Tattoo Time: Ezra Taylor and a TELESA Thank you.

It’s Tattoo Time again. And today, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been so supportive and encouraging of the e-launching of my new book TELESA:The Covenant Keeper. Whether you’re buying the book, spreading the telesa word to friends and family, following the blog book tour, posting online reviews, or having me and Telesa over to visit your blog – thank you so much. I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive feedback and thoughtful assistance from so many of you. This journey is much less scary when you have a great support network. Fa’afetai tele lava!

Today’s tattoos are brought to you by the person most responsible for successfully conveying “Daniel”s image to the world – star Samoan rugby player, Ezra Taylor. (All photos taken by Tim Rasmussen Photography, Samoa)

Ezra was born in Australia but grew up in West Auckland. (Umm, I live in West Auck but I have to tell you that I have never seen any rugby players who look like Daniel hanging out at my local grocery store.) He describes himself as a “proud Australian born New Zealand raised Samoan with Kiwi, Scottish and English blood.” He was raised by his mother and describes his upbringing with his extended family as being filled with “love, generousity and fun.”  He writes, “the love we share is unbreakable and built on a foundation from our grandparents who engrained in us all, a sense of generosity and service.”

Ezra represented NZ at the U-19 and schoolboy rugby levels, and made his pro debut playing for Otago in 2006.  He signed with the Highlanders for the 2007 Super 14 Season, missed the 2008 season due to an injury and then played for the Queensland Reds, Super 14 before  moving to Connacht of the Magners League for the 2010-2011 season. He played for Manu Samoa in the game against Japan in July 2011. Ezra is a Loose Forward/Lock.  Ok, can you tell that I have no clue what all that rugby talk means? But for the benefit of those blog readers who actually DO know something about rugby, I’m copying this faithfully for you from Google.)

                           Playing rugby in Samoa is very hot work.

Like Daniel in the TELESA book, Ezra was a school prefect and House leader in his secondary school days. He played for the 1st XV for three years and in his final year they won the National Secondary Schools title.

“I was totally into my rugby at school and that took a lot of my focus. I always had teachers telling me that only a tiny select few go on to make a living from rugby and were very negative. In a way I wanted to prove them wrong.” Ezra admits that he was “in no way the perfect student! I loved English and History, hated Maths and looking back, I wish I did give a lot more towards my education.” 
       Because this post is about tattoos, we better check out Ezra’s tattooed leg.
In case you were wondering, Ezra (like Daniel) is a man in love. He married NZ Olympic Basketball player, Natalie Purcell in 2009. “I had seen her on the cover of Spasifik magazine and said to a friend how beautiful I thought she was. This close friend of mine had a sister who happened to play on the NZ Tall ferns Basketball team with Natalie. To make a long story short they organized we meet and to be honest it was love at first sight and the rest is history…There’s so many things I love about my wife, we bring out the best in each other and I love our strength as a couple. It’s hard because we both travel a lot for our professions but we know that we are blessed and this professional sports lifestyle  is not one you can live for long. We have to make the most of our talents and opportunities – it would be very sad if one day we were the grandparents who sat with our grandchildren constantly talking about all the things we wished we had done, the regrets we have…I love supporting my wife and am incredibly proud when I see her out there on the court.” (And on behalf of wives/partners everywhere, in a day and age when most sports figures are chasing Tiger Woods example – right there in that quote, is the reason why you should vote for Ezra to be rugby player of the year.)
Ezra says of adoring ‘female fan attention’ –  “To be honest I don’t really notice it. I’m not some Hollywood superstar or big time musician so it’s not a biggie. You get the odd “can I have a photo?” or “can I have your autograph” but that’s about it. Female fans are generally just that – rugby fans”. (So rabid fans, please keep that in mind..Dont be sending Mr Taylor naked pics of yourself or asking him to sign your rugby ball..)

When people ask me “Why did you pick Ezra to be the ‘Face of Daniel’ for the TELESA series?” (Well, apart from the obvious visual reasons.)  I want to say – because he’s not a Man-Whore. (Apologies to all the famous, successful and gorgeous Sports Man-Whores out there... )  But I don’t say that out loud because ‘man-whore’ is a bad word and I’m supposed to be cleaning up my vocab.

So I offer the other reason – There’s not a lot of Pacific Y.A fiction out there and it was important to me that the key characters in TELESA, be representative of some of the things I love the most about our culture. ‘Daniel’ is Samoan, Tongan and palagi and he honors his rich heritage on all sides. He values family, honors and respects the grandmother who raised him and more. And he rocks at rugby. Cant mention ‘best things’ about Samoa without rugby. I wanted a rugby player for TELESA who represented a lot of similar things to Daniel and I appreciate that Ezra Taylor fits the description in many ways.Before he did the TELESA photoshoot, Ezra asked me if there was anything about Daniel in the book that “would shame my family or upset the country.” I was happy to reassure him that Daniel was pretty much a dream fantasy male lead. And there couldn’t be anything too nasty/skanky in my book because my parents would kill me. (Not to mention my children might read TELESA one day.) Only then , did he agree to sign up.

So there you have it people, IF / WHEN you read the TELESA book, you will discover that Daniel is much more than just a pretty face. And more than his tattoos. 

        Which seems to be true of Ezra Taylor as well.
               Thanks Ezra.

Thank you for helping my blog host a record 18,000 visits last month. My YA urban fantasy romance Telesa:The Covenant Keeper is now avail. from Amazon for US and intl readers. Check out the reviews and see if this is a fire you would like to read more of…

                                               EBook – $2.99      Print Book – $14.95 USD
NZ and Aust readers can order from these links: $24.95 NZD  and $22.95 AUD
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22 comments

  1. So i just have to say while reading the book he is exactly how I pictured Daniel. And then seeing his pictures towards the end of the book i was like oh yeah… Im so intuned with the arthur… Funny. Anyways, awesome post.

  2. Spoken like a true Samoan when he inquired about whether or not there was anything in the book that "would shame my family or upset the country." You picked someone so befitting of who I envisioned Daniel to be. Not just from the physical aspect but all the other factors that make him such a well-rounded, lovable character. Loved this post miss Lani!

  3. love it….he is (if you havent gotten on)…a true "man of my dreams" kind of guy. not only in look but also in character and he has PRINCIPLES… thank u for the further understanding of Daniel….a.k.a. Mr. Ezra Taylor.

  4. He really is Daniel isnt he … such respect for his family and love for his wife nawwww you done really good finding him Lani… Definitely help when reading the book .. I actually didnt see his pic till after Id finished the book and had to read it again just so that I had the right pic of Daniel in my head .. that and because its a remarkable book that I couldnt help but read again… Thanks again

  5. I can completely understand why Leila would have hot flushes through out the book, coz with a Daniel like that he would make you move mountains! hahaha.. but Ezra is the ideal Daniel that every Teine Samoa would envision! And he has the natural flare and reservation that Daniel portrays through out the book! its nice to know and read that our Samoan boys still uphold the values of a true Samoan man. Congrats Lani for introducing a fantastic novel that has embraced the richness and captivating culture that we are all proud of! I love your work and keep it up! =) Proud Teine Samoa!

  6. I've just finished reading Telesa and i love it! It was so beautiful and yes fell inlove with Daniel and wanted more. Ezra sounds very down to earth and the way he talks about his wife wow that's awesome and you picked the right person to model in your book. Beautifully written and i can't wait for the next book to come out πŸ™‚ FaafetaiAussie Fan

  7. Loved the post! Mr. Ezra Taylor was exactly how I pictured Daniel while reading. Great pick Ms. Lani. Excited and I must say I've put aside other things to finish my book. Satisfied much but I'm ready for the next book. Can You push the release date forward Ms. Young. lol! love and support from Sacramento, CA

  8. OMG. this is the best samoan fiction book I've ever read.It makes me feel proud of being a samoan. As a teenager, it made feel like i was in the book and I loved it. Mrs.Young you have done a great work, so can't wait for the next book.

  9. Reading books you create your own picture painting of what the characters may look like. Viewing daniel's (Ezra)picture before reading i already started to predict what the story would be. Man was i way off. Love both leila and Daniel's pic not only did it make the book exciting to read I didn't have to create my ideal couple. Loved The book. excited for the next one.

  10. Would love to see this in movie! So much potential and action can go into this Story. And to think that it can actually take place in samoa? Then again…. Telesa that i do know Is from malaela and covers many other areas who simply look after the well being of the islands. love the book but also won't mock the ancient history.

  11. Hi Lani, great booK! HOOKED from the start to finish. reading the book made me feel like i was there as you tell the story, which is what the write whats its readers to feel. great work! makes me a proud teine samoa.lol but great to see that tama samoa has values and respect women in all area!!!

  12. Aside from Ezra Taylor, your female lead is just as beautiful and a very strong Teine SAmoa. So much so that she doesnt allow anyone to force their thoughts on her, such as her mother and the covenant keepers. She's a positive role model for a young Teine Samoa to aspire to be. Regardless or lacking a mother while growing up, she becomes a very strong young woman and matured, caring for her loved ones and willing to do anything to ensure their safety. Great Job Lani…CAnt wait for the next one!!!

  13. I LOVE YOUR BOOK πŸ™‚ LOL… EZRA is sooooooooooooo HOT , hehehehe , he takes my breath away πŸ˜‰ cant wait for the second book πŸ™‚ KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK . LOVE YOU DANIEL :0 LMBO

  14. OMG !!!!! ILOVE THE BOOK πŸ˜‰ LOL , i enjoyed ever part of it πŸ™‚ and i agree EZRA IS SOOOOOOOO HOT , he is the PERFECT SAMOAN GUY….. GRATE job Lani I cant wait for book two to cum out πŸ™‚

  15. HE'S SEXY AND I KNOW IT !!!!!! LMBO ommyyggoosshh πŸ™‚ the book was AWESOME , cant wait for my baby to cum in the second book πŸ˜‰ heheheheheh, nice job Lani ; keep it up.

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