Leaving L.A., Bella Books, January 2011

Movie star Tessa Flanagan has retired from the Hollywood grind with a string of popular and critical successes behind her. Now her days revolve around spending time with her daughter Laya and launching a new career in philanthropy. She doesn’t expect a brief encounter with Eleanor Chapin, Laya’s new kindergarten teacher, to make a lasting impression.

As the end of the school year nears, however, Tessa realizes that her daughter’s beloved Miss Chapin may be the perfect nanny for the summer. Natural and direct, Eleanor already understands Laya’s need for life out of the public eye. Even though it means inviting a stranger into their household, Tessa is certain her own carefully guarded secrets will not be at risk.

For Eleanor, LA is merely a stop between Boston and a long-awaited PhD program. But the job offer from Tessa Flanagan is so lucrative she is tempted to put her plans on hold. The idea of working closely with Tessa is equally enticing, Eleanor has to admit, but the job is about Laya. There’s no reason not to take it—after all, she’ll be leaving LA soon.

Leaving LA explores the distance from Chicago’s South Side to the Hollywood Hills, from pastoral New England to lush Kauai through the passionate connection between two women looking for home.


Purchasing Options

Leaving LA, my second published novel, is available in paperback and a variety of eBook formats direct from the publisher, Bella Books. It’s also available in paperback and Kindle format at Amazon.com, and in paperback and Nook format at Barnes&Noble.com.

Reviews and Reader Comments for Leaving LA

  • Lambda Literary Foundation review, August 2011: Pamela Bigelow of Lambda Literary gave Leaving LA 5 out of 5 stars, and wrote, “You’ll laugh out loud, you may even cry, but you won’t want to put this book down and undoubtedly will be annoyed when your everyday life insists that you set the book aside. Leaving LA could very well end up as one of the ten best books of 2011.”
  • Just About Write review, May 2011: Reviewer Anna Furtado wrote, “Leaving L.A. is a well written, absorbing story.  The attraction of the two women lingers long in the reader’s thoughts.  The relationship between them is haunting, and the character of Laya is entertaining and delightful.  This is not another ‘glamorous actress in Hollywood’ story.  It is about interesting characters that goes beyond Hollywood and allows us to see a star as a real person with desires and foibles.  A love story well worth the read.”
  • EDGE Seattle/ OUTview review, April 2011: Writer Kate West reviewed both Leaving L.A. and Solstice and had this to say about LLA: “This novel moved me and I felt much more connected to the characters than the ones in Solstice. Maybe it’s because the characters are a little older or because I could relate to some of Tess’s and Eleanor’s experiences a little more. But, regardless, I actually teared up when finding out Tess’s childhood secrets.”
  • Reader comment, 5/24/11: “I just finished reading Leaving LA and absolutely LOVED it! Thank you so much for such a wonderful story. I was so sad when I neared the end of the book ’cause I didn’t want the book to end…ever! Looking forward to reading more from you.”
  • Reader comment, 3/2/11: “I just finished Leaving L.A. I loved the story, it is a beautiful romance. The characters are great, including the extremely sweet and smart kid. Once I started reading it, it was very hard to put it down until the end.”

Book Trailer for Leaving LA