Enemies become lovers while facing ancient terror in epic romantasy
Madison, WI – Welcome to the world of Meerdon, where magic exists, dangerous creatures roam, and where physicist Jon and his assistant Megan find themselves after a botched experiment blasts them into another dimension in David Scidmore’s romantic fantasy, Aylun (Meerdon Publishing, Oct 23, 2023).
An energetic and romantic debut fantasy series flings two ordinary humans across parallel universes to a magical world where a mysterious prophecy may spell disaster for its inhabitants. Aylun can be read as a companion novel to his critically acclaimed Dellia, or as a thrilling standalone fantasy!
While David Scidmore’s first novel shares the story of Jon’s romance and travels with Dellia, Aylun follows Megan who is immediately kidnapped by the heartless tyrant, Aylun. Forced to confront an impossible prophecy that threatens her and her oldest friend, she undertakes a harrowing journey to a city lost centuries ago.
As she struggles to find answers, Jon and new friends Dellia, Garris, and Kayleen are drawn into a conflict with a dark and ancient menace that could obliterate everything and everyone they care about. As the puzzle deepens, the threats multiply, and their situation grows more desperate, Megan’s best hope to save them all and return her and Jon to their home world lies with the very tyrant who abducted her, Aylun. Perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and Outlander.
Book 2 of The Ever-Branching Tree series
David Scidmore | October 23, 2023 | Meerdon Publishing | Fantasy
Hardcover | 978-1-64571-006-6 | $39.00
Paperback | 978-1-64571-005-9 | $30.99
E-Book | 978-1-64571-007-3 | $6.99
More about David Scidmore: Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, David Scidmore has held many jobs over the years, from fast-food worker to musician to electrical engineer. He now lives in Verona, Wisconsin, with his wife, Brenda. In recent times, his lifelong passion for playing keyboards and composing music has turned into a fascination with crafting literary works. His enthusiasm for weaving complex stories that stir the emotions led to his first book, Dellia. With an obsession for expanding his ability as a storyteller, he continues that tale in Aylun, the second book in the Ever-Branching Tree series. Find out more at his website.
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Explore Dellia, the first book in the Ever-Branching Tree series!
Jon was a physicist who wanted nothing more than a simple life with few responsibilities and someone to share it with. In the middle of an ordinary day, a horrible accident leaves him stranded in a baffling world of impossible phenomena, terrifying creatures, and mysterious prophecies. Desperate to get home, his only hope is a harrowing journey across three distinct realms.
But his arrival in the new land has not gone without notice. Suspicious of the circumstances of his arrival, a nervous ruling council requires someone to investigate. So they send the one warrior most suited for the job: the dedicated and compassionate Dellia. She lives to serve because helping people is what gives her life purpose and meaning, but as a protector, she is also bound by an unshakable devotion to the council.
Lost and alone in a vast world, Jon is in dire need of help. Skilled and knowledgeable, Dellia is exactly the kind of help he needs. If only he can keep from falling for the one person whose duty may drive her to stop him.
In an interview, David Scidmore can discuss:
- Creating a “fish out of water” fantasy where two people journey to a parallel universe
- Using two characters from the real world to center in an epic fantasy world
- David’s love of bringing exciting and romantic stories to life
- The use of physics to help develop the characters and explain the world
- Picking up Megan’s journey in an unknown world and elaborating on the world that he’s already created
- The influence of different ethnic cultures to help develop the world
- Challenges faced when creating a multi-POV narrative with unique perspectives that fit together into the same storyline
- The key themes of relationships and how they affect Aylun and Megan
- Dellia, the first book in the series and subsequent books in the future
An Interview with
1. Can you elaborate on the different cultures represented in Aylun and the significance of the cultures for the storyline?
Talus is based on the question: “What would happen if you plopped the militaristic people from ancient Sparta into a world where some of their women became empaths.” The idea was particularly appealing because in Sparta, the women owned the land, ran the household, and had a reputation for being highly outspoken. All of this made Dellia a fascinating character. Erden is a similar concept but based on a forerunner of ancient India, and Elore is based on ancient China. Part of the motive for mixing cultures is structural. I wanted three realms whose cultures didn’t mesh well, making rule by one central government problematic. Perhaps a bigger motive was that I have spent an embarrassing number of hours watching movies and television from India and the Far East and have enjoyed them a lot. It has given me an understanding and appreciation for their people, what they value, and how they see themselves and the world.
2. How would you describe Megan’s character and her development throughout the novel? What about Aylun’s character development?
Megan was a very fun character to write, and constantly surprised me. She has a tragic past, one that has made her determined to live life for herself and no one else. Often, she is fun-loving and often behaves frivolously, but when she sets her mind to something, she can be a force to be reckoned with. In a way, her journey is about discovering that if she is to protect the things she loves, she can’t just live only for herself. Aylun is, in some ways, the polar opposite. He has lived a life of discipline and service to a greater cause. He has suffered a terrible loss that has left him deeply troubled, and through his time with Megan, he learns to overcome much of it. Their strengths and weaknesses complement each other and make them a great team.
3. What inspired you to write Megan’s journey of being abducted by Aylun?
To be honest, it wasn’t anything grandiose. When I was figuring out the plot for Dellia, it occurred to me it would be more intriguing if Megan went with him, but they got separated. That forced me to figure out what happened to her, or at least gave me a start. From there, things just evolved. The truth is, I don’t really know who the characters are until I start writing. I always have some concept, but I don’t really get to know them until I put them in a scene and start writing down what they do. Much of the dynamic between Megan and Aylun and how their relationship starts and evolves came from them, not me.
4. What are some important ideas you want readers to take away from Megan and Aylun’s respective journey?
I’m always searching for answers myself, so it’s never made sense for me to try to send a message through writing. I do, however, like my characters to have conflicting opinions, to debate them, and to have each one make the strongest possible case for their point of view. If I were to try to find a message in what I’ve written, it is perhaps that life is messy and complicated and often defies simple answers. Each character has their own issues and relationship problems, and none of them is entirely right or wrong. Another message might be that persistence is its own reward, that if people work hard and don’t give up on each other, they can overcome tremendous difficulties and find a better balance in their lives.
5. Do you have plans to continue the Ever-Branching Tree series or some new writing plans?
Oh yes. When I started Aylun, I wanted to create a story with more than one protagonist. I hoped to acquaint people with Megan and Aylun, then bring Jon and Dellia back in, so it becomes a story about four different people, each with their own ideas and agenda. In the next book, I want to do the same with Garris and Kayleen. I want to go back in time to when this all started and take each step down the road to Garris’s banishment. Then I want to jump forward and have Megan, Aylun, Jon and Dellia encounter something that connects to that past and they have to deal with the same issues again.
A former award-winning journalist with national exposure, Marissa now oversees the day-to-day operation of the Books Forward author branding and book marketing firm, along with our indie publishing support sister company Books Fluent.
Born and bred in Louisiana, currently living in New Orleans, she has lived and developed a strong base for our company and authors in Chicago and Nashville. Her journalism work has appeared in USA Today, National Geographic and other major publications. She is now interviewed by media on best practices for book marketing.