SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT: On the Edge of Sunrise by Cynthia Ripley Miller


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AD 450 The Roman Empire wanes as the Medieval Age awakens.

Arria Felix, a Roman senator’s daughter, longs for a purpose and a challenge. Raised progressively, she is well-versed in diplomacy and the politics of the time. Determined and despite obstacles, she has convinced the emperor to appoint her as an envoy to the Assembly of Warriors in Gaul. She must enlist the aid of the barbarian tribes to stand with Rome against the menace, Attila the Hun, bearing down on the Empire.

When Arria is captured by renegade barbarians and rescued by the blue-eyed Garic, the First Counsel to his tribe of Frank warriors, her life takes an unexpected twist. Her immediate attraction to Garic defies the traditions of Rome; he is beneath her station. But his strength and confidence kindle a yearning in her, a passion she’s not felt since the death of her husband. Now, Arria must choose between duty and family or her forbidden love.

Garic is an elite warrior. A vicious enemy looms on the horizon and his tribe relies on him for guidance. But he’s thrown off balance when he meets the Roman envoy, Arria.
A gifted woman in an unlikely position, Arria haunts his thoughts. His position and loyalties weigh on him and warn him away from her, but the lure of her presence proves strong. Even more mystifying to him, the tribal shaman has prophesied that Arria is his destiny.



The sun shone above the horizon. The thick sounds of groaning men filled the camp. Some retched over sprawled and unconscious bodies; others limped back to their tents.

Garic alone knew where Arria rested and this excited him. He knelt by her side and listened to her soft breathing. He gazed at her for a moment, then bent and kissed her. Arria stirred beneath his touch and her eyelids fluttered. Her right arm glided gently upwards and rested on his neck. Arria’s lips responded with a fervor Garic never expected, nor could he resist. “Don’t let go,” he said huskily. “I want to hold you.” His lips brushed Arria’s ear as he spoke, making her powerfully aware of his accented speech. His words and touch moved her, and she began to cry.

“Why do you weep, woman? No harm will come to you—while I am with you.”

“I was afraid, but anger came over me when I saw Samuel attacked. I couldn’t let him be hurt … or die. Is he alive?”

“I’ve sent Vodamir to find him. You are as Vodamir says, a woman warrior, a Valkyrie who will fight beside her man.” Garic could barely control himself. He was exhausted, but lying beside her made him feel stronger. He knew they must return, but he couldn’t pull himself away. Her arm around his neck, Arria blushed as he gazed into her eyes.

Garic continued. “Pray to your Christian God there are no deaths. Drusus will be as difficult in this matter as Luthgar.”

Arria sighed. She brushed her fingers across one gold armlet, then across the soft blond stubble covering his jaw.

“Was I dreaming or did you kiss me?” she asked.

Garic caressed the corner of her smile with his thumb and smiled back. “Was I dreaming or did you kiss me? Or perhaps we both kissed, my lady,” Garic moved closer, his lips inches from hers. “But dream or kiss, it was our destiny.”

“Then kiss me again, so I am sure,” she whispered in his ear.

Garic’s ardent kiss found its haven, a place where pain washes away. Arria’s fingers tangled themselves in his hair and he kissed her deeper. The spark between them was fierce; he knew he loved her. He wanted her by his side and in his bed. “Arria, do you want me?” he asked, his voice husky with desire. His fingers stroked her temple and he searched her eyes. “Tell me,” he repeated softly, brushing his lips over hers, then kissing her again, hungry and urgent. “Mellitula, I must know.”

“Why do you call me “little honey?” she asked softly.

“My heart names you,” he replied and kissed her again. “Our path is dangerous, so I must hear it from your lips. Do you want me?” Intent on her answer, Garic failed to notice the approaching footsteps.

PRAISE FOR ON THE EDGE OF SUNRISE: The story weaves, twists and turns at a tremendous pace, and the characters leap off the pages, which simply keep on turning. This is the author’s debut novel, the first in her ‘Long Hair’ series. I look forward to reading more in due course. Recommended.” Historical Novel Society, November 2015.



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C.Ripley MillerCynthia Ripley Miller is an Italian-American writer who loves history, languages and books. As a girl, she 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 has taught history and English, published short stories, reviewed for UNRV Roman History, and blogs.  She lives with her family, twin cats, Romulus and Remus, and Jessie, a German Shepherd, in suburban Chicago.  On the Edge of Sunrise is the first in the Long-Hair Sagas; a series set in Late Ancient Rome and France.  To connect with Cynthia or learn more about her books, visit: my website:  my Facebook:   my Twitter: @CRipleyMiller


8 Responses

  1. “On the Edge of Sunrise” is not something I would normally choose to read on my own, but I followed the advice of a friend and read it. I loved it! Once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down. I am anxiously awaiting the release of the second novel. Take my advice and read it. You’ll be glad you did.

  2. Thank you, everyone. Yes, I discovered this was an exciting era when I taught history. Honestly, I can’t understand why it hasn’t drawn more readers. The Medieval Age is awakening as the Roman Empire wanes, but the synthesis is dynamic. I love the period. Also, the birth of the French Merovingian Dynasty in this era is rugged and passionate as well.

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