We Mourn the Loss of Bestselling Author Leslie Esdaile aka L.A. Banks

We regret to announce that beloved author L.A. Banks (aka Leslie Esdaile) lost her battle with late-stage adrenal cancer on August 2.

Over the last few months the book community banned together raising money to help the author with mounting medical bills. (Ironically in March 2010 she spoke at a healthcare reform rally in Glenside, Penn., where she was selected to introduce President Obama but not before telling her story as a single mom with a daughter in college who was faced with the dilemma of choosing between insuring her daughter or herself. See her speech here.)

This amazing author and dear friend of RT will be sorely missed. Esdaile was a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who penned over 40 novels. RT Publisher and Internet Director Carol Stacy says, ”Leslie was one of those rare individuals who made an instant connection as soon as she met you. She loved her family and friends deeply and she loved her legions of fans, each and every one. The book industry will forever be a bit dimmer without her incomparable talent, her love of and dedication to the craft of writing but, more importantly, the world has lost a caring, loving, beautiful human being who made the world a better place."

We will keep you posted as to where you can send your condolences to the family.

BLOG UPDATE 8/3/2011: We have just learned that a memorial service for Leslie will be held the morning of Saturday, August 13, at in Philadelphia, PA. The address and time are listed below. At Leslie's request, in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the United Negro College Fund in her memory.

The Leslie Esdaile Memorial Service
When: 11:00 A.M. Saturday, August 13, 2011
Where: Holy Apostles and The Mediator Episcopal Church
206 South 51st St.
Philadelphia, PA 19139
(215) 472-3000