Thursday, January 18, 2018

Elephant Dreams by Martha Deeringer

Genre: Young Adult / Historical Fiction / Sweet Romance
Publisher: Melange Books
Date of Publication: September 2, 2017
Pages: 224

Desperate to escape her squalid life on the streets of New York City, sixteen-year-old Fiona Finn seeks help at the magnificent Church of the Ascension where Charles Loring Brace, a social reformer horrified by the plight of New York City’s street children, arranges for her to go west aboard an Orphan Train.

Fiona’s homeless, alcoholic father has other plans, however.  He wants Fiona to “work” the streets to support his drinking and pursues her across the midwest until she is forced to abandon the train in Houston to avoid a sheriff bent on returning her to her father.

Alone in the dark on the Texas prairie, Fiona’s terrifying experience with a circus elephant, Bolivar, sets the stage for a future she could never have imagined.

Elephant Dreams will be featured in the January, 2018 issue of the Historical Novel Society magazine.

“What a story! With scenes to be likened to any Charles Dickens novel, the author, Martha Deeringer, carries the reader on a breathtaking journey through despair and hope that changes as often as the wind changes direction. Great characters, a believable story, an insight into another world, and an empathy for a character that a reader would have to have a heart of stone not to sympathise with. Although billed as a young adult story, this will readily appeal to an adult reader. Very visual writing and the makings of a classic.” ~ Jane Finch for Readers’ Favorite

“I absolutely adored this novel; I couldn't find a single thing to dislike about it, other than of course the characters we are meant to dislike. The secondary characters were just as well rounded as the primary characters, leaving the reader with a feeling of contentment at the end of the novel. Each character brought his or her own three-dimensional personality to the novel, giving me a reason to either love or hate them passionately.” ~ Acwoolet for Online Book Club

“I thoroughly enjoyed Elephant Dreams. It is a captivating story with a spunky heroine who is determined to turn her life around. I loved the unique settings that covered New York City slums, an orphan train and a Texas Circus. I would recommend it for teens through adults.” ~ 5 Stars, Kindle Edition | Verified Purchase

How has Texas influenced your writing?
The inspiration for several of my novels began with an event from Texas history, as was the case with The Mollie Bailey Circus in Elephant Dreams. Even today you can’t walk a block in Texas without running into a fascinating novel-worthy character. They’re everywhere.

Why did you choose to write historical novels? 
I have always loved history and taught the subject to middle schoolers for many years. My goal was always to make historical events come to life for my students with re-enactments like the Medieval Knighting ceremony my classes took part in.

Where did your love of books and writing come from? 
I come from a family of writers. My father and grandfather wrote textbooks and my brother published over thirty historical novels.

How long have you been writing?
I wanted to write for years, but I have only found the time since I retired from teaching about ten years ago. Teachers are VERY busy people.

What kinds of writing do you do? 
I write science and history articles for children and adults and have had over 100 of them published in state and national magazines. I have also published four (young adult) YA novels and a biography.

What cultural value do you see in reading? 
Reading broadens your world far beyond the boundaries of your physical life and allows you to live inside characters from cultures and places limited only by your imagination.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book? 
I love historical research and imagining the lives of characters from long ago.

What did you find most useful in learning to write for publication? 
I treasured input from other writers but learned the most from taking an online writing class. Before I was halfway through the class, I had already sold my first piece. And, along the way, it’s important to grow a tough skin. Rejections are part of the deal for ALL writers.

What is your favorite quote? 
“Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself; it’s the occurring that is difficult.”  ~ Stephen Leacock

Martha Deeringer lives with her husband and their large, extended family on a central Texas cattle ranch. She writes magazine articles, often about history, for children and adults and is a frequent contributor to regional and national magazines. 

Martha also writes Young Adult fiction, occasionally inspired by her teaching experiences or the antics of her children and grandchildren. She loves ranch life and sometimes abandons her writing to cope with assorted issues involving kids, dogs, cats, horses, orphan calves, and occasionally armadillos, coyotes and rattlesnakes.

Connect with Martha: Website | Facebook | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

Three Signed Copies!
January 15-24, 2018
(U.S. Only)
15-Jan Excerpt Tangled in Text
15-Jan Bonus Promo Story Schmoozing Book Reviews
16-Jan Review Books in the Garden
17-Jan Guest Post Texas Book Lover
18-Jan Author Interview A Page Before Bedtime (You are here)
19-Jan Review The Page Unbound 
20-Jan Promo Texan Girl Reads
21-Jan Excerpt Books and Broomsticks
22-Jan Review Hall Ways Blog
23-Jan Scrapbook Page The Clueless Gent
23-Jan Review Syd Savvy


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