Sunday, 26 August 2012

ReAwakened by Ada Adams ~ Teaser Time!


Hi Guys! *waves* 
Would you like a bit of a teaser for ReAwakened (Angel Creek #2) by Ada Adams? 


I have an excerpt for you today so don't say I never give you anything!!......

“Meeting Razor” 
My two-story fall was cushioned by the intruder’s body. He—a vampire, I realized—groaned as I landed on top of him, forcing his body into the muddy ground. I reached for my dagger, but he was quicker. Before I had a chance to pull it out, he slipped out from underneath me, flipping me over so that he was on top. His firm, muscular body pressed tightly against mine as his hands pinned my wrists to either side of my head. His face was covered by shadows, but I could make out a mischievous smirk dancing across perfectly-shaped full lips.
“You’re quite feisty, aren’t you?” he chuckled, bending forward to examine me. Deep, charcoal eyes overflowed with amusement.
He was actually enjoying this.
“I don’t wanna hurt you,” he whispered in a deep, throaty voice. “I’m gonna release you now. Don’t do anything stupid.”
He lifted his arm, removing his right hand from my left wrist. The moment I felt some freedom, I leaped forward, attempting a left hook at his jaw. He blocked my hand, once again pushing it toward the ground.
“I said I wasn’t going to hurt you!” he growled, pinning me even further into the soft, wet earth.
“Yes, but I never said I wouldn’t hurt you,” I snapped.
He brought his face toward mine. “I’d like to see you try,” he whispered.
Challenge accepted.
I raised my head—the only part of my body that wasn't restrained by the stranger’s body—inching my lips closer to his. He tensed for a moment, his eyes searching mine, as if surprised by my sudden change in behavior. Drops of rainwater slid down his chiseled jaw, pausing briefly on his lips before they plummeted onto mine. Then, a slow, smug smile spread across his face. I felt his body relax and he leaned even closer. His breath caressed my skin as his lips drew near.
It was exactly what I needed. Summoning all my strength, I twisted my hips to the side, shooting them up and out, then launching my legs from the ground. Thrown off-balance, my captor groaned and released one of my arms to brace for the fall, giving me the perfect opportunity to reach for my dagger. In one smooth move I darted behind him, placing him in a secure headlock—the blade of my weapon aimed directly at his heart.
“Who are you?” I demanded when I was certain he couldn’t escape my grip.
“I’m a twenty-four-year-old Taurus who enjoys long walks on the beach.” Even though I couldn’t see his face, I could feel his arrogant grin.
“You have ten seconds to explain yourself,” I ordered. “And then I’m really going to hurt you.”
“Oh, come on! Can’t we get back to kissing? You can’t tease a guy like that.”
“Ten, nine…” I pressed the dagger deeper into him, nicking the leather of his jacket.
“Hey! Watch it!”
“Eight…”
“Oh, alright. You’re no fun,” he sighed. “My name is Razor.”
“What kind of a name is that?”
“It’s a nickname.”
“What kind of a nickname is that?”
“Spike, Blade, Fang—all the good, pointy objects were already taken by fictional characters. It was the best I could do.”


Well I hope that has whet your appetite. It certainly did mine.I am absolutely dying to read this book

If you haven't yet read ReVamped (Angel Creek #1), you really should. You can click here to look it up! Also, click here to add ReAwakened to your TBR list. 

Thank you for coming by. I hope you will all be adding ReAwakened to your 'must purchase' list ;)


Review of DEAD EMBERS by TG Ayer


Title: DEAD EMBERS
Author: TG Ayer
Publication Date: August 31st 2012
Source: ARC from the author

"Valkyrie-in-training Bryn Halbrook just can't catch a break. With her boyfriend stuck in Hel and the taunting laughter of Loki still ringing in her ears, she struggles to concentrate on her training and duties in Odin's realm. The last thing she expects or wants is more adventure—but then treachery, a shocking abduction and a chilling discovery send her forth on another perilous, globe-hopping mission.

As the ultimate battle, Ragnarok, draws closer, it's a race against time for Bryn, Fenrir and their team to discover who kidnapped her foster brother from the halls of Asgard and what's causing the mysterious deaths of so many of Odin's chosen warriors.

In the exciting sequel to DEAD RADIANCE, Bryn encounters dwarfs and dragons, new friends and old foes—but worst enemy of all may be the person she trusts most!"

*I hereby award this book 5 wings*

I was lucky enough to get an ARC of Dead Embers from the author, TG Ayer. I had previously read, reviewed and LOVED the first book in the series, Dead Radiance. So I was overjoyed to get this ARC and to find out what was happening with Bryn and Aidan.
In case you haven’t read Dead Radiance, but have come to read my review, I will try not to have any spoilers in my review. I do try not to spoil things for people anyway, but I am obviously a bit more aware that this is the second in the series.

So anyway, on with my review…

As Dead Radiance had ended quite sad, I was aware going into this book that it would be a sad beginning, but I don’t think I was quite prepared for the pang I felt in my gut and the sting in my eyes. Having previously mentioned about spoilers, I won’t tell you why I was sad because you may not have read the end of the first book yet. But believe me when I say, you need a box of tissues when you start this second book. Since it had been a few weeks or more previously that I had read Dead Radiance, I had… not forgotten, but put the pain of the ending to the back of my mind. So it was a bit of a gut-wrenching start.
This second installment in the series is a journey of discovery for Bryn. It’s definitely an action-packed adventure where she learns more about herself as a Valkyrie, amongst other things.
There are lessons to be learned, but not only by Bryn this time. I can’t tell you too much but what I can say is that right when I was looking the other way, someone betrays someone and it came as a total shock to me. Obviously I can’t say who betrays whom, but I can tell you it blew my mind; not only the betrayal itself, but the reasons behind it. I was left reeling from the fallout. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Bryn has to set off on a journey to find the cure for the poison that ails Aidan and the grand-daughter of a dragon [again, trying not to say too much here] Aidan was poisoned by the trickster God, Loki and it’s now a race to find a cure. There’s only one thing that will cure him and the answer lies in this journey to find a goblet. So Bryn sets off, with an invisibility blanket given to her by the God, Thor and [  insert name ] by her side.
It’s not easy for the two of them to find this goblet; it is after all, held by a Goblin Queen. It’s not easy to sneak past the goblin guards… unless you have a blanket that turns you invisible of course! But still, the twosome have to be careful, they have to remain under the blanket and out of sight, careful not to bump into anything or anyone on their way.

But this journey isn’t the only action in the book. As always Loki, is his usual trickster God self. Ugh. If only I could reach in and strangle him. Or use Thor’s hammer to render him unconscious long enough to tie him up, throw him in a cell and throw away the key. But I digress…

There’s also the fact that the retrievals the teams are on don’t go to plan. The Warriors they are sent to retrieve are covered in poisonous black goo and this extinguishes their glow, meaning they can’t be retrieved because they have met their true death. But what’s causing this poison to spread like wildfire? Why are the teams unable to get to them before they are all tainted?
So with the main storylines intersecting with each other, it comes as another shock that there is another twist in store for Bryn. I obviously can’t tell you what, but I really wasn’t expecting it. There are so many little twists and turns in this book. How so many things can go wrong in such a short space of time, I really do not know. But it does.
I’m really glad how Tee works it all out in the end. She obviously knew where she wanted it to end up, but as it was going along, I wasn’t too sure there would ever be a happy ending. Of course, I can’t tell you whether the ending is happy or sad, that’s something you need to experience for yourself. All I can tell you is that Tee doesn’t leave you hanging on the edge of a cliff. That’s one thing I am really grateful for. With all the ups and downs, twists and turns, I really didn’t want there to be a cliff-hanger ending.

As always, Tee’s writing is flawless. It seems to flow with such grace that you can’t help but be in awe of this woman. There is no reason why she shouldn’t become a best-selling author. I, for one, will be there every step of her journey as an author. I just hope she remembers the little people like me when she reaches stardom!
I love the story of Bryn. She’s such a feisty, headstrong young woman. She doesn’t know how to take things lying down and she refuses to let people walk all over her. That is what I love in a protagonist. It’s what I admire the most. I am probably most glad that as the story goes along, Bryn grows as a person as well as, as a Valkyrie. She has to fight some battles, most of which are internal, it is these that make her blossom and grow.
I love how Tee has developed the plotline of the story and the character that appear in it. One of my favourite characters other than Bryn and Aidan would have to be Odin. He might be some big, scary, bad-ass God, but he’s also a kind of father figure to Bryn. I don’t mean in the ‘All-Father’ kind of way, I mean in the way he cares about her and helps her whenever he can. He doesn’t chastise her just to make a point, he actually cares about what happens to her and what he can do to help her or turn a blind eye whenever he can. He’s the kind of guy I would like as my own father.
All in all, I think that Dead Embers is a wonderful book. Possibly better than Dead Radiance and that is saying something considering how much I truly loved that book!
Tee is one of those authors that like to weave the magical and the mystical and create something that truly is amazing to behold. I am just glad that she chose to share the ARC with me. I will always be grateful for that.
Thank you Tee, for creating such an amazing, awe-inspiring book. I am so glad you chose to set your stories within Asgard. I absolutely love things that have Loki and Thor in them and you haven’t failed to gain my love.
As a reviewer, I am always in awe of someone who can weave such magic with their words as you do.
Thank you also for giving me the ARC for review. I am eternally grateful.

Thank you everyone who came by today to read my review. I hope to see you all here again soon!







My Birthday Blowout Week ~ Day 7! The Last Giveaway!


*GIVEAWAY NOW OPEN*
*OPEN INTERNATIONALLY*

Hi Guys! Welcome to the final day in my blowout week.
It's been so much fun this week. I have given away so many things and had my birthday in between.
I am so excited for this last giveaway. I had a friend working on a special surprise for today's winners. If you have stayed tuned to my Twitter feed all week, you may already have an inkling what it is. If not, fear not for I am about to unveil the 2 surprises. 

There will be FOUR winners.

Prize 1:
(Angel Dust pic plus BFF key ring *pictured below* plus Auracle signed bookmarks)


My friend and VERY talented artist, Sam Morris drew these for me to giveaway but I REEEEALLY want to keep them! Can I? No? Oh [bleep] I guess I will just have to settle for looking at it on here *strokes screen*
For anyone wanting to follow Sam on Twitter - you can do so here




Prize 2:
(Obsidian pic *pictured below* plus peace key ring, plus Cursed and PODs bookmarks)



Prize 3:


a paperback copy of RAPTURE by Lauren Kate
plus, the camera keyring (pic below) and 2 Entangled (Nikki Jefford) bookmarks


Prize 4:

DEAD RADIANCE bookmark & necklace card (both signed), Lily Crussell bookmarks, a fridge magnet and a flower keyring (all pic below)


Key rings are pictured here:



PLUS, you will ALL receive a Chocolate Goody Bag:



So what on earth must you have to do to win these awesome prizes...?

Well... I don't know. Should we have a Rafflecopter widget? Shall we have a random.org draw? Hmm...

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe... I think maybe we should have a Rafflecopter widget but to make it fair to all who want to enter for one and not the other, we'll have 3 different widgets. You can enter via ALL 3 if you want to be in the running for all the prizes. You can enter just one or the other if you don't. 

So away we go:






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*Terms and Conditions Apply*

  • Gothic Angel Book Reviews will not be held responsible for loss or damage in the post
  • International postage takes longer, therefore please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery
Thank you everyone. Whether you joined me here at the beginning of the week, or only part way through. You have all helped make my 29th birthday a memorable one! Good Luck to each and every one of you. The previous days giveaways are not yet closed so go and enter, you might win more prizes. If you don't enter, you'll miss out on some really great prizes.

This week, we've had signed books, signed swag, e-books, 2 artist renditions of covers; ANGEL DUST and OBSIDIAN, and of course, plenty of chocolate. It has been a blast for me, I hope it has for you too!


Saturday, 25 August 2012

My Birthday Blowout Week ~ Day 6!


*GIVEAWAY NOW OPEN*
*OPEN INTERNATIONALLY*

Hi Guys! Welcome to the 6th day of my blowout week *waves*

What goodies do I have for you today? Well, there are going to be 2 winners today and 3 runners-up.

The 2 winners get to choose a book from the picture below:


The runners up will each receive a piece of swag from the picture below:


*1 person will receive Angelina's Secret BM & Masters of The Veil BM, 1 person will receive 3 Of Darkness & Light BM's and 1 person will receive 4 Entangled BM's*

Also, all 5 will receive a Chocolate Goody Bag put together by me and my 5 year old son 



So, what do you have to do to win? Enter on the widget below:







*Terms and Conditions Apply*
  • 2 winners will each pick 1 book from the ones shown. However, should they both desire the same book, I will contact them to come to an agreement on another title shown.
  • 3 runners-up will be drawn and will receive one set of the swag shown. This will be decided by me on the day of the draw.
  • Gothic Angel Book Reviews will not be held responsible for loss or damage in the post
  • International postage takes longer, therefore you should allow 2-4 weeks for delivery
Thank you to all who came by today. I hope to see you again for the last giveaway tomorrow!


Friday, 24 August 2012

My Birthday Blowout Week ~ Day 5


*GIVEAWAY NOW OPEN*
*OPEN INTERNATIONALLY*

Hi Guys! Happy Friday! *waves*
Welcome to day 5 of my blowout week. Thank you all for being here.

Let's get down to it, what do I have for you today?

I have ONE e-copy of either SHE SMELLS THE DEAD or SPIRIT STORM
(or if you have both of these, the author will give you another book in it's stead)


"It's the beginning of senior year and Yuki's psychic awareness of ghostly spirits is threatening to ruin her life. Her ability to sense spirits of the dead isn't glamorous like on TV. SHE SMELLS THE DEAD. Yuki is being visited in her dreams and suspects that her friend Calvin is involved in something strange. Will Yuki be able to save the spirits and herself?"


"Let the spirits guide you, but never let them take you."

Spirits of the Dead are coming...

"Yuki is about to face an army of lost souls on Samhain, the night of Halloween, when the spirits of the dead roam free. Yuki will need all the help she can get from her friends, but will Calvin be there for her when she needs him the most?"

So what can YOU do to win ONE of these fabulous e-books, plus a signed bookplate? (pictured below)


You will also receive a Chocolate Goody Bag put together by me and my 5 year old son



All you have to do is tell me the name of the first book in E.J Stevens other series, Ivy Granger

Comment below and I will assign your comment a number. Then I will do a draw via random.org and the winning number will be announced. I will then contact you for your mailing details.

*Terms and Conditions Apply*
  • The e-book will be supplied by the author.
  • Gothic Angel Book Reviews will not be held responsible for loss or damage in the post (or the bookplate)
  • International postage takes longer, therefore please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery!
Thank you for entering, good luck to all of you! I hope to see you back on Saturday and Sunday for more giveaways.






Thursday, 23 August 2012

My Birthday Blowout Week ~ Day 4!




Hi guys! Welcome back again to my birthday week of celebrations! *waves*

I told you it was going to be a great week. Well what further proof do you need? We've had a fun 3 days. That's enough, right?.... No? OH! Well what shall I do about that then? Hmm....

I know, I'll give you a chance to win great prizes! There will be three winners today. What can you win?


There's 1 copy of THE IRON KNIGHT and 2 copies of PUSHING THE LIMITS. 
These were advanced finished copies, kindly donated by Elise at MIRAink. 

Plus there's 3 of these Chocolate Goody Bags; 1 for each winner:



So what do you have to do to win? It's not a Rafflecopter entry, for the first time this week. No. Instead it's just a comment that will win you these lovely prizes.

Comment below which book you would like to win - I will assign each person who enters a number and then I will do a draw via random.org - whichever numbers get drawn will win. SIMPLE! ;)

*Terms & Conditions Apply*
  • Gothic Angel Book Reviews will not be held responsible for loss or damage in the post.
  • International postage takes longer, therefore please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery
Thank you for coming by today. Good luck to each of you. I hope to see you for the rest of the week. 

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

My Birthday Blowout Week ~ Day 3!


*GIVEAWAY NOW OPEN*
*OPEN INTERNATIONALLY*

Hi Guys! Welcome back to an awesome week of celebrations! *waves*

It's my birthday today. I am now 29! 1 year away from the big 3-0! *runs and hides*


I want a cake, did anyone bring me one? No? Well that's okay because I brought my own.
Here it is for all to share..


As Nightmare Before Christmas is my absolute favourite, I had to have a Jack Skellington cake! And along came Zero too. My favourite dog in the world!
Anyway, hope you took a slice of cake and are wishing me a Happy Birthday from afar *smiles*

So, on with what I brought you here for, a GIVEAWAY!!

Today, I am giving away a fabulous book. AURACLE by Gina Rosati!

*I will be buying a copy of this on Book Depository so please click here to make sure they deliver to you before you enter!*


"16 year old Anna Rogan has a secret she's only shared with her best friend, Rei; she can astrally project out of her body, allowing her spirit to explore the world and the far reaches of the universe.



When there's a fatal accident and her classmate Taylor takes over Anna's body, what was an exhilarating distraction from her repressive home life threatens to become a permanent state. Faced with a future trapped in another dimension, Anna turns to Rei for help. Now the two of them must find a way to get Anna back into her body and stop Taylor from accusing an innocent friend of murder. Together Anna and Rei form a plan but it doesn't take into account the deeper feelings that are beginning to grow between them"


And as if that wasn't enough, I have SIGNED swag for you too!


*a SIGNED bookmark, a silicone bracelet, a magnet and a badge. All kindly given by Gina herself*

Of course, as it's my birthday, there's just a couple more little treats for you..

a slab of Thorntons Chocolate: 


and everyone who wins one of my giveaways this week - or of course, a runner-up -will also receive
a Chocolate Goody Bag!! (pictured below)


What do you need to do to win? Well, enter on the widget of course!





a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions Apply*
  • Gothic Angel Book Reviews will not be held responsible for loss or damage in the post
  • International delivery takes longer, therefore please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery
Thank you all for coming by to help me celebrate my birthday! I hope to see you again all week.


Tuesday, 21 August 2012

My Birthday Blowout Week ~ Day 2


*GIVEAWAY NOW OPEN*
*OPEN INTERNATIONALLY*

Hi Guys! *Waves*

Welcome to day 2 of my birthday celebrations! What do I have in store for you today? Well, that would be telling.... Oh go on then! It's a SIGNED copy of BLOOD DEBT by Nancy Straight!!


"Her whole life, it had just been the two of them. Before her mother’s last breath, she gave Camille the information she had craved her entire life: the identity of her father. Daring to contact him, Camille was welcomed by an entire family she never knew existed. But nothing comes without a price, as she discovers when her family claims a legendary heritage tracing back to a centaur touched by Zeus. 

As she learns the secrets of her Centaur bloodline, she is drawn into a forbidden love with Drake. Her life may be the blood debt required to pay for her mother’s transgressions. The same person who once held her mother captive, and forced her into decades of hiding, now controls Camille. Her only chance is to seek a piece of her mother’s past that will win her freedom and the life she desperately wants"



Also, you will receive a Chocolate Goody Bag put together by me and my 5 year old son



"How do we win this gorgeous paperback & yummy chocolates?" I hear you ask. Well, enter on the widget below, it's that simple!


a Rafflecopter giveaway   

*Terms and Conditions Apply*
  • Gothic Angel Book Reviews will not be held responsible for loss or damage in the post
  • International post takes longer, therefore please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery

Thank you all who came by today. Hope to see you again for the rest of the week!




Monday, 20 August 2012

My Birthday Blowout Week ~ Day 1


Hi Guys & Welcome To The First Day Of A Week Of Giveaways. That's Right, I said WEEK! I Have Prizes From Now Until Saturday So Stay Tuned & Enter Every Giveaway To Win Fabulous Prizes!!


It's my 29th birthday on Wednesday and I thought what better way than to celebrate by giving YOU several chances to win awesome swag, books, signed books and more.



So, onto today's chosen prize. I am here to offer you the chance to win an e-copy of ReVamped by Ada Adams and signed swag.



"A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same"

The swag:


and you will also get a little Chocolate Goody Bag, put together by me and my 5 year old son



So what do you have to do to enter? Well that's simple. why it's Rafflecopter of course! 



*Terms and Conditions Apply*


  • Gothic Angel Book Reviews will not be held responsible for loss or damage in the post
  • International postage takes longer, therefore please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery
Thank you for coming by today. I look forward to seeing you for the rest of the week!






Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Interview With Lani Wendt Young, Author Of The Telesa Trilogy



Hi Guys! *waves* Thank you for coming by. I am lucky enough to have an in-depth interview with one of my favourite authors. I hope you enjoy...

*(ME) (LANI)*

Name: Lani Wendt Young
Age: 39
Occupation: Writer / Domestic Goddess *LOL*
Place of Birth: Apia, Samoa
Place of Residence: Auckland, NZ
Marital Status: Married ( 19 yrs and counting…) *blimey, that's a long time*
Children: Five.
Favourite Author: Too many. C.S Lewis, JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Maya Angelou, Stephenie Meyer, Toni Morrison,  Sophie Kinsella, Sia Figiel,  Marian Keyes, Raymond E Feist and Jenny Wurts
Favourite Book: Who can possibly choose one?! *not me, that's for sure*
Favourite Singer/Band:  U2, Eminem, Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, Sade,  Eric Clapton, Coldplay, John Mayer,
Favourite Food & Drink: Diet Coke, Doritos, donuts, faiai fe’e ( octopus baked in coconut cream)
Best Holiday Destination: Home. Samoa.
Favourite TV Programme: Greys Anatomy,  True Blood, Game of Thrones, Good Wife, Desperate Housewives. *you had me up until Desperate Housewives*
Favourite Past Time/Hobby: reading, dancing, pretending to run.

I'd like to ask a few questions about you personally before asking about the book, if that's okay...?

Firstly, I'd like to know what it is that you enjoy doing most apart from writing? 
Reading. I only discovered e-books last year and my Kindle is my bestest friend now. I used to buy books everywhere I go and lug them around with me and electronic books have changed my life.  I also enjoy baking. I am a dessert freak. Im not very good at cooking savory dishes so it’s not uncommon for my family to eat canned tuna fish with rice for dinner…and then have three different kinds of pie. And choc chip cookies. And sticky date pudding. Yummy.

Did you always know you wanted to be an author?
Before I wanted to be an author I wanted to be the Prime Minister of Samoa. And a super model.  And a vet. And a lawyer.  And a superhero. But writing was always my strength, my passion. I just never thought one could make a proper living from it.

If you couldn't be an author, what would you like to be?
I’m a qualified high school English teacher and worked in schools in Samoa for about eight years before I had my 3rd child and decided to stay home and be a full-time mum. I enjoy being in the classroom and interacting with teenagers.

Who would you say are your writing influences?
The Bible. Shakespeare. C.S Lewis. Enid Blyton.  I grew up in Samoa which did not have a lot of books readily available so I was in a constant state of HUNGER for stuff to read. I spent a lot of time at the public library, re-reading the classics and lots of very ragged, very old books. We also read a lot of British/English stuff – like Enid Blyton and the Swiss Chalet Girls series. As a teenager, I was obsessed with stories that had strong female leads  - Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew and the X-Men comics. As an adult I discovered Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Amy Tan and Sia Figiel – and I continue to be inspired by the way they integrate culture and feminism into their writing.

Do you have your own muse? 
I have five of them. My children. They range in age from 17 to four years old and being their mother is like living in a non-stop creative furnace. My eldest daughter brainstorms a lot of the Telesa stories with me, my son tempers our wild ideas with scientific reminders “that’s impossible, you can’t write that, it doesn’t make sense!”  Children are constantly discovering wonders and mystery in the everyday world around us – and when I’m not too tired or irritated with them – I get to see the world the same way they do. It’s a great blessing to be a mother and I’m grateful for the many ways they inspire and add to my writing.

What was the first book you read?
My mum would read to us. I remember reading The Wild Thing by Maurice Sendak. Loving  it. The Narnia series has always been and always will be a huge influence on me. I read all Enid Blyton’s books – and was very captivated by the Faraway Tree in particular. The thought of these imaginary amazing worlds accessible at the top of a tree…or in a wardrobe…were fascinating concepts for me.

What was the first thing you wrote?  
Short stories. When I was 10 I wrote a story about a mango tree that had feelings and thoughts. My teacher read it out loud to the class and told everyone I had a great imagination and would be a writer one day. A spark of a dream was lit that day. When I was 15 I wrote a story about a girl who falls in love with a sea prince – who changes into a silver dolphin. My English teacher accused me of plagiarism and called my parents. She said there was no way a kid my age could write a story like that. I was hugely offended… I made sure that I got the highest marks for the national English examinations that year.

*butts in* Oh my goodness! That’s like, wow! I guess looking back on it though, it may be seen as a compliment.

Is the first thing you wrote also the first thing you published?
No. When I grew up I got very busy with university and raising a family. It wasn’t until a year before my 30th birthday that I realized I couldn’t keep saying “I’m going to be a writer ONE DAY WHEN I GROW UP” because heck, I was all grown up. I set a target to submit my stories to a publisher before I turned 30. On my birthday, I posted my collection of short stories to 4 different publishers. All of them said no. They told me to submit stories to journals and collections and competitions to get started. I took their advice and that’s how I began getting my work published.

What was it that made you decide to be an Indie author as opposed to pursuing a publishing contract?
My first book was written on commission. I was hired for a year to research and write a book about the tsunami that hit Samoa. The project was then funded by the Australian govt who paid for it to be printed. I worked with the editor, printer and distributor on every step of the book process. The experience showed me that writing, printing and publishing a book are NOT deeply mysterious and complicated things.  When TELESA started getting rejection letters from agents and publishers I didn’t sit around and wait. I continued to refine my book, get a cover design, plan a promotional campaign… and by the fifteenth rejection, I was ready to go indie. It’s hard work but I’m loving the writing journey and for a control freak – there’s so much to love about self-publishing.

I know you were born in Apia, Samoa - so i know that must be the inspiration behind TELESA being set in Samoa - but having said that, I would like to know what the inspiration was behind the actual premise of the story... specifically the following...

(i)                  Why did you decide to write a Paranormal book?
Toni Morrison said, ‘if the book you want to read has not yet been written, then you must write it.’ That captures why I wrote this series. Fantasy/magic/paranormal elements – have always been my favourite kinds of fiction. I love the escape that they provide from reality. I love the possibilities that are inherent in them. I’ve always wanted to read a paranormal/fantasy story set in Samoa and there aren’t any. In fact, there’s not a lot of novels written by Samoans, set in contemporary Samoa and TELESA is the first Samoan Young Adult novel of its kind.

(ii)                Why did you want to write about Telesa - were they something people believed in when you were younger or are they something you made up?
There are many legends and stories whispered in Samoa about ‘teine Sa’, spirit/demon women who have supernatural powers. They are guardians of various areas in the islands – like rivers, forests, a particular village etc. They curse, bewitch, poison, and kill those who defy their rules and disrespect their lands etc.  There is a lot of fear and respect given to these legends and many people believe in their existence. As a child growing up in Samoa, I often questioned my father and other elders about the ‘teine Sa’, because I wanted to know more about them. Who were they exactly and where did they originate? People did not like my questions and I got very few answers. Mainly because ‘teine Sa’ are such a taboo topic and also because, few people really know much about them at all. I took that unfulfilled curiosity and used it to dream up the Telesa women in my books. They are nothing much like the original legends as they are my creative interpretation of them.

(iii)               Was the love story between Leila and Daniel pivotal to the story?
Yes, Telesa is first and foremost, a love story. But there are many different kinds of love and I have explored several of them in the books. Readers have connected strongly with Daniel and Leila’s love story and that’s been very exciting to see. In our Samoan culture, ‘young love’ is frowned upon in many ways, with sex being a very taboo topic.  In the second book, I take on more taboo topics in our traditional culture – child sexual abuse and domestic violence. TELESA is crossing generations as its being read by many parents AND their teenagers – for example, at a recent book signing event I met a grandmother who came with her daughter and grand-daughter who have all read the book and loved it. It is my hope that TELESA can be the springboard for family discussions about a myriad of topics, including those which have been considered ‘taboo’.  But for me, the key love story in TELESA is the relationship between mother and daughter, between Leila and Nafanua. I am very interested in the often complex and complicated relationships women have with their mothers.

During the writing process, some authors say that characters voices pop unbidden into their head and demand to be written - is that the case for you and your characters?
For me, it’s not so much characters voices that ‘speak to me’ but scenes, pivotal moments in the story that grip me and demand to be written.  I’m a very visual person and my works in progress play out like a film in my head.  I wrote the ending of TELESA first. Before I even knew what was going to happen in the book.  We get strong tropical storms in Samoa and I was looking out the window at one such violent storm when lightning lit up the sky.  It was fiercely beautiful and terrifying at the same time. And right then, I could see the final show-down between Leila, Nafanua and the Covenant Sisterhood.  As Sarona struck at Leila with shards of lightning, again and again while she writhed in agony on the ground. And then that pivotal moment when Nafanua decides to break her Covenant vow with her sisters, to turn away from generations of tradition – and instead, choose her daughter above all else.  That scene almost wrote itself. So did the scene where Leila’s elemental powers are finally unleashed. Talk about a kiss that sets a person on fire… LOL

Would you say you relate well to Leila? Is there a part of you that relates to any of the sisters?
Leila’s quick readiness to condemn people and go on defensive-offensive attack mode, is a lot like me when I was a young adult. Thankfully, I had no elemental powers or else I would have been sizzling people left and right during my early years…lol. All the rest of Leila is bits and pieces I’ve taken from various women in my life. Same with the Sisterhood.  I have three sisters and tons of cousins and so I have an endless array of inspiring sources for my characters.

How long did it take you to come up with the idea for your trilogy?
I’m not very good at planning stories in advance. I don’t map a book out before I write it – which makes them rather messy… So I started writing TELESA with an idea about a young girl with ‘teine Sa’ powers who falls in love with a rather delicious boy – and then as I wrote, other ideas flowed and got in the way, making the story their own.  It took me about six months all up to write TELESA but that was after a lifetime of storing away little nugget ideas and ‘filmclips’ of scenes in my brain.

What I suppose I mean by that is, do you have a plan for where the trilogy should end before you write the rest of the story or do you think the ending will come to you as you begin to wind the story up?
I start each book with a few powerful scenes in mind and then work backwards to fill in the gaps BUT even those scenes are not set in stone. In the first book, Jason was supposed to die but then as I wrote the book, his character ended up taking over more ‘air-time’ and I liked him way more than I thought I would. So I couldn’t stand to have him get killed off at the end and rewrote that scene. Sarona didn’t even exist when I wrote my final show-down scene. It was all about Leila and Nafanua. But while writing the novel, Sarona ‘s role kept growing until she was a mega-villainess in her own right.

Going back to TELESA, how many drafts would you say there were before you were satisfied enough for it to go to print?
Countless drafts. Every time I submitted it to another agent/publisher, I edited it some more. Even after I released it as an electronic book, I still wasn’t happy with it and went back to redraft and re-upload it. Thank goodness the print book can’t be changed because I’m sure I would be wanting to draft it again!

 Does writing come easily to you? I know some authors say that writing is a steep learning curve, would you agree?
Writing is a breeze. I love doing it. It’s crazy exhilarating to create people and chart their stories. BUT revising and rewriting and improving my writing – that’s what is hard work. That’s what I dread but I have to do it because otherwise everything I write would be rubbish. I have so much to learn. I do a lot of research, I study a lot of other writer’s techniques. I read voraciously. When I find a book I like – I ask myself why and identify what can I learn from that author’s technique?  I watch a lot of movies. I think that writers have a lot to learn from movies and television. Both good and bad. Especially when it comes to writing action and event sequences. Knowing how to make reading flow, what kind of dialogue is realistic and what to do to leave readers hungry for more.  After I watch a great movie – I come home on FIRE, just burning to get at my laptop and start writing. An example, the recent Avengers movie.  That blew me away. The dialogue in particular was witty, profound and captivating. The portrayal of some of the characters was epic.  When I think of a TELESA movie one day? That’s the kind of movie I hope it will be.
There are many different kinds of writer and people need to be certain of what kind of writer they are trying to be. I’m not writing to impress and astound with my grasp of imagery and language – no, I’m writing to tell a story. I’m a storyteller. And I’m always hoping and trying to improve.

Was it any quicker or slower to write WHEN WATER BURNS?
The second book in the series was quicker to write than the first, but required more courage. It’s tough to write a second book knowing that readers all have their expectations for what it will be, based on their experience of the first one.  I put a lot more of myself into the second book – my humor, sarcasm, anger and more - because maybe I’m getting braver? Or it could be I’m getting dumber…I’m not sure, LOL.

When do you hope to release the third installment? Does it have a name yet or just a working title?
The third book is titled, The Bone Bearer. I’ve already started it and if I was a chiselled, disciplined writing professional, the book would be written in six months and out by Dec 2012. Sadly, I am not a chiselled masterpiece of writing perfection. And there’s all sorts of things that are on my schedule for the next six months – like the day-to-day life with my children. And  like book events in Australia, Hawaii and possibly the USA. Im speaking at schools, libraries and writing festivals in the coming months. And while those are all excellent opportunities to connect with readers in person, they all force me to get out of the writing cave and interact with the real world. (very painful process) 

Once the trilogy is complete, do you intend to take a break from writing or do you already have plans for the next book?
I have two other books on hold, very different from TELESA. One is a ‘chick-lit’ contemporary romance set in Samoa. The other is a MOM-Memoir inspired by a lot of my blog Sleepless in Samoa.  I would like to finish them and get them published. I have to confess though that the TELESA world has more stories in it for me. I’ve already begun a novella written from Daniel’s perspective – that retells key sections of book one and I would like that to be released very soon. Before the third book is published. ( I hear whispers of November…November…)  There are a few characters that I would like to take further with books of their own. Tavake from book two. Keahi. And Teuila. And without spoiling too much…Nafanua deserves her own book. (thank goodness that in the world of fiction, people are never TRULY dead…)

I know I've asked you so many questions already and I am so grateful to you for answering them all, but I'd like to ask one last one... Is there anything, non-spoilery of course, that you can share today with your fans about what we can expect for the end of the trilogy? (I personally am an old fashioned romantic and would love Leila and Daniel to have a Happily Ever After, but I know you can't tell us that)
All I’ll say Keren is that I too am an old fashioned romantic at heart…

Thank you Lani for taking the time to answer my questions. I will be so sorry to see the trilogy end, I hope it ends well for L & D. I know that even though there'll come a time when I will read the last word on the last page, I will keep a piece of Samoa buried in my heart. It really came alive for me whilst reading TELESA.
I want you to know I truly love your writing and I look forward to many more books from you. You have a fan-girl for life!

Thank you so much Keren. For the interview opportunity and for the book support. Writing can be such a solitary activity that it’s a real joy to connect with readers, especially those who can add so much more insight and inspiration for the writing process. It’s so humbling to know that there is a Telesa fan all the way over there in the UK. Thank you.

*Thank you Lani! This has been a truly interesting interview. I am delighted that you took the time to answer so many of my questions. I know that usually people only ask about 5 or 6 questions but I didn't think that gathered enough information ~ so I wanted to ask things that really got to the heart of you.
Telesa was an extraordinary book, I will always have a piece of Samoa in my heart ~ I can't wait to read and review When Water Burns so thank you for sending me a gorgeous paperback ~ I really love looking at the cover, both front and back!*




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Thank you to everyone who came by to read this interview. I hope I asked all the questions that you would have thought to ask. 
I really appreciate the fact that Lani answered quite so many questions. But then I always have been quite nosy! 









Hope to see you all again soon!

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