I've got the wonderful Zara Stoneley with me today, here to share a few snippets about herself, and also a few teasers from her most recent release Stable Mates.
First up, (and in her own words), four facts about what life influences impact Zara's writing:
One – I used to run a dog grooming business, my favourite client was a tree climbing Border Collie (made life fun for the cats!)
Two - I wanted to be a vet when I was at school, but ended up as an IT consultant with horses, dogs and cats. Then a dog groomer, teacher and finally published author. (But still with the horses, dogs and cats)
Three – I spend every other weekend in Barcelona, and love the place, so it had to sneak into this story.
Four – My favourite place for writing is the sofa, but I get most of my inspiration when I’m lying on the beach.
One death that could change a village for ever.
Two villages, Tippermere the country home of the Cheshire set, Kitterly Heath home to footballers and film stars.
Three generations of families and secrets.
And, four hot men.
(What more could a girl want? Well, it is on offer for 99p at the moment!)
Want some teasers to wet your appetite? Here you go then:
Lottie grinned and forgot all about the weird Tiggy who had taken the opportunity to run back to Billy. ‘Pip said you’d be a lightweight.’
Tom stared back, horrified that details of the mad coupling had already spread through the village like wildfire, including a detailed description of any sexual deviancies and shortcomings he was presumed to have.
‘She said that?’ What had she meant, lightweight? Small, totally inadequate? Hung like a horse suddenly took on a whole new connotation of expectation and disappointment.
‘You’d never stand the pace, she said when she text.’
Text, she’d been texting in the middle of that? Was he really so pissed that he’d missed her waving her mobile phone around in between thrusts? And he’d got there, and so had she, unless all those animal-like noises had been because her mobile had got stuck somewhere it shouldn’t. Or were they to disguise the fact that she was actually reporting the whole thing while he’d been buried deep between those evenly tanned and toned legs?
Normally Lottie considered herself a pretty safe driver, but the highway code wasn’t uppermost in her mind as she sped along the narrow lanes, the green hedgerows a dizzying blur as she took a corner slightly too quick for comfort. Dizzy was the last thing she felt though as the broad black rear of a horse came towards her at alarming speed.
‘Shit.’ It would be so undignified to be killed with her nose buried up a horse’s back end. She could imagine the headlines, ‘Promising eventer, Charlotte Brinkley, died today of suffocation after embedding herself in a horse’s arse. The horse’s rider was unharmed.’
She wrenched the steering wheel to one side, clipping the grass verge with a satisfying clump and embedding a good clod of Cheshire mud under her front wheel arches, and ground to a halt inches from a ditch (she knew there was a ditch because she nearly fell in it as she clambered out), mortified that she had nearly added to the road kill statistics.
Amanda was pretty sure that her skin-tight breeches, purchased more for appearance than practicality, were going to split straight down the centre of her bottom and show off the blue knickers she’d worn for luck and to give her confidence. And if the breeches didn’t, she might. It also seemed a bloody long way down to the ground, and gymnastics had never been her forte. She’d been the girl at the top of the rope in the school gym, not sure whether it would be more embarrassing to ask for help or to slide down and get severe rope burns all the way down her inner thighs. ‘Just let go’ had never been an instruction that had worked for her.
She closed her eyes, said a silent prayer and did as instructed. For a brief, horrifying moment, her knee got stuck on the cantle of the saddle and a vision of the horse galloping off with her hanging limpet-like onto his side like a Russian Cossack flashed through her mind, and then her body weight took over (no doubt leaving a massive bruise on her inner thigh – how did one explain that whilst having a bikini wax?) and she slithered ungracefully to the ground. Still clinging onto mane and saddle.
She took a deep breath and asked the question she still wasn’t sure she wanted to, ‘Can we do it again next week?’
‘This is like herding cats,’ he raised his voice from a mutter to a shriek, ‘look, darling, will you just take the heels off so we can see the guy behind.’
‘I certainly won’t.’ The ‘darling’ in question, who had credits in Doctor Who and had been considered for a role alongside Sean Bean no less (or so she told everyone), glared at Xander. ‘It isn’t my fault he’s small.’ She turned to see the manager of the groom’s football team (known by Pip, and many others, as Yummy Jose), who was not used to having his lack of stature pointed out.
Jasmine, sensing a riot was about to break out, rushed in to usher Jose into a more prestigious spot, and gave the ‘darling’ an assessing look in an attempt to work out just how important she really was as far as readership figures went.
‘She shagged Sean, Jazz.’ Was Xander’s whispered message.
‘Bean or Penn?’
In a quandary, Jasmine weighed the importance of a tenuous link to Game of Thrones against an established link to the World Cup team, which normally would be a no-brainer, except this one was a worthy pin-up with a massive female following and speculation was rife (particularly in their magazine) about an imminent divorce.
Snub Jose and she might be saying goodbye to the promotion she had been working on for the last five weeks. And she had made more sacrifices than normal this time, given that the man she’d had to woo was overweight, had halitosis and a nasty line in the need to spank. Hard. With a brush, which she was sure had left bruises that would never go. ‘We’ll go with Jose, Xander, unless she takes her shoes off.’ Which, she had to admit, was also partly because she had her own ideas on what Jose could be doing after the wedding, and partly because aspiring actresses with big boobs and even bigger egos got on her tits. They needed bringing down a peg or two sometimes, and she had the power.
And don't just take my word for it that Stable Mates is a terrific read: Reviews –
.’A delightful romp peppered with humour, sadness, scandal and steamy sex’
'the perfect mix of horsey shenanigans, Cheshire glamour and flirty fun'
'as this story was building up to the end, it kept on getting better. Stable Mates is different to a lot of women’s fiction novels around at the moment and it was a really impressive read.'
'reminded me of Jilly Cooper whose books I grew up with. Stable Mates is up there with Riders and Rivals. If you loved these books then you will love this one'
'I laughed all the way through this book'
I truly felt Stoneley was fabulous at describing the comedic chain reactions set off by people, dogs or horses, alike'
Stable Mates Blurb -
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?
Buy links –
Amazon Barnes & Noble Kobo Foyles Waterstones
Sainsbury’s Google Play iTunes Blackwells
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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