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Fabulist and Fantastical Worlds: A Short Story Collection is a Binge-Worthy Festival pick #fantasy

Title:Fabulist and Fantastical Worlds: A Short Story Collection

Author: Joyce Reynolds-Ward

Genre: Fantasy

Book Blurb:


  • a ski bum on vacation meets a different type of ski instructor

  • the stars turn right for a former revolutionary

  • a teacher learns the truth about odd events happening in her rural community

  • Ghosts haunt a high-level reining horse competition

  • aliens incorporate precognitive greeting cards as part of their invasion force

  • not all writer’s block comes from inside the writer

and more! Stories of whimsy, joy and sorrow, victories and losses, and life-changing transformations, all in one volume!


“Jesus taught me how to ski,” the kid in the bright orange ski pants said to the middle-aged lady next to me on the chairlift.

She barked a sharp but friendly laugh. “You mean Haysus, don’t you? Didn’t know they had a Latino ski instructor up here.” She waved a hand toward the day lodge, the bright lights for night skiing casting shadows on the run below us.

“No bullshit,” the kid insisted, pushing his goggles up onto his camouflage ski helmet. “Jesus. No Latino guy, the real thing. As in Jesus the Christ, the Son of God.”

“Come on,” the lady bantered. “You can’t convince me of that chunk of blarney, Thomas.”

“No, really, Mrs. K. Jesus’s a ski instructor up here. How else did I learn to ski so well in two seasons?” Thomas scratched the scraggly soul patch on his chin.

“You’re a natural athlete, kiddo,” Mrs. K said, shaking her head. “Even if you are full of BS.”

“For real, Mrs. K!”

“Tell me another one, Thomas. I might just believe that.”

We approached the ramp. Mrs. K put up the bar, sliding off easily with Thomas and turning left while I turned right. I kept an eye on the kid as they headed down the run ahead of me. Both skied with the lithe grace of long-term skiers who could pick up the flow of the slope and the fall line with the greatest of ease. I stopped in front of twin scrawny, snow-encrusted Doug fir trees, the front one with the top freshly snapped out of it in the last winter storm, to watch Thomas and Mrs. K as they approached the terrain park.

Mrs. K avoided the first rail but stopped downslope from it. The kid did a 180 and started skiing switch, gliding backward down the black diamond slope without a pause, glancing back to keep track of the rail. He rode the rail gracefully, then dismounted with another 180 and raced after Mrs. K.

I shook my head and prepared to follow them down the easier slope that angled off next to the terrain park. Jesus the ski instructor. Heard a lot from kids, but that? Mountain kids learned to ski quickly, especially if they had any athletic talent.

The faint scrape of metal edge on snow followed by a surprised warning yelp startled me. I looked up and saw a big burly man careening in my direction, skis fixed in a snowplow wedge, sliding downhill far too fast for an easy stop. Before I could move away from the tree, he hit me hard, sending me flying onto the sharp points of the broken tree. My head slammed into its twin, and I had enough time to regret not wearing a helmet before I blacked out.


It hurt when I woke up, lying on the snow next to the trees. The guy bending over me wore a red jacket—instructor jacket or ski patrol, I wasn’t sure which. Ice was forming on his short reddish-brown hair and his beard from the light snowfall.

“Are you all right?” he asked, and I realized I’d heard him repeating that question for several moments before I was actually conscious enough to register what he was saying. The night ski lighting seemed to create a halo around his head. “Are you all right?” he repeated.

“I hurt,” I said. “Hit my head on that tree and landed on those splinters.” I waved a hand somewhere toward where I thought the tree might be. Somehow, it didn’t hurt as bad to move as I thought it might.

He rested a hand on my head, and it seemed to feel better.

“He gonna be okay?” That was a harsher voice, rather like the panicked yell from the guy who’d clobbered me.

“You got away with it, Pete. This time,” the red jacket guy said.

Buy Links:

What’s the first binge-worthy book you read and why was it a must-read?

Little House on the Prairie was my very first binge-worthy book. I was in second grade and was fascinated by Laura’s story.

What makes your featured book a binge-worthy read?

Fabulist and Fantastical Worlds has a little bit of everything for the fantasy reader! Some humor, some mild horror, a touch of Zenna Henderson’s teacher tales, even a sprite or two. You can dip into this book for a taste of a story, then keep coming back for more samples!

Giveaway –

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon gift card

Open internationally.

Runs August 1 – 31, 2023.

Drawing will be held on September 1, 2023.

Author Biography:

Joyce Reynolds-Ward has been called "the best writer I've never heard of" by one reviewer. Her work includes themes of high-stakes family and political conflict, digital sentience, personal agency and control, realistic strong women, and (whenever possible) horses, frequently in Pacific Northwest settings. She enjoys mixing up science fiction and fantasy with western themes and stories, as well as romance.

Joyce is a Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off Semifinalist, a Writers of the Future SemiFinalist, and an Anthology Builder Finalist. She is the Secretary of the Northwest Independent Writers Association, a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association, and a member of Soroptimists International.

Social Media Links:


Twitter: @JoyceReynoldsW1 on Twitter

Counter Social: joycereynoldsward

Dreamwidth: jreynoldsward

Tumblr: jreynoldsward


Aug 26, 2023

My most binge worthy author right now is Erin R. Flynn.


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Aug 15, 2023

Thank you, Joyce, for sharing your new release in our Binge-Worthy Book Festival!

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