Wednesday, 13 June 2012

TELESA by Lani Wendt Young - Welcome To My Blog Tour Stop!

Hello Folks and Welcome to my stop on the blog tour! I am pleased to be able to bring to you an excerpt from TELESA, my own review and a chance to win an e-copy of the book!

Release Date: 12th June 2012

"Leila returns to the land of her birth in search of family and instead discovers she is heir to a fiery elemental birthright...all while navigating through the drama of a new high school with the help of her new best friend "Simone daahling" - a boy with flawless makeup and the catwalk style of Kate Moss. She is introduced to the national sport of rugby and meets an irritating boy that would be much easier to hate if he didn't have chipped emerald eyes that are always laughing at her and a glorious golden smile. (The glistening, bronzed abs and Pacific warrior tattoos don't help either.) There's hate, love, jealousy, volcanoes and lots of delicious Samoan food in Leila's coming-of-age journey as she realizes that ancient Pacific myths of elemental spirit women Telesa, contain more truth than fiction. Secrets are revealed and things get blown up as Leila must choose between sisterhood and the boy she loves. Can their love stand against the Covenant Keeper? 

There are many different kinds of love. All of them require sacrifice. Who will give everything for the one they love?"

A thriller-romance with a difference. If you enjoyed Twilight, then you will be enthralled by Telesa as it blends the richness (and humor) of Pacific mythology into a contemporary young adult love story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page.

" Tired of vampires and werewolves? TELESA has a supernatural element but a unique one... Like Air Benders and X-Men combined. Way cool. The Telesa women are an environmental terrorist group that wield their elemental powers with a fierce beauty and devastating impact..."

Now, I promised you an excerpt, so an excerpt you may have....

“No … please … how to stop it? How can I stop it?”

I burst into useless tears. Tears that fizzed and hissed in a heartbeat of heat. No amount of crying would help now. I wrung my hands, no way out of it. It was hopeless. In a few minutes I would be a mass murderer. A killer. In my mind’s eye, I could see it now. People on fire running in circles, frantically beating at the hungry flames. The smell of flesh scorching, peeling off ashy bone. Screams. Pleas for help. I sank to my knees, drained dry of strength. Unwilling to watch the carnage but unable to take my eyes away. I was drowning in a sea of fiery despair. Suffocating in a red night of terror.

A clear, calm voice spoke from beside me. “Leila. Call it back. You can do it. Call it back. Call it back NOW.”

I looked up, eyes glistening with molten tears. He stood as close to me as he dared, shielding his face from the heat with his hands, the edges of his clothes singed and charred.

“I can’t.” Abject despair in my voice. “I don’t know how.”

“Yes you can. You have the power. You know you do. You spoke to it before. It listens to you. Call it back now before it’s too late. Please.”

It was the ‘please’ that did it. That snapped me out of the depths. He wanted me to call the fire. He believed that I could. And I wanted him to believe in me. Slowly, I raised myself from the ground, closed my eyes and willed that fiery beast to come home.
To listen to me – its mistress. To return and feed instead on my molten core. I trembled at the very thought of the blaze finding its way back. How could I possibly summon it all when it had grown so exponentially as it fed? But this was my fault. I had to find the strength from somewhere. I opened my eyes and shuddered at the majesty of the sight before me.

Directly ahead of me was a massive wall of fire. It had stopped advancing across the field and now it stood waiting; the beast waited for my command. Now – it asked – what would you have me do? Opening my arms, every ounce of my being quivering with fear, I summoned it home.

I burned. Inside and out. I burned. There was indescribable pain and the knife edge of pleasure. It was ecstasy and hell all at once. Then, as swiftly as it had begun, it stopped.

I was empty. A dried husk scorched beyond belief. Withered and dead. I fell. 

The steaming darkness claimed me.

**I hereby award this book 5 wings!!**

My Review:

Oh My Goodness. What to say about this book?... *taps finger on chin in contemplation*
I just don't know what to say to do it justice. I always reflect on a book at the end and this time, I've come to my review without knowing what I am going to say. I'm just typing and hoping it makes sense.

So I'll start at the beginning. I was asked to review TELESA as part of the RABT tours and I signed up right away. From the synopsis, I knew it was something different and intriguing. I haven't come across anything like it before and as I am always keen to try new things, this appealed to me.

Take a look at the cover and I defy you not to see it's unequalled beauty. At first, I wasn't sure how it linked to the story, but that is something you discover as you journey into Samoa with Leila as your guide!

Leila Folger is 18 years old. She's just lost her father and feels lost and alone. She doesn't want to keep living with Grandmother Folger and so decides to undertake a journey to Samoa. A journey of discovery that leads her to find out things she never expected were possible.

Upon arriving in Samoa, she is met by Aunty Matile and Uncle Tuala. Aunty is a sour-faced woman and is quick to dash Leila's hopes of an enjoyable 3 month stay. The way she is so curt with Leila. You would do well to always respect Aunty though. She is a woman you wouldn't want to cross.

Leila has come to Samoa in search of vital information. She wants to know about her family. Specifically about her mother. The mother she never had because she died in a hurricane when Leila was just a baby. But Aunty isn't happy about this and is quick to tell Leila that she would do well not to bring up the subject of her mother - and any time Leila tries, she is only met with a fierce resistance.
Aunty believes that what she is doing by not telling Leila anything, is protecting her from the harsh truth about the kind of woman her mother was. 

So Leila settles into a routine of going to school, home and of course, church. She's not to go anywhere else. Aunty Matile and Uncle Tuala do their best to enforce this, for Leila's own protection. 

It's at school that she meets Daniel. The devastatingly handsome Head Boy, or should I say Chunk Hunk...? (you'll get that reference when you read the book) He's handsome, sweet, kind... He could never be interested in Leila... could he...?

Leila is glad that settling into SamCo (Samoa College) is easier than she had expected. She's used to American ways and social cliques that she's never been a part of. But though SamCo has some of it's own cliques, this time Leila feels a part of everything. Thanks in large to her fa'afafine friend Simone. He's the most feminine boy she's ever met. Finely manicured hands. Subtly applied eye-liner. But he's funny and kind, making Leila feel completely at ease in his company.

I won't go too much into the real gritty part of the story, that's a journey for you to embark upon. 

What I will say is this...

As the story unfolds, you are taken on a magical journey. Lani Wendt Young has written this from her heart. As a girl born in Apia, Samoa - it is clear to see she loves the land that she is from and it has inspired the most beautiful story. 
With a beautiful fluidity, TELESA is more than just a story. It's more than just mere words on a page. It's a journey that you undertake and come out smiling on the other side. Yes, there are hard times to go through. Yes, there are ups and down, twist and turns. But those all add to the beauty of it. 

I can say in all honesty that Lani Wendt Young has shot to the top of my 'new favourite authors' list and TELESA has been added to my 'most-favourite' list on Goodreads, but also to my mental lists of 'favourite books of 2012' & 'favourite books EVER'.

It's clear that Lani poured her heart and soul into creating this amazing story. I am in absolute awe of her at this moment in time.  She created inspiring characters. The good and the evil. I adored Leila's quiet yet fierce strength and passion for what she believes in. Aunty Matile and Uncle Tuala are to of my favourite secondary characters. Simone is one of my favourite 'best friend' characters - I have never heard of anyone who is fa'afafine before - I absolutely adored him.
As for Daniel. Oh. My. God. I cannot begin to explain how fiercely I loved him! There aren't enough words in my vocabulary. 
I was slightly tempted along the way by the beautiful Jason. I'll admit to imagining him stood there in his half-naked glory. But when it comes down to it, I am a one-man woman. Daniel stole my heart. (and I don't care if he ever gives it back)

I admit to crying twice. The fact that I cried is testament to how wonderful a story it is. I don't cry easily. 
This was my Goodreads status last night...
"I'm 82% done with Telesa - The Covenant : Can somebody hand me a tissue? I just cried a river! I haven't cried like that over a book in ages. Really tugs on my heart strings. I love this book!"
Honestly, I defy anyone who reads this not to cry. So grab yourself a box of tissues!

I want to thank RABT for giving me this opportunity to read and review TELESA. If they had not offered it to me, I may never have discovered this book and what lies beneath.
I am honoured to be part of the blog tour. 

A huge thank you must go out to Lani. If she hadn't been inspired to write of this beautiful land of Samoa, I would never have been able to fall in love with it. I honestly feel like I will always carry a piece of Samoa in my heart.

I could go on all day, but I feel this is probably a good place to shut up! I told you I would type and just hope for some sense to come of it!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

Lani Wendt Young Author Bio:
I  was born and raised in Samoa.  I went to university in the USA and New Zealand, studying English Literature, Women's Studies and  Education. Back in Samoa I worked as a secondary school English teacher for 7 years and did lots of writing in between for the local newspaper and for myself. My short fiction has been published in Samoa, NZ, Australia and the UK. My collection of short stories "Sleepless in Samoa" won the 2011 USP Press Fiction Award. I also write stories for children that are used in primary school reading programs. In 2009 I was commissioned by Hans Joe Keil to research and write the narrative non-fiction book 'Pacific Tsunami Galu Afi'. The book was funded by the Australian Govt Aid program and all book sale profits go back to tsunami survivors who were interviewed for the record. My book 'TELESA The Covenant Keeper' is the first in a YA urban fantasy series and  it was launched in Oct 2011.  I'm married to Darren Young (who is probably the most patient and most hottest man alive) and we have five children ranging in age from 4 to 16yrs. We are now based in New Zealand but get to go home to Samoa enough to keep me brown. (and broke.) I blog about the misadventures of a (slightly demented) Domestic Goddess over at Sleepless in Samoa.

Now for the much anticipated giveaway!! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many Thanks to all of you who drop by to show support for the blog tour. Don't forget to buy your copy of the book:


  1. I think I almost cried reading your review. I agree 200% with your review. You took every word I was thinking and wanting to say right out of my mouth. I know I Tweeted this and posted this on Amazon, but again Lani, thank you for sharing your magical world we call Telesa with me and those who agree with this review. I loved every second of it. Fa'afetai Lava.

    1. Thank you SO much Kalipolina. I am so touched that I can evoke those feelings in you.
      TELESA owns my heart, I won't lie. I am so very glad to have read it. Roll on books 2 & 3!! :D

  2. Wonderfully said! I love this review!

  3. Nice to know I wasn't the only one who cried LoL!!! Awesome review, at the end... there was a lot of sense that came from your words :)

  4. Oh thank you SO much, I am glad I'm not the only one who cried!! :D
    I am pleased to hear I made sense! YAY! :D

  5. Wow what an amazing cover! Fantastic review - this sounds like my kind of book :)

    1. Thanks Kate! Yeah it really is something you should endeavour to read. It's something really special. I am so looking forward to reading and reviewing When water Burns, so watch this space! :D

  6. Wonderful review! Loved reading another readers point of view.

    Go Team Daniel!


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