New Release: Ascendant by Joyce Reynolds-Ward

By: Joyce Reynolds-Ward

Joyce Reynolds-Ward is back with the second book in the Martiniere Legacy series.



Six months after the triumphant collaborative conclusion of the AgInnovator Superhero game show, Ruby Barkley and her ex-husband Gabriel Martiniere still struggle with the professional and personal fallout from their victory. The Superhero money allowed Ruby to launch her line of agricultural biobots. But one of the RubyBot spinoffs, the Defender, leads to unsettling revelations about crop tampering using body-modified indentured workers. Their son Brandon uncovers even more disturbing information about the abuse of indentureds as he campaigns to end it. All of these disclosures lead back to the Martiniere Group, the family corporation controlled by Gabe’s malevolent uncle, Philip Martiniere.

Meanwhile, Ruby and Gabe wrestle with what form their resumed relationship will take, as Ruby contemplates whether she wants to take on the role of a Martiniere wife. The revelation that Gabe’s father is not who they thought, and Philip’s attempt to force Ruby away from Gabe once again confirms her decision. But the need to rescue one of Brandon’s valued indentured informants turns celebration into catastrophe. Will Ruby and Gabe be able to recover from this disaster—or will Philip triumph yet again in his campaign to destroy Gabe?





About Joyce Reynolds-Ward

Joyce Reynolds-Ward is a speculative fiction writer who splits her time between Enterprise and Portland, Oregon. Her short stories have appeared in Children of a Different Sky, Steam. And Dragons, Tales from an Alien Campfire, River, How Beer Saved the World 1 and 2, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, and Trust and Treachery among others. Her books include two series: The Netwalk Sequence (Netwalk: Extended Edition, Netwalker Uprising, Netwalk’s Children, and Netwalking Space) and Goddess’s Honor (Beyond Honor, Pledges of Honor, Challenges of Honor, Choices of Honor, and Judgment of Honor) as well as current standalones Alien Savvy and Klone’s Stronghold. Joyce’s new series, The Martiniere Legacy (Inheritance, Ascendant, and Realization) will be released in Fall 2020. A related novella, The Heritage of Michael Martiniere, is due for release in February 2021, and a related short story, A Belated Christmas Honeymoon, will be out in December, 2020.

Joyce has edited two anthologies, Pulling Up Stakes and Whimsical Beasts. Besides writing, Joyce enjoys reading, quilting, horses, skiing, and outdoor activities.

Joyce spent ten years working as a special education teacher in a small rural middle school on Mt. Hood. That job opened the pathway for skiing and spending a few years as a teacher ski bum. One of the things she’s really good at is diagnostic assessment, which involves figuring out student learning problems through observation and testing (often at the same time). She spent two years teaching online PE and Health (yes, it’s doable, no, it doesn’t involve Skype) which was a fascinating experience in many ways. This experience provides the foundation one of Joyce’s recent books, Klone’s Stronghold, in which the central character needs to figure out how to teach her cryptid construct students. The ski bum teacher life also drove a good part of the background of Joyce’s characters in the Netwalk Sequence series.

Joyce also has a lot of horse experience. She currently owns one horse, a 20-year-old Quarter Horse mare, Miss Olena Chic (Mocha). She and Mocha recently won a show series championship in the Ranch Horse division, thereby fulfilling Joyce’s bucket list goal to win a belt buckle. But Joyce’s horse experience goes back to age nine, when her parents were given a yearling Shetland pony. Joyce acquired not only a lot of bruises from that pony but a decent riding seat. Unlike many other writers in the science fiction and fantasy genre, however, Joyce rides Western and not dressage, and aligns more with cowboys than knights. Somehow that shows up in her fantasy stories, especially the Goddess’s Honor series. Joyce’s horse background also plays a large role in her most recent work, The Martiniere Legacy series.

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