Leigh Goff

Author


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LUCKY 13 AND THE LITERARY AGENT

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”–Meister Eckhart

thumbnail-3by Leigh Goff

Lucky thirteen–my thirteenth full manuscript request for WICKED SWEET was the lucky one for me. My eyes popped when I read the email from Lauren Bittrich of Lucinda Literary in New York City. Was it real? It sure was!

After this wonderful, fabulous agent requested and read the full manuscript (YA with magical elements) in two days, she sent a glowing email. She wanted to meet with me and I cried. I literally sobbed with joy for ten minutes. My poor golden retriever didn’t know what to do with me. She sat and stared until I hugged her. Then I texted my loved ones with happy dance GIFs. After I caught my breath, I was ready. I replied back with a day and time and that worked for both of us.

The morning of our Google meeting, I was nervous, but definitely more excited. I was going to talk with someone in the literary world who had read my manuscript, loved my characters, and wanted to chat about all of that. How cool?

woman in blue floral top sitting while using laptop

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Lauren was great from the start. She told me about her professional background and editorial experience. She explained her vision for my book and it meshed perfectly with mine. Everything sounded great! She wanted to know what inspired WICKED SWEET, and of course I told her it was the wonderfully sassy main character (Abigail) from New England who becomes a square peg in the round hole of a small, Southern town. (There’s also a coven of cool misfits, a wicked cake seance, and a romantic kiss at Boneyard Beach.) She asked if I had any other stories I was writing. I told her a bit about another story in the works. She was thrilled because she didn’t want to represent just one book, she wanted to rep me for my career. What?!

As much as I wanted to sign with her right then, I informed her that I had to let the other agents reading the manuscript know I received an offer, and I would get back to her in ten days.

What a wait! The ten days dragged on, and I found myself wondering if the first call had really happened. It had! Once I had everything I needed to make a decision, it was an easy one. Lauren was the best. I emailed her the morning of the tenth day, just as she emailed me. Within two hours, the client agreement was signed.

I’m incredibly excited to work with her and her team at Lucinda Literary on WICKED SWEET and get it ready for submission. I wish everyone who is working on a manuscript the best of luck and look forward to reading your post on getting published.

Please subscribe to this website and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for updates on my WICKED SWEET publishing journey! THANK YOU!


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The Koush Hollow Audiobook is Available Now!

Screen Shot 2021-09-23 at 8.33.12 AMFive-star review from Jessica Julien-Audiobook Reviewer
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟”Today, I have a  great audiobook for you to check out that is dark & mysterious, witty & charming, & downright Southern Gothic…overall it was an awesome listen that you should all check out!!

BUY LINKS: | Amazon | iBooks | Audible


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It’s Time to Read Local Authors

04-flag-1024x683We shop local and eat local, now it’s time to read local! There is a social trend of ‘local first’ movements spreading around our nation.

Reading local benefits the community and highlights what makes it unique. Most local bookshops have sections dedicated to local authors. Independent booksellers spend a lot of time connecting with their community and its authors. If you want to find a book you’ll like, ask them for suggestions. And bonus, by supporting these shops, you’re providing jobs and supporting the local literary arts. Unknown

Many authors love to participate in neighborhood book clubs, too. Don’t be afraid to research writers in your area and reach out. If you’re putting together a list of books for your club or for summer reading, add a few local authors to it. You never know, they might just Zoom into your next meeting!

Local literary events are a great way to discover authors near you, including those hosted at libraries. There are many libraries that recognize the significance of reading local. Cascades Library in Northern Virginia is one of them and they are hosting their annual Eat Local/Read Local event this October 16th from 10am to 1pm (I’ll be there!). It’s free, there are lots of food trucks, and signed books galore, which make for fantastic birthday or holiday gifts.

bhcoverartbevel-2Reading local authors helps you learn amazing new things about the town you live in. When I wrote my second YA novel, Bewitching Hannah, historic downtown Annapolis inspired me. I wanted to highlight what makes my town unique with the hope of making it more of a destination than it already is. I included intriguing details about popular sights and historic houses as the settings where much of the action takes place. The feedback I received from my readers was that they wanted to visit these places. I created a literary tour for them that included all the sights I used in my novel. Here’s a link to the self-guided tour: https://leighgoff.com/2017/08/31/a-bewitching-tour-around-historic-annapolis/

Literary artists need their community and the community needs its artists. As Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Start READING LOCAL!


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I love writing young adult fiction with elements of magic and romance because it’s also what I like to read. Born and raised on the East Coast, I now live in Maryland where I enjoy the area’s great history and culture.

I am a graduate of the University of Maryland, University College and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). I am also an approved artist with the Maryland State Arts Council. My debut novel, Disenchanted, was inspired by the Wethersfield witches of Connecticut and was released by Mirror World Publishing. My second novel, Bewitching Hannah, is a young adult fantasy set in historic Annapolis.

Stay connected with me on Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads.


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Romance Novels: Why Are They So Popular?

 from Anne Montgomery

Once, after reading one of my manuscripts, my agent said, “I really like the historical part of the story. Why don’t you write it as a stand-alone romance?”

I winced. A romance novel? Me?

I have a pretty good idea about
where this book is going. Don’t you?

I’ll admit here that I’ve been a bit of a snob in regard to that particular genre, which I was surprised to discover is the number one book-selling category on the planet. Not sure why I’ve often scoffed at romance novels. Perhaps it’s the covers: the swooning women with their heaving breasts, the muscular men, all sixpacks and flowing hair. Those books just never sang to me and I never understood why other people wanted to read them.

So, in an effort to learn, I contacted some of my lovely romance-writing friends. I put on my old reporter’s cap and grilled them like a detective looking for clues, my goal to understand why anyone would want to read a romance novel.

Boy, did I learn a lot!

“Romance gives us a glimpse into another world,” said author Tina Ruiz. “Sometimes it’s a world that we don’t have around us. Romance novels are like fairy tales to grown up women, where the men are nice, cater to our every whim, and shelter us from everything that might make us sad or hurt.”

“It’s possible the diversity of romance novels is a magnet for diverse individuals,” said romance author Nancy Kay. “From contemporary, to historical, to mystery and thrillers there are any number of themes to attract a number of tastes.” 

Okay. But why are these stories tops in sales department?

“In my humble opinion it’s because we live in a shattered world that is full of bad stuff and romance is the ultimate good stuff,” said author Catherine Castle. “True love, loyalty, people who care about each other’s happiness.”

“Simple answer – escape,” said author Sloane Taylor. “Escape from the husband/wife who takes you for granted. Escape from the kids demanding all your time with not even a thanks. Escape from the boss who is a major ass. Escape from the bills that keep mounting. And especially in today’s world – escape from the pandemic and it’s personal repercussions.”


“The mainly happy endings in a frequently bitchy world,” Australian author Vonnie Hughes explained.

Hughes went on to say that romance novels don’t cost as much as other genres and they tend to be shorter, so don’t require a big investment of time.

I have certainly read books that contained romance, though that part of the story was mostly secondary to the plot, so I was curious as to what exactly defines a romance novel. Of course, my first thought in our post Fifty Shades of Grey world was sex. But Ruiz pointed out that actual sex is not always the big draw.

“It is the illusion of sex that grabs our hearts,” she said. “In a lot of movies, the man and woman don’t even kiss until the very last scene.  That moment gets built up from the moment they meet until the end of the book or movie.  It’s the part we are all waiting for, so when it happens, it is absolutely wonderful.”

Still sex is often part of the format.

“Reading a book where sex is prominent is pretty awesome,” Ruiz said. “Because it gets portrayed in a different way than we have it in real life.  Some men…are not perfectly, let’s say, kempt, when they walk into the bedroom.  The men in the books and/or movies are like a Prince Charming. Every hair is in place, his teeth shine, his eyes twinkle, and his breath is probably minty fresh.”

Another rather obvious requirement in a romance novel is that romance needs to be the most important part of the story.


“The main plot centers around individuals falling in love and struggling to make the relationship work,” Kay said. “There can be subplots as long as the love story is the main focus of the novel.”

And, there’s something else I learned. Romance novels apparently should not end on a depressing note. There must be an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending,” Kay said. “In a romance, the lovers who risk and struggle for each other and their relationship are rewarded with emotional justice and unconditional love.”

That sounds nice, doesn’t it? I can now see the appeal of romance novels. Perhaps it’s time I gave one a try.

How about you?

Here’s a little from my suspense novel based on a true incident. It’s not romance but I hope it intrigues you.



As a Vietnam veteran and former Special Forces sniper descends into the throes of mental illness, he latches onto a lonely pregnant teenager and a group of Pentecostal zealots – the Children of Light – who have been waiting over thirty years in the Arizona desert for Armageddon.

When the Amtrak Sunset Limited, a passenger train en route to Los Angeles, is derailed in their midst in a deadly act of sabotage, their lives are thrown into turmoil. As the search for the saboteurs heats up, the authorities uncover more questions than answers.

And then the girl vanishes.

While the sniper struggles to maintain his sanity, a child is about to be born deep in the wilderness.

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Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. She worked at WRBL‐TV in Columbus, Georgia, WROC‐TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP‐TV in Phoenix, Arizona, ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award‐winning SportsCenter, and ASPN-TV as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery has been a freelance and staff writer for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces.

When she can, Anne indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, football refereeing, and playing her guitar.

Learn more about Anne Montgomery on her website and Wikipedia. Stay connected on Facebook, and Twitter.