Tag Archive | Knox Robinson Publishing

Cynthia Ripley Miller: On the Edge of Sunrise

Interview with Cynthia Ripley Miller

Susana: Tell us something about the time period you’ve chosen for your first novel.

Cynthia: The few years I taught history, and my travels abroad created my desire to choose a world somewhat familiar to me. I decided that ancient Rome would become my setting, but I wanted a turbulent and exciting time span that would cross cultures and usher in the Medieval Age. From a writer’s perspective, late Rome in the fifth century AD, and the Germanic barbarian Franks—who later became the French Merovingians—filled the niche for drama, intrigue and a fresh era. It beckoned me.

Susana: What inspired your title?

C.Ripley Miller copyCynthia: On the Edge of Sunrise earned its title through a meditative moment and the strength and transformation of the characters and their personal redemptions. My heroine, Arria, and hero, Garic, are nobility in their own culture. Arria’s a Roman senator’s daughter and Garic is a tribal counselor. Arria is raised unconventionally and carries the title of Roman Envoy. Garic mirrors this distinction as a highly regarded warrior, honored for his wisdom as First Counsel to his tribal chieftain. Their ‘love at first sight’ desires force them to cross cultural boundaries; however, both are torn by responsibility and duty to their countries and families. And against the odds, the hidden secret each carries with him.

Susana: What author or authors have inspired your writing?

Cynthia: As an undergraduate student of literature, I eagerly consumed classic fiction. Authors such as Hardy, Dickens, Tolstoy and Steinbeck awakened me to worlds and insights beyond my personal experience, but another side of me loved a historical novel with an adventurous plot. When I wrote, one might say I leaned toward the dark side—genre fiction. Anne Rice’s vampires brought historical settings to life and demonstrated a diversity of human traits despite their undead status. Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander series captured my attention with her vibrant characters, Scottish history, and splash of fantasy. From these influences, I determined to write a historical and adventurous love story.

Susana: What flavor is your writing?

Cynthia: The combination of a chocolate energy bar with a pinch of cayenne might best describe my novel’s flavor. My story is fast-paced with more dialogue than narrative (although there is enough narrative for imagery and internal dialogue). I like action and conflict to keep the story fresh and some red-hot spice to make the plot tantalizing.

Susana: What is your favorite scene in On the Edge of Sunrise?

Cynthia: My favorite scene involves my heroine, Arria, being accompanied to Cambria, a Roman fort town, by the hero, Garic, a Frank warrior noble who has just saved her from a renegade group of barbarians. As they enter the city gates, they come upon a slave auction. Arria sees that in order to help save a mother and her child from slavery, she must buy them. Garic, encourages her and offers his help. The attraction between Arria and Garic has grown throughout the journey, and they share some tender moments. But just as they express their love, the commander of the Roman fort, Arria’s betrothed, interrupts them.

Susana: What books do you have in your TBR pile?

Cynthia: Angelopolis by Danielle Trussoni and Roma by Steven Saylor.

Susana: What is something unusual that most people don’t know?

Cynthia: Many people don’t know that when I was in middle school I was ‘pen pals’ with Katie Kubrick, the director Stanley Kubrick’s daughter.

Susana: What are you working on now?

Cynthia: I’m working on book two in my Long-Hair Saga series, a romantic historical with strong elements of mystery and suspense.

About On the Edge of Sunrise

When love commands, destiny must obey. Against an epic background and torn between duty and passion, Arria Felix, a Roman senator’s daughter, must choose between Rome’s decadent world and her forbidden love—Garic, a Frank barbarian noble.

ontheedgehr copyThe year is AD 450. The Roman Empire wanes as the Medieval Age awakens. Attila the Hun and his horde conquer their way across Europe into Gaul. Caught between Rome’s tottering empire and Attila’s threat are the Frankish tribes and their ‘Long-Hair’ chiefs, northern pagans in a Roman Christian world, and a people history will call the Merovingians.

A young widow, Arria longs for a purpose and a challenge. She is as well versed in politics and diplomacy as any man … but with special skills of her own.

The Emperor Valentinian, determined to gain allies to help stop the Huns, sends a remarkable envoy, a woman, to the Assembly of Warriors in Gaul. Arria will persuade the Franks to stand with Rome against Attila.

When barbarian raiders abduct Arria, the Frank blue-eyed warrior, Garic, rescues her. Alarmed by the instant and passionate attraction she feels, Arria is torn between duty and desire. Her arranged betrothal to the ambitious tribune, Drusus, her secret enlistment by Valentinian as a courier to Attila the Hun, and a mysterious riddle—threaten their love and propel them into adventure, intrigue, and Attila’s camp. Rebels in a falling empire, Arria and Garic must find the strength to defy tradition and possess the love prophesied as their destiny.

About the Author

Cynthia Ripley Miller is a first generation Italian-American writer with a love for history, languages and books. She has lived, worked, and travelled in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean. As a girl, she often wondered what it would be like to journey through time (she still does), yet knew, it could only be through the imagination and words of writers and their stories. Today, she writes to bring the past to life.

Cynthia holds a master’s degree and has taught history and teaches English. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Summer Tapestry, at Orchard Press Mysteries.com and The Scriptor. She has reviewed for UNRV Roman History, and writes a blog, Historical Happenings and Oddities: A Distant Focus.

Cynthia has four children and lives with her husband, twin cats, Romulus and Remus, and Jessie, a German Shepherd, in a suburb of Chicago. On the Edge of Sunrise is the first in the Long-Hair Sagas; a series set in late ancient Rome and France and published by Knox Robinson Publishing.

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Maggi Andersen and “Taming a Gentleman Spy”

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Maggi will award a $50 Amazon GC plus an e-book copy of A Baron in Her Bed – The Spies of Mayfair, Book #1 to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.

About Taming a Gentleman Spy

Cover_ TAMING A GENTLEMAN SPYJohn Haldane, Earl of Strathairn, is on an urgent mission to find the killer of his fellow spy. After visiting the young widow of one of his agents, Strathairn strengthens his resolve. A spy should never marry, and most certainly not to Lady Sibella Winborne, with her romantic ideas of love and marriage. Unable to give Sibella up entirely, he has kept her close as a friend. Then, weak fool that he is, he kissed her.

Lady Sibella Winborne has refused several offers of marriage since she first set eyes on the handsome Earl of Strathairn. Sibella’s many siblings always rush to her aid to discourage an ardent suitor, but not this time. Her elder brother, Chaloner, Marquess of Brandreth, has approved Lord Coombe’s suit.  Sibella yearns to set up her own household. She is known to be the sensible member of the family, but she doesn’t feel at all sensible about Lord Strathairn. If only she could forget that kiss.

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Excerpt

Sibella’s brother Edward stood at her shoulder. “I’ve come to claim you for the next dance, before any of your admirers beat me to it.”

“I shouldn’t worry, many are losing interest,” she said crisply, rising from her chair.

He eyed her as they entered the dance floor. “Losing hope, more like.”

As they moved through the steps of the quadrille, he dropped quiet remarks in her ear.

“Give up on Strathairn, Sib.”

“I don’t believe, I—” They parted, and by the time the steps brought them back together, she’d given up protesting. Edward had inherited their mother’s astute nature.

“It’s not that I don’t like him. I do very much. But he’s not for you.”

“You needn’t worry. He doesn’t wish to marry.”

Her brother raised a black eyebrow. “Oh, I believe you could sway him toward marriage, if you set your mind to it. That’s not the reason.”

“Then what is the reason?”

“Chaloner hears things in the House of Lords. I can’t repeat them.”

“So he tells you but not me.”

Edward shrugged with a smile and moved away.

“Why does such mystery surround the Earl of Strathairn?” she hissed at him when she next got a chance.

He shook his head. She’d learn no more.

About the Author

AuthorPicMaggi Andersen fell in love with the Georgian and Regency worlds after reading the books of Georgette Heyer. Victoria Holt’s Gothic Victorian novels were also great favorites.

She has raised three children and gained a BA and an MA in Creative Writing. After husband David retired from the law, they moved to the beautiful Southern Highlands of Australia.

Maggi’s free time is spent enjoying her garden and the local wildlife, reading, movies and the theatre. She keeps fit swimming and visiting the gym.

Maggi is a multi-published author, and writes mysteries and young adult novels as well as her Georgian, Regency and Victorian romances.

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