Summer Moved On is due for publication on Monday 3rd August, 2015.  In the meantime here is a closer look at the background of the three main characters in the book.

Jess Hayden

Although well provided for materially,  Jess has grown up on the edge of a very exclusive relationship between her mother and father. Leo Hayden worships his wife and has precious little time for his daughter. An absent father, he spends most of the year in the Middle East, where he manages large construction projects. Diana, Jess’s mother is a social butterfly, she too has little time for her daughter and is frequently absent from the home when Leo is away. In order to sustain this lifestyle Jess is sent to regular sleep overs with friends or is farmed out to neighbours. Over the years she has learned to accept this unconventional upbringing.  However, as she approaches her thirteenth birthday, Diana drops a bombshell: she wants a divorce.

Her parents’ parting is traumatic; Leo has difficulty coming to terms with the fact that although he gave his wife everything it appears it was not enough. He is left a bitter and angry man, unable to cope with his wife’s betrayal. Saddled with a daughter he does not want, he decides to remain in the Middle East  It is left to Leo’s younger brother Rufus  to step in and take responsibility for Jess. Easy going and warm hearted, Leo’s successful bachelor sibling has no problem in welcoming his niece into his life.

Jess has been living with Rufus for three happy years when Leo indicates he is about to return to the UK for good – with a new wife.  Her time with Rufus has seen an unbreakable bond forming between the two of them. With these new and unwanted changes she wonders what life with her father and his new partner will be like.  She is relieved to find her new stepmother Amber is a warm, compassionate woman.  Along with the continuing presence of Rufus, she provides a much needed emotional buffer between Jess and her distant, brooding father.

Now in her last year at school, Jess  has her mind set on a teaching career. Leo, however, as someone who likes to control all aspects of his daughter’s life, is keen to make sure these aspirations are short term only.  He has decided her latest boyfriend, surgeon’s son Zac Rayner would make ideal husband material, taking every opportunity to make Jess aware of his views.  Currently the question of settling down with Zac is a contentious issue in the Hayden household with Jess determined not to let her father dictate her life choices – or anything else for that matter!

Talún  Hansen 

Twenty two year old Talún Hansen has no idea who his father was. His mother Francesca (Sesca) never talked about him nor has she ever divulged anything of her own background. For her the past does not matter, it’s all about today and looking ahead. Mother and son arrived in the South Devon village of Lynbrook with a group of New Age travellers in the summer of 199o when Talún was five years old. When they left Sesca stayed on, settling in the village and working for local farmer’s wife Ellie Selby

Four years ago another group of travellers arrived in the village and stopped to repair one of their vehicles. A few days later, and without a word to anyone, Sesca left to accompany them on the protest they were planning to join. All she left was a note promising to be back by the autumn – but she never returned. Since then Talún has been living at Manor Farm, working for George Selby and getting himself a reputation as a local lothario.

Lily Stevenson

Lily lives on her wits.  Raised within a large, troubled family, she left home at fifteen and has looked after herself ever since. Meeting Pauli Stevenson shortly afterwards, she sensed a kindred spirit: someone striving for a better life.  Moving in with him, they marry on her seventeenth birthday.  However, while Pauli undoubtedly adores her, he is firmly caught in a futile fantasy of making his fortune supporting the illegal activities of  his boss, local businessman Glen Maddox. He plans to buy a beach bar in Spain and make a life in the sun with Lily.

Twenty year old Lily now realises the  dream she had three years ago is over. Pauli is hell bent on a pathway of petty crime to achieve his goal and nothing will persuade him from it. Although he might think he is still on course towards a comfortable life in the sun, all Lily sees is  a loser who has managed to gain a prison record on his journey to nowhere.

Currently working as a waitress in The Golden Hind public house in Exeter, Leo Hayden is one of the  lunchtime regulars she knows well.  She is aware he has money and following an incident in the pub he is now in her debt.  A debt she is going to make sure she collects.



  1. Agatha Christie was right…you can see and experience the whole world in a small village. Sounds a fab read Jo, well done and good luck. Not that you’ll need much. I am sure this is a winner. 🙂


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