KNUTSFORDIANS have given ‘The Real Housewives of Cheshire’ mixed reviews but a Knutsford author has shown it’s not all mansions, diamonds and rivalry.

Horse lover Zara Stoneley has released her debut book, ‘Stable Mates’, after signing a contract with one of the world’s largest publishing companies, Harper Collins.

The 51-year-old has seen a different side to the county than what is portrayed in the popular ITVBe show and feels her fictional account could be closer to the truth of how Knutsfordians and fellow Cheshire residents live.

Zara, a former IT consultant, said: “The Real Housewives of Cheshire might have divided opinion, but Cheshire is about more than money and manicures. The loveable characters in Stable Mates work hard, play hard and are there for each other. I couldn’t think of a better place to live.”

In her book, Zara has created fictional villages of Tippermere and Kitterly Heath, inspired by the town of Knutsford and nearby villages of Pickmere and Tabley.

“I’ve taken all the best bits of the places I love and created a rural idyll full of farmers, landowners and horse riders, plus a glamorous neighboring village alive with wine bars, champagne, footballers’ wives and Mercs,” she added.

“I hope the story reflects the lovely warm-hearted people, amazing countryside and the community spirit that really is alive in Cheshire. It’s true that a lot of rich and successful people do move into the area but there is also a core of residents that have lived here all their lives.

“I do love the contrast between old and new and it makes for a perfect story.”

‘Stable Mates’ has won the praise of best-selling author, Fiona Walker, and Zara’s next book is due out in May.

“My grandfather always insisted we were related to Elizabeth Gaskell and so I’m sure if he was still alive he’d be very proud to know I am now writing and living in Knutsford,” she added.