A true Samoan love story

Photo Credit: 
Penina Momoisea
Malu and Stacie Levi.

(TELESA MEDIA RELEASE)—They first met and fell in love in high school. Sixteen years, two children and one successful business later – they are still very much in love. And as of Saturday March 23, they are the new faces for the TELESA book series.

Married couple, Stacie Ah Chong – daughter of Tiumalu Papalii Caroline Paul-Ah Chong & Gaono Randy Ah Chong and Malu Alesana Levi, son of Lavea Malagamalii Fosi Levi & Matautia Rula Levi – have lent their traditional tattoos to the Young Adult book series which continues to gain fans worldwide.

The next book in the series, entitled ‘The Bone Bearer’ will be released later this year and a photo shoot was held in Auckland over the weekend in preparation for the promotional campaign for the new book.

Author Lani Wendt Young explained, “We were very fortunate to have Ezra Taylor, Faith Wulf and Flora Rivers as cover models for the first three books in the series. They continue to be awesome promoters and supporters. The next books in the series required models with traditional tattoos and I’m thrilled that Alesana and Stacie were able to share a piece of their personal love story with us. They are a beautiful example of a couple that treasure their Samoan heritage and culture. The TELESA Series is essentially a love story and so to have a couple who are very much a married couple in love in real life – added a special dimension to the photos. I’m looking forward to the new book covers!”

Alesana and Stacie are now based in Auckland where they operate a successful plumbing business and raise their young family. In an added twist, the couple are former students of Lani’s from when she used to teach English at Robert Louis Stevenson Secondary school! Stacie commented, “We were honored to be a part of the new book’s creation and very happy to be helping Lani with her writing dream especially because she was a part of our school days.”

The designer for the new cover is Samoan graphic artist, Talia Brown of Talia Designs, Auckland. Her sister Penina Momoisea, is the photographer who took these stunning images. Previous cover art and photography for the TELESA Series has been provided by Tim and Efi Rasmussen of Tim’s Photography and Jordan Kwan.
Lani said, “It’s very important to me that these books be a vehicle to help showcase our Samoan creative talents in many different fields. As more and more people discover the TELESA series worldwide, they are hopefully, able to also learn more about our country, culture and people.”

There are three books in the series already, TELESA, WHEN WATER BURNS, and I AM DANIEL TAHI. All of them are available worldwide in print and electronic book format.

(Source: Telesa Book Series Media Release)

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