Title:Telesa – The Covenant Keeper
Author:Lani Wendt Young
Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
When Leila moves to her new home, all she wants is a family, a place to belong. Instead she discovers the local ancient myths of the telesa spirit women are more than just scary stories. The more she finds out about her heritage, the more sinister her new home turns out to be. Embraced by a Covenant Sisterhood of earth’s elemental guardians – what will Leila choose? Her fiery birthright as a telesa? Or will she choose the boy who offers her his heart? Daniel – stamped with the distinctive tattoo markings of a noble Pacific warrior and willing to risk everything for the chance to be with her. Can their love stand against the Covenant Keeper?
A thriller-romance with a difference. If you enjoyed Twilight, then you will be enthralled by Telesa as it blends the richness of Pacific mythology into a contemporary young adult love story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page.
Someone once said “Samoans love rugby first, God second and then their spouses.” While normally I would disagree with such a sacrilegious statement ( Hello, God first and then the three D’s of My Desire – Diet Coke, Doritos, and my husband Darren. Just not always in that order…)I can concede that the sport of rugby is SUPER important to Samoans worldwide. It’s the equivalent of football to the Americans, and soccer to the English.
Is it any wonder then that rugby features a lot in my book Telesā? The male lead, Daniel, is Captain of the school team and a lot of pivotal scenes in the book occur at rugby games. There’s even a rowdy rugby brawl with bottles flying and people getting smashed. But hey, what’s a rugby game without a little bit of people smashing?
I have to confess though that I’m a very poor excuse for a Samoan because I know next to nothing about rugby. While writing this book I had to keep asking my husband, “um, how many people on a team? What do you call that thing where they grab each others butts and huddle and push everyone? How many minutes in each half?” The one thing I knew for sure about rugby in Samoa was that they have to take their shirts off all the time since it’s so hot here. Which explains why there’s a lot of that kind of rugby player activity happening in the book. I had no problem writing about those scenes.
Many authors will tell you that research is the toughest ( and most boring) part of writing a book. And yes, my rugby research for Telesā was VERY time-consuming, exhaustive and intense stuff. I had to trawl through lots of photographic rugby data. Like this stuff…
Yes, writing about rugby was very stressful for me. I hope that readers will enjoy the results. I recommend they kick back with a chilled Diet Coke and some Doritos while they read Telesā. Oh yeah, and keep the Rugby World Cup footage reruns on TV so that they can have the necessary visual aids to better facilitate their reading experience!
Lani is a Samoan-NZ writer who blogs as a(slightlyDemented) Domestic Goddess at Sleepless in Samoa. Her award-winning short fiction has been published in collections in NZ, Australia and the UK. In 2009, Lani was commissioned to research and write her first book, the narrative non-fiction account of the disaster
which devastated the islands of Samoa, American Samoa and Northern Tonga. The printing of ‘Pacific Tsunami– Galu Afi’ was funded by the Australian government and all proceeds from the book go to survivors who shared their stories for the project.
Lani is married to Darren Young(who is probably the most patient man alive) and when she’s not writing blogging,Tweeting, Facebooking, getting depressed about a two star book rating on Goodreads, and ecstatic about a rave review on Amazon-she’s the full-time mother to her five fabulous children.(Who are also very patient people)
She won the following awards:
• 2011USPPressFictionAward,‘Sleepless in Samoa.’Short story collection.
• 2010 Commendation Award, Common wealth Short Story Competition.‘The Beast that Came from the Sea.’
• Winnerof the 2002 Telecom/National Univ of Samoa Short Story Competition.‘A Sister’sStory.’
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