Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): C.J. Milacci & Recruit of Talionis

Posted March 29, 2023 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, C.J. Milacci, Christian, dystopian, giveaway, YA / 10 Comments

Recruit of Talionis JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Recruit of Talionis by C.J. Milacci, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m delighted to have C.J. on the blog today to talk about her new book!

Recruit of Talionis

SERIES: Talionis Series #1
GENRE: Young Adult Sci-Fi Dystopian
PUBLISHER: Fayette Press
RELEASE DATE: November 3, 2022
PAGES: 503

“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?

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C.J. Milacci Recruit of Talionis

Hi C.J.! Welcome to the blog!

C.J.: Summer! I hate being cold. A lot.

Carrie: haha!

C.J.: Both. I love listening to music while writing— sometimes it even helps inspire a scene! But I also love audiobooks. I read a great many books that way.  🙂

Carrie: my TBR galaxy wishes I enjoyed audiobooks lol

C.J.: Over. It’s just the right way 😉

Carrie: I disagree but we can still be friends haha!

C.J.: Print. I love the feel of a book in my hands — I do read ebooks, but my preference will always be print.

Carrie: Hugging an ebook just isn’t the same 😉

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

C.J.: I love this question! I think my superpower is reading people in order to engage in insightful conversations. Somehow I can understand what someone is going through, know what questions to ask, and have insight into the situation — which is totally by God’s grace, and His leading.

Carrie: oh i love that! ♥

Q: Tell me some good books you’ve read recently.

C.J.: Oh, what a fantastic question! I’ve read several goodies recently. Enhanced, by Candace Kade, The Chase Runner Series, by Bradley Caffee, and The Calculated Series by Nova McBee were all fabulous young adult books. In the “non-fiction” category, I recently read One at a Time, by Kyle Idleman and it was so good and reminded me of how Jesus looks at people individually and meets them where they’re at. 

Carrie: ooo adding that Kyle Idleman book to my TBR!

Q: Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks? Any snacks/beverages that are a must when you sit down to write?

C.J.: I am constantly playing with fidget toys while I write and edit. I can’t keep my hands still! So when I come to a place where I’m trying to figure out what happens next, I start playing with one of the toys on my desk. There are many. And I don’t let any of my nieces or nephews play with them (but other than that, I’m a really fun aunt!! Promise!). 🫣 My favorite writing beverage is bubble tea, but I only drink it when it’s celebration time…or in times when I really need a little boost (when this happens, it’s called “emergency bubble tea”, which is totally a thing. I’m sure of it 😉 ). My go to beverage otherwise is good old water. (Boring, I know!)

Carrie: haha boring perhaps, but healthier than my go to beverage which is diet coke 🙂

Q: What surprised you about Recruit of Talionis or your characters as you wrote their story?

C.J.: So many things surprised me as I wrote this story! I had an idea of where the book would go, but it’s crazy how the characters can feel like they have a mind of their own…even though they’re coming from my mind. This is the part where I feel like I sound crazy, but it’s true. Sometimes the things that would surprise me were choices the characters would make, or skills they had. Or things they would say. I plan out my stories for the most part, but I always leave room for my characters to pop in and do something that shocks me.

Carrie: you are not alone in this craziness lol – so many authors I talk to say the same thing and I do not understand it but I’m fascinated by it!

Q: What do you most want readers to 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.

I want the stories I write, this story, to meet each reader where they are at, minister to their hearts, and, ultimately, bring them hope and point them to Jesus. God alone can change hearts, but my hope and prayer with this story is that it can be a tool He can use to encourage hearts, strengthen faith, offer hope, and transform lives through the power of the gospel. And be a fun and exciting read along the way.

Carrie: amen ♥

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

C.J.: This has been so much fun! Thank you for the opportunity.

Next for me is working on getting everything finalized for book two, Fugitive of Talionis. I’m running a Kickstarter pre-release for anyone who would like to get a copy of book two early, and I also have some other fun things available on there (it runs from March 22nd — April 20th, 2023). Besides book two, I’m working on the audiobook for book one, and also finishing up writing a novella that connects with the story world. Lots of fun things coming!

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.

Recruit of Talionis JustRead Giveaway

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

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.

Enter Giveaway

This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

What about you? What makes you want to read Recruit of Talionis by C.J. Milacci?

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