Thursday, September 11, 2014

Guest post from author Zara Stoneley: In Praise of the Older Hero and Heroine




Thanks for inviting me over here today, Nic! 


When I went to the Festival of Romance last year, to do a reading and book signing, there was a gentleman who was very politely quizzing nearly all the authors about why there weren’t more mature (as in over a certain age) people in the romance stories we wrote.


Now there were actually quite a few authors present whose books featured older hero’s and heroine’s, but he did have a point – they’re in the minority.


In ‘Stable Mates’ there are a lot of characters, and they span the generations. Which made it great fun to write. One of the strongest characters in the story has to be Elizabeth Stanthorpe, Lottie’s gran. She’s a real mischief maker and likes to use her age as an excuse for doing more or less whatever she likes. 

And at the other end of the scale is teenage Tabatha, who has a crush on more than one of the riders, much to her father’s dismay.


I don’t want to give the story away, but the romance isn’t limited to the twenty-something’s. Young love, and mature love, are very different and there’s room for both in a good romance. And there’s definitely room for both in Tippermere!





EXCERPT
Elizabeth Stanthorpe had been born in Tipping House, and fully intended on dying there. After she’d ensured that her family would continue running the estate in the way it deserved to be.

‘I imagine that young Rory thinks Dominic is gay.’ She raised an eyebrow as Lottie spluttered a shower of gin and tonic over one of the black Labradors and then hastily tried to rub it in with the back of her hand.

‘I’m not sure that’s why they don’t like each other, not that I think Uncle Dom is gay, of course.’

‘Well, I did.’ She took another swig of her own drink.

‘Gran, you can’t say that.’

‘Well he can be so bloody prissy at times, not a bit like his father was. If it hadn’t been a home birth I would have thought there had been a mix up at some point. No one would have ever have accused your grandfather of batting for the other side, although those private schools can bring out the worst in boys.’ She focussed back on her only granddaughter, only grandchild, who was going a funny shade of pink. ‘Well, you did bring it up, darling. Pour me another drink whilst you’re up, there’s a good girl.’

Lottie had been about to say she wasn’t actually up, but knew it was useless to argue with her grandmother, who had what she referred to as ‘backbone’.

As she sloshed a good measure of Bombay Sapphire gin into the chipped crystal, she decided that it was a good job they didn’t make them like that anymore. Although the matriarch could be more fun than the rest of the family put together when it suited her. Nothing stopped Elizabeth when she got the bit between her teeth, and Lottie secretly thought that her grandmother wasn’t as batty, forgetful and deaf as she liked to make out.

‘All I said,’ she passed the drink to Elizabeth who sniffed it as though she suspected it might be laced with something, or more likely not strong enough, ‘was that Rory thought it was strange when Uncle Dom turned up at the dressage. Did you have anything to do with that?’

‘I may have mentioned it.’ She tapped a long nail against the side of the glass, piercing blue eyes fixed on Lottie. ‘You could do a lot better than that man, Charlotte.’ She shook her head slowly. ‘You are so like your mother in some ways.’




Zara Stoneley



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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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





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