Monday, December 17, 2012

Blog Tour: Release (The Protector #3) by M.R. Merrick Review, Guest Post, and Giveaway

Hi guys!! What a fantastic way to start the week. This series is freaking awesome, so when I found out Valerie @ Stuck In Books would be doing a blog tour for it, I was all for it. I have my review, a great guest post from M.R. Merrick, and the tour giveaway. There are tons of blogs participating in this tour so be sure to click on the banner above to be brought to the tour schedule. You don't want to miss out on any awesome posts.

  • Publisher: M.R. Merrick
  • Publication date: 11/21/2012
  • Source: eARC provided by author for review/tour
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 

After uniting the shifters and calling in reinforcements, Chase has to face his toughest challenge yet: learning to control his emotions. But as tensions rise and his powers grow, controlling his emotions becomes the least of his problems.

Terrorized by a multi-shifter who is hell-bent on turning him, Chase questions just how far he’s willing to go to stop his father. Meanwhile, Tiki’s virtuous nature has placed him in the middle of Vincent’s past, leaving Chase to oppose a senate of vampires and defend a demon he hates.

Trying to balance his friends, his enemies, and his inner demons, Chase is left searching for answers about the Mark, his destiny, and where he can find the next soul piece. Stopping Riley is his top priority, but as more obstacles arise, he finds himself doubting all the decisions he’s made - especially regarding Rayna.

One thing is for certain: Chase has finally realized that he doesn’t know anything. The light doesn’t always quell the darkness, the monsters don’t always stay in the shadows, and the past doesn’t always stay in the past - sometimes, the demons inside are the hardest to fight.

My Thoughts

Wow! M.R. Merrick has done it again. This book is just as fantastic, if not better than the first two. As with the first two books, this one starts of with a bang, throwing you right into the action. Then it keeps going strong from beginning to end leaving just enough time between events to catch your breath and let things absorb. Along with that, the character growth is amazing. We really get to know more about the characters and their pasts too. This was such a great continuation of the story and I can't get enough.

Still stubborn, and easy to piss off, Chase really does go through a lot of changes in this book. I can't help but feel bad for him for all that he has been through, and the guilt that he carries around. He totally mans up in this though. Don't get me wrong, he still flies of the handle once in a while and does some really stupid things, but he is realizing now that Marcus, Willy, Rayna, and Tiki are his family now. He will do anything for them even if it means sacrificing himself. On top of the impending war that Riley is bringing, he is struggling with his powers. They are too much for him to handle and they are literally hurting him. I love that he really starts to be able to keep his anger in check and is working hard at controlling himself and also helping and being nice to others that he otherwise wouldn't.

I will briefly touch on the other characters too since they are all so important in this. Vincent become a major part of this, even more so than before I think. I still don't care for him much, but I definitely have a much better understanding of him, and even feel a little bad for him. Oh, and his humor in this gave some much needed comic relief at times. Rayna is struggling with all of the new things going on, but she is still tough and fierce. She also discovers new things about herself and needs to embrace it. Willy is in a tough place in this one, and it takes a while to really find out why, but when we do, I just wanted to climb in the book and hug him. He is such a great character. One of my favorites. Then there's Tiki and there's not much to say about him except although he is odd, he is wise too.

They need to get the soul pieces and destroy them before Riley gets his hands on them and absorbs their power. It is a race to try to get them before he does, and on top of that, Arian has his own agenda and there is a major issue with the vampires too. There is so much going on in this, but surprisingly it is never confusing or overwhelming. They are thrown from one bad situation to the next while trying to complete their mission. They need to learn to work together with others they never would have dreamed of partnering up with before. Tension is high, lives are being taken, and time is running out.

From the first page, this book is full of heart pumping action that will keep your heart racing. I fell right back into the story and experienced it along with all of the characters. The visual imagery I get from M.R. Merrick's writing is fabulous and I find myself totally lost in the worlds he has created. This book had me holding my breath, laughing, and crying. The ending had me wanting to throw my nook out the window, then go get it and beg for the next book. This series just gets better with each book!!

Guest Post - What Element Would M.R. Merrick Want To Control

In the Protector series there are five different elements: earth, air, fire, water, and lightning. I’ve had a bit of an obsession with the magic in my book for a long time. The idea of being able to create and control the elements is something that has fascinated me for years. Although each of them holds a special place in my imagination, if I had to choose just one to have for myself, I’d have to go with water. 

Even when you take the magic away from it, water is an incredible element. It brings life to the world and it’s beautiful in all its wonderment, but it has another side to it - one I find terrifying.

When put in a glass, it quenches our thirst. When sitting in the lake on a warm, windless day, it’s a joy to swim in, and provides hours of entertainment. On a larger scale though, the ocean is a fierce beast that nothing can stop. It swallows lives, destroys entire cities, and when enraged, is completely uncontrollable.
Putting it back into a magical sense, water is an ideal element. It can heal the wounded, but it can also destroy its enemies. It can calm one’s anger, but uncontrolled, it can drown its host. Water is one of my favorite elements from the series because it has so many uses and abilities. A trained user can transform it to ice or steam, and use it in hundreds of different ways. It’s an element that has both saved, and nearly stolen, Chase’s life - and Rayna’s too. 

As destructive as the element can be, if you were to bring the magical elements of it from the Protector series into real life, you could do some amazing things with it. You could save cities from ocean-storm destruction; you could quell the angry forest fires that rage across the world and steal lives and homes. You would be a real-life superhero. 

That’s not to say there aren’t personal benefits as well. Too tired to get up and grab a drink? Simply put your finger in your mouth and make some watery goodness happen. Hot water tank broken? Fill up the tub yourself and with a little extra magic, you’ve got yourself a steaming hot bath. Somebody giving you a hard time? Create a patch of unsuspecting ice beneath them and watch them dance, flail, and eventually, fall to a much deserved awkward fate. 

Although having any of the other four elements would be pretty spectacular, I think for realistic use, water would definitely be the one I’d benefit from the most. Plus its calming ability could come in handy when you accidently gave your kid an entire can of pop and after destroying your recently tidied house they’re still bouncing off the walls. Or when you go out for “one” quick drink with a friend and come home five hours later to a less than thrilled wife... *ahem* Or even to help keep you acting cool when experiencing stress in life, like the kind that occasionally comes with book publishing. Overall, the water element is a good fit for me and my life. I’m confident I could find more than just a few uses for it!
Now you tell me, what element would you be? 

After that guest post I would have to choose water. It just makes so much sense. Thanks so much for the great insight!!

 About the author

M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer, and author of Exiled, the first installment in The Protector Series. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he's usually found at the computer, between a pair of headphones and in front of a large bowl of cereal.

Book Buy Links:

Exiled - Amazon ~ B&N 
Shift - Amazon ~ B&N 
Release  - Amazon ~ B&N   


Grande Prize Pack (3 Winners)
3x Signed paperbacks (Exiled, Shift, Release)
3x Signed 8x10 posters (Exiled, Shift, Release)
5x Bookmarks
1x Notebook (Winner’s choice of cover)
1x Magnet
Runner-up Prize Pack (5 Winners)
1x Signed paperback (Winner’s choice of Exiled, Shift, or Release) with signed poster
1x bookmark (Winner’s choice)
1x Magnet
Secondary Prizes A (10 Winners)
Release eBooks
Secondary Prize B (10 Winners)
1x bookmark (winner’s choice)
1x The Protector magnet

Winners will be chosen as follows: First 3 names drawn from Rafflecopter will get the grand prize. The following 5 names get the runner-up prize. The following 10 names win ebook copies of Release, and the final 10 names win the swag pack.

There will also be multiple opportunities to win signed paperbacks, signed posters, notebooks, swag packs, and bookmarks throughout the tour on both Twitter (@MRMerrick) and my Facebook Fan Page .
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Awesome review, girl! You know I love this book too! Thanks for being part of the tour.


    1. It was my pleasure!! This series totally rocks!!!

  2. I didn't read your review because I'm reading Shift now. My tour stop for Release is in January, so I'm trying to get caught up. I love this series. It's so entertaining. :)

    1. It's a great series!! I hope that you love Release when you get to it!!

  3. Great review, Amy! I've heard so many great things about this series and this author. I totally should get to it soon! :)
    I'm glad that you loved this as much as the rest of the books! :)

    1. This series is so amazing!! You should definitely read it!!

  4. I totally have to get into these books! My fave mythological creatures is....the Greek Gods. All of their personalities and stories always keep my intrigued.

    1. I'm not even a huge fantasy fan and I totally love this series!!!

  5. HOly crap that is quite the giveaway! I just skimmed your review because I do plan on reading this series soon and don't want to know what happens. But I am happy to see that the series continues to be awesome!

    On another note, the purple in the door on the cover matches really well with your blockquote! I love PURPLE!

    1. I hope you read it soon. I think you would love it!! The purple does go great!! See this book was meant to be on my blog. :)

  6. I'm glad that you feel Released is the best yet. I'm excited to find out what happens next. I'll be reading this pretty soon. Super excited. Awesome review!

    1. I can't wait to see what you think!! OMG the ending!!! You will have to tweet at me when you finish it!!

  7. I still haven't had a chance to start this series but I do have the first book on my kindle. I hear such amazing things about it!

    1. It's really great!! And I know you like fantasy so you will love this series.

  8. Love your review Amy! I will be getting Release very soon and I'm so looking forward to reading it. I just LOVE his writing! :-)

    1. He is an amazing writer. I can't wait for book 4. Then I am curious to see what he will do after this series. I will be sad for it to be over, but I'm sure whatever he writes next will be awesome!!

  9. I love the magic in these books! I am also happy to hear that Chase mans up. I don't quite feel fair saying that but he really flew off the handle a few times in Shift! I understand since he's dealing with so much but still...
    I cant wait to read this so I'm happy to hear it was great!

    1. Don't get me wrong, he still has a few slip ups with his temper, but he really tries to keep himself in control. He has really grown up a lot.

  10. I'm glad that you've continually loved this series. *crosses fingers* Towards winning the first book so I can see what everyone is raving about!!


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