Monday, March 27, 2023

Author Interview: Recruit of Talionis by C. J. Milacci

Recruit of Talionis JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Recruit of Talionis by C.J. Milacci, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About the Book

Recruit of Talionis

Title: Recruit of Talionis
: Talionis Series #1
: C.J. Milacci
: Fayette Press
Release Date
: November 3, 2023
: Young Adult Sci-Fi Dystopian

"Forget where you came from. Forget the life you knew. You are now recruits of Talionis!"

A teen with a dark past. A secret military force that kidnaps new soldiers. Can she survive as a Recruit of Talionis? 

America has fallen. Seventeen-year-old Bria Averton grew up in a small town of survivors near the ruins of Portland, Maine. It’s all she’s ever known — until she’s kidnapped along with hundreds of other teens and brought to the city of Talionis. A city no one knew existed. 

The soldiers tell them the intense trainings are for the good of the survivors, and Bria resists being forced into a new life as a recruited soldier. But she soon finds the dangers in the city are greater than she imagined. 

Escape is impossible, and Bria fears drowning in the evil of the city… and the guilt from her own past. But can she find hope, even here?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | BookBub


September 25th has tormented me every moment for six years. Darkness clings to the morning, unwilling to relinquish its hold and allow light to enter the world. But that’s fitting for today.

The anniversary of my brother’s death.

My gaze probes the murky depths of the bay as waves lap at the shore, spitting up pieces of plastic, cloth, and whatever else the ocean has churned up today. Wind blows sand over the rusty frame of a pre-Demise car several feet to my right, creating a haunting tune. Chills inch up my spine. I hate this place, and yet can’t seem to keep myself away.

Bria… Bria… Bria…

The waves whisper my name with every splash on the shore, mocking me and beckoning me at the same time. My nemesis. The monster I must face—must defeat because of what it took from me.

My throat thickens, the memories stirring.

I take a step forward, then stop again.

Light edges its way over the horizon, brightening the surrounding landscape. I know it by heart. Every bit of forest and rock around the tiny beach. The cliffs to the east, stretching into the water. The old car wedged between boulders, half-buried in the sand. My stomach roils like the waves. It’s the same as it was during my last moments with Ezri.

About the Author

C.J. Milacci

CJ Milacci has found creating to be therapeutic in the chaos of life. Writing is her favorite way to create, and she seeks to take her readers on a grand adventure that begins with a single word. As a referee, she is always relearning the hard lesson that it’s impossible to make everyone happy, and she’s discovered that stories can be found anywhere, even on a lacrosse field. She is passionate about crafting stories of good overcoming evil, finding hope in the midst of seemingly hopeless circumstances, and true acceptance. Always willing to get real about hard issues, C.J. also enjoys the cheesiest of puns. She loves deep conversations, yo-yos, roller-blading, and finding reasons to throw a dance party. She chats about writing, her faith and the hope found in Jesus, bubble tea, and other fun adventures online (@cjmilacci) and at

Connect with CJ by visiting to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.

Author Interview

What was the inspiration behind Recruit of Talionis?

C.J.: I was inspired to write the story because I wanted to illustrate how to find hope when the darkest possible circumstances collide with guilt from one’s past. So I imagined a world in which America has fallen and the rest of the world has moved on — like how Rome fell and the world dynamics changed. Then I thought, what would it be like if a man came and set up a hidden city in America and started kidnapping teens to, essentially, build himself an army? And what if one of those teens was a girl who has a dark past that she thinks will always define her and make her unworthy of acceptance? How could that girl find hope when evil seems to be taking over? And so Recruit of Talionis was born.

My biggest reason for wanting to write this kind of story was because I’ve talked to many young women who struggle with depression, anxiety, and painful situations in their lives. I wanted to write a story I could hand to those teen and young adult girls who needed a reprieve from the pain they were facing in their lives, but also a way to learn deeper truths. And find, ultimately, that hope can pierce even the darkest of circumstances.

Q: How long did it take you to write this story?

C.J.: I always have a hard time answering this questions, because I wrote a version of this story several years ago. Then I set it aside, learned more about the craft of writing, wrote other stories, and then picked Recruit of Talionis back up and rewrote it completely. There are echoes of what the story once was, but it’s a very different book now — a better book.
All of that to say, I have a hard time pinpointing exactly how long it took me to write. It was about a year for the first draft, but many rewrites and edits and changes since.

Q: Do you have a favorite quote from this book?

C.J.: “Sometimes the things you’re learning and doing have a greater purpose than what you realize at first. If you give up because you don’t understand, or because something doesn’t make sense to your logic, you risk missing out.”

This quote is from the “mentor” character in my story and it has a very practical application to my protagonist, but I’ve also found it to be true in my own life. The littlest things in life often have a far greater impact than we’ll ever realize, and if we faithfully do what we need to do, we will reap what we’ve sown eventually. It’s easy for me to want to give up sometimes because I don’t understand, but faithful diligence always brings about the best results.

Q: What do you hope readers take away from Recruit of Talionis?

C.J.: Stories can be a way of escape, a way to forget the difficulties of life for a time, and I want Recruit of Talionis to offer those things AND point to true hope. Hope readers can then bring back with them into whatever circumstances they were going through. Life is crazy and overwhelming and difficult, and I want readers to walk away from reading Recruit of Talionis knowing that, no matter how painful and hard things may be, there can always be hope.

Q: Would you share something about yourself that most readers would not know?

C.J.: I’m a referee for girls and women’s lacrosse and field hockey…and I didn’t play either sport! I actually ref lacrosse at the collegiate level now, but when I started, I had no idea how the sport was played. None. I’d never even seen a game, but somehow I found myself training to ref the sport. I was sure I would utterly fail, and I remember praying, God, if You want me to do this, You’re gonna have to make it happen, because there is now way I can do it on my own. And by some crazy miracle, here I am almost nine years later. I’ve learned so much as a referee, made some great friends, and I’ve even been inspired with story ideas while on the lacrosse field. All that to say, you just never know where your life may lead. One major thing I learned was that if God has something for me to do, He can lead me through it. No matter how crazy. All I need to do is take the next step and do what I can do, and leave the rest up to Him.

Q: What are you reading now?

C.J.: I typically read a paperback book and listen to a different audiobook, so right now I’m reading The Choice (book 2 in The Chase Runner Series), by Bradley Caffee, and I’m listening to the audiobook for Silver Bounty (book 2 in The Royal Rose Chronicles), by Victoria McCombs.

Q: How many bookcases are in your home?

C.J.: Oh what a fun question! I have two beautiful floor to ceiling bookcases that my dad built for me, and I also have several bookshelves upstairs in my house.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Sometimes I’m reffing a game, other times I’m working for one of my author clients and helping them with their needs, and much of my non-writing work time is focused on marketing and learning.
But for fun, I love doing things outdoors — hiking, roller-blading, or kayaking if the weather is nice —, and spending time with friends and family playing games, watching movies, and going on adventures. I also enjoy cooking and baking.

Tour Giveaway

(2) winners will each receive a print copy of Recruit of Talionis with swag and a $15 Amazon gift card!

Recruit of Talionis JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight March 27 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on April 3, 2023. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

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