I know there are quite a few stops on this month long tour for RELEASE by M.R. Merrick, but I’m the only one who got Chase Williams to share his thoughts on The Circle.
And while he wasn’t too keen on thinking back to those days, he owed me one. For this thing I did. So, he complied with my wishes.
To help you get a better understanding of just how strict The Circle is, he’s shared five of their so-called “guidelines.” But because he’s always so helpful, he offered up the plain language translation of what those rules really mean.
As you are definitely not here to listen to me go on and on and on, I’ll turn the blog over to Chase so you can learn exactly how serious those dudes in The Circle are.
You know, I was looking forward to coming here, but when I found out Rachel wanted me to talk about The Circle, all that anticipation disappeared. The Circle was my life until I was fifteen, and up until a few weeks ago, they were still stuck in my head; I still wanted to impress them. But not anymore. They really don’t deserve a moment of my attention, but since Rachel saved my ass once when that thing with the doughnut, the hummingbird, and the gladiator demon happened, I owe her one. But after this, I’m calling it even.
The Circle operates around what they like to call guidelines, but in reality they’re strict rules. Some that have fierce consequences if broken.
“Guideline” Number 1 – Equality is key. All hunters will respect the elders, and as such, respect will be reciprocated.
Translation - Do what they say, or it’s five days in lockdown. Lockdown is a like solitary in prison, only there is no food. You get water, vitamins, and a daily thrashing from a senior hunter.
“Guideline” Number 2 (For underage hunters only) – Traveling outside of the Circle’s compound, unaccompanied by a senior hunter, or without an approved request from an elder, is not advised.
Translation – Make sure the elders know where you are at all times. Punishment is two days in lockdown, with food, and six months probation.
“Guideline” Number 3 – Elemental magic is not to be used on any student outside of designated areas with a senior hunter’s supervision.
Translation – Don’t play with matches. There isn’t usually punishment for this. It happens regularly and everyone knows you get off with a warning. If you’re a repeat offender, occasionally a senior elder will toss you around and embarrass you in front of your class.
“Guideline” Number 4 – Should the Circle’s grounds ever be compromised by Underworlders, it is advised that all students make their way to the designated secure locations. Use the nearest signal alarm and do not attempt interaction on any level with the creature.
Translation – Underworlders = bad. If you’re an underage hunter on the Circle grounds and you find one of these demons, chances are they’re either there to attack, or they’ve escaped the mysterious lower levels. Either way, you probably won’t be around to receive punishment.
“Guideline” Number 5 – This is actually an unwritten rule. Under no circumstance is any hunter allowed in the lower levels. Although the council will deny the lower levels even exist, everybody knows they’re there.It’s been said that one student found a way to sneak in once, but it was years ago and nobody knows what happened to him. He’s just…gone.
There’s actually an entire handbook that outlines all the guidelines, but these are the most important. Essentially, the council wants to be the all-seeing-eye of the hunter community. I’m told it’s different at the other Circles, but in the North Eastern district, this is how it is. The elders want to control everything, including curfew, bed times, free time, meals, education, you name it. They’ve got their greasy little fingers into everything.
Looking back now, I can see it’s practically a cult. Being exiled was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Regardless of everything I’m dealing with now, it’s a hell of a lot better than that prison.
As for Rachel, I appreciate you inviting me to come here, even if I do really despise the topic. As far as that thing with the thing in the place, we’re even.
Well, I, for one, am GLAD you were kicked out of The Circle. Even you admit that life would not have been ideal having to abide by their rules. And you seemed to have a LOT more fun doing things on your own before all these more recent challenges you’ve had to face. Even if it was more dangerous without anyone having your back.
Thank you so much for stopping by and talking about a subject that you were less than thrilled to talk about. I know it wasn’t fun. Or easy. BUT… I do not think we are even. Not yet. Because that thing with the thing was still way more challenging than simply just reviving bad memories.
So, for now, you are still in my debt.
For those of you who have not yet taken a peek at this latest installment in the series, below is a description of RELEASE, which is not too spoiler-y. And if for some reason you haven’t yet “met” the author, there’s a little bit of information about him too, along with places online you can find him.
About the Book
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.
About the Author
M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer, and author of Exiled & Shift, the first two installments in The ProtectorSeries. Having never travelled, 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.
The RELEASE Blog Tour also stops at Book Nerd Canada today with a review and author interview.
For the rest of the tour schedule and to check out all the other awesome posts, head over to Stuck In Books.
A few of the other stops on this tour are hosts to an AMAZING giveaway, so be sure to check them out!
UPDATE: I was recently made aware that the awesome giveaway is one that I, too, can share! The giveaway is being offered by the tour host, so be sure to check their site for any additional rules and requirements. But all the giveaway details are below….
Grande Prize Pack (3 Winners)
3x Signed paperbacks (Exiled, Shift, Release)
3x Signed 8×10 posters (Exiled, Shift, Release)
1x Notebook (Winner’s choice of cover)
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)
Secondary Prizes A (10 Winners)
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.
Enter in the Rafflecopter….
a Rafflecopter giveaway