A fearless captain and a mysterious girl who walks on water. An underwater city and a destined deadly curse. What could possibly go wrong?
Title: Larimar: Gem of the Sea
Author: Christine E. Schulze
Publisher: KDP Publishing
Genre: YA | Fantasy
A fearless captain and a mysterious girl who walks on water. An underwater city and a destined deadly curse. What could possibly go wrong? Captain Jorah is renowned for being one of the youngest explorers to ever sail Zephyrian waters. He’s also notorious for landing his crew in situations they hadn’t counted on, involving man-eating mermaids and other dangerous misadventures.
When Jorah decides to search for the legendary underwater City of Larimar, he doesn’t account for the quest that follows. After being rescued from shipwreck by a mysterious young woman who walks on water and carries a singing seashell around her neck, he soon finds himself reunited with an old friend once thought lost to him. Before he knows it, he’s caught up in a race against time to save her yet again, this time from a looming prophecy about a deadly serpent destined to consume her entire race.
Can Jorah help her save her people before the dark prophecy completes itself?
The Amielian Legends is a collection of stand-alone young adult books, all set in the same fantastic universe, that can be read in any order. Read Larimar: Gem of the Sea today to discover new worlds filled with adventure, diverse characters, and whimsical magic.
10 Things You Might Not Know About Larimar: Gem of the Sea
- Larimar is the first book I’ve ever published an audiobook edition of! The audiobook edition released on April 20th, 2023, which also happened to be my birthday. Auditioning various narrators and getting to hear how they brought each character to life was a fantastically fun time. I ultimately went with Jocelyn Duford, who not only does a great job with each character but has a beautiful singing voice. Since the book contains two little songs that I composed, listening to Jocelyn sing them is an added gem (pun intended!) in the audiobook. I actually still have a few free review copies of the audiobook, so if you read the rest of this post and the book sounds up your alley, feel free to reach out at email@example.com to request a copy to listen to and review.
- While Larimar is now a novella, it was originally published as a short story. I’ve since added in extra chapters and scenes and fleshed out the characters. This allowed it to stand on its own and become an official book in The Amielian Legends (more on that below).
- One of the main inspirations behind the book was the larimar gemstone. Back when I wrote the original short story version, I was obsessed with rocks, gems, and minerals. Honestly, I still love rocks and gems, collecting them, and learning any history or lore behind them. Did you know that larimar stone was originally found in 1916 but wasn’t named until it was rediscovered in 1974 by explorer Miguel Mendez? He named the stone after his daughter and the Spanish word for sea, “mar.” What a cool stone to inspire my underwater city and race of elves!
- A lot of the characters in my books are inspired by real-life people that I know. In the first draft of the short story version of Larimar, Jorah was called Michael, after a friend of mine from grade school. Larimar and the other characters aren’t inspired by anyone in particular, but these days, my boyfriend Isaac and I say that Jorah and Larimar are “us,” our book couple. Except that he would be Larimar and I would be Jorah, both in terms of personality and appearance. Jorah is light-skinned with green eyes and golden hair, and Larimar has brown skin and black hair. Swap the genders and you have me and Isaac. I also dedicated the sequel story to Isaac and me, as that one was very much inspired by us.
- Say, what? There’s a sequel? That’s right! So, Larimar is part of The Amielian Legends, which is my series of stand-alone books all set in the same fantasy universe. They are each individual stories about different characters and kingdoms that can be read in any order. That being said, Book 8, Narwhals in the Stars, is the only book in the series to follow characters from a previous book. Larimar and Narwhals are both adventures about Jorah and Larimar. They can each be read separately on their own, but in reading both, you get both their backstory and where their lives ultimately take them together.
- Another inspiration behind Larimar is my favorite gaming series, The Legend of Zelda. Tears of the Kingdom just released (at the time of writing this, I’ve played it non-stop for three days), so best believe I’m taking every chance I can to hype up Zelda and the way it’s inspired my writing since I was a kid. One big inspiration was the idea of a world filled with many diverse races with their own powers and abilities. The Larimar Elves are no exception. They live and breathe underwater but can also live on land. And they are one of my dark-skinned elven races, since diversity is important to me in fantasy (more on that later too). Zelda may not be as big an inspiration to Larimar as other books of mine (like Prelude of Fire, in which characters go on a quest to collect seven prism shards and can perform magic spells through magic songs), but it’s still left its mark on Larimar. In fact, the world of Loz where Larimar and many of my books take place, was named after “Legend of Zelda,” as an homage to the series that inspired me so much as a writer.
- Speaking of which, Larimar takes place in the Lozolian Realm, which readers visit in many of my other books. And the cool thing about that is you might see some crossovers. For example, the Larimar Elves are mentioned in The Gailean Quartet, a completely separate series.
- Larimar reflects one of my passions as an author, which is to include a diverse cast of characters. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to see more diversity in my favorite genre. No one taught me to be that way. I think it’s just something God put in me, and no one taught me to NOT be that way. My mom knew I preferred dolls who looked different than me because I thought they were pretty, and she didn’t try to make me get a blonde doll just because it looked like me (I would’ve likely protested anyway, as I was pretty strong-willed). As they say, if you don’t see something, write it yourself. So, I started writing books inspired by favorite stories like Narnia and Lord of the Rings, but with more diverse races.
- Larimar will eventually be part of an Omnibus. Two omnibuses editions for The Amielian Legends are in the works. The first will contain Books 1 through 4, and the other will contain Books 5 through 8. Each omnibus will also include a bonus story. If that sounds pretty cool and you want to know when the omnibuses are ready to release, consider joining my newsletter at https://www.authorchristineschulze.com/newsletter. You also get a couple free stories with the newsletter too.
- Last but not least, Larimar is a fast-paced adventure both on the high seas and under the seas, perfect for those looking forward to the new The Little Mermaid! To find Larimar and read it for yourself, in audiobook, ebook, or paperback form, you can go here: https://www.amazon.com/Larimar-Epic-Fantasy-Adventure-High/dp/B0BQ9LM6YF
Christine E. Schulze has been living in castles, exploring magical worlds, and creating fantastical adventures and romances since she was too young to even write of such stories. Her collection of young adult and children’s fantasy books, The Amielian Legacy, is comprised of series and stand-alone books that can all be read separately, but also weave together to create a single, amazing fantasy.
One of her main aspirations for The Amielian Legacy is to create fantasy stories with characters that connect with readers from many different backgrounds. Her current focus is to include racially diverse characters and those with disabilities. The latter is inspired by Schulze working with adults with autism and other developmental disabilities at Trinity Services in Southern Illinois.
Schulze draws much of her inspiration from favorite authors like Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Diana Wynne Jones, favorite games like The Legend of Zelda, and especially from the people in her life. Some of her exciting ventures include the publication of her award-winning Bloodmaiden, as well as The Gailean Quartet with Words Matter Publishing. Her books for younger readers include In the Land of Giants and The Amazing Captain K.
Christine currently lives in a cozy Hobbit hole, but you can visit her on her website: http://christineschulze.com.