Synopsis

You know him, but you can't remember his name. He is the one that is always there, in the background, all but invisible to those roaming the hallways. What if he had a secret? What if it was a secret that even he didn't know?

Test Davis has always been a blur to those around him. He's a shadow like a million other kids--not smart enough for the academic team, not beast enough for the football team, not extroverted enough for the drama crowd. In all things Test is just...not, which is why no one ever notices him.

But what happens when someone does notice him--Nicole Paxton, a cheerleader, no less? What happens on the night that Test finds out there's nothing average about him and that a powerful gift has been hidden within, sectretly waiting to be set free and alter his life forever? The question is, will that power save him and those he loves or tear them apart?



Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thank you to all and I sincerely hope that you have the most enjoyable holiday season that can be had. Take care!

J.M.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Giving thanks...

As we near the end of 2010, many of us will look back on the year with mixed emotions. Our country is in an extreme state of distress; the economy isn't better, jobs are still slim, and the cost of everything continues to rise. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I think it is important that we, both as a country and individually, make an effort to discover the good that resides within us instead of listening to the media's constant reminders of our short-comings.

My thanks go to my family. I'm a lucky man, what more can I say?

Thanks to my friends in the great state of Kansas. I don't know what I'd do without you.

Thanks to my Kindle Board author friends. Someday I hope we can all get together and talk about at least one of us being on the NYTimes Best Seller list.

My thanks to all of the fans. Thank you for your support and I promise that I'll continue to provide you with the best stories that I can possibly write.

I'm sure that I'll add more to this list. For now I'm going to sign off. It is a Sunday morning, and I am going to make it a good day.

Take care all.

J.M.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Taking care to take care.

I end nearly every conversation, email, or forum post with the phrase "take care". I don't even think about it, it's just what I say. But I mean it. I never want to be the one thought of as the jerk who thinks he's better than anyone else; the one who thinks that he is somehow higher in rank than another person. When I say "take care", I want you to do just that. "Take care" in your interactions with your family. Those moments are precious. "Take care" when you go to work. Jobs are hard to come by and you can't afford to do something careless. "Take care" when you are driving, when you are walking, when you are jogging; life is short. Show respect, be kind, and be generous with aid if needed. Aid comes in many forms and doesn't have to be monetary. Just being there to grieve, to celebrate, to encourage, or to help someone is necessary. Yes, I said necessary. In my mind it's required.

Take care. ;)

J.M.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thanks to Steven Windwalker and Kindle Nation Daily, Failing Test is having its best day yet!

Mr. Windwalker said this about Failing Test on his enormously popular "Kindle Nation Daily" blog:

"At the risk of "creeping you out," to borrow from the parlance of my 12-year-old son, I have a confession to make. When his older sisters were teenagers, I used to actually read the latest issues of YM and Sassy when they came into the house, initially because I figured that part of my job as a Dad was to kind of be inside their heads enough to know what the challenges and dangers were. Then I branched out a bit and started reading the fiction that they were reading. Not so much the things they had to read for school, but the things they read on their own. One of the things that I discovered in the process, and it is something that I still believe, is that some of the best writing for adults is fiction that may actually be intended for teens. Some of the walls come down, the imagination is set free, and a sense of wonder is unleashed. Or, in the case of a dystopian novel like the one that Danny and I are reading together as a bedtime story just now, an essential sense of hope against an unutterably gloomy backdrop. I had a point here that relates back to the undiscovered, highly original 99-cent gem that is today's sponsoring novel, and here it is: you don't have to be a teenager to read, enjoy, and even recommend a book like J.M. Pierce's Failing Test. Don't read it because it only costs 99 cents or because 15 of its 18 reviewers gave it 5 stars. Read it because there are teenagers in your life and it may be a gateway not only to getting them reading but also to your ability to connect with them and learn something about their worlds. Just a thought. --S.W.)"

I am very happy to have been able to sponsor KND today and thank Mr. Windwalker for his kind words. As of this post (7:30 CST), Failing Test is currently sitting at a Kindle Store ranking of #484.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Duality is now in the hands of a select group of readers!

I have finished a preliminary edit for Duality and sent it off to seven beta readers. So far it is on schedule for publishing the first week in November. Here is a pic of the cover.

Stay tuned for updates!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

DUALITY = FIRST DRAFT COMPLETE

I finished the first draft of Duality last night. I'm shooting for having it ready for print the first week in November.
Now, I know; you're saying "but J.M., this book isn't related to Failing Test. Where is the sequel you promised?" Rest assured, it is coming. My muse kicked me off of "A Shadow's Light" a little over a month ago to write Duality. To put a smile on your face, I'll tell you that ASL is about 70% complete and I hope to have it finished in time for Christmas. Be patient with me! Have a great one and take care!

J.M.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

THE REALITY OF BEING AN INDIE AUTHOR

Happy weekend everyone!

Today's post is about what it means to be an indie author, both the good and the bad. Let's start with the good, shall we?

1. You get to be the first one to read every great new book that you write! (Okay, that's a little tongue in cheek so let's get a little more real.)

2. We have a wonderous outlet that provides the opportunity to go to different worlds and times at any moment we chose, and when the writing session is good, our hearts pound with the emotions of our characters. It is a very cathartic thing.

3. We get to provide others with an escape and the opportunity to go to different worlds and times. If our writing was good, their hearts pound with the emotions of our characters.

4. The sense of accomplishment upon finishing a novel is huge. While there are always the worries (to be discussed below) the enormity of what was just completed  is fully gratifying.

5. As an indie, we have full control over our content, covers, sales channels...everything!

6. We belong to an incredible community of fellow authors that are as diverse as the world is large. No matter the situation, there is someone there to show support and give praise for your success and sympathy for a failure.

Okay, now the bad.

1. Writing a novel takes a lot of time and energy, sometimes taking away time that needs to be spent with others and doing other things. We have to strike a careful balance and take care not to lose sight of why we may have started writing in the first place, which for some, is to take care of our family.

2. Negative reviews. This is a hard thing for any author to swallow. EVERYONE will get one. Personally, when I began writing, I never thought about this. I really wanted to finish my book and put it out there for everyone to enjoy. It not once occured to me that not only would someone not like it, but they would post a review on it for the world to see! We learn to grow thick skins quickly. I know I did.

3. People making assumptions. This is a tough one for me as of late. I am a fantasy fiction author. I tell stories about people, places, and things. I do not write autobiographical fantasy!!!!!!! People taking an authors work as an indication of who that author is and what their intentions in life are have no concept of a true reality. Do any of my books get inspiration from my life? Of course. Are any of my books about me? Nope, though it would be awesome to have Test's abilities! Make sure that you check your assumptions. Remember the saying...

4. Promoting yourself and your work. This is a neverending and exhausting part of the job. As stated earlier, we indies are in charge of everything. That means that not only did we get to write the book, but now we have to market it! Yeah!!!!! Honestly, it's not a horrible thing. You just have to be careful not to fall into the same pitfall of time spent on the computer. Marketing can easily chew up the writing time that chews up the family time. It's a challenge.

5. One of the worst things, in my opinion, is the fact that there are a lot of people that won't even give your work a chance simply because you are not traditionally published. With the price of e-books, I've been able to buy a bunch of books, all of them indie, and find some great new authors out there!

Well that's about all I have for now. This was very spontaneous so if any of my author friends have anything to add, please do so! Take care everyone and I hope that you have a fantastic weekend!

Sincerely,
J.M.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Failing Test featured on Kippoe Blogspot!

A nice interview and feature on Kipp Poe's blog. Check out his many reviews and find your next read!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Happy weekend!

Well, it has been a very nice week. Failing Test has been featured on several blogs and received a couple of four star reviews. First, Imogen Rose read and reviewed FT and then posted an interview with me on Dawn Judd's Breakout Book Review. Here is the link:
http://breakoutbooks.blogspot.com/2010/08/failing-test-by-jm-pierce.html

Also, I was invited to be a guest "reader" on an Amazon Kindle Forum called "The Retreat", yesterday and posted the first couple pages of Chapter 12 from FT, in which my favorite character, Clifford Johnston, is introduced. You can check it out here:
http://www.amazon.com/tag/kindle/forum/ref=cm_cd_pg_pg14?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx1D7SY3BVSESG&cdPage=14&cdSort=oldest&cdThread=Tx2K2T0PIT7Y6EQ

I will also be attending a book signing for an area high school in Wichita, Ks in the next couple of months. The date hasn't been made firm yet, but I will post more info as it is made available to me. Here is the link:
http://fcclabookfest.blogspot.com/


Enough talking about myself, a fellow indie author looks to be poised to make it into the big show! Amanda Hocking, author of the "My Blood Approves" series as well as "Switched", has been contacted by a very prominent agent and (in my opinion) is only a short drive away from stardom! Congratulations Amanda. We are all very proud of you!!!! You can check out her authors page on Amazon here:
http://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Hocking/e/B003H4L762/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1283009999&sr=1-2-ent


This is a dynamic and fantastic time to be an Indie Author. "Duality" is coming along quickly and I'm hoping to have it published by the end of October 2010 and then in December, I'm hoping to have the sequel to FT (A Shadow's Light) published as well.

I am very grateful to all who have shown FT and myself such love and support. Best wishes to you all and take care!

J.M.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A circular, and in my opinion, pointless debate.

I've been gone for a few days working on my newest book, but I will admit that I've lurked an Indie Author forum here and there while at my day job. I've watched several threads grow concerning being traditionally published vs. independent and have tried to keep up with. Springing from that discussion was another regarding Indie Authors reviewing one another's work.


To be honest, I don't much care what anyone else says about Indie/Self Published authors. Do I take offense to it? No, not really. The thing that concerns me more is the tendency for everyone to be so critical of everything. It's like we are all being expected to charge into battle and see how many pieces of cow manure we can find on the battlefield. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying everybody hug and sing campfire songs, but really, why did you start writing? Was it to prove that you were better than someone else? For some of you maybe. I personally am tired of hearing how bad Dan Brown's writing sucks or Stephenie Meyer's writing is garbage. It starts to sound like a bunch of high school teens hating on the prom queen simply because she won and you didn't. Now, you may honestly hate their writing, but I just don't get why people have to wave a flag saying "Yep, it sucked!" unless they are trying to be a part of an elitist clique.

As far as reviewing indie authors, I have reviewed several. I know Amanda Hocking (My Blood Approves series) just started a thread about reviews and I agree with her 100% in that I have one heck of a time writing them! I have done it for two indies and I will surely do it again. My reviews aren't the great ten paragraph rants on the literary greatness, or the lack thereof, that a lot of people seem to require in order for it to be "helpful". To be honest, I hate when the conversation of reviews comes up because there are so many review snobs out there that it makes getting one less fun. "Don't pay attention if they're in the same state, don't pay attention if it's another indie author, don't pay attention unless it's written without any emotion and reads like a term paper", it just gets old. It is hard enough for some of us to have the slightest level of self esteem and really, all we want to do is write a book. After the book is written then maybe, just maybe, someone will read it that will enjoy it.

I guess to close my rant, I'll say that I just wish people could do their thing, whatever that thing is, without being judged at every turn. I have absolutely no problem with people posting bad reviews as long as they are genuine and constructive, but I think dismissing a good review or questioning its motives simply because it was written by another Indie is selling a lot of people's work, as well as the integrity and character of our fellow authors, short.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Failing Test is being featured on several blogs and websites this coming week!

Failing Test is being featured on the following blogs and websites!

http://fictionfordessert.blogspot.com/

http://oescienne.com/blog/
 
http://www.indieurbanfantasy.com/

http://indiebooksblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/simple-is-better.html/

http://lisadgibson.blogspot.com/
 
I want to give a big thanks to the ladies and gentlemen who have given FT this opportunity and to Lisa Gibson for the nice review on her blog. Also a big thank you to all of the readers and fans of Failing Test. I am very grateful.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rules and restraints on how fantastic a fantasy can be?

Greetings everyone! Today I want to talk about the habit that some have to put a lid on how fantastic a fantasy can or should be?

To me this in direct conflict with the definition of fantasy. The Wikipedia online dictionary defines the term fantasy as "a situation imagined by an individual or group that has no basis in reality but expresses certain desires or aims on the part of its creator. Fantasies typically involve situations which are impossible (such as the existence of magic powers) or highly unlikely."

I'm confused in how one can read a fantasy and say "this is too much" or "that could never happen". This would be like going water skiing and getting upset because you got wet. It makes no sense to me.

I can remember when the last Indiana Jones came out. My wife and I were sitting in the theatre, very much enjoying the movie for keeping with the tone of the first three. Then the great waterfall scene comes where Indiana and his group go over the towering falls and come out unscathed! From behind me, I hear a man's voice say, "Aw come on! They'd be dead!" I turned and gave him a funny look and shook my head. Here he is, paying his hard earned money to watch an Indiana Jones flick and all he can do the entire movie is cut it down for being exactly what Indiana Jones has been for over two decades? What, you mean in the first three Indiana Jones movies that you saw everything was totally believable and possible? Really?

Superman has a TON of different powers. He can fly, use x-ray vision, run insanely fast, jump tall buildings in a single bound, is super strong, can shoot laser beams out of his eyes, bounce bullets off of his chest, and freeze super villains with his super cold breath. Who in the world would want to read something so over the top and impossible? How did he get these powers? Sure it's because of the color of our sun, but how in the world are all of these super powers possible? What happens inside of him that makes it physically possible? It's kind of like how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie roll tootsie pop..."the world may never know!"

Batman is nothing more than a human with deep pockets and a desire to right wrongs that are in the world. Using nothing more than a suit made of super durable material and an array of gadgets, he is able to stop any adversary. He can fall from the tops of buildings, have trees fall on him, get caught in explosions, and even fight true superheroes with actual super powers and win! Who in the world would want to read something so far fetched and, dare I say it...fantastic?

Maybe I'm different than the rest of the fantasy loving world? Maybe I can get lost in someone's imagination easier and dream of the impossible being possible? For me, there are no rules or restraints on how fantastic a fantasy is allowed to be. In fact, I say the more fantastic the better. If I wanted the real world I'd watch the news.

Take care all!
J.M.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Another five star review on Amazon!

I can't tell you how good this makes an author feel!
See all of the "Failing Test" Amazon reviews here!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Book siging at Salina Public Library a success!

Thanks to all who came to the signing at the Salina Public Library! It was a great time and some new people were introduced to the world of "Failing Test". Take care to all!

J.M.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Promo Video for "Failing Test"


Music by Mushroomhead "Simple Survival"