Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Blog Tour: Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton (Author Interview by Jamie Fessenden + Giveaway)

Jamie Fessenden Interviews Eli Easton

About Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride

Hi, Eli! Congrats on the new release, Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride. The cover and blurb are amusing. Tell us about the book.

It’s a historical western m/m romance. It’s a mail order bride story with a twist. The mail order bride, Robby, is a male actor who witnesses a crime, so he flees New York City and joins a wagon train. He ends up disguising himself as a woman to escape his pursuers and impersonates a mail order bride. Then he gets stuck with the bride’s family and falls for the wrong brother.

You’ve written a lot of contemporary and your paranormal series about dog shifters, Howl at the Moon, is popular—and a favorite of mine. What made you decide to write a historical western?

I used to love reading m/f historical westerns, especially Pamela Morsi and Maggie Osborne. I was talking about them with a group of authors at Rainbow Con in 2015—Leta Blake, Indra Vaughn, and Emory Vargas—and we started talking about mail order bride stories and how fun it would be to do them as m/m. The idea stuck with me for three years until I finally decided to tackle it in January.

Did you have to do a lot of research?

I did! I started re-reading some of my favorite older historical western romance and watching western movies to get into the right headspace. And I had to research a lot of different things that cropped up in the story like the Sante Fe trail, New York gangs of the 1800’s, common words and phrases of the era, and clothing, just to name a few things. But I find that fun.

What was the biggest challenge in writing the book?

I think, first, just deciding to write it. I figured as a historical western, it might not sell too well compared to spending those same months to write a contemporary. So it was a risk. But mentally, I needed to write something fun and something I could get excited about, and this was it. Second, coming up with a scenario for a male mail order bride that was both logical and funny. I have a very logical brain, so it has to make sense to me. Tall order!

Tell us something about Robby and Trace that isn’t in the book.
This isn’t in the epilogue, because it’s set not that far into the future, but I envision them picking up a few strays, some younger kids who don’t have a home, and forming a family as they grow older.

Were there any big changes to the plot or deleted bits you could share with us?

Yes! Originally, Trace was the sheriff of the town but not related to the Crabtrees, and the Crabtrees were far worse. I got about halfway through the book like that. But the problem was, I had so many scenes with Robby/Rowena and the Crabtrees, scenes which really not at all related to the romance plot. And it felt like the romance wasn’t getting enough page time. I considered making Clovis, Robby’s fiancé, the main love interest, but I really liked Trace the sheriff. I don’t know why it took me so long to figure it out, but I realized if I made Trace one of the Crabtree brothers, he could move in to the ranch and be around for a lot of the Robby/Crabtree interaction. That way, those scenes would also be part of why Trace falls for Robby and be directly related to the romance. I had to go back and rewrite sections, but that change made the book work so much better.

Pa-pa is the father of Robby-Rowena’s intended, and he’s quite the character. Is he based on anyone you know?

Ha! Not really. He’s super crusty, super cheap, and super ornery. I wanted Robby/Rowena’s situation when she has to live with the family of her intended to be difficult but also funny. So Pa-pa was designed to give Robby plenty of trouble.

The only other historical romance you’ve written was “The Lion and the Crow”, which is set in medieval England. Are you interested in writing in other historical eras?
I’d love to write more historical westerns. The other era I love is regency. If I could figure out the right approach on that for a m/m romance series that was unique and not too bogged down in homophobia, I might try it someday. Also, my Christmas book this year will be a historical.

Would you ever write another historical Western m/m romance?

I’d really like to! If Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride does well, I definitely will do another historical western.

What’s up next for you?

I’m working on a new edition of Puzzle Me This which more than doubles the length of the story. And I have an idea for a Christmas book that I need to begin soon. It’s a historical set in the 1700’s.

Thanks for the interview, Jamie!

Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Design

Length: 65,000 words approx.


Being a fugitive in the old west shouldn’t be this much fun.

The year is 1860. Robby Riverton is a rising star on the New York stage. But he witnesses a murder by a famous crime boss and is forced to go on the run--all the way to Santa Fe. When he still hasn't ditched his pursuers, he disguises himself as a mail order bride he meets on the wagon train. Caught between gangsters that want to kill him, and the crazy, uncouth family of his "intended", Robby's only ally is a lazy sheriff who sees exactly who Robby is -- and can't resist him.

Trace Crabtree took the job as sheriff of Flat Bottom because there was never a thing going on. And then Robby Riverton showed up. Disguised as a woman. And betrothed to Trace’s brother. If that wasn’t complication enough, Trace had to find the man as appealing as blueberry pie. He urges Robby to stay undercover until the danger has passed. But a few weeks of having Robby-Rowena at the ranch, and the Crabtree family will never be the same again.

April 26 - Loves Bytes
April 28 - Padme's Library 
April 30 - My Fiction Nook
May 14 - Joyfully Jay

About Eli

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.

Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.

In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.

In 2018 Eli hopes to do more of the same, assuming they reschedule the apocalypse.

Her website is

You can email her at

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