Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Recruit Of Talionis By C.J. Milacci + GIVE AWAY

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 received the book as part of the bookstagram tour.

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


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.

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 cjmilacci.com.

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

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.

Enter Giveaway

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

Sunday, March 26, 2023

His Only Son From Angel Studios + $10 Amazon Gift Card Give Away

Who here is ready for more films that depict events from the Bible? I can guarantee you that my hand just shot up. Recently I learned about the movie His Only Son. I partnered with Momentum Influencers (and Angel Studios) and they sent me an early screening of the movie. Angel Studios, who brought you THE CHOSEN, is releasing a new film, HIS ONLY SON, which is a film about Abraham and Isaac! Watch this awesome interview with the President of Angel Studios and film Creator as they discuss the movie and getting tickets!

When I think of Abraham and Isaac's story, I have an image of God speaking to Abraham, telling him to take his son and sacrifice him, Abraham taking his son the next day, climbing a hill, and preparing Isaac to sacrifice him. His Only Son gives so much more detail of what it may have been like to journey to Moriah for this act of obedience.

David Helling, the Creator of the movie, admits that the movie was made on a shoestring budget. It takes SO much to make movies these day, and he did an incredible job with the limited amount of money he had. After seeing this, I can only imagine what could be done with an even bigger budget!

The movie moves back and forth from Abraham, Isaac, and the two servants traveling to Moriah for the sacrifice and when Abram & Sarai were young. Scripture tells us that Abraham and Sarah were in their 90s when Isaac was born, but the only thing that I felt could've been done better was having Sarah looking older. She didn't look like she was 90 when she had Isaac. The actress is really beautiful.

It was so powerful to watch Abraham have to travel for THREE days (THREE DAYS, PEOPLE) knowing what the Lord has asked of him. Having to walk with his son, who God has called him to sacrifice, you can see how incredibly difficult it is for him the entire time. I thought it was so interesting how the creator of the film also added depth to the servants who were with them.

When we read the Bible, I think oftentimes we read it for what's on the page in that moment. Did you ever think about the people they may have come across as they journeyed for three days? How they may have spent their time? What they may have discussed?

And then we go back to when Abram and Sarai were without a child together. You could feel how difficult it was for Sarai - for her to have a barren womb for so many years. Then the conflict of Sarai giving Abram her servant, Hagar, so that maybe she might conceive to help fulfill the promise. I have to say, this actress really brought Sarai to life because she frustrated me just as much in the movie as she does in the Bible. lol

There's so much we can apply to our lives from both time periods of their stories. How often do we take circumstances into our own hands? We get so impatient we develop our own solutions instead of waiting on God's timing and His answers. Anyone else make a poor choice and blame someone else? Or when that someone else goes along with your poor choice instead of doing the right thing, and they don't take responsibility for their own actions?

What about when Abraham obeys the Lord to take his son & sacrifice him? Can you imagine? I'd be all, "Hard pass, God. You're going to have to figure something else out!" My disobedience would've been on full display. And Isaac, he's not some little kid. He's at least a teenager at this point. If I had been a teen and my parent told me what they were about to do, all they would've seen was the dust of my shoes running the opposite way. Not gonna lie. "You want to do WHAT with me?" What this movie did for me in regards to this event was not only make me go back and read this entire story, but it made me think about what it must've been like for Isaac to have LIVED through it! He KNEW that God had called his father to sacrifice him, yet he lie down willingly. When God provided a ram Isaac saw the Lord's provision and was spared. Can you imagine going through the rest of your life having lived through that experience?

This chapter in the Bible is titled "Abraham Tested", but in my humanistic and non-sovereign thinking believes that title should also include Isaac because he was certainly tested as well. I want to prepare you as well, you are going to be emotional at the end. Have tissue on hand!

Moms, this is a movie you won’t want to miss! There are few things more powerful than a mother's love for her son. Take your family to see this film, and be inspired by Isaac and Sarah's relationship in His Only Son, coming to theaters March 31.

Buy tickets today to see HIS ONLY SON in theaters March 31st!

Here is your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card!

*Leave me a comment letting me know what event in the Bible you'd love to see made into a movie!

- Giveaway is open to US residents ONLY who are 18 yrs or older. This giveaway is not associated with Google or any of its entities. Winner must be willing to share their full name and email address with me and the company. Woven by Words is not responsible for prize fulfillment and won't be held liable.
- Giveaway ends April 2, 2023 at 11:59pm ET

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Memory Lane By Becky Wade

Memory Lane
by Becky Wade
Publisher: Independent
Series: Sons of Scandal
ISBN: 979-8987550502

Being a huge Becky Wade fan, when I was offered the chance to listen to her audiobook I was thrilled. I couldn't wait to listen to her first independently published book! She sent it to me for review.


After surviving a trauma several years back, Remy Reed relocated to a cottage on one of Maine’s most remote islands. She’s arranged her life just the way she wants it, spending her time working on her wood sculptures and soaking in the beauty of nature. It’s quiet and solitary—until the day she spots something bobbing in the ocean.

Her binoculars reveal the “something” to be a man, and he’s struggling to keep his head above water. She races out to save him and brings him into her home. He’s injured, which doesn’t detract from his handsomeness nor make him any easier to bear. He acts like a duke who’s misplaced his dukedom . . . expensive tastes, lazy charm, bossy ideas.

Remy would love nothing more than to return him to his people, but he has no recollection of his life prior to the moment she rescued him. Though she’s not interested in relationships other than the safe ones she’s already established, she begins to realize that he’s coming to depend on her.

Who is he? What happened that landed him in the Atlantic Ocean? And why is she drawn to him more and more as time goes by?

There’s no way to discover those answers except to walk beside him down memory lane.

Travel to the rocky coast of Maine for "opposites attract" banter, witty humor, a fascinating mystery, and destiny-changing love. This sweet contemporary romance kicks off Becky Wade's new Sons of Scandal series!

My Review:

I always look forward to starting a new series by Becky! Her stories always have a great romance. Memory Lane IS a bit different from her last couple of series. I would say it's a bit more... "raw"? She certainly hits some tough topics in it.

We travel to Maine where we meet Remy who is out on a walk when she spies a man in the Atlantic Ocean. That's when we're introduced to "Jonah". Turns out he has amnesia. They end up back on the mainland because he starts to get a bit more sick. While they were still at her place, their banter gave me some good chuckles.

As Jonah's story starts to unfold, as they learn who he is, we get to know the people in his life as well. I really liked his brother (looking forward to his story). His parents have issues and we'll leave it at that. hahahaha Sadly, Remy also has some trauma in her past that causes her to keep distance with Jonah although it's clear they're attracted to each other. There's one scene that is absolutely beautiful and just made my heart love Jonah. I love how he pursues her.

Because the story is independently published, and more along the lines of "clean fiction" it doesn't contain as much faith as I'm used to. That's not a bad thing. I'm just mentioning it for readers of the author's other work. There's a good bit of drinking in the story. Not a personal favorite, but it didn't effect my rating. The author also covers a couple of sensitive topics, which you can learn more about on her website. One of the topics covered (not mentioned on her site) are the affairs people around Jonah have had. It's rather mind boggling.

Currently there isn't an edition for the audiobook, but that's how I read this story. There is a man and woman narrator. It did take me a bit to get into the story, but once I did, I was committed. They did a good job.

About the Author:

Becky’s a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas with their three children and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She loves writing sweet contemporary romances laced with sizzling chemistry, mystery, faith, banter, and humor. Her eleven novels and five novellas have been recognized with a Carol Award, INSPY awards, and a spot in the Christy Award Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Until We All Share Joy By Heather Wood

Until We All Share Joy
by Heather Wood
Publisher: Independent
Series: Finding Home
ISBN: 979-8375648392

I was happy to have Heather reach out to me to ask me to review her next story! How could I resist with those cardinals on the cover? She sent me her ebook for review.


Titan Dinsmore loves his family, but as the youngest of five, he craves his older siblings’ respect—and a little distance. A chance meeting at the train station with a forlorn young lady turns into a growing attraction between them. But Titan soon discovers there is a difference between wanting to be treated as an adult and truly stepping up to lead. How can he help tenderhearted Nora see beyond her father’s abandonment and rest in the love of her Heavenly Father? And will his secret plan to restore her family for the perfect Christmas together win Nora’s undying admiration or only lead to greater heartache?

This warm standalone Christmas novella highlights a lesser-known member of the beloved Dinsmore family in the Finding Home series. With all the charm of a Victorian Christmas and yet the realistic challenges of navigating difficult relationships in a Christlike manner, this book is one to be savored throughout the holiday season and beyond.

My Review:

Anyone looking for a story that feels like a warm hug? Here it is! Look no further than Until We All Share Joy!

Characters that are endearing? CHECK
Strong faith element? CHECK
Engaging storyline? CHECK

We meet Nora who is holding vigil for her dad who is working on laying tracks for the railroad. That's where Titan Dinsmore meets her on his way home one day. I just loved their sweet introduction. Titan has been taught well in how to treat a lady!

Over the course of time, they get to know each other better and through that, help each other grow in wonderful ways. Titan is strong in pointing her to God's love over and over. Nora helps him see his family in a new light, which I thoroughly enjoyed watching him grow in. She challenges him in good ways!

I loved watching Titan see his family with new eyes as the story went along. I have to admit, I got rather frustrated with the way they treated him. I appreciated that Nora was able to help him see them more positively. I also enjoyed Titan's relationship with Nora's grandfather!

The faith in this story isn't to be missed! The author infuses it sweetly into the story and lives of her characters. They really learn who the best gift Giver is! It also flowed smoothly through the story!

About the Author:

Heather Wood grew up in the Chicago suburbs, loving history, classic literature, writing stories, and Civil War reenacting. After obtaining her bachelor's degree in Bible/Theology from Appalachian Bible College, she settled in Virginia with her husband David. Her early passions fuel her writing today, although she spends most of her days now working to infuse her love for God and good literature into the hearts of her four small children. You can find her online at www.heatherwoodauthor.epizy.com.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Under Fire By Lynn Blackburn

Under Fire
by Lynn Blackburn
Publisher: Revell
Series: Defend & Protect
ISBN: 9780800737979

I was so excited to start the last book in this series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books and couldn't wait for Tessa and Zane's story. Lynn knows how to weave a tale of suspense and I was ready for it. The book was sent to me from Revell for me to review.


They'll protect the president at any cost--but who will protect their hearts? 

USSS Special Agent Zane Thacker has landed his dream assignment protecting the president of the United States. When the president plans a fundraiser at the exclusive estate of a political supporter in Raleigh, Zane is thrilled to be working again with Special Agent Tessa Reed, his best friend--and the woman he desperately wishes could be more.

Though Tessa almost lost everything, she battled her demons and came out on the other side healthy and healed. But when her role as the liaison between the Raleigh office and the president's protective detail wrenches her past back into the present, her greatest failure threatens to come to light. 

Zane refuses to let Tessa go through this alone. But can he stand by the woman he loves and protect the president from a mounting threat at the same time?

My Review:

What a fabulous ending to a terrific series. I've read all three books (in order, mind you) and I came to adore the entire team. Under Fire is a perfect ending to the series!

Special Agent Zane Thacker is back in town to help Raleigh Special Agent Tessa Reed as part of the detail to protect the POTUS when he visits for an event. While they've put themselves in the friend zone, it's clear there's something brewing between them. Zane is steadfast & reliable - the type of hero we love in a story. Tessa is strong, yet vulnerable and I really loved her attitude!

While the team is investigating all of the threats against the President, they start coming in towards Tessa as well.  It was fantastic to see that her boss knows she's great at her job and asks her to lead the team. The team closes rank and I love the way the want to protect her! The only problem is, she has a "somewhat" kept secret and it could endanger everyone.

Zane has a history that parallels Tessa's so it complicates things even more between them. Just when it looks like they might be turning a corner, something happens to bring up the past which makes life even more difficult. There are just so many layers to this story that I couldn't decide which one I wanted figured out sooner.

And let's talk about the faith of the characters! Theirs is a light that isn't hidden. It's front and center. The author unabashedly puts it out there throughout the story and it filled my heart SO much with each occurrence. I will read EVERY single one of this author's books for this reason alone. There's so much hope given through not only Zane and Tessa, but the entire cast of characters. Truly, I could go on and on about the faith, but you need to experience it yourself.

This series is absolutely fantastic. If you're a fan of suspense, then you don't want to miss out!

About the Author:

Lynn H. Blackburn is the award-winning author of Unknown Threat and Malicious Intent, as well as the Dive Team Investigations series. She believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. Blackburn is passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don't make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Learn more at www.lynnhblackburn.com.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The Metropolitan Affair By Jocelyn Green

The Metropolitan Affair
by Jocelyn Green
Publisher: Bethany House
Series: On Central Park
ISBN: 9780764239632

You could easily call me a Jocelyn Green fan. When her book is available to read, it makes its way onto my bookshelves!! I was thrilled when she asked me if I would read the first book in her new series! She sent me her book for my review.


Bestselling author Jocelyn Green sweeps you away in a dazzling novel of secrets, betrayal, and romance within one of New York City's most esteemed museums.

For years her explorer father promised Dr. Lauren Westlake she'd accompany him on one of his Egyptian expeditions. But as the empty promises mounted, Lauren determined to earn her own way. Now the assistant curator of Egyptology for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lauren receives two unexpected invitations.

The first is her repentant father's offer to finally bring her to Egypt as his colleague on a new expedition. The second is a chance to enter the world of New York's wealthiest patrons who have been victims of art fraud.

With Egyptomania sweeping the city after the discovery of King Tut's tomb, Detective Joe Caravello is on the hunt for a notorious forger preying on the open wallets of New York's high society. Dr. Westlake is just the expert he needs to help him track the criminal. Together they search for the truth, and the closer Lauren and Joe get to discovering the forger's identity, the more entangled they become in a web of deception and crime.

My Review:

Wow! What a exciting start to a new series with The Metropolitan Affair! I had NO idea I could actually become fascinated with anything Egyptian! I did go to an Egyptian exhibit years ago, but wasn't as fascinated by it as I was with this story. Maybe if I'd had Lauren as my guide I would've fallen in love with it, too!

You've connected with characters in books, right? I'm not the only one? I certainly did with Lauren in regards to always trying to win her father's approval or even acknowledgement. And interestingly enough, I came to see my mom in a different light like Lauren did through the story. That piece really touched my heart.

Lauren is called upon by and old friend, who wasn't quite a flame back in the day, to help with some possible forgeries. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them through bits and pieces of their history through their memories as well as watch them grow in the "now".

And then Lauren's dad showed up and you could tell how hard he was trying to rectify their lost time... time he was willing to let go back then because of his own issues. What more could Lauren want?

The web of mystery of who is doing the forgeries begins to expand and the world Lauren has been living in becomes more dangerous! There were twists and turns everywhere and for the life of me I had no idea who was involved. Just when you think the author has given you a clue, it turns out she was misleading you! I was pointing the finger at everyone.

The sweetness of Lauren and Joe's relationship comes with its own issues because of their current lives and issues they've individually dealt with in the past. The faith shown throughout the story is solid and it just filled my heart with joy as it flowed into Lauren's life!

I'm giddy waiting for the next story! Will it be Ivy or Elsa, Lauren's roommates (and also one is her cousin)!

About the Author:

Jocelyn Green (www.jocelyngreen.com) inspires faith and courage as the bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including the Christy Award-winning The Mark of the King and Drawn by the Current and her On Central Park series.

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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.