they also tell a tale about Billy himself, which is more than a little unsettling. And no matter how hard they ride, the future has a way of outwitting them at every turn.
Although this is historical fiction, every chapter begins with a genuine quote by or about Billy and the author was careful to make the tale as historically accurate as possible.
“That there is William H. Bonney,” Pat Garrett said. He plopped the wooden chair beside Bell’s and gestured for Bonnie to sit. Knees feeling not quite up to standing at the moment, she sank into it gratefully.
“One hour,” Garrett repeated before clomping back to his desk.
The man across the room took a few steps and his leg irons clanked. His hands were clasped together, being bound at the wrist by cuffs.
Billy leaned against his bed, the only other piece of furniture in the room. No longer framed by sunlight, she could get a better sense of him. His hair was light brown and wavy. It was hard to tell from across the room, but his eyes appeared to be blue. He was dressed quite neatly, in brown pants and vest, with a dark blue shirt and red kerchief tied about his neck. He watched her with a slightly amused expression, then bowed his head, miming the gesture of removing his hat.
“Miss Cushing, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”READ MORE
She smiled. Remembered to breathe. Her heart climbed in her throat. “Mr. Bonney. Or would you prefer…Antrim? McCarty?”
“I’d prefer Billy.” His eyes danced. “And now you can say ‘Sure, Billy. Why don’t you call me Anabelle.’” She made no reply, but that didn’t seem to bother him in the least. He grinned widely. “All the way from Chicago? How about that? I’ve never been to Illinois.”
Thank god. Neither had she.
“And is Patsy treatin’ you all right?” He raised his brows.
“Billy.” Garrett boomed from the other room. “She’s supposed to be interviewing you.”
“I was bein’ sociable, Pat. You might try it some time.” Billy shook his head and pitched his voice low. “How that man was ever elected sheriff is one of the great mysteries of the world. I campaigned for Kimbrell. That man could carry on a conversation.”
Bonnie swallowed and stared down at the sheet of paper on her lap. “Speaking of Chicago, Mr. Bonney, where is it you’re from? There are several different accounts…”
Billy walked along the length of his side of the room, his chains clanking and dragging along behind him. “I reckon I’m from all of them, then. Wouldn’t want to argue with a newspaper reporter. That gets me into trouble.”
“Where were you born?” She shot her most serious expression at him.
“My recollection of the event is rather poor.” He shrugged, a not-quite-contrite smile on his lips.
Damn the man. He was as slippery with interviews as he was with jail cells.
“Well, if you won’t answer my questions, I don’t know how I’m going to conduct this interview.”
“Whoa. I was born in New York City, then.” He stopped in his tracks and began to chuckle. He looked at Bell. “I like this one. Got spirit. Reminds me of my bay.”
“Your…bay?” Bonnie tilted her head.
Garrett grunted from the other room. “Comparing her to your horse? And you think I need to learn how to be sociable.”
Billy looked down at the floor, then pulled his gaze up to Bonnie. “She’s a fine horse. Best I ever had. Smarter than some fellows I know too.” He tilted his head toward the door and mouthed words that looked like “Pat Garrett.”
He stepped closer to the line—only a foot away now—and the deputy shifted his hold on the rifle. Billy held his hands help up in the surrender position. “Loosen your grip on your Winchester there, James. I’m bein’ proper here.”
Billy stopped and bowed toward her, slight grin still in place. “My sincere apologies, Miss Cushing. I’ve had a bit of misfortune with newspaper reporters in the past. Forgive my rudeness, won’t you?”
He stood and looked at her. Now that he was only a few feet away, she could see the color of his eyes—the exact hue of the New Mexico skies. They widened a little as he took her in.
If Pat Garrett was larger than life, then Billy the Kid was somehow more alive than life. He radiated a kind of energy that would draw everyone to him. In her time, he would have been the center of attention at any party. In his, well, he had been the leader of men while still in his teens.
“Miss?” He tilted his head as he took a step toward her. “Your questions?”
Linda Green on Fresh Fiction wrote:
Time travel done right. Meeker makes Billy come alive and I loved the ending.
Regina Higgins on Amazon wrote:
The author pays so much attention to detail that Billy the Kid comes alive in front of your very eyes. I could not put this book down.
Billy the Kid is rather like a constellation--a few fixed points that we insist on connecting and embellishing again and again. The challenge is to create a new story while maintaining the traditional details. Terri Meeker completely respects the legend while adding her own extraordinary spin on the familiar story. Fun and thrilling from beginning to end!
This book was originally published by Samhain Publishing