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Fans of the Telesa Trilogy in Brisbane and Sydney welcomed author Lani Wendt Young with music, dance, fashion and fabulous food on the Australia book tour for the launch of the second book – ‘When Water Burns.’ Dedicated readers extended the invitation to the author several months ago and then worked tirelessly to organize events which included community book signings, school visits and launch party celebrations.

Lani’s trip began in Brisbane where she was the keynote speaker at the LEAD Awards Celebration at Griffith University on the 18th of October.

The LEAD program targets Pacific Island secondary school students with initiatives to promote higher learning and work opportunities.  Lani also visited Woodridge High School where she addressed senior students about the importance of education.

The launch night held on Friday 20th October was a celebration of Pacific creativity as local designers showcased some of their creations in a mini-fashion show with outfits from each of the island nations profiled in the books.

Lani explained, “Fashion is a key part of the second book and it was exciting to see how they were able use the Telesa story to inspire their creativity.”  The highlight of the night for many was the flawless comedy skills of the MC, Gagaumalo Irene Nautu who had compiled her own version of a ‘music playlist’ to accompany reading of the book. Facebook fans raved, “The MC was the bomb. She’s like a female version of Laughing Samoans. I couldn’t stop laughing.”

The Sydney Tour began with a book signing held at Fairfield Markets on Saturday 20th Oct. Lani and her husband Darren were transported in style to all the events in low-rider cars provided by the Sydney Uso Car Club. Fans of all ages enjoyed dance performances and refreshments while they waited to meet the author. The Samoa Victim Support Organization was also there to spread awareness of their vital work.

That same night, a launch celebration was held at the Holroyd Centre in Merrylands. Rugby league player, Junior Tia-Kilifi of the Penrith Panthers was the celebrity MC for both events. The Sydney Committee led by Nia Matiseni of LNS Mobile Mechanics - a key sponsor of the launch – had prepared a lavish feast for the guests which included Telesa Trilogy Book cakes and unique donut stacks designed especially for the book launch by Juju’s Kogakis.

The program featured body painted models representing the different elements in the Trilogy with artwork from the gifted young artist, Nikki Tala of NikNation Clothing and siva performances inspired by the “Leila Siva” scene in the first book. By all accounts it was an inspiring and successful night. Elizabeth To’oa Macdonald commented, “Such a great evening. I appreciated Lani’s speech which encourages me to keep on with my own writing, especially with the reminder not to delay a dream because I’m too busy – ‘decide today to make it happen.”

The Sydney tour continued with visits to several secondary schools which are an essential part of book trips for the author. She explained, “As a former teacher, I particularly enjoy the opportunity to visit with young people and speak with them about the importance of education and having the courage to work hard towards achieving their dreams. I’m going to James Meehan school in particular because students there read my book and wrote to me with an invitation to please visit.”

‘When Water Burns’ is the second book in the Telesa Trilogy by Lani Wendt Young. The third book, ‘The Bone Bearer’ will be released in early 2013.