The Quest for the Crown of Thorns by Cynthia Ripley Miller

The Quest for the Crown of Thorns by Cynthia Ripley Miller

Publication Date: June 12, 2017
Knox Robinson Publishing
eBook & Paperback; 308 Pages

Series: The Long - Hair Saga, Book 2
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery

AD 454. Three years after the Roman victory over Attila the Hun at Catalaunum, Arria Felix and Garic the Frank are married and enjoying life on Garic's farm in northern Gaul (France). Their happy life is interrupted, when a cryptic message arrives from Rome, calling Arria home to her father, the esteemed Senator Felix. At Arria's insistence, but against Garic's better judgment, they leave at once.

Upon their arrival at Villa Solis, they are confronted with a brutal murder and the dangerous mission that awaits them. The fate of a profound and sacred object--Christ's Crown of Thorns--rests in their hands. They must carry the holy relic to the safety of Constantinople, away from a corrupt emperor and old enemies determined to steal it for their own gain.

But an even greater force arises to derail their quest--a secret cult willing to commit any atrocity to capture the Crown of Thorns. And all the while, the gruesome murder and the conspiracy behind it haunt Arria's thoughts.

Arria and Garic's marital bonds are tested but forged as they partner together to fulfill one of history's most challenging missions, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns.

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"Ripley Miller astutely brings to life a Rome teetering precariously on the brink of collapse ...the combination of political and romantic drama--spiritual as well--is rousing. The reader should be glad to have read this volume and eager for a third. Intelligent and artfully crafted historical fiction..." -Kirkus Reviews

"From cover to cover a gripping read - in all senses of the word! Grips your interest and imagination, your held breath and your pounding heart! A thumping good novel!" -Helen Hollick USA Today bestselling author of the Sea Witch Voyages

"Forbidden love, a turbulent time period, and world-changing events combine to produce a real page-turner." -India Edghill, author of Queenmaker, Wisdom's Daughter, and Delilah.

"A passionate and intriguing take on the often overlooked clash of three brutal and powerful empires: the Romans, Franks, and Huns. A Compelling read!" -Stephanie Thornton, author of The Secret History and The Tiger Queens

"Readers will be absorbed by a setting of barbarian Gaul and the constancy of Arria's and Garic's destined love amid the strife of a dying Roman Empire." -Albert Noyer, author of The Getorius and Arcadia Mysteries

"The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, is an elegant masterpiece of historical fiction. This book totally ensnared me in its clasps, and it did not release me until I had read it all. The attention to detail was exquisite The characterisation was sublime, and the romance was breathtakingly beautiful. I adored the world that Miller has created, as well as the characters in it. This is a sit-down and finish book and is one I would Highly Recommend." -Mary Anne Yarde author of the Du Lac Chronicles

Interview with Cynthia Ripley Miller

Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I’m the author of On the Edge of Sunrise, the first novel in the Long-Hair Saga, a series set in late ancient Rome and France, and a Chanticleer International Chatelaine Award finalist. I’ve lived and travelled in Europe, Africa, North America and the Caribbean, taught history and currently, I teach English. My short stories have appeared in the anthology Summer Tapestry, The Scriptor, and at Orchard Press I also blog at Historical Happenings and Oddities: A Distant Focus and on my website, I live with my husband and our cat, Romulus, and German Shepherd, Jessie, in a suburb of Chicago. Book Two: The Quest for the Crown of Thorns was published on June 13, 2017.

Discuss your newest book. The Quest for the Crown of Thorns is the sequel to On the Edge of Sunrise. My heroine and hero are drawn into mysterious death and propelled on a dangerous mission when they are entrusted to get a sacred relic to Constantinople. Secrets from book one are also revealed.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? When I went to college, my teachers praised my writing, and later, when I discovered that a line I used in a letter to the Oprah Winfrey Show in America made it into the script of one of her television shows, it was a boost to my confidence.

What are your current projects? I’m working on book 3 in my series, The Long-Hair Saga set in late ancient Rome.

What books have most influenced your life? I studied World and English literature and so many authors stand out in my mind. Tolstoy, Dickens, Bronte, and Austen have inspired my romantic historical edge. Lewis and Irving brought the human condition to light for me.

What inspired you to write your first book? Reading the romantic historical adventure series, Outlander—it had all the elements of entertaining genre fiction that I enjoyed and getting my own laptop computer.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Arria Felix is a Roman senator’s daughter. An only child, she’s been educated unconventionally for the times by a progressive father. She’s known in Rome and the countryside for her sharp sense of reason and deduction. Suffering from the loss of her soldier husband and looking for a purpose in her life, she accepts the position of political envoy to the barbarian tribes in Gaul. She will recruit their help against Attila the Hun who has invaded the empire.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? On the Edge of Sunrise is crafted as a romantic historical suspense and adventure novel. The foremost themes blended into the story are courage, love at first sight—an aspect of life that still occurs today—and loyalty.

What is the hardest thing about writing? For me it’s carving out long blocks of uninterrupted time. Once I start, time grabs me and accelerates. If I’m undisturbed, hours fly by before I know it. When something interrupts me, I feel jarred into the present. I have found that the library over my office is the perfect writing hideaway for me.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Research. Everything must be fact checked for the time period and locations. From flowers and trees to garments, food, vehicles, customs and weapons, it’s best not to assume. I once had a character put her hand in a dress pocket. It didn’t occur to me until much later that—wait! I don’t think the pocket came into use until the Middle Ages. People did not use pockets in late ancient Rome. Or, the sunflower is not indigenous to Tuscany, but the poppy is a native flower.

What is the easiest thing about writing? For me, it’s writing dialogue. I‘m generally not that talkative, but for some reason, my characters have plenty to say!

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Do your homework on all levels. Know what the industry is about, write a good story, trust your instincts, and join a writer’s group.

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.

She holds two degrees and has taught history and teaches English. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthology Summer Tapestry, at Orchard Press and The Scriptor. A Chanticleer International Chatelaine Award finalist for her novel, On the Edge of Sunrise, she has reviewed for UNRV Roman History, and blogs at 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 Saga; a series set in late ancient Rome and France and published by Knox Robinson Publishing. The second book in the series, The Quest for the Crown of Thorns, was released in June 2017.

For more information please visit Cynthia Ripley Miller's website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 7
Feature at Mello & June, It's a Book Thang!

Tuesday, August 8
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, August 9
Feature at Aurora B's Book Blog
Feature at The Never-Ending Book

Thursday, August 10
Feature at CelticLady's Reviews
Feature at What Is That Book About

Friday, August 11
Feature at Just One More Chapter

Sunday, August 13
Feature at A Holland Reads

Monday, August 14
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, August 15
Review at Bookramblings
Feature at Impressions In Ink


During the Blog Tour we are giving away a copy of The Quest for the Crown of Thorns to one lucky winner! To enter, please see the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 15th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

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