Kick-Butt Awesomeness AND a Giveaway

Today was a good day. We (finally) left the house and took the Fab5 to the city to try ice skating and look at the city. Which transported them into paroxysms of delight because these poor woebegotten creatures hardly ever get to go anywhere and the sight of bright lights, shop windows and an endless array of well-dressed people going about their night life socializing was an otherworldly experience for them all. And even though I’d been dreading going out with them all – I ended up having a blast and reflecting upon how much I love these people who live in the same cave as me. Especially after ice skating when we bought a bucket of hot sugar-covered donuts from a donut stand and then sat under sparkling winter wonderland lights in the cold and ate them. And everybody was smiley and cheerful and happy. (Because donuts can do that to you.) Me and the Hot Man were feeling rather in synch that yes, it rocks being parents to five fabulous children. Here we are, looking and feeling this transient feeling…

MeAndDarren

But today was also a kickbutt awesome day because I got my copy of ‘The Bone Bearer’ in the mail. It came to me all the way from America where the books are already available from Amazon. The NZ printer isn’t done yet with the books so I have had to endure people on Facebook posting pics of themselves with THEIR paperback copies of MY book when I hadn’t even gotten my hands on a copy yet. BUT, today I got my book and it was beautiful. And I was super excited. Im now the author of six books but I gotta tell you, the buzz of getting your new book in your hands never goes away. I don’t scream as loud and I don’t dance all over the house – which the children greatly appreciate, but otherwise, I’m pretty celebratory!

awolt

And then I was a little tearful because its kind of the end of Daniel and Leila’s great love story which has taken me over two years to tell. And I thought about all the wonderful people who have helped me on this journey and supported these books and gone out of their way to share them and take them to the universe…and I wanted to tell you all how grateful I am for you. For your enthusiasm and willingness to embrace a story from a little island in the South Pacific. You’re kickbutt awesome. Thank you.

To celebrate FINALLY getting my book…I’m giving away TEN print copies of ‘The Bone Bearer’. This giveaway is open to the universe and to enter – tell us WHO your favourite character is in the Telesa Series and WHY. Please also tell us where in the universe you live and where/how you first found out about the Telesa Series.

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80 comments

  1. So, my favourite character in the Telesa series is, typical, Leila. She’s shown so much strength and courage throughout her journey, trying to juggle a normal life and her Telesa life. Trying to live a normal life whilst learning how to control her Telesa powers can be a daunting thing, especially at her age, where she should be experiencing all the things normal girls should experience, like falling in love without the fear of toasting her boyfriend. And that’s also another aspect of her life she has to deal with. Trying to have a normal relationship with Daniel AND learning that he is a Water Telesa just adds to the crazy in her life. At her age she shouldn’t have had to make the courageous decision to sacrifice herself to save the island of Samoa, but she did because she was the only one who could do it. I think Leila has more strength and courage than any other character, and I hope that in the third book she comes back to us and Pele goes back into the volcano!

    I’m currently in the Waikato, studying at Waikato uni, but I first found out about the Telesa series in my hometown, Auckland, just last year. My bestfriend told me all about it and was hogging her copies (:P hehehe) so I had to hire it out at the library, and boy was God looking down on me then. Not only did I find Telesa there, but also When Water Burns was right next to it! SCORE! Was so thrilled it took me all of three days to read both books. I even got my older sister to read them, and she’s just as keen as I am to read the third book! Well done Lani! You’ve done yourself, and your culture proud. πŸ™‚

    1. It makes me very happy to see Leila’s character defined so well Alfred, thank you. Most readers tell me they cant stand her and nobody ever chooses her as a favourite! I love libraries and Im thrilled you were able to find both books at your library, yaay!

  2. I learned about the series when I lived in Samoa I learned about it through being in the LAS and through Angela since I went to Usp.I loved these books it gave me a new perspective on legends in Samoa.My favorite character is Leila because she didn’t fit in and all the while she had these awesome powers she didn’t know she had .It’s a great series and I look forward to your books in the future.

    1. A small world – Angela is fabulous! and of course the USP was my childhood hangout since we lived on campus until I was ten years old. Glad you enjoyed the read Rachelle.

    2. Hi Rachelle – We put everyone’s name in a hat and I had my 5yr old Bella draw our winners, congratulations you’re a lucky winner of ONE print copy of The Bone Bearer! Please email me your name and mailing address to : LaniWendtYoung@hotmail.com and we will have your book posted out to you. If you live in New Zealand, the book will be a signed copy, otherwise the rest of the world will be posted a brand new copy of the book direct from the printing company based in either the USA or the UK. Thank you!

  3. My favourite character in the Telesa series would have to be Simone, just because Simone represents our fa’afafines, they are a huge part of who us islanders are. They make everything more lively, more sassy and fun which is what Simone does in Telesa. There is not a book or series that I’ve read like Telesa and there is not a book or series that represents our fa’afafines like Simone. Simone also put in many good words in for Daniel, I have also read “I am Daniel Tahi” and from reading the novella, it seems that if it wasn’t for Simone talking to Leila about Daniel again after Daniel had asked Simone, Leila may not have talked to Daniel again, but obviously she did πŸ™‚ lol. Telesa really represents our Pacific Islanders, us Samoans which is something I love about this book, it is probably why it is my favourite series as Telesa is original. It is unique. It is unique like our fa’afafines πŸ™‚ I live in Auckland, New Zealand. I first found out about Telesa from a cousin of mine who had both Telesa and When Water Burns, which were both autographed by you – Lani, Ezra Taylor and Faith Wulf πŸ™‚

    1. Simone really took over the books with his fiery style, LOL, and was just begging for a bigger part to play in the second and third books. Western reviewers often comment on Simones character and my ‘courage’ as an author to portray him because they have never read a Young Adult novel with what they call, ‘a transgender character’ who is portrayed with such openness, naturalness and where everyone is so accepting of him. Their comments surprised me because I really didn’t think there was anything out of the ordinary with having a fa’afafine have a starring role in my book. I grew up in Samoa and many of my close friends were fa’afafine – which was the same for most of us girls. I realized though, these Western reviewers were finding Simone unusual because they were viewing him from their societal views, whereas for us Samoans, fa’afafine are part of our cultural fabric and society. I don’t think this book would have been a true or honest representation of students at a local Samoan school WITHOUT Simone. Thanks for reading and supporting the books.

      1. Yes he did. Lol, being Samoan myself, I agree with you. having fa’afafines around us is something normal, something ordinary for us πŸ™‚ fafafine’s also are really out there and confident which can motivate other people to do the same which Simone did in Telesa with Leila. Thanks for creating an amazing book and it was awesome to have listened to you speak at the readers and writers conference earlier this year! πŸ™‚

    2. Hi Agnes – We put everyone’s name in a hat and I had Bella draw our winners, congratulations you’re a lucky winner of ONE print copy of The Bone Bearer! Please email me your name and mailing address to : LaniWendtYoung@hotmail.com and we will have your book posted out to you. If you live in New Zealand, the book will be a signed copy, otherwise the rest of the world will be posted a brand new copy of the book direct from the printing company based in either the USA or the UK. Thank you!

  4. I first found out and heard about the series when I was visiting your beautiful Mother for high tea in Samoa. She was a proud Mother telling us about your book. My two Samoan friends and heard about the series and was keen to read it but we couldn’t pick up a book anywhere because it was sold out 😦

    I remembered about the book when I was in New Zealand and thought “surely they’d stock it” but books were sold out there too.

    When I returned to Australia I finalled ordered the print copy online. Although there were many characters I grew to love Simone is my favourite. She was always so spot on and I loved how she filled Leila in without it being too planted into the plot. It was a friendship and character that I believed without any effort.

    Right now I’m in Australia hoping to get away some time soon. YAY to the print version. I enjoy the whole “burying my head in a book” process so I hope I win :))

    LOVE x

    1. The most shocking comment so far…because you refer to my mum as being a ‘proud mum’ who told you about my books! very unusual, haha. Thank you Mele – and can I just add that I continue to refer to your blog for fiery insight on how to dress with more confidence and color…except I only look and then don’t actually have the confidence to dress with more fire….*sigh* One day!

  5. Hi Lani,
    I am a Samoan student/Telesa fan who is currently residing in Arizona.
    My favorite character in the Telesa Trilogy is Salamasina. I love her character because she does not let the fact that she isn’t a power-wielding Telesa get to her. She also does not let her parentage define who she is. I love her character because her actions symbolize our Samoan culture perfectly. She cultivates the land, taking only what she needs (in a manner that does not offend Mother Earth) and is so full of love. Granted, her love may not have been the same earth-shaking passion that Leila and Daniel have or the eruptive desire that Pele felt with Keahi, but I found that the most incredible thing about it: it was a subtle but pure form of love, a mother’s love. What happened to her was unjust but I also saw it as the drive behind Daniel’s actions and reinforced his actions towards saving the only woman other than his Mama that he truly loved. She was not merely a supporting character for me, she was the planter archetype both literally and metaphorically (for me at least) because it was her that raised Daniel Tahi to become the loving, strong, male that he was, all Telesa powers aside. In conclusion, I love Salamasina because she is the epitome of the Samoan woman, resourceful, strong-willed, and loving.

    1. Also, I found out about The Telesa Trilogy while I was doing research for my Samoan Mythology class. I was googling Telesa and it was one of the first links that popped up. After I bought the book from Amazon, I got down to reading it. The Trilogy is still my ‘go to’ series when I need a break from school. It’s a little bit of home away from home for me.

      p,s. I think I’m a masochist because I tend to read the sections where food is mentioned slowly. Oh how I miss kekepua’a!

    2. I love how you describe her – as the planter archetype. That’s beautiful and so true. We are who we are, most often because of the people who raised us ( or in SPITE of them) and in Daniel’s case, I did want to explore the mother-son relationship. Thank you

    3. Hi Angel – We put everyone’s name in a hat and I had Bella draw our winners, congratulations you’re a lucky winner of ONE print copy of The Bone Bearer! Please email me your name and mailing address to : LaniWendtYoung@hotmail.com and we will have your book posted out to you. If you live in New Zealand, the book will be a signed copy, otherwise the rest of the world will be posted a brand new copy of the book direct from the printing company based in either the USA or the UK. Thank you!

  6. Apparently my favourite character is Leila. She is the main centre of the book! πŸ™‚ She is brave, tough, humble in some ways and she is a mystery lady in every chapter as it has reveals more about her. The first time I heard about Telesa books was last year here in Wellington from my Samoans friends. I am Tuvaluan and my roomie which is a Samoan introduced me to this amazing tales. Thats when I start looking online for e-copies and places where I can order the copies from, and so I did bought the two books. They were amazingly tales that couldn’t be resist!! The third book was more awesome as it mentions more about the sacrifices and love that Daniel have for Leila. Currently am still studying in Vic Uni!! πŸ™‚ and so looking forward to more of your books!! Cheers

    1. Awesome to have a Tuvaluan reader enjoying the series – I’ve tried with the second and then the third book, to make the series more Pasifika, partly because I feel we are all so interconnected in the Pacific with so many similarities between our cultures. Thanks for entering the giveaway!

  7. My favorite character of the Telesa series is Daniel’s grandmother, Salamasina.

    I love her for two reasons. The first obviously being how her character embodies and holds all of the attributes of a grandmother (or mother) who loves her son. Who would we be without our mothers? The question comes to mind whenever I think of Salamasina. Where would Daniel have been without his grandmother? Each and everyone of us, were blessed with a mother. The character Salamasina also reminds me of my own grandmother, who passed away almost 10 years ago. The mean-ness that she exuded outward, the fierce love she held within and the healing hands that she used to spread comfort throughout our family and village. Not a day passes when my mother does not mention her mother and how she made everything seem just right. When I read of Salamasina, I felt a warm feeling embrace me while a flood of memories of my stern grandmother who always knew what to do when I was sick, who loved all of her children dearly and who always smelt like a hint of coconut oil.

    The second reason I love Salamasina is how she makes the ‘ordinary’ extraordinary. We live in a world of expectation, where the exceptional are, of course, the ‘peles’ of society, and where your best sometimes does not seem good enough. I am also a person with low self esteem, but when I read about Salamasina I felt hope. She was someone who was born without the special powers that she was expected to have – ‘ungifted’ – like the people in Harry Potter who were born to wizarding families without magical abilities. Yet she accepted it, and instead, tried being the best of whatever she was. By doing so, she lived a happy life – and that’s what matters. In the second book where Salamasina says that she gave up brewing special potions for looks, I also felt a twinge of satisfaction. I love how the character is so honest and admits that she had once brewed the potions, but gave up, instead embracing the natural changes that came with time. How awesome it is to know that she is everything that I would want to be. To be able to shun the superficial world and accept what I am.

    Seeing as I will go on and on, I shall keep it short and end with a ‘Thank you Mrs. Wendt, for reating a character (and the many others) who inspires me, and other readers to be the best of whatever we are and to be extraordinary.

    1. You explain better than I could, some of the things that make this character a special one. Salamasina is a formidable woman – strong, secure in herself, and a dedicated parent. I wanted to portray something of the difficulty and heartache many women experience with infertility and also I’ve always been inspired by women in my life who are not biological mothers but who have either adopted children or become that caregiver figure for children in their extended family.
      I like how you picked up on Salamasina’s rejection of non-aging potions and plants etc, as she was comfortable in her skin, enough to not be tied to her physical appearance. I hope I can be as cool with aging! LOL

    2. Hi Beatrice – We put everyone’s name in a hat and I had Bella draw our winners, congratulations you’re a lucky winner of ONE print copy of The Bone Bearer! Please email me your name and mailing address to : LaniWendtYoung@hotmail.com and we will have your book posted out to you. If you live in New Zealand, the book will be a signed copy, otherwise the rest of the world will be posted a brand new copy of the book direct from the printing company based in either the USA or the UK. Thank you!

      1. Thank you so much! I live in Samoa, eventhough I wish I was in NZ πŸ™‚ I am so over the moon right now!

        Oh and trust me, I’m sure you’ll still be looking as gorgeous in the years to come

  8. Hi Lani!

    Its me again lol one of your big fans from Las Vegas, Nv, USA.

    My favorite character in the Telesa Trilogy books is Daniel Tahi. Ok, not because he’s vela. Daniel is my choice for favorite character because he embodies all the qualities a real man should have. Polynesian or other. He is caring, loving, thoughtful, inteligent, understanding, has a wonderful sense of humor… etc. He is the example of the kind of man we’d all love to call our own. In your books he is also a protector. I love that he goes out of his way to be there for those he cares about… especially Leila. Their love in your books makes any girl want to be Leila. Daniel is strong yet can be sensitive. His love and respect for his Mama shows he was brought up right in our islander ways. His passion that he puts into everything he does. Daniel is a great example for young men. He carries himself in a humble manner. These are a few reasons why Daniel Tahi is my favorite character.

    I hope all is well!

    1. Oh and I found out about the Telesa Trilogy from my sister who had read your book πŸ™‚ It came highly recommend and is by far my favorite books.

    2. Always enjoy your comments Nia! And agree, Daniel is fantabulous NOT (just) because he’s vela, but because of his inner qualities. I took all the ‘best’ bits and chucked them all together to create his character and in a way, he’s the kind of boy/man that I hope and wish my daughter would find one day, LOL

  9. I live in Italy, Rome, and I got to know about you and your series while searching on the web in my researchs, as I am fond of and deeply interested in polynesian cultures, so full of teachings for us poor european and western civilization in general, which seem to have lost any sense of connection with the real values of life.
    Getting to know your cultures changed my life, putting it on a new path of knowledge, righteousness, love, and giving me a new perspective on my life. It would be very long to write about it here, but I feel so humbled by the things I have discovered along these years, and at the same time joyful and wishing to share it and make it active in my life.
    Receiving the book would be a wonderful way for me to get to know you deeper as a writer, and to start a new – and I am sure long lasting – literary friendship, which would add new meanings and enrichment to this inner path of mine.
    With deep respect and gratitude for your work, your land, your heritage, your culture
    Donatella

    1. Talofa and hello Donatella, I love how I’ve been able to ‘meet’ and connect with many different people from different cultures and places through my writing and my books. I appreciate knowing that you have been able to experience and learn a little more about Samoa and our Pasifika cultures through reading Telesa. I love my home very much and its a privilege to be able to share stories from my country with others.

  10. Well, so hard to pick only one, some days I wish I were Leila, then the next Simone .. Who doesn’t wanna be Mcdreamy Daniel. So if I had it choose, it would be Daniel. Knowing you have guardian angel that’s watching over you, always there in time of need.

    Reading your beautiful books allows me be wisked away from all the daily woes. Gotta keep it short coz don’t wanna get carried away lol

  11. It’s pretty obvious who most people’s favorite character would be, and I am no different. I felt immediately drawn to Leila and her personality. She was real, raw and relatable. Throughout the 3 series she remained true to her morals, always on the quest to find the truth. She stuck up for what she believed was right, even at the cost of going against her mother and the Telesā covenant. She fought hard to stand up for justice. She fought hard to stand up for love. Against all odds, she prevailed an evil body snatcher and kept her sanity close when all around her everything was in despair. In each series she matured right before my eyes from a shy wary girl to a confident strong woman. I laughed with her, cried with her, even fell in love with Daniel alongside her. I’ve admired her tenacity and strength to keep it all together in times of chaos, to stay true to her love in times of the trials and mostly to stay true to herself in times of desperation.
    She represents hope, love, life. Who wouldn’t want to be Leila Folger’s shoes? I certainly do.

    I hail from Brisbane Australia. I’ve followed Sleepless in Samoa for some years now and that’s how I knew about the Telesā series. I think it’s brilliant how Lani took the story of our ancestors and molded into a modern day twilight series. I’m only sorry it hadn’t come sooner.
    Cheers,
    Elizabeth Gerstle
    Brisbane Australia

    1. Thanks for your comments Elizabeth and I hope to see you again at the upcoming Brisbane launch next month! The interesting thing about writing the same characters over a two-three yr period, is that you the author change in that time…and the characters obviously grow and change as well. So Im not the same person I was when I wrote the first book and some of the things I liked back THEN about the characters, I really cant stand NOW as I wrote the third book, lol. Im glad you mention Leila maturing as a character and her journey throughout the series because I do feel she grew up a lot. Even Daniel went through a process of some changing. I hope I don’t look back at these books twenty years from now and HATE them, LOL

      1. It’s odd how I was able to feel the difference in you (the author) and your way of writing her story. This is how I felt the change shift from one book to the other. I hope you don’t look back 10 years from now and hate them, because they are in essence, an enbodiment of you. Perhaps not in an obvious way but it’s there. I imagine you’ve poured your heart and soul into this book. So I guess you can say you’ve grown when you look back πŸ™‚

  12. Lani, my favourite character??, That is a tough one to answer. I love the way you have depicted the Telesa as strong environmentalists. I like the way each one is a guardian of an element of earth. I like the way you have woven the Telesa characters into the islands and how they all link up. I like the way they are stronger as a group than as an individual. I like the way that both men and women are Telesa. I have enjoyed reading your progress as an author and I can’t wait to get my hands on the Bone Bearer and see how you have written the story of the malu. I first heard about the series on Twitter and started following you there. All the best. PS: Love Simone too.

    1. Always enjoy your comments Sonya! When I first started writing Telesa, I asked a lot of questions about the teine Sa and telesa in particular. My main question was WHY? Why do they do the things they do ( according to legend/mythology and spiritual beliefs…) Whats their motivation? What do they care about? So many of the teine Sa stories made them sound like they were jealous, petty and spiteful women – reducing them to extreme nasty ‘bad girls’ who got angry any time some girl was prettier then they were. I couldn’t accept these spirit women who have endured through our mythology for generations could be reduced to ‘just’ that. There had to be more to them. More to their motivation, their power, their strength. I chose to focus on their environmental protection aspect and build on that – making them in effect environmental warriors closely tied to our mother earth and in tune with the spiritual aspect of nature.

  13. One of my favourite characters within the Telesa series, so far, would be Leila. Leila has become one of my favourite characters because of her fierce personality. I love the way you have portrayed her fierceness in her fiery Telesa powers. Not only is Leila one of my favourite fierce characters, so is Simone. He just makes me laugh so much throughout the book and I love my humour πŸ™‚
    I have come to know this book through one of my palagi family friends. She has a great passion for reading .. AS DO I ! πŸ™‚ While we on a family trip to New Zealand, she had let my cousin borrow her Kindle to read, not just one, but two of the Telesa books. The happiness she had gotten from reading these books was like a chain reaction. After Michelle, (palagi friend), had given my cousin the book, she had passed it on to me and I had passed it on to my mum ! All of us would really love to get our hands on the thrid book as we currently live in Australia and have no access to it yet. (not even through the internet) -.-
    I would definitely LOVE to have the book in my hands right now. Congratulations on your amazing stories. Thank you soooo much and hope for many more of your great tales. Especially on ones that involve the Samoan culture πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you for entering Kaylyn – its always a buzz to find out how people have discovered these books and trace the links to how a book is shared. Word of mouth is a powerful thing and I appreciate how people in many different places have been so enthusiastic about promoting and sharing these books with their friends and family.

  14. Aunty Matile and Uncle Tuala are admittedly my favourite characters. No, it does not mean I dislike the main characters. I just find that without Matile and Tuala, Leila would have had no support, she wouldn’t have been as grounded as she is/was. Though they are background characters, their significance in the Telesa Trilogy is undeniably one of utter importance. Tuala and Matile compensated for Leila’s missing parental influences. They were there from day one. Whether or not they knew the full extent of the peril that she went through, they were understanding and did their best to protect her from the supernatural forces, of which they had no power in. Their ‘human’ love for her is something not even Pele could destroy.
    Auckland, NZ πŸ˜€

    1. Yes! Leila would have been lost without them. Matile is the perfect buffer for the craziness that happens in Leila’s telesa life. Matile is patterned after several Samoan women I know and love – they are severe, gruff, ‘mean’ and ‘ok’e-so’o – but underneath it all, they’re loving and caring and most of their meanness towards is motivated by concern for you. The relationship between her and Tuala is one I really enjoy as well.

      1. I know exactly what you mean about the gruff but lovable women in your life πŸ˜€ Where would we be without them? Tuala is someone I can relate to with my own father. Both have an air of quiet authority and the soothing nature of water. Which at times can have a fierce current, but eventually become lazy moving stream. Thank you for sharing your inspiration πŸ˜€

  15. My favourite character is Keahi because of the man he turned out to be despite his background. For someone that was out of control (and had every reason to be), he became someone who was the most in control when it counted. Although he wasn’t a “main” character, his own story, (which could be a book on it’s own – just a thought) of how he was a bad boy on the outside, but good on the inside, really enhanced the trilogy. There is a lot of complexity to his character, which is wonderful. He is a fine example of what you can achieve despite the circumstances placed before you. Watching him struggle with his inner demons and winning is one of the reasons why he is my favourite.
    The Telesa Trilogy was introduced to me through friends and facebook :). I attended the first Brisbane Launch and then couldn’t wait for hardcover books so kindle also became my best friend. Thank you very much for this trilogy. One word: awesome x

    1. Finally…a vote for Keahi. While I enjoyed creating the character of Daniel, by the time it came to writing the second book, I was ready for more complexity. I was ready for a character who could (hopefully) challenge us and divide us as readers. Its very difficult to hate on Daniel…and sometimes, his ‘perfection’ can be tiresome. ( Which is why I wrote the novella, I am Daniel Tahi – so we could see a more balanced and real picture of him as a ‘real person) Keahi was my writing challenge. Could I create a character who was unlikeable…yet sympathetic? An anti-hero? One who could be both villain and hero? For me, this comes through very strongly in the third book…in his relationship with ‘Pele/Leila’. Im not finished with Keahi as a character. He fascinates me and I think he deserves his own book…

  16. My favorite character is Simone. I just love how he befriended Leila from the very beginning and has always been there for her. Plus I love how he isn’t afraid to be who he is. And how can you not love his fierce attitude haha.

    I currently live in the US in Illinois. I heard about Telesa from a girl in my book club. She thought I would enjoy it since I’m originally from Hawaii and would be interested in a Samoan story with a paranormal twist. And she was right and I love the Telesa universe especially the last book with Pele. Thanks for an awesome series!

    1. Woohoo, Simone is shamaahzing, I agree. To be honest, he was only supposed to have a very small part in the series, but then readers loved him so much after book one that I HAD to expand his role and then his fiery feistiness just ended up taking over anyway…LOL

    2. Hi Shannon – We put everyone’s name in a hat and I had Bella draw our winners, congratulations you’re a lucky winner of ONE print copy of The Bone Bearer! Please email me your name and mailing address to : LaniWendtYoung@hotmail.com and we will have your book posted out to you. If you live in New Zealand, the book will be a signed copy, otherwise the rest of the world will be posted a brand new copy of the book direct from the printing company based in either the USA or the UK. Thank you!

  17. My favourite character is Daniel Tahi because our his standards, what he values and the way in which he portrays himself with such strength. Yes lani you described him to be very handsome but to top it of you have give him a personality that compliments his looks giving him the title for ‘man of the CENTURY’ or in other cases he’s everyones “prince charming” LOL. His respect for women, his loyalty to family and friends, his love for those he cares for, his friendship qualities and his pure intentions have kept me hooked to this book. His values and beliefs and standards bring a message to me: His respect for leila, which sends a message to both females and males that sex is a very important and that its not just given to very person you meet LOL that it should be saved for someone special, it also sends out that male should respect women and their bodies and that women should also have respect for their own body; His short story was great, i loved it because It showed me a side to him which made his character feel real, because he felt so fake, and too perfect to be real, this showed me that he wasnt perfect like he thought DIRTY(lol) things but actions speak loud then words with this man, i could write an essay on why he is my favourite character, but the most important reason why he is my favourite character is because he makes me feel strong as a women, he empowers me to be a better person to do what is right, to show my family i love them through actions, he makes me want to be a better wife to tell my husband i love him everyday and make sure i spend my time wisely with him, he makes me want a better relationship with my parents and also makes me PROUD of being a Pacific Islanders raised by the same beliefs and values as he. Thank you Lani for creating a character in which others including my self am able to learn and grow from πŸ™‚

    Im from NZ, Auckland raised up the TONGAN way:) (married a samoan:) ) lol HOW I was introduced to this was my sister in-law and her persuasiveness, she knows i love reading and myths and legends pull my attention in, as I love books that take me on an adventure she managed to persuade me to read the book πŸ™‚ ( and no the abs in front of the book and Ezra’s picture in the back wasn’t the reason why i wanted to read it πŸ˜‰) once I read the first book i read it again and again till the second and read it again and again until the third book and now im reading it again for the second time:) (on kindle)

    Thnks lani πŸ™‚ 11/10 on the books

    1. I love this feedback Tammy. I was apprehensive when I released Daniel’s novella because I worried people wouldn’t like seeing the ‘truth’ behind the fantasy – and yes, there have been readers who hated that novella. One woman complained that, ‘in Telesa Daniel is a noble warrior and gentle guardian we can look up to but in the novella he’s just a horny male’…. I anticipated that some would react that way but it was very important to me that I tell Daniel’s story ‘truthfully’. I wanted to show that yes, he has very strong physical desires and feelings, ie, yeah he REALLY wants to get it on with Leila, LOL…BUT he successfully controls that desire and holds back on it because of his beliefs on physical intimacy before marriage etc. I wanted to show that it wasn’t easy, but yes, its possible, that while sexual desire is a very powerful thing, the decision to act on it – sex is a choice for both men and women.

      1. Agreed and thanks for doing that, it showed how strong he really is and that its reality that male do think like that its ‘TRUTH’ but the fact that he can control his actions proves that he lives by this words πŸ™‚ the novella made the story more relatable and made it seem real πŸ™‚ THANKS

    2. Hi Tammy – We put everyone’s name in a hat and I had Bella draw our winners, congratulations you’re a lucky winner of ONE print copy of The Bone Bearer! Please email me your name and mailing address to : LaniWendtYoung@hotmail.com and we will have your book posted out to you. If you live in New Zealand, the book will be a signed copy, otherwise the rest of the world will be posted a brand new copy of the book direct from the printing company based in either the USA or the UK. Thank you!

  18. My favourite character has to be Simone! Shes quick witted, so hillarious, over the top and reminds me of some family members who will remain nameless lol Simone made me laugh so much and of course I love the Leila and Daniel story as well as how you modernised the Telesa legend and put your own spin on it. I found out about your books on fb of course lol I went to Brisvegas for a holiday and I read my Auntys copy of Telesa on her Kindle then I was hooked! I came back to Auckland told my sisters about your books and now we all have them.
    So yes Im from Aukilani NZ and I can’t wait to read more of your work! I hope someone makes your books into blockbuster movies! Can I be Leila haha xoxoxo πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Rosie, thank you for entering the giveaway. Simone is an unforgettable character and adds humor to the series – as well as a greater sense of being grounded, ‘keeping it real’ in an otherwise crazy series of events!

  19. My favorite character is Salamasina Tahi. Her story before and during Daniel is a good example of love….unconditional love. She is an awesome example for all mothers, young and old. Salamasina was never evil in all three books and still had amazing talent (healing) being “ungifted”. I have a lot of favorite characters but Salamasina is my ultimate FAV. I am commenting from Halawa, Oahu, Hawaii! Alooooooha

    1. Thank you for entering Raynette – I’m coming to Hawaii for book events at the end of October. I’ll be visiting the university and several schools, hopefully we can connect!

    2. Oh and I found out about The telesa trilogy on Instagram, I downloaded on amazon (the first book)…..and almost died waiting for the next two books lol thank Lani for sharing!

  20. To pick a favorite character is a challenge because I’ve admired so many in this series, except for the bad guys of course. But I would pick Daniel as my absolute favorite because he displays all the characteristics we love about our Samoan male. Strong, caring, humble, respectful and honors his parents by showing Leila the respect a young woman deserves, to keep her virtue and reputation in tact. I love that he cares for her deeply but chooses to refrain from the physical emotions that can push him over the edge, and force him to do what he vowed never to do.
    He continuosly honors his family by not giving into the physical desires he has for Leila, no matter how difficult. Although he loves Leila, he doesnt disrespect his mother when it’s evident that she doesnt approve of their relationship. He’s not selfish nor vain considering how physically attractive he is, which is what makes him that much more attractive. And his talents is an added bonus to what’s already a fine specimen of a ‘tama Samoa’.
    Thru his journey, he’s learned to trust his friends, and his love for them shows as they’re faced with so much in the Bone bearer. He was willing to sacrifice himself to save those he cared for and that is a selfless act unmatched by no other.
    Thank you for such an amazing tale that kept me wanting more, so i was sad it came to an end:(. But I continue to read the series, as well as the Daniel Tahi novella to stay connected to my new found friends :):)
    Cant wait for your future books!!

  21. Oh, and I live in North Las Vegas, NV. Where it is 116 thru the summer, which Im sure is nothing compared to how HOT Leila gets when she’s ‘flamed’. πŸ™‚

  22. oopsies…I started reading the Telesa books because of you…a Samoan author, which is rare and a book based in Samoa was even more interesting. But ultimately, i read them because my mother’s name is Kelesa and her mother’s name was Saipeti. But Salamasina was one of my great grandfather’s sister’s names. My sisters and I have read your books specifically because of our mother’s name.

    1. What a fascinating connection to the stories – via the names of the women in your family Sandra. I agree, Daniel is a memorable character, not just because of his fabulous exterior, but for his inner qualities.

  23. Although I adored Leila and Daniel – if I had to pick a favourite – (and really, that’s such a mean thing to make us do, Lani!) I’d choose Keahi. He captured my heart from the moment we were introduced to his early life. He’d never had it easy and overcame his upbringing to make the right decisions in the end – to be a good person. I loved the connection he felt for Lani and no matter how she tried to push him away, he was always there, in the background, just in case.

    1. Yay, another vote for Keahi! For me, he’s been one of the more interesting characters to write, just because things are never straight forward with him. And I always did have a soft spot for the anti-hero, conflicted bad boy in a romance.

  24. Tanielu Tahi – Daniel would have to be MY favourite character because I think he is the most ideal boyfriend in personality and looks but more importantly I think Daniel works all angles of responsiblity, respect, confidence and charisma throughout the Telesa Trilogy and this is reflected in his SHAMAAAAZING achievements as Captain of the First XV rugby team, Head Boy of Samoa College AND his work and management at his family welding company! I found it suprising how he already has his whole life planned out, how he knew what he wanted to do with his life and how his aspiration was to become a water based engineer. I was just so touched at how responsible he was! I think that Daniel is not just a pretty face, he understands the value of hard work as well as the Samoan culture despite his Tongan/NZ ancestry. To me Daniel, is considerate and understanding especially when it comes to common courtesy, he behaves as his beloved gandmother had taught him, knowing full well how disappointed she’d be if he went against his upbringing. To me, this is Daniel’s most refreshing trait because I feel that in today’s world there are seldom few young men who would publicly show their affection for their mother, let alone common courtesy to those around them. In Daniel’s novella I was shocked at how well he hid his desire for Leila especially in scene where Leila is cutting grass, I thought all Daniel was doing was teaching her how to do it right, when really he was trying hard to control himself. I was shocked because it was always Daniel that pulled away first and Leila seemed to be the one who couldn’t get enought of him, but to find that he felt the same was but still chose to push her away showed how responsible he was and how much he truly valued the whole sex before marriage concept. My favourite quote would have to be when him and Leila are in their own little midnight pool and he lovingly tells her this: “You don’t love someone because they’re a dream of perfection. You love them because of the way they meet their challenges, how they struggle to overcome. You love them because together you bring out the best in each other.” Daniel would definetly be my favouite character because of his personality traits of responsibility, respect, confidence and charisma which I find very attractive.

    1. Hi Etena – We put everyone’s name in a hat and I had Bella draw our winners, congratulations you’re a lucky winner of ONE print copy of The Bone Bearer! Please email me your name and mailing address to : LaniWendtYoung@hotmail.com and we will have your book posted out to you. If you live in New Zealand, the book will be a signed copy, otherwise the rest of the world will be posted a brand new copy of the book direct from the printing company based in either the USA or the UK. Thank you!

  25. My favorite character in the series is Daniel. I guess the main reason being because of the way he is not afraid to express his culture and beliefs.
    Being a Pacific Islander myself, I know that respect plays a big role in our culture and throughout the novels, Daniel had shown this especially with his relationship with Leila. I love how he respected Leila enough not to go too far with her. But I also enjoyed reading about his love and respect for his Grandmother. The way Daniel loved Leila so much that he was willing to lay his life down for hers was something that I found extremely cute! One other thing I absolutely adored about Daniel was how he was so accepting towards people, Leila especially. Despite everything she was capable of doing to him and even after learning about her crazy mother, he still loved her. This was the same case with Simone. I loved how although Simone was different, Daniel was able to look past it and treat him like a normal person. To top it all off, Daniel is smart, caring and attractive.
    I’m from Brisbane, Australia and I first found out about these books from a couple of my family members who highly recommended that we read the books.
    I think you’ve done a great job on your books πŸ™‚ x

    1. Hi Christina – We put everyone’s name in a hat and I had Bella draw our winners, congratulations you’re a lucky winner of ONE print copy of The Bone Bearer! Please email me your name and mailing address to : LaniWendtYoung@hotmail.com and we will have your book posted out to you. If you live in New Zealand, the book will be a signed copy, otherwise the rest of the world will be posted a brand new copy of the book direct from the printing company based in either the USA or the UK. Thank you!

  26. I’m from Brisbane Australia. I heard about these books from my best friend who tole me all about your books and kept telling me to read them. IM SO GLAD I DID BTW!!!!!
    Out of all the characters, my favorite is Keahi. I loved his great sense of humor and cheekiness that he brought to the story. I think he captured my heart because of the childhood story of him and his sister. It made me feel sorry for him but at the same time I liked that he had a bit of an edge. I would love to read more about him in The Bone Bearer. xoxoxoxox

  27. I love these series of books,now because I stayed in Samoa as an outsider and experienced living in samoa I felt as if i was there,it came to life for me very descriptive,surreal.I liked the underdogs in this book,it bought excitement(heaps)

    1. Hi – We put everyone’s name in a hat and I had Bella draw our winners, congratulations you’re a lucky winner of ONE print copy of The Bone Bearer! Please email me your name and mailing address to : LaniWendtYoung@hotmail.com and we will have your book posted out to you. If you live in New Zealand, the book will be a signed copy, otherwise the rest of the world will be posted a brand new copy of the book direct from the printing company based in either the USA or the UK. Thank you!

  28. Hi Lani, I’m writing from Australia πŸ™‚ I first heard about the trilogy when my cousin posted a status on Facebook about how much she loved your books and so I decided to read them, and I can tell you now, I haven’t regretted it since πŸ™‚ My favorite character has to be Leila. In the beginning of the series she was just a young, carefree girl, I guess seeking her emancipation from her grandmother, and at the end of When Water Burns she matured to be this strong and independent woman, which is why I like her the most. I found her interest in the Samoan culture to be very cute. I enjoyed reading her thoughts when she watched the boys playing rugby and her firsts taste of Samoan food from her aunty Matile. Her bravery to lay her life down for Samoa was awe inspiring and very beautiful to read, as I could never fathom how someone could be as brave and passionate as she. I also admire the strength and independence she has, seeing as she has no father, and a mother who had never been in her life up till now (then was killed). I also admired her strong personality and how she would stand up for what was right, including her love for Daniel. Any that’s why I LOVE Leila πŸ™‚ Congratulations on completing your series πŸ™‚ I hope that’s not all! Love your work! ❀

    1. Hi Leah – We put everyone’s name in a hat and I had Bella draw our winners, congratulations you’re a lucky winner of ONE print copy of The Bone Bearer! Please email me your name and mailing address to : LaniWendtYoung@hotmail.com and we will have your book posted out to you. If you live in New Zealand, the book will be a signed copy, otherwise the rest of the world will be posted a brand new copy of the book direct from the printing company based in either the USA or the UK. Thank you!

  29. My favourate character in the book would be Leila. Why because she is a Samoan girl everyone wants to be!
    I first found out about the telesa trilogy via Facebook.
    I am currently residing in La Rochelle France and I am a mother of five.
    I have read the covenant keeper and when water burns and absolutely enjoyed them!
    It’s good to pick up a good book and read after a long day looking after five kids!

  30. My favorite character is Leila. She reminds me of my story. Grew up in LBC, moved to Tutuila and fell inlove with my husband of 19yrs now πŸ™‚ AMAZING.. I also love that she doesn’t let anything stop her from doing what she wants and believe in. I am from Tutuila and 1st came across the book sitting in my son’s(25yrs old) so I started reading it with my daughter- We love the story very much and cant wait to read part3..

  31. Talofa Lani, I found your books between my 2 year olds temper tantrums and fifth load of washing lol…..my bestie introduced me to your books and I was instantly hooked. I’m not an avid reader, but with your books I just couldn’t put them down. My favourite character is Daniel, he puts up with so much from Leila but still love endures. He’s definitely the kind of guy you want to bring home to meet your mother. I’m dying to read the next installment, and so is my sister and bestie #fansforlife

  32. Faafetai lava and thank you everyone for entering. Its been a thrill for me to read your feedback on the characters and catch a glimpse of where in the world readers are enjoying the Telesa books. We put everyones name into a hat and had Bella draw out TEN names of our winners. Congratulations – Rachelle Hicks, Angel Ana Tipi, Beatrice T, Shannon, Christina Inivale, Leah T, Agnes Meredith, Tammy Marie Asi-tuumaialu, Etena Hekau, Penny Craig. Please email me at LaniWendtYoung@hotmail.com with you name and postal address so we can get your print books sent out to you. If I don’t hear from you within 72 hrs, I will then choose another winner from the other entries. There will be more giveaways in my newsletter so please do sign up for it below.

  33. Favourite character is Leila… She’s so interesting yet relatable (no I don’t have a sexy creature admiring me while I sweat in my school uniform) but I think her curiosity about Samoan culture relates to me most, being married to a Samoan but being half Spanish and half Australian, I am always curious asking what sentences mean, asking what is or isn’t acceptable in Samoan culture and she helps explain Samoan culture a lot throughout the book…..
    I first heard of the telesales series when my husbands cousin was reading it on kindle and I quickly downloaded the free version on my phone and I was hooked, my sister in law found out (lives in samoa) and so graciously brought me both books for my 20th birthday!! Now I’ve read and read and read and can’t wait to get this one…

    Thanks lani for all the laughs and thanks for getting me out of feau’s on cold winter nights.

    Naomi, Melbourne vic

  34. Lol island time much…hahaha congrats to all the winners, remember when your done I accept hand me downs πŸ˜‰ hahahahaha jokes guys happy reading πŸ’”πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’œ

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