Friday, June 16, 2023

10 Things You Might Not Know About Larimar: Gem of the Sea by Christine E. Schulze


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
Pages: 140
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

  1. 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 to request a copy to listen to and review.
  2. 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).
  3. 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! 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Another inspiration behind Larimar is my favorite gaming series, The Legend of ZeldaTears 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. 
  9. 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 You also get a couple free stories with the newsletter too.
  10. 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:
About the Author

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:

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Wednesday, June 14, 2023

10 Things You Might Not Know About Hush Hush City by Jo Denning

Cruel Prince meets Law & Order in Hush Hush City, the thrilling sequel to Dead Blood City and second installment in the Saoirse Reilly series! Saoirse Reilly, police detective and wayward psychic, is still reeling from the events of Dead Blood City. Her lies are piling up but there's no time to deal. She and her loved ones are in danger once again. While investigating the murder of a Boston blueblood, Reilly is drawn into a supernatural power struggle centuries in the making. Ancient monsters are prowling the streets and Domenico Alderisi, newly installed vrykolakas master, needs Reilly’s help securing his territory—which just so happens to be her hometown. Alderisi, once her enemy, may be the only one who can save the city. But he has his own agenda and a taste for Reilly's blood. The only way for Reilly to protect all she holds dear may be to rely on her two-faced teacher, Dr. Emrys Somerled. The criminal psychologist and occult expert is something more than human. If anyone can take on monsters, it's him. And he'd like to get closer to Reilly than ever before. There’s just one problem. Somerled is keeping secrets, too, and there's nothing more dangerous. After all… Stepping out of the silence is scary but secrets can kill.Will Reilly escape the web of death and deception? Find out in this urban fantasy meets gritty noir detective novel featuring imperfect heroes and slow burn dark romance with beautiful monsters who can’t be trusted. Amazon:


10 Things You Might Not Know About Hush Hush City

Did you know that Hush Hush City…

  1. Explores the overlap of Viking and Irish culture? (Bonus fact: The Vikings ruled Dublin for nearly three-hundred years.)
  2. Includes cameos with Clara and Chelsea?
  3. Gives more information about Reilly’s heritage and her mysterious father, Cian Dermot?
  4. Features new monsters and myths, including draugr and dhampyr?
  5. Describes many modern magical practices like osteomancy, crystal charging, and Ogham?
  6. Reveals Somerled’s true identity?
  7. Illustrates Delaney and Aiden’s psychic abilities? 
  8. Touches on the fraught history between Ukraine and Russia?
  9. Shows the dark past Alderisi and Somerled share?
  10. Introduces Maureen’s (real) boyfriend?



About the Author


Jo Denning is the author of the Saoirse Reilly series. She has spent her career as a behavioral health therapist supporting kids and teens who struggle with addiction. Jo began writing supernatural crime thrillers as a way of processing the traumatic things she has seen and heard. Her characters may be supernatural but their stories, their fear, and their pain are real. So, too, are their triumphs over impossible odds.

When she's not writing, Jo enjoys baking, drawing, and watching trashy reality TV. She makes her home somewhere in the contiguous United States with her husband, one fluffy cat, and one barely domesticated cat.

Let’s Connect!

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Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Book Spotlight: A Final Farewell by Marilyn Meredith


The discovery of a body in a neighbor’s pond piques retired deputy Tempe Crabtree’s curiosity, and she begins her own investigation…

Title: A Final Farewell
Author: Marilyn Meredith
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 227
Genre: Mystery

A woman’s body found in a neighbor’s pond piques Tempe’s curiosity. It isn’t long before she is enmeshed in the intrigue and gossip surrounding the mystery.

Miqui Sherwood has two handsome suitors both wanting to marry her. Does either one have any ties to the murder victim?

Tempe’s life is threatened, and the health of Tempe’s friend and mentor, Nick Two John, is failing.


Book Excerpt  


“Oh, my goodness. Jerod Garfield drained his pond and found a body.” Tempe had been reading the local news on her phone while her husband read the Dennison Banner.

Hutch folded the Banner and put in on the kitchen table where they’d been drinking their morning coffee. “Nothing in here about it.”

“I don’t know why we bother with the paper. Now that it’s delivered by mail, the news is at least a day late.”

“I like it because it has positive articles about the schools, sports, and kids as well as others’ achievements. And I’ve always read the paper with my morning coffee.”

True, and Tempe once had done the same, but these days, it was easier and quicker to check her phone.

Her husband clung to his habits of the past. He refilled his mug from the coffee pot on the table. “Who is the deceased?”

“Authorities don’t know yet.”

“You have any idea who it might be?”

She shrugged. “If I were still on the job, I’d find out who has gone missing in the past few years.” Tempe had recently retired as the resident deputy of Bear Creek. She hadn’t been replaced. Instead, deputies from Dennison were assigned to patrol Bear Creek on different shifts, or were sent to respond in the case of an emergency.

These days, unless they planned to do something special, Tempe’s daily attire during the cooler fall temperatures consisted of a sweater, good jeans, and a comfortable pair of sneakers. Like she’d always done, she wore her still all-black hair in a long, thick single braid. Hutch usually donned his favorite well-worn Levi’s, a long-sleeved flannel shirt, and cowboy boots. 



About the Author

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over forty published novels, including the award-winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and on the board of the Public Safety Writers Association. She’s taught writing in many venues and appeared on numerous panels at mystery cons. Her home is in the foothills of the Southern Sierra, a place much like the fictional Bear Creek of the Tempe Crabtree mysteries. When not writing, Marilyn enjoys spending time with her large family.

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Monday, June 12, 2023

Book Spotlight: Write Out Loud by Naomi D. Nakashima

Are you still struggling with your book? Feeling overwhelmed or creatively blocked with self-doubt, fear, and general anxiety about what it means to write a book? Are you still wondering if you have what it takes to even write a book? Not all fears are created equal. Write Out Loud is a step-by-step guide to help you identify the fears that are keeping you from sharing your story so you can beat them back and finally write your book with confidence. In Write Out Loud, you’ll learn how to:

• identify the source of your self-doubts and fears

• validate your book idea

• gain self-belief (in your story and in your ability to write your story)

• start writing your first draft with confidence

• feel comfortable talking about your book idea

• And, yes, much more!

 Amazon bestselling author and ghostwriter Naomi D. Nakashima brings her experience of helping authors to write and publish their books along with her training as a psychotherapist to walk you through the sometimes-painful process of facing your fears and sharing your story. If you're ready to finally sit down and start writing your book without the fear and anxiety, read Write Out Loud: How to Get Over your Fears and Build the Confidence to Finally Write Your Book. Purchase a copy of Write Out Loud on AmazonBarnes and Noble, or You can also get an autographed copy (and put more money back in the author's hands) by purchasing it on Glitz and Glamour. Make sure you also add it to your GoodReads reading list.


Naomi D. Nakashima is a bestselling author of nonfiction, a ghostwriter with 20 years experience, a trained psychotherapist, and a TikTok writing coach with thousands of followers who attend her coaching events and regular Q&As. Everything I Need to Know About Parenting I Learned from Watching Star Trek, her first book published under her name, became an international Amazon bestseller and stayed on the bestseller list for step-parenting and blended families for three years. As a single mother of two, Naomi daydreams about spending her free time reading books, diamond painting, and traveling the world.

 Follow her online at:








Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Happy Birthday Blast for Babe in the Woods by Jude Hopkins


We're thrilled to announce the release of Jude Hopkins' Babe in the Woods today! To help celebrate, we are asking our readers if you can please pretty please pick up a copy at Amazon and come back and tell us how you liked it? Or, leave a review! 

Congratulations, Jude, on your women's fiction new release, Babe in the Woods!

Is Now Available in Paperback!

It's September 1995, the first year of the rest of HADLEY TODD'S life. After a decade in Los Angeles, trying and failing to launch her career as a playwright, Hadley has returned to her hometown in rural New York to write and to be closer to her lonely, ailing father - not that he always welcomes the help. Between looking after him and teaching Shakespeare to teenage malcontents at the local high school, Hadley is determined to produce a masterpiece before 36. She even joins a writing group, thinking the structure will keep her focused. Hadley hopes to channel her recent heartbreak from being dumped in L.A. into writing a play about the last moment of a woman's innocence, a play that an agent friend in Hollywood has promised to produce. But she struggles with writer's block and seeks inspiration.

Enter TREY HARDING, a young, handsome sports reporter for a local radio station who covers sports at the high school where Hadley teaches. Trey reminds Hadley of her L.A. ex and is the perfect spark to touch off her imagination. Trey has two girlfriends who work at the school, giving Hadley a great perch from which to watch and write down their interactions. The fact that Trey is an aspiring rock star and she has L.A. record biz connections makes the alliance perfect. She dangles promises of music biz glory while watching his moves. But after they both go to Hollywood, Hadley learns that believing in herself is all the inspiration she needs.


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About Jude Hopkins

Jude Hopkins has published essays in The Los Angeles Times, Medium, and elsewhere, as well as poetry in numerous journals and magazines. Her work can be found on her website at