You Can’t Take The Cowboy Out of The Man by E. Ayers

With_This_Ring_500_x800_2Cynthia: I have Cody Montgomery visiting with me today. He is the hero of With This Ring, a novel by E. Ayers. And the novella, I Thee Wed, that follows it, is about his daughter. And that novella can be found in Weddings on Main Street, a boxed collection of novellas by the Authors of Main Street.
He was born and raised on a ranch but has been living in a small town raising a pack of children and working as a lawyer.
Thank you for coming.

Cody: Thank you, Cynthia, for inviting me here today. Being the lead character in a book has been quite an experience. I didn’t expect it to be much different than being on a high profile court case, but it is. This has been much more personal.

Cynthia: I really enjoyed reading your story in With This Ring, then seeing you again in I Thee Wed with your daughter Julia. Unlike so many heroes portrayed today, you didn’t need rescuing from a house full of children.

Cody: (chuckles) We had each other and we managed. Hey, I haven’t poisoned anyone yet with my cooking. Meals are plain. I’m not into gourmet. I don’t have time for it. And as for housework, it’s a matter of staying up on it. I don’t like messes. I’ve tried to teach the kids to clean up behind themselves. But I’ll let you in on a secret; I have a maid service that comes in once a month.

Cynthia: I don’t blame you for that. I think everyone would appreciate help once a month. I think you’ve done a great job. And the children seem very well adjusted.

Cody: Thanks. They aren’t perfect angels. I’ve tried to keep them grounded.

Cynthia: Please tell me how a cowboy wound up in a small town.

Cody: I was in my twenties, divorced, and the girls were little. I had worked that one case in Texas, and it sent me into the limelight. That’s not where I wanted to be. As a defense lawyer, it was the worst place for me. Project Release was just getting started, and I knew I could do more good there than I ever could with the law firm where I was working. The money wasn’t important to me. Then I met Patty and she owned some property in a quiet little town. It was perfect for us.

I_Thee_Wed500_x_800_2Cynthia: Do you miss the ranch?

Cody: (nodding) Oh yes. I’ve thought about buying some acreage and keeping a few horses, but I already have a houseful of kids. Horses are like children with four legs. You have to feed them and take care of them.

Cynthia: You take the children back to the family ranch quite often. Do you think there’s something to be gained by living on a ranch?

Cody: A ranch is a wonderful place to raise children and my kids love their grandparents’ ranch. Even the twins are getting up in the cab of the tractor with their uncle. Nature is all around them and they learn to appreciate the fact that we can’t control everything. They learn to work hard, and the importance of good values and land stewardship. These are things that are harder to teach living in a cul-de-sac.

You can’t make a blanket statement, but there are things about the American West and ranching that teaches boys to grow up to be real men. I swear I can talk to someone for five minutes and tell if he or she has been raised on a ranch. You can take the cowboy off of the ranch, but you’ll never take the cowboy out of man. I’m trying hard to give my children the best of both worlds.

Cynthia: How do you think being a cowboy has helped you?

Cody: That’s a tough question. When I was still in law school, I got the nickname Ice. I think that came from being raised on a ranch. A ranch will teach you to concentrate on the job at hand. You stay very aware of your surroundings, but you never let it interfere. You learn that life is hard and death is cold. You also learn to protect your family, your cattle, and your property.

Cynthia: In With This Ring, there was a gun mentioned—

Cody: (puts both hands up) Before you go any further, do you know of anyone who was raised on a ranch, who doesn’t know how to use a gun or store it safely? As I said before, we’re taught to protect. I was prepared to protect my family from that bear. He wasn’t really interested in us. He wanted food. I had no desire to hurt the animal, but I wasn’t going to take any chances.

You and DeeDee seem like an unlikely pair with completely different backgrounds. How is it working for you?

Cody: We’re doing great. Sean and Ian have stepped up and help more since Julia has left home. DeeDee gets along with all the children and they like her. I’ve seen changes in all of them. She swears she doesn’t mother them, but she does. She’s tucked them under her protective wing. But she works long hours and the children all respect that. Yet, she’ll make room in her schedule to attend one of Ian’s games or even a Scout function for the twins. She’s trying very hard. And as for us, I get to wrap my arms around her every night.

Cynthia: Any baby news you want to share with us?

Cody: (grins broadly) Why do you think we’re doing this interview by Skype? I don’t dare be more than an hour away. Our daughter is due to make her appearance anytime now.

Cynthia: I know you are thrilled.

Cody: I am.

Cynthia: I have a snippet from With This Ring. It seems to me you two didn’t start out as friends.

Cody: She got the impression I had ripped her off on that piece of property she bought. Not exactly the best way to start a relationship.

With This Ring

Showered, shaved, and dressed in a good black suit, Cody looked in the mirror as he cinched the fancy gold Christmas bolo tie clip that had once belonged to his grandfather. Too childish?

Memories of his grandfather filled him with sweet sorrow. He could barely remember his father’s mother, but his grandfather had left a strong impression that wasn’t going to leave anytime soon. Of all the family members, Cody was the one who resembled the old man the most. There weren’t many family photos of the man, but in each one, the resemblance between them was remarkable.

Cody stared into the mirror. His hair was still black, but the threads of silver were there. It made him look older than he was. He turned away and ran a cloth over his boots. A chuckle rose in his throat. Elizabeth. I’m Elizabeth’s date. She just didn’t want to have to sit with Mr. Tyson.

A little part of him relaxed. “Julia!” he called, as he walked down the hall. “JULIA!”

“I’m in the kitchen.”

“I’m getting ready to leave.” The oldest of his pack met him in the foyer.

He grinned at his adopted stepdaughter. “I should be home probably no later than ten. This dinner should end at nine. If for some reason I’ll be later than ten, I’ll text you. Are you going to be all right?”

She rolled her eyes. “Dad, I can handle them.”

“What about dinner?”

“Hot dogs, rolls, baked beans, coleslaw, chips, stuffed celery, and for dessert, ice cream. I can handle it.”

He put on his heavy coat. I’ll be at the Grand Hotel on Main and Market. I left the number for the hotel’s desk in the kitchen.”

“I have your cell phone number. Why would I need the desk number? Get out of here!”

“I’m going. I just hate sticking you with everyone.”

“Leave!” She pointed to the door. “And stop worrying.”

He wrapped the Black Watch plaid scarf around his neck and tucked it in the front of his coat. Then hopped in his SUV. When he reached the coffee shop, he parked in the front.

Elizabeth still had the paper taped to the front door saying she would be closed early for the Downtown Business Association’s Christmas Dinner. That is so not politically correct. It’s the Holiday Dinner.

Laughing to himself, he opened the door and spotted Elizabeth chatting with several local businessmen from the community. He also saw DeeDee Drayden standing in the huddle, looking like a million bucks in a green and gold outfit. There was something about her that appealed to him. She was confident, and poised, but there was something else… He couldn’t put a word to it.

His gaze caught hers but hers was icy. Why did he care so much? He’d given up on women. There were a few in this town that practically threw themselves at his feet, and he didn’t want anything to do with them. He’d been burned twice and that was more than enough.

“There you are.” Elizabeth smiled brightly at him. “Come meet DeeDee Drayden, our newest downtown merchant.”

He looked at DeeDee and smiled. “We’ve met.”

The glare she returned was enough to send the room to sub-zero temperatures.

“Wonderful!” Elizabeth pulled him closer to DeeDee. “I suspected as much when I found out she bought the old department store. I’m sure the two of you will have a grand time getting to know each other. DeeDee, you ride with Cody and we’ll all meet at the hotel.”

“I’d rather–”

He grinned. “Miz Drayden, it’s merely a business meeting. There will be many more. I assume you have a coat.”

She practically snarled at him, and he found it charmingly funny.

Her eyes narrowed.

“May I help you?” He attempted to take the fancy wool cape but she yanked it away from him. He did manage to hold the coffee shop door for her and then open the door to his vehicle. “It’s only a few blocks.”

He slid behind the wheel. “Miz Drayden.” He offered his right hand to her. “Truce for the evening?”

3d-boxed-set_2With This Ring (available at Amazon only) but on all stores in Amazon. Here’s the USA link

Weddings on Main Street buy links

Amazon, B&N, iTunes and Kobo

YouTube video

15 thoughts on “You Can’t Take The Cowboy Out of The Man by E. Ayers

  1. Cody’s a nice man and deserves all the happiness he’s earned with DeeDee. And I’m so glad DeeDee found her man. Coming to a marriage with equal or almost equal personalities is the best way. That might be why sometimes second marriages work best.

    • Hi, Jane. Cody wanted to be here, but he just took DeeDee to the hospital! Today is the day!

      I think Cody deserved a little happiness, too. He’d made some mistakes in the past, but he’s learned from them. Not that he’ll ever understand women, but DeeDee isn’t a wallflower. I think she’ll set him straight very quickly if he needs it. 🙂

      I agree that marriage is teamwork and both have to be equally involved in it.

  2. I fell in love with Cody when I began editing this book for you, Elizabeth. He’s the kind of cowboy I’d have fought for! I love your novels! Keep writing!

    • Thanks, Jan. I figure if I can’t fall in love with my hero, no else will fall in love with him. But really, a man with seven children and two failed marriages… I think I’d have to step back until I really got to know him.

  3. Sounds like a wonderful story about a second chance at love. I give props to second marriages. It’s a tough road and can be the most rewarding time.

    Cody sounds like a winner!

    • DeeDee got a whole lot more than a small town lawyer.

      But I agree that often taking that plunge again can be darn hard. Cody had a lot to learn from his past mistakes and he learned the hard way with seven children who depended on him for everything. Parenting isn’t easy.

      Fortunately Cody realized that DeeDee was special. Her parents were divorced, her father was murdered during a hold up, she was a latch key kid, then she lost her mom just as she stepped out into the world as an adult. She’s a tough cookie on the outside who is driven to succeed. She’s not 105 pounds and wearing a size 2, but her need to be loved is as strong as any woman’s.

  4. Thanks for stopping by today Cody. I know DeeDee is about to give birth to your daughter, so I’m especially happy you took the time to answer my questions. Congratulations on the latest addition to your family.

    • Cody said to tell everyone hello! He’s got one of those new phones. He can read what is going on here, but he can’t figure out how to comment. So he texted me.

      He said to tell you thanks and that DeeDee is doing fine. Everything is progressing normally.

      He also said to tell everyone that the kids are not home alone, they are spending the summer on the ranch with their grandparents. But Melissa and Chelsea are going to fly home to help DeeDee with the baby.

    • Cody said to tell you thanks. He’s done his best and that all he can do.

      He just added a brand new daughter to his pack. Eight pounds, three ounces, she’s perfect! They are going to have dinner, then DeeDee intends to get some much needed sleep.

    • That’s so much for stopping by! I remember that you said you read the boxed set, Weddings on Main Street and fell in love with Aaron, so you’ve already met Cody as Julia’s dad.

      • That’s was supposed to be thanks. (Why do we see these things after we hit the post button, but never before?)
        That’s supposed to be a really big THANKS!

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