31 March 2023

Recruit of Talionis | Excerpt + Giveaway

JustRead Publicity Tours


“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?

Publisher: Fayette Press
Release Date: November 3, 2022


(Support the Kickstarter campaign here!)


Crying chips its way through my dreamless sleep. Foggy clouds muddle my brain, and I don’t want to let them drift away. But the crying persists. Zeke? Strange. He hasn’t woken up crying in years. Keeping my eyes closed, I roll over to reach across the small gap to his bed and mumble something comforting. Hopefully it works, so I can go back to sleep.

I stretch my arm out and drop my hand to the soft blanket covering him. But there isn’t a blanket. Something cool and wet pricks my hand. Grass. My eyes spring open, all of my senses alert. The last vestiges of sleep evaporate from my body.

I’m outside.

Chills inch up my spine as the icy fingers of anxiety tighten their hold on my thoughts. Where am I, and why am I here? My heart races as my mind frantically searches for the one piece of information that will force this to make sense.

The whimpering, soft cries that woke me up cut through the night again. It’s a child crying, but not Zeke—I know my brother’s cries. I take a deep breath, trying to calm the panic rising with each moment, and sit up.

I’m in a clearing in the middle of a forest, dark lumps surrounding me as far as I can see. The night is dark and eerily quiet. The only light comes from the flickering red and orange embers of a dying fire. Trees rise in black silhouettes against the midnight sky. The familiar scent of pine needles mixes with the lingering smoke from the fire. But why can’t I hear the ocean waves crashing on the cliffs? Or the Lassen River rushing through the trees? There’s only one answer to those questions. This isn’t Delamere Wood.

I don’t know where I am.


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 cjmilacci.com.

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


(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.



  1. I would love to read this.

  2. Sounds like a great read.

  3. Thank you for another fantastic giveaway opportunity

  4. Hallie, Thank you for sharing! Sounds like an epic adventure.

  5. The cover is really cool.