August 2nd, 2011

andrew potter

Farewell to L.A. Banks (? - August 2, 2011)

Leslie Esdaile Banks: New York Times and USA Today Best-selling author, L.A. Banks penned over 40 novels and 12 novellas in a wide range of genres and was the recipient of the 2009 Romantic Times Booklover's Convention Career Achievement Award for Paranormal Fiction and the 2008 Essence Magazine Storyteller of the Year Award, as well as the 2008 Best 50 Women in Business Award for the State of Pennsylvania. She was featured as a speaker on the HBO Special on Vampire Literature and Legends as a prelude to the True Blood premier.

A native of Philadelphia, Banks was a graduate of The University of Pennsylvania Wharton undergraduate program, and alumnae of Temple University's Master of Fine Arts in filmmaking program. She wrote under the pseudonyms; L.A. Banks, Leslie Esdaile, Leslie E. Banks, Leslie Banks, and Leslie Esdaile Banks. She won several business as well as literary awards, and wrote in genres as diverse as romance, women's fiction, crime suspense, and paranormal. She contributed to magazines, newspaper columns, and wrote commercial fiction for a variety of major publishers: St. Martin's Press, Simon and Schuster, Harlequin, Kensington Publishing, BET/Arabesque, Dark Horse Press, Genesis Press, Parker Publishing, Harper, and Tor. Her non-fiction work included the riveting and motivational story of Bank's life journey in her contribution to the Chicken Soup for the African American Soul anthology.

Banks' writing career took a new twist when she won the coveted contract with Paramount/Showtime in collaboration with Simon & Schuster/Pocketbooks to write a book series for the popular cable network television series, Soul Food. Banks was also contracted to write the Universal Studios/Dark Horse Press novelization of the movie, Scarface, which takes a look at the main character Tony Montana's life two years before he emigrated from Cuba to American in 1978. In addition, Banks penned a four-book crime thriller for Kensington/Dafina, beginning with Betrayal of the Trust, under her alternate pseudonym, Leslie Esdaile Banks. From there, Banks transitioned into another hot genre, the world of paranormal fiction, where she penned a 12 book Vampire Huntress Legend series under the pseudonym, L.A. Banks, for St. Martin's Press, as well as a hot werewolf series, Crimson Moon Novels (a six book series.) Banks also moved into ebooks with Red Rose Publishing, graphic novels, comics, manga and even a new YA, entitled, Shadow Walker, for her thriving Vampire Huntress Legends series, as well as a young adult paranormal series that was under development at the time of her death.

Banks was a member of The Liar's Club, and was always working on multiple projects and anthologies simultaneously. She resided in Philadelphia with her daughter, who attended her graduate studies alma mater, Temple University.

L.A. Banks's Books on Amazon: L.A. Banks

andrew potter

Seasons of Change by Carolyn LeVine Topol

Loosing someone you care is always traumatic, but loosing him just weeks before the commitment ceremony that was supposed to be the beginning of a long-life together and exactly on the day your family disowned you for being gay is a little too much for future rabbi Andy to bear alone. He is lucky since, not only his late partner’s mother promptly substitutes the missing family, but also friends and colleagues support him. Plus Jack, the same nurse who took care of Mitchell the night of the accident is there to help and maybe also for something more.

The main theme of the story is: will Andy let his second chance at love to develop or will he consider that it’s too soon to be happy again? Jack probably approaches Andy in the right way since he doesn’t pressure him; not only that, Jack also recommends to Andy a therapist specialized in family loss, and she will greatly help Andy, especially since she will not stuck to the common theory that you need time to mourn before being able to truly love again.

Sure, there will be the more traditionalist reader that will think Jack is not really Andy’s true love, that Andy should mourn longer than barely some weeks, that is not possible that at less than one year since Mitchell’s death he is ready to move on with his life… all good reasons, but I also think that, it’s the quality of the time not its length that matters. It’s true that Mitchell was Andy’s love, and I’m sure that, if Mitchell didn’t die, they would be still together and more than happy; there was never once that I felt as Mitchell and Andy were not perfect together, and they fulfil each other completely. In this situation, Jack had no space, and if they had met him together, Jack would have been only a good friend. But Mitchell died, and Andy is still young and everyone wants for him to live again.

Maybe since he is a rabbi in training, and so probably he was taught to consider that everything happens for a reason, Andy is also able to detached himself from his pain and be able to rationalize; Andy is alive and as such he is allowed to be sad, but not to stop to live.

The novel has a warm feeling, even if, of course, it has also a bittersweet taste; the feelings, the colours, even the seasons are mostly “autumn”: warm given by wool jackets and blanket, green, brown and orange around, in the trees, grass and co (lot of walks in the park), Thanksgiving and other autumn Jewish festivities… everything tends to add to the autumn feeling, even the story between Andy and Jack, with Mitchell Andy was living his spring and summer, with Jack he is living his autumn and hopefully they will end together in the winter of their life.

Amazon: Seasons of Change
Amazon Kindle: Seasons of Change
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (August 23, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1615815643
ISBN-13: 978-1615815647

Reading List: