So if you’ve read THE MOONLIGHT MARKET you know Cory’s sister, Poe, has several elaborate tattoos of fire and dragons that cover her burn scars.
I wanted Poe to feel beautiful again after the traumatic accident and fire that killed their parents. I consulted with a nurse friend who had worked in the burn ward of a local hospital and we discussed paramedical tattoos to return Poe’s skin to its natural hue. But my friend also sent images of burn victims who instead covered their bodies with colorful art. The moment I saw those pictures, I knew Poe would choose that type of tattoo.
But originally, Cory owned the tattoo in the story. His was more of a rebellious tattoo. One he kept secret from his parents while they were still alive–a tattoo that expressed the regimented responsibilities he felt his family had forced upon him.
Here’s a snippet of the original scene from the start of the book:
Sanderson’s big hand pushed up warm against Cory’s stomach, forcing up his button-down shirt to expose Cory’s tattoo.
It sprawled low on his ribs, still saturated with color because he never bared it. He always kept the tattoo hidden, a leftover habit from when his parents were still alive.
The huff of the other man’s laugh caressed his cheek.
“A clockwork man?”
The tattoo was good. It looked like the skin of his torso peeled back, revealing mechanical gears and cogs inside. This guy didn’t need to know why he’d gotten it, though. Cory gave him the obvious answer.
And later on in the book you see the same scene from Sanderson’s point of view, complete with his thoughts about the tattoo and whether it suited Cory:
He’d pulled Cory’s shirt out of his pants and seen the tattoo.
It was exquisite. The delicate shading and colors were almost three dimensional as it climbed up his ribs. It looked like Sanderson was seeing inside of Cory and instead of flesh and blood and bone, there were cogs and wheels and brass. He’d been surprised to find such a whimsical tattoo on such a serious, quiet guy.
“A clockwork man?” Sanderson huffed a laugh against Cory’s neck as his hand covered a large portion of the ink, marveling at the soft skin beneath it. Cory was no cold, mechanical toy.
“Engineering major,” Cory panted.
I thought it would be odd if both Poe and Cory had tattoos they’d kept from each other and ultimately, it came down to who needed them more. The answer was clear. Poe needed the confidence boost each time she looked in the mirror. Cory, on the other hand, would be reminded of his childishness. That was at odds with the adult responsibilities I wanted him to shoulder. I needed Cory to be the “parent” in their sibling relationship, and the whimsical tattoo contradicted that. So it got excised from the manuscript.
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Sanderson always envied the townies, all smiling faces and holding hands at his performances. He wanted the happy ever after that came with real life, not the pretend one in the twinkling fairy lights of the Moonlight Market. So when the Weaver of Dreams conjured him a normal life, college classes instead of performances, a chance at a boyfriend instead of an audience, he ran for daylight.
Now a year later, he’s learned that connecting with someone physically doesn’t always lead to a lasting relationship. To get closer to the man of his dreams, Sanderson offers to help Cory find his missing sister. This means navigating the twists and turns of the Moonlight Market, the disorienting world of performers and hawkers, bizarre sights, sounds—and dangers. The sinister Weaver of Dreams offers to forgive Sanderson’s obligation in return for a lost soul, for Cory, who is still grieving the death of his parents and the disappearance of his sister. Surrounded by both friends and enemies, Sanderson fights doubts about his budding relationship with Cory while guiding them ever closer to his ultimate dilemma. The debt is valid and the choice is clear–his lover, or his dreams.
The Moonlight Market, a paranormal finalist for the 2017 Southern Magic Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, is a full-length new adult romance brimming with magical realism, fairy tale villains, and quirky characters. If you like your romance to send a shiver down your spine, you’ll love The Moonlight Market! Buy your copy now and enter a world of dark fantasy and magic!