Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Blog Tour: Release (The Protector #3) by M.R. Merrick

Today, I have the pleasure of sharing with you a Guest Post by M.R. Merrick, my review of Release which is the latest book in The Protector series as well as a fabulous giveaway.

Tour host: Val @ StuckinBooks

Contact M.R. Merrick: Twitter - Goodreads - Amazon - Website - Facebook

Title: Release
Author: M.R. Merrick
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: Dec 2012
Genre: Young Adult

Purchase: Amazon - Kobo - Amazon Paperback

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.

Guest Post: Life as A YA Author: M.R. Merrick

When I decided I wanted a career in writing, I did my research. I wanted to know everything I could. I quickly learned it was a lot of hard work and little reward. I knew it was not some glamorous life, but still, I am a writer, so my imagination occasionally gets the best of me. 

I’d wake up early and take a walk along a forest path with both my dogs. A travel mug of steaming coffee would be clutched in one hand while the other rested idly inside an empty sweater pocket. Morning dew would drip from soft green leaves and the river that ran alongside the woods would ripple and crash against the bank in small waves. I’d repeat this task every morning. You know, gathering inspiration and stuff from nature. 

After a brief walk I’d walk up to my country-like home that has yet to exist, pour a fresh cup of coffee, and move into my office. Silence would dance around me as my creativity began to spur and I’d push the office door open. A high back leather chair would sit cold and waiting behind a cherry wood desk, and the faint light from the computer monitor would cast a soft glow into the room. 

I flip on the switch and the leather chair creaks beneath my weight as I settle in. I click the computer’s mouse, a blank white page appears, and creative genius spills onto the page. The crafting of some amazing Fantasy tale is about to take place.

Then I quit my job, stopped getting a steady paycheck, and reality set in.
I wake up early and the grass is wet with morning dew, but there is no forest, no quiet, and definitely no soothing river. Grey puffs of exhaust waft into the air from the city bus that sits idly outside my townhouse, getting ready to close its doors even though it can see that kid struggling to catch it in time. Birds chirp, my neighbors slams his door shut, and someone curses and gives the finger to the kid driving too fast through the residential zone. The clock flashes six am. It’s time to get up, but not to inflict creative wonder on the world. Nope. The baby has a poopy diaper.

Once the diaper’s changed, then breakfast needs to be made. My oldest daughter needs to go to school, but first we have to pack a lunch, review her homework, and sign her agenda. When that is all done and she’s off to school, the baby has to go down for her nap. While the baby naps, it’s time to do the dishes and clean the house while my wife is away, working hard at her day job. The dogs occasionally need to be brushed and more regularly they need their own waste cleaned up in the backyard. By the time that’s done, baby is up and it’s time for lunch. We eat lunch and while she eats, I respond to e-mails, update social media, and publish a blog post I’ve more than likely pre-written days in advance to help get my day going. 

Baby and I play together for a short while before it’s time to go get my daughter from school. We pick her up and take her home to get ready for swimming, skating, dance, or whatever happens to be on our agenda for the season. When that’s over, it’s time to make dinner. After investing myself into a healthy meal for the next hour, it’s time to clean up again, put the baby to bed, and start the bedtime reading with my youngest daughter. Depending on the shift my wife works, she may be home for this. 

Once all the kids are in bed, I stop for five minutes and revel in the silence that usually has a heavy bass beat from my daughters stereo (she has trouble sleeping without music), and then I sit down at the computer to start my work day. 

That work day doesn’t usually consist of creative genius, but rather a vomit of words tossed at the screen, or occasionally just me sitting at the computer, tweeting, updating statuses, and wishing I had word vomit to spew. I write a blog post or two and then delete them because they’re not worth sharing. The day ends with me going to bed either exhausted from the incredible productivity that just occurred, or tired and frustrated with how unproductive I was. I’ll do better tomorrow. 

When a book gets close to its publication date, there is often the sacrifice of sleep in order to complete the overbearing work load I tend to put on my plate. It isn’t glamorous, the paychecks are hardly anything to brag about, and some days I only long for a moment of peace. But it really is worth it. 

I might not have a country house by the river. I may not bask in the silence of Mother Nature’s song every morning. But I have everything I could possibly need, and then some. I wake up to a beautiful family I absolutely adore, and I spend my free time getting paid to do what I love: write. It may not be the dream, but it’s mine. 

Review: 5 out of 5 stars

Release is the third book in The Protector series by the amazingly talented M.R. Merrick and picks up where Shift left off.

Once again we are taken on an action packed thrill ride as Chase tries to control his emotions and elements, stop his evil father Riley and the Dark Brothers, protect his friends, search for answers about the Mark and find the missing soul piece, it was go go go from the onset which I really enjoyed and kept the pacing flowing well. The story as a whole is pretty awesome and only gets better as each book is released.

The world-building in The Protector series is original; I love the different worlds Mr. Merrick has created and just as I think things can’t get anymore perilous, the characters are thrust into more danger. Everyone seems to have an agenda, and working it out keeps me constantly entertained.

Each of the characters has grown in strength and personality from the first book, they are learning about themselves and each other but in this installment they each endured so much and suffered both physically and emotionally; one character I enjoyed that little bit more was Vincent even though he still drives me batty and Tiki, Willy, Grams and Rayna are still my favorites.

Now, the romance; I have always wanted more from Chase and Rayna & I am pleased to say things are progressing, what I like most about this relationship is how believable it is; it has developed at a realistic pace and hasn’t taken over from the actual story which I quite like.

We are given so many twists, turns and surprises in Release – some good and some left me squirming but the plot flowed well and the journey these characters undertook showed self-discovery and resilience.

The Protector is an amazing series about good versus evil; I can’t praise Mr. Merrick’s writing enough or the creative fantasy world he has weaved. Release is certainly filled with crucial moments which I believe are pivotal to the story as a whole and to the characters development.

Overall, if you are after a fantasy novel which takes you away from real life and is filled with all the paranormal creatures we have come to love - vampires, shifters, trolls, witches etc. with loads of action, brilliant characters and an engrossing plot then I encourage you to give this series a try. Highly recommended!


Grand 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 the StuckinBooks Facebook Fan Page .

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 Purchase: Amazon - Kobo - Amazon Paperback


  1. Totally love this post! Love learning more about authors I love and fabulous review. Thanks for being part of the tour.


  2. What a great review, Sharon! I'm so happy you loved Released so much.

    And what a great post from Matt! Totally made me laugh.

  3. I have book one in my TBR pile, so glad book three was just as good. Wonderful review Sharon and I always love learning about the authors.


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