Mrs. Dalloway’s Event and Cut Sex-Ed Scene from VORTEX

Happy Friday!

I just wanted to announce here that I’ll be moderating a panel on March 24th at Mrs. Dalloway’s in Berkeley! The featured authors will be Susan Adrian, author of the excellent TUNNEL VISION (I blurbed it!), Whitney Miller, author of THE VIOLET HOUR and THE CRIMSON GATE, and Stacey Lee, author of UNDER A PAINTED SKY. More information here! Come see us!

That said, I was going through some files on my computer yesterday and found a bunch of cut scenes from VORTEX and CATALYST. Here, I thought I’d share something for your reading pleasure– a cut scene from VORTEX between Tom and Blackburn.

The context: Heather already knows what Tom can do. She’s trying to manipulate him. In this version, Yuri is not yet stricken. They have a mock duel that ends awkwardly.

Followed by this:

Tom just goggled at her. He’d seen them. He’d just seen…

“Sir,” Heather said, straightening suddenly.

Tom gave a start, realizing Blackburn was in there, having walked up unnoticed during their duel.

“I need someone smaller than me to climb into a repair shaft,” Blackburn said.

Heather flushed a bit. So did Tom, because every inch of him was painfully aware of the boobs he’d just seen. The glorious, wonderful pair of boobs.

“I was going to order Raines, but now, Akron, I think you can do it. Instructions are in your processor.” Blackburn tapped at his forearm keyboard.

“But sir!” Heather objected. “What if there’s a Russo-Chinese attack and I’m needed?”

“I’ll take the risk.”

“General Marsh won’t like it,” she threatened.

Blackburn’s smile was dangerous. “You’re eighteen, Ms. Akron. Raines is fifteen. I think, rather than bother General Marsh over this minor request, you’ll go and do what I’m asking you to do.”

Heather’s face grew glacially cold. She nodded stiffly, then stalked past him.

Blackburn turned to regard him, then said, “Come with me.”

Tom didn’t move. “Why? Sir?”

“Just follow me.”

Minutes later, they settled across from each other in Blackburn’s office. Tom sat there, wondering what he’d done wrong. Blackburn was tapping his fingers on his desk, and seemed to be looking anywhere but at him.

“Mr. Raines,” he said, “we’ve had our differences.”

“That’s what you call trying to rip my mind apart? Having our differences?”

“Exactly,” Blackburn said flatly. “But the fact remains, I’ve seen enough memories of your childhood to know a few things about your upbringing, and I just walked in on… that. I have to ask you an awkward question now.”

“No, you really don’t.”

“The Spire is a highly politically charged environment,” Blackburn said, his voice tense. “Congressmen debate your curriculum on the House floor. In short: there’s no sex ed here. Did your father or any concerned adult ever educate you about women?”

Tom felt heat flood his face. “I didn’t do that. Her shirt just popped open and out they came. It was like a force of nature. Two forces of nature. And… and that means I don’t need to hear it.” He felt like he was in anguish, he was so desperate for this conversation to end. “I know all about the girl stuff, okay? I’ve got the internet.”

Blackburn made a pained face. He pinched the bridge of his nose. “I was afraid you’d say that. Listen, if you don’t want to hear it from me, you can hear it from Ms. Ossare. Want me to call her? “

Tom sat there, mortified. He couldn’t speak.

“I’ll send you down to her–”

“No!” God, that would be awkward, a woman telling him about… about all that stuff. “Isn’t there a pamphlet or something?”

“Shut up, Raines. This will be quick. Let’s start with some basic human biology. Human beings have cycles, you see, but the female cycle is the one most relevant to our discussion…”

* * *

It was the most horrifying twenty minutes of Tom’s life. He sat there, frozen in place, a hostage, waiting for Blackburn to conclude. At least he seemed as awkward with this as Tom felt.

“And that,” Blackburn concluded, “Is how a fun night out becomes a lifetime of child support and drug-resistant syphilis.”

Tips for Writers and an Intro to CATALYST

I made a pair of videos for Hot Key Books. One includes my tips for writers, the other an introduction to CATALYST!

CATALYST Release Day!

INSIGNIA Book Three: CATALYST comes out today! It’s been a wonderful journey to share with you guys and today it comes to a close. Check my Galaxy Book Post for a giveaway!

To read a series recap and a character guide, check out Epic Reads!



Halloween Book Trail: THE GALAXY

HBT14---The-Galaxy (1) Welcome to the fourth stop of The Galaxy!

This is the first ever Halloween Book Trail, featuring your favorite YA & MG authors! This trail is based on the YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes presented by the Apocalypsies. In THIS trail, you’ll find all kinds of posts, and discover new authors and their work.

How do you play? Every post contains information that will lead to killer prizes! Books, swag, skype sessions, locks of hair (jk jk)! At the end of each blog you’ll find a link that will take you to the next stop in the trail. By the end, you’ll find a quiz. Now you’ll be happy you read all the posts! Submit your entry to the quiz for a chance to win a grand prize! Accuracy matters here, so take your time, or go back and refresh your memory! One quiz entry per trail.



About me:P7-1b145

As a kid, S. J. Kincaid wanted to be an astronaut, but she decided to become afull-time writer after spending a year studying in Edinburgh and living next to a haunted graveyard. However, after writing many novels and having had no sucess in finding a publisher for any of them, S. J. decided she would write one more, then give up for good. That last book turned out to be INSIGNIA. VORTEX came out to a Kirkus starred review last summer, and CATALYST comes out tomorrow!

Q & A:

Insignia Cover by SJ kincaid

What scares the pants out of you?
Bears! They terrify me. They could just kill you with a swipe of their paws, and so many people think they’re cute.

Do you legit believe in ghosts and things that bump in the night? (We won’t think you’re cray)
I would like to believe in ghosts, at least. I’m always excited to go on ghost tours and to haunted places and the like, yet I’ve never seen a ghost. Never seen a UFO, either. Both make me sad.

Vortex by SJ Kincaid Cover

What magical/supernatural creature do you secretly want to be?
I loved The Last Unicorn and The Little Mermaid as a kid, so I’d probably choose one of those. Actually, no– I’d be a unicorn. Mermaids have to live in the ocean with sharks and that would just not please me.

What is thCATALYST covere worst prank you’ve ever pulled? (And if you won’t fess up, what is the best prank your “friend of a friend” has pulled?
I suggested to my friend that we convince her Scottish husband that Americans ate cookies with orange frosting and fish bits in them called ‘Orange Fischers’. We made them, but instead of orange frosting, we had chocolate frosting with a mandarin orange slice on top. Instead of fish bits, they were sardines. Her boyfriend did try them. He spat it out immediately. Later he married my friend, so there’s a happy ending.

Please cleopatrashare a photo of your favorite Halloween costume you’ve worn.
I was Cleopatra! That was one of the few times I went to any effort with a costume, and I liked doing it enough that I then wore another Cleopatra outfit a second year in a row in a different location. However, Facebook revealed my devious ways to people who’d known me in both locations, so I dared not try Cleopatra a third year in a row.

Thank you so much for reading!

For the next stop on the trail, visit

And remember: INSIGNIA book three: CATALYST comes out tomorrow, October 28th!