This one’s for Leslie!

Okay, if you aren’t a fan of L.A. Banks / Leslie Esdaile Banks, I hope you will be before the end of this note.  Because besides being a phenomenally talented writer, she’s also one of those genuinely phenomenal human beings that make you just want to be in her sphere.

When I first saw her, she was standing in a hallway and several fans were crowding around to talk to her.  She was one of the most beautiful and striking women I’d ever seen.  I was newly published at the time, and a bit awestruck to see what had to be a “big star” by the looks of her readers and their boundless enthusiasm.  I was a curious bystander to see how it would all unfold.  I’d seen a few big names demonstrate the weave and dodge.  Would she distance herself? Would she wave them off and try to escape?


She embraced every one of them, shook hands, asked questions about them and laughed as if they were her nearest and dearest.  She apologized for arriving late from the airport and exhausted as she was, she didn’t hurry.  Not even a little…

I was her newest fan from that moment.  Then I found out the rest.  NY Times Bestselling author and every accolade you could think of.  Which made that interlude in the hallway even more impressive.  And yours truly more than a little intimidated.

So when a few hours later, I was coincidentally near the lady again and overheard her saying that it was her first RT and she had nothing to wear to the party that night—I introduced myself and offered to loan her something if she wanted to dress up.  She laughed, a sweet unbridled laugh, that said it all.   After all, I had to tip my head back to look up at her to make the offer.  (I am overtly average in height, while Leslie is a gorgeous Amazon.)  She thanked me and tried to help me out of a generous predicament but I stuck to my guns.  It turns out, I had the perfect outfit and jewelry for her and it was a true thrill to play Fairy Godmother and transform her into Cleopatra.

At the booksigning, she had a steady crowd of readers and I don’t think she put her pen down once.  But again, every single person was greeted as warmly as family, rewarded with a smile and genuine interest in them and the books they liked or how they were faring. She was a star, in every wonderful sense of the word, and I decided that if I ever “made it big”, that L.A. Banks would be my guiding light and role model.

We became friends.  We corresponded and commiserated over ups and downs.  She always made me feel special and spoke to me as an equal (which was miraculous.) But every year, I looked forward to seeing her.  And to that laugh.  You could pick her out of a room filled with a thousand people with that laugh.

So, word has reached us that Leslie is gravely ill.   This Tuesday at 8:30pm EST, June 14th, “Canned Laughter and Coffee”, will be all about Leslie and our efforts to rally the romance community to help her. Without medical insurance, we all know how daunting it can be.  We want to make sure that Leslie and her family aren’t worrying about anything but  taking care of Leslie.  PLEASE join us if you can for the program at to hear about how you can help, and participate in the online benefit auction we’re having for her at .  (The auction opens June 21st and will go for one month only!!!)

Readers, writers, professionals in the publishing industry and anyone in this crazy universe of romance that we all share—thank you for stepping up and doing whatever you can for L.A. Banks and for proving that no matter what comes our way, we stand together when it counts.

Similar Articles




Recent Book Trailers



Don't Miss

The Most Followed People on Goodreads

Goodreads is a popular reader destination site that launched in December of 2006 (though many sites credit the founded year as 2007) by Otis...

Illustrated Romance Covers of 2020

Not everything in 2020 has been completely horrible. Some things were mildly horrible. Some weren't horrible and a little bit was actually kinda fun....

The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr

The View from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr   Reviewed by Holly Irish   My rating: 5 of 5 stars I couldn’t put this story down! I was hooked...

Book Review: The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wow, I’m at a loss for words with this book. I’m not even...

Wake County Public Libraries Storytime

Who doesn't love storytime? The Wake County Public Libraries offers a series of storytime readings and activities you can engage with right at home. This...

Throwback Thursday Book Trailer: New Moon by Rebecca York

0   From March 9th, 2007 Dark secrets and parallel universes bring together a man who is part wolf and a woman who is his lifemate...from another...

You Can Vote! Goodreads Choice Awards Final Days

Some votes are still being counted! Of course, we mean for the Goodreads Choice Awards! You can still cast your vote for "Best Books of...

Allen County Public Library’s Storytime

It's "Storytime" at the Allen County Public Library! And even though we're quarantined, that doesn't mean we have to miss out on storytime! The Allen...

Darko: The Sacred Heart of Johanee Darko Book Trailer

0 When everything falls apart, getting back to the basics is often the best answer. Kenny G. Down, continuing his work as a “grateful and...

BLOG TALK RADIO: Push and Pole and other great book with author Laura Heffernan

Push and Pole and other great book with author Laura Heffernan Laura Heffernan is the award-winning, internationally best-selling author of fun, witty romantic comedies and...