Exclusive Sneak Peek of Bound by Earth, by Quinn Loftis

Let's give a warm welcome to Quinn Loftis, an award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of young adult fiction. Welcome, and thanks for being here, Quinn. Would you mind introducing yourself to the Pohler Bears?

Hello, Readers. My name is Quinn Loftis, and I am lucky enough to call myself a novelist. In 2011, I self-published my first novel, Prince of Wolves, with no expectations, other than my friends and family might purchase the book out of pity. Now, several years later, with 20+ novels and counting under my belt, Prince of Wolves had been downloaded over 1 million times. Though I was hesitant at the time to submit my work to the world for its scrutiny, I'm so glad I did. It made my dream of making a living by telling stories a reality. 

I'm blessed to share my household with my wonderful husband of almost twenty years (who also co-writes with me on occasion), three beautiful sons, a Doberman, and a tabby cat. I love hearing from readers, so if you have any questions about the books or my journey, don't hesitate to contact me at my website at https://www.quinnloftisbooks.com/ .

Thank you, Quinn! Now let's take a look at her upcoming release, Bound by Earth. This young adult paranormal academy novel is already available for preorder and releases on February 25th.

Here's the blurb:

Tara Thompson cannot be injured. Since the night her parents died in a tragic accident, she hasn’t felt pain of any kind, not so much as a papercut. And she has no idea why. Though her body healed quickly, her heart and soul took its time. Luckily, a loving foster mom and an unwanted best friend stepped in to speed up the process. Despite Tara’s best efforts, her new BFF, Shelly Smith, just wouldn’t go away. By their senior year, the girls were thick as thieves and would probably become thieves if Shelly had anything to say about their future.

Thankfully, fate intervenes in the form of a high school recruiter, Elias Creed, who works for a mysterious geological testing company. Cue the dreamy music and soft lighting as he walks in slow motion toward her. Then Elias opens his mouth and Tara laments the fact that the first guy she’s ever been seriously attracted to...is a complete and utter butthead. Still, she can’t seem to shake him, and she and Shelly are both intrigued by the company he works for. Little do they know it’s not a company at all. It’s an academy for those gifted with elemental powers and she’s already been enrolled.

Now for our exclusive sneak peek!

Look around at your fellow classmates. They are all orphans, just like you. They have all been gifted with the power of earth, just like you.  Some of you have known about your power for a long time but were never able to understand it. Some of you are just realizing what you might be capable of. Regardless, we at Terra Academy will help you realize your full potential. You are no longer merely students. By accepting entrance into the Academy, you have set yourself on a path to become something greater. You are now Nature’s Hunters. The Natura Ventori. You are necessary because Mother Gaia cannot hunt for herself. She sustains. She gives us life. She protects and provides for us. But who will protect and provide for her? We do. Welcome to Terra Academy. May Mother Earth always protect you.

~Zuri Petrov, First Year Welcome Speech


Jax stood silently in the hospital room, listening. Not to the constant beeping of the machines all around him, but for any hint of the presence of a dark elemental. It was difficult to detect the low rumble of a dark spirit dweller amid the incessant hum of electricity and bothersome machines surrounding him. Jax disliked machines. Entirely unnecessary in his opinion. Give him a beautiful mountain vista any day, far from the hustle and bustle that surrounded the lives of other humans. He was like most other human elementalists in that way.

When he was satisfied they were alone, Jax turned his attention to the broken girl lying beneath the scratchy white blanket. His disdain for modern technology paled in comparison to how much he hated the dark elemental that had brought him here, the one that had broken this poor girl and killed her parents. Jax hadn’t read the girl’s chart, but he could see at a glance she was in bad shape. She had a cast on one arm and a bandage around her head. The girl’s eyes were swollen shut, set in a face that was so bruised and misshapen it looked more like a bucket of rotten plums than a head.

Thirteen years old. It’s never a good time to lose one’s parents. But thirteen… This girl would have to navigate the most difficult part of childhood with no one to guide her. He clenched his fists. The spirit who did this would pay. Jax would make sure of it. They would make sure of it…together.

 He didn’t yet know where the girl would live, in an orphanage, foster care, or perhaps with a relative, but he would find out soon enough. She was his responsibility now. And when she graduated high school, he would come for her. Then she would find out what really happened to her parents. Then she could do something about it. Until then, he could only wait and observe, quietly protecting her from the unseen war raging around her.

He stepped closer to the bed and glanced around to make sure they were still alone. He placed a calloused hand, hard as stone, onto the girl’s shoulder. “Mother Gaia, hear my prayer. A servant of your body needs you now,” he whispered. Several moments of silence passed then Jax began to chant.

Pebble, rock, boulder, stone,

The power of the earth alone.

Strength of granite, grace of jewels,

Minerals, crystals, and gems are your tools.

Bedrock, rise, work through my hands,

Grant this youngling the protection of your land.

He felt a low rumble beneath his feet as the earth’s power traveled from the depths of the ground and up through the building to where he stood. It entered his body through the bottom of his feet and traveled upward. Jax,’s heavily-muscled frame became rigid, momentarily hard as granite as the elemental power flowed through him. It moved to his arm and down it, flowing from his body into the girl’s shoulder. The girl’s skin, pale from loss of blood, began to change color. First, her entire body became a dull tan, the color of soft Mississippi mud. Then it became burnt sienna, the color of an Arizona mesa. Next, it mottled and speckled like a vein of marble running through bedrock. Finally, it smoothed and became iron-grey before returning to its previous ashen hue. He thought about using his power to mend some of the girl’s wounds as well. He wasn’t great with soft tissue, but he could mend a bone in seconds, not only healing the fracture but making it much stronger than before, infusing the metals of earth directly into the marrow. But miraculous healings tended to invite questions. And questions were the last thing this girl needed right now. She was safe and she would recover. That was enough. He’d simply have to let nature take its course. 

“That’s the best I can do for now, little one. Sleep well. And may Gaia protect you,” he said softly.

With one last look at the girl, Jax turned and took a few steps toward the door. There he hesitated and turned back. The machines still beeped. The girl did not stir. He shook his head and released a labored sigh. He could go and find the dark elemental right now. Capture it, rip it limb from limb, break it like it had broken the human in that hospital bed. He wanted nothing more in that moment. It would feel so good. Most of his brothers and sisters would do just that. It was the wise thing to do, after all. Killing the nasty little spirit would ensure he couldn’t cause any more harm.

But Jax knew something most of the other elementals didn’t. If the light elementals were ever going to have any chance against the dark, they couldn’t be content to take the high road. They’d have to stoop to the dark ones’ level. They’d have to fight dirty. The forces of light would have to be motivated to do what it takes to win. And nothing was more motivating than the desire for revenge. He knew this better than anyone.

Knowing her parents’ killer was still alive, Jax could only assume this girl would destroy anything and everything in her path to make things right. The school of earth needed that kind of motivation amongst its students. The war against the darkness required it. The other elemental schools didn’t understand this. Well, certainly not wind or water. Fire…maybe they understood to some small degree. Fire was the only other elemental school to which Jax gave any respect. But their power still paled in comparison to that given to the students of earth. And he was sure this girl was attuned to the earth. He had a knack for sensing these things that was legendary among his fellows. To date, he’d never misidentified an elemental attunement within a human. Yes, Jax thought. This young one is earth through and through. A future lady of iron. He nodded, content in knowing she would one day be a powerful warrior of the Earth Academy.

He spoke to the girl in the hospital bed again. “I’ll return soon enough, Tara Thompson. Then you will have your revenge.”

Preorder from Amazon here.

Listen to me read the excerpt here.

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© 2021 by Eva Pohler