The Moonlight Market
by Aidee Ladnier
GENRE: LGBTTQ, Fantasy & Paranormal, New Adult
College senior Cory Long tracked his missing sister to the magical Moonlight Market to bring her home. Instead, he found a disorienting world of performers and hawkers, bizarre sights and sounds, and one very familiar showman, Sanderson Beets. Like a drowning man, he latched onto Sanderson, trusting him to navigate the twists and turns of the Market as unerringly as he had steered Cory to passion in their furtive trysts on campus.
But Sanderson was tired of being the quickie in the alley.
Sanderson Beets had escaped the Moonlight Market to attend college, hoping to settle into a normal life, maybe meet someone and fall in love. To obtain that new life he made a dangerous bargain. And when the sinister woman known as the Weaver of Dreams is involved, second chances always come with strings attached…and sacrifices. Sanderson’s debt has come due, and the only payment he has to offer is Cory, and their chance at a relationship.
He almost ignored it.
Tiny bells tinkled nearby.
They sounded closer.
His skin tightened with goose bumps.
Niari glided into the pool of light cast by the lantern hanging on the back of the tent. Her long, inky dress brushed the bells on her ankles and pulled the shadows forward with her.
“Your debt is coming due.” Her trilling, accented voice floated over the noise from the fairway beyond. In front of the tent children giggled and laughed, the calliope blared out its joyous concert, and the lanterns burned away the darkness. But Sanderson stood in the shadows behind…with her.
Sweat coated his palm, and it slipped from the curtain. He swiped at the bead of perspiration on his upper lip, the pit of his stomach icing into a lump.
“I found someone.” He blurted out the words. “A lost soul. Someone who’s lost something.”
Panic bloomed in Sanderson’s chest. Was he actually going to offer Cory to the Weaver? Cory who just wanted to find his missing sister. Cory of the soft hair, bitable nipples, and beautiful, slim cock. Who made Sanderson feel normal. Like a regular guy.
“Good.” Her smile widened, filled with too many tiny teeth that gleamed bright in the lantern light. “Are they tasty and ripe?”
“Madame?” Sanderson’s gut twisted at the hard glitter in her eyes. A chill crept down his spine. She looked…hungry.
He blinked. Niari stood before him, still and silent, waiting, just a woman again. The malevolent flash must have been a trick of the dim light. He shrugged off the unease and shook the numbness from his fingers.
An Interview with Sanderson Beets by Aidee Ladnier
Hi! I’m Aidee, and I’ve been invited to interview one of the protagonists of my new novel THE MOONLIGHT MARKET. I’ll give you a little background on his history before we start. Sanderson Beets is a college junior attending university on a gymnastics scholarship—
Sanderson: I’m an undeclared major.
Aidee (shuffling index cards): I don’t think you told me that. Anyway, he grew up performing on the road with his family’s act under the name The Leaping Beets. Wait…. really?”
Sanderson (heavy sigh): Yeah. Utterly lame. As soon as my dad and stepmom retired, my siblings and I renamed the act.
Aidee: To what?
Sanderson: Well by then my sister Lila had married Parry, who’s a sword swallower, so we combined our acrobatics with his act and named it Balancing On The Edge.
Aidee (muttering to herself): not much better…So you’ve been performing all your life?
Sanderson: Yeah. I was onstage by three, at the top of the family pyramid. I was a flier for a while until—
Aidee: Excuse me, what’s a flier?
Sanderson: Oh, that’s someone that’s a lot lighter than their partner in adagio, an acrobatic balancing act. As I grew older, though, I got closer to my brother Dmitri’s weight and we became a more balanced hand-to-hand strength act.
Aidee: You must have had an interesting childhood. I assume you were homeschooled?
Sanderson: Yes. My stepmom was a schoolteacher before she married my Dad. And she was a hard teacher. She used to make me calculate the angles of jumps. It is so much easier to just perform them.
Aidee: I wanted to ask about performing. Do you have a memorable moment on stage?
Sanderson: Sure. My family normally played the Midwest in summer, but one year we joined up with a few acts to play a little town in Louisiana. It was so hot I thought I was going to melt. Dmitri and I couldn’t stop sweating in the unair-conditioned performance tent. We were practicing a duo balancing maneuver that morning. It was already over 90 degree by 7:00 am. We were both filthy with chalk but my grip slipped and bam! I fell flat on my face. Busted my nose. I bled everywhere. Needless to say, my makeup was a little edgier that night and we only did juggling and acrobatics at the show. The crowd ate it up. It was then I realized that the audience has no expectations of certain tricks and you can mess up, rearrange things, and as long as you put on a good show, they’ll clap.
Aidee: Wow. Was that the worst injury you’ve ever had?
Sanderson (laughing): Not by a long shot. I’ve had broken bones, strained muscles, a bad tear once, and some insane bruising.
Aidee: Yikes. I can see why you ran away to college. Do you ever plan to return to performing?
Sanderson (scratching his chin): Maybe? I honestly don’t know. I miss my family and the people on the circuit, but I don’t miss the traveling. I like staying in one place. And I’m with Cory now. I’d have to ask him how he feels about it.
Aidee: So you said you’re undeclared. Have you thought about what you want to do once you graduate from college?
Sanderson: I’m not really sure. I’d like to do something that pays well enough to help out my Dad and stepmom. They’re retired and teach the act at a circus school in Florida.
Aidee: I hear a “but” in that reply.
Sanderson: But I also like volunteering at the LGBT Resource Center on campus. I like being able to help people. I’m hoping I can do something in the future that allows me to do both, maybe social work or psychology.
Aidee: I think that’s an excellent plan. I wish you tons of good luck in pursuing that. Is there anything else you’d like to say to everyone before we close this interview?
Sanderson: Yeah. Stick to the lighted path. And don’t make deals with the Weaver of Dreams. She’s dangerous.
Always good advice! Thanks for sitting in on this one of a kind interview. If you have any follow-up questions for Sanderson, make sure you put them in the comments!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Aidee Ladnier, an award-winning author of speculative fiction, began writing at twelve years old but took a hiatus to be a magician’s assistant, ride in hot air balloons, produce independent movies, collect interesting shoes, and amass a secret file with the CIA. A lover of genre fiction, it has been a lifelong dream of Aidee’s to write both romance and erotica with a little science-fiction, fantasy, mystery, or the paranormal thrown in to add a zing.
You can find her on her blog at http://www.aideeladnier.com or on her favorite social media sites:
Buy link for THE MOONLIGHT MARKET – http://www.loose-id.com/moonlight-market.html
Aidee Ladnier will be awarding $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.