One of my fellow HarperImpulse over has popped in today!
Thanks for inviting me over Jill.
There’s one thing I’ve always loved about being part of the horsey set in Cheshire, apart from the men, and that’s the great girls. If you want to meet some strong minded women, who are independent and capable, then head for almost any stable yard or country estate.
In Stable Mates I had the ideal opportunity to introduce lots of athletic, good looking guys – from the fit eventer Rory, to the older Billy and ex-model Tom, with a lot more in between. But, I also had the chance to create some wonderful female characters. The type that make a great and loyal best friend, the type you know will always be there for you. The type that don’t have to have a man lurking in the background all the time.
Lottie is slightly scatty, very disorganised and often forgetful, but she’s reliable and more than capable of handling a big horsebox or a stroppy horse. Then there’s Pip, the journalist who is as well groomed as any of the horses, and as happy with the country set as the models, footballers and WAG’s in nearby Kitterly Heath. Lady of the Manor, Elizabeth, has a penchant for a strong gin and tonic, but she isn’t half as batty as she like people to think, even if she is decidedly eccentric. And although she might appear to be a bit of a trouble maker – she knows exactly what she’s doing and why. There’s loveable Sam who knows just how to keep her superstar other half happy. And then of course there’s Tabatha, the goth teenager who already has a good idea of how to wrap her easy going father round her little finger…
Without all the strong female characters there wouldn’t be a story – the men might think they’re in charge, but we all know the truth, don’t we?
Tom only half heard. None of this was turning out quite how he’d planned. Not that there had been any big master plan, but it definitely hadn’t involved hitting the national headlines, landing a two-page spread in the local rag and getting the best shag of the decade followed swiftly by the hangover from hell. Nope, it had involved obscurity in the countryside. Yeah, great to be settling in, who the hell had coined the phrase rural idyll? Except, for some strange reason, he actually couldn’t feel upset about it. Although the primary aim had been to settle Tabatha, and right now she didn’t look that settled. Even with her precious four-legged and furry friend in tow.
‘Are you going to come or not, Dad?’ She was glaring at him.
‘Sure I am, poppet.’
‘I told you not to call me poppet.’
So much for the happy phase, that had lasted about five minutes, at a push. Maybe once she got the animal bedded and boarded she’d admit to being slightly satisfied.
‘Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. Mom rang this morning.’ And with a satisfied smirk on her face, mission accomplished, she turned and strode off after Lottie.
His own happy phase exploded into the ether as he stared after her, his mouth open, with a new churning in his stomach that had nothing to do with vodka.
Bestselling author Zara Stoneley lives in deepest Cheshire surrounded by horses, dogs, cats and amazing countryside. When she’s not visiting wine bars, artisan markets or admiring the scenery in her sexy high heels or green wellies, she can be found in flip flops on the beach in Barcelona, or more likely sampling the tapas!
Zara writes hot romance and bonkbusters. Her latest novel, ‘Stable Mates’, is a fun romp through the Cheshire countryside and combines some of her greatest loves – horses, dogs, hot men and strong women (and not forgetting champagne and fast cars)!
She writes for Harper Collins and Accent Press.
Find out more about Zara:
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Secrets and scandals, love and lust – when the ‘Cheshire Set’ are up against the ‘Footballer’s Wives’ the only common ground is carnal…
Flirting and fun seem the perfect antidote for Lottie’s battered heart, and where better to find them than back in tranquil Tippermere, home of sexy eventer Rory Steel, the smiling Irish eyes of hunky farrier Mick O’Neal, and mysterious newcomer, model Tom Strachan?
But when landowner Marcus James drops dead unexpectedly, and the threat of his waggish wife Amanda selling the heart of the village out from under them looms large, things look like they’re about to heat up in and out of the saddle.
With tensions running high, and the champagne flowing as freely as the adrenalin, is it any wonder that love catches more than one of them unawares?
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