#BlogTour #GuestPost Dying for Space (The Sunblinded Trilogy#2) By S.J. Higbee

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This is my stop during the blog tour for Dying for Space by S.J. Higbee. This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 14 till 31 December. See the tour schedule here.

Dying for SpaceDying for Space (The Sunblinded Trilogy#2)
By S.J. Higbee
Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: 14 December 2017



Cadet Officer Elizabeth Wright just wants to make her father proud, while the mercenary warlord is looking for her to replace his dead family…

I finally get the opportunity to become a serving officer and fulfil my childhood dream, as well as get to know my biological father, General Norman. And when I first clap eyes on Restormel, the HQ of my father’s space mercenary outfit, it’s the most beautiful building I’ve ever seen.

But appearances can be deceptive. There are dark secrets hidden in the twisting corridors and blood-soaked cells beneath the training grounds and banqueting rooms. Secrets that seep out. Secrets that demand fresh victims, because whatever else happens, they can’t be allowed to see the light of day…


You can find Dying for Space on Goodreads

You can buy Dying for Space here on Amazon






A beautiful fair-skinned, green-eyed woman was pacing up and down the sumptuous hallway. “Good evening, my dear. I’m Fina Giftstar—” Her fine eyes widened as she took in my appearance.

“Good evening, Miss Giftstar. Elizabeth N-Norman at your service.” I stepped out of the lift, stifling my urge to salute. I knew about Fina, of course. Everyone at Restormel did. Norman’s long-term companion, she acted as official hostess for all his social occasions now Mrs Norman was dead, although she’d been around a deal longer than that.

She was still staring at me as if I’d sprouted horns and a tail.

As I smoothed the heavy folds bagging across my stomach, she flinched. Doubt began squirming in my gut. “Is… it alright?”

Her smile was as tight as her grip on my arm. “Tell you what, Elizabeth, let’s visit the Ladies Room, shall we?”

It was a struggle to keep my balance in those instruments of torture as she hustled me along thickly carpeted corridors, jabbing the door open and pushing me inside.

“Stay here!  I’ll be back.” She rushed out.

I perched on the upholstered bench seat, trying to avoid my reflection in the mirrors. It was now 20.10 hrs and Norman had views on lateness. Unable to pace due to my blistered feet, I continued to fidget for a very long ten minutes.

Until I heard Norman’s voice boom through the closed door. “If this is some female nonsense, Fina, you’ll be wishing that—”

“Don’t. Go there.” Miss Giftstar sounded equally aggravated. “You should be thanking me on your knees for not bringing her to your fancy banquet looking like some station stray in fancy dress.”

“You exaggerate, woman! She’s a pretty girl. It’s a beautiful gown. How bad could it be?”

“Oh, I agree. She’s the potential to be a real beauty. Which is why it’s a crime to make her look so ridiculous—”

Holed heavens – has she got a death wish?

As if she heard my thoughts, she caught herself. “Doesn’t matter how it happened, love. What we need is to fix it. Fast.”

“Still reckon you’re making a supernova out of a sunspot,” Norman’s voice magnified abruptly as he barrelled through the door.

I shot to my feet, wincing at the stabbing spots of agony where the shoes pinched. “Hallo, Father.”

Miss Giftstar had followed him into the room, her expression grimly satisfied. “See?”

His brows knotted into a frown. “How’s she blixed it up, then? This dress – it was a triumph. It looked magnificent on...”

Doubtless he’d seen some big-bosomed beauty wiggling her curvy attributes along a virtual catwalk and assumed it would suit me. I gritted my teeth and stood to attention, wishing I was back in the barracks, cleaning my kit. He’ll shed me faster than a tachy-blink anyhow if I can’t pass muster with his precious guests.

Meantime Miss Giftstar was holding Norman’s arm and gabbling, “The colour’s all wrong, for starters. Washes her out. And those frills and pleats are designed to flatter a-a fuller figure. All they do is emphasise that she is slightly built. And as for the make-up, don’t worry. I can fix—”

Norman, scowling at me, cut across her, “Dreg it, Elizabeth! Stop looking like you’re about to be shot.”

Convinced I was about to be flushed away, I’d had enough. “Oh, yes please. Shoot me. Anything – hot pincers included – has got to be more fun than dragging around in something that makes me look like something spat up from a black hole.” I glared at him with hands on hips. Before the hard reality of my situation hit me like a rock on the head. This is it. He’ll tell me to pack. And I’ve nowhere to go.

Norman threw back his head, roaring with laughter, before finally wheezing, “Ah, there’s your Mum’s temper.”

Behind his back, Miss Giftstar winked and gave me the ‘OK’ handsig.

Relief rolling through me, I was busy trying not to buckle at the knees. Norman wasn’t about to kick me out, after all. And Miss Giftstar was on my side. She’s only saying those hurtful things about my appearance because she wants me looking my best. Doesn’t she?

She glided across the room to me, linking her arm through mine. “Give us another half hour, William. I’ll make your girl a fairy princess. There’s… other dresses I’ve put by,” she said softly as they exchanged an odd, suffering look.

What’s going on? There’s something here I’m missing. Besides, I’d long since grown out’ve any notion I’d be suitable princess material. As if to prove it, I tripped over the wretched hem, while hobbling alongside Fina.

“And why are you staggering about like a newbie in a minefield?” snapped Norman

“The shoes are too small.” I levered them off my feet with a wince.

He jammed a cigar in his mouth, looking sour enough to curdle vinegar. “Too skinny with big feet...”

I held my breath, waiting for his flickoff.

“...how come she’s so easy on the eye in those combat fatigues, then?”

I let the breath go. So help me, when I’m finally in charge of my life, I’ll make people very sorry if they go on talking about me as if I was a piece of furniture.

Fina Giftstar’s giggle took ten years off her. “You’re also easy on the eye, love. But you wouldn’t look your desirable best in an all-in-one leather skinsuit.”

I kept my face blank, busy not imagining Norman slinking around in the latest trendedge outfit favoured by fashmad young officers when off-duty.

Norman’s grunt wasn’t amused. “Careful where you aim that humour, woman. This evening is important. Make a fool of me and you’ll be sorry.”

She drew herself up. “No need to threaten me, William. If I’d wanted this evening to head hellwards, all I had to do was keep quiet.”

I blinked. She’d been beautiful in a restrained well-bred way, but temper ignited her looks making her glow and now I understood why Norman was so attracted to her.

“Come on, my dear.” Tightening her grip on my arm, Fina whisked by him and out into the hallway. We sped down the corridor at a quick march, before wheeling into her bedroom, past the guards outside her door, who opened her door as we approached.

My jaw dropped at the sheer size of the room, furnished in shades of lilac. It seemed to stretch on forever, an effect amplified by the mirrored walls. Fina Giftstar darted towards a row of doors lining the long wall, flinging them open and muttering under her breath. Grabbing an armful of dresses, she turned back to me. “Flaming Mercury, girl! You know what he’s like when things don’t go according to plan. Get yourself out of that wretched rag yesterday!”

I fumbled with the fastenings, wishing the thing had been fitted with easi-snug clips.

“Hurry up! We’ll still be here come Christmas.” She started yanking at the back of the dress, “Thought all you English girlies learnt how to turn yourselves into eye candy at your Mums’ knees.”

Not if Mum was an ex-merc officer, pregnant with the General’s bastard and married off to the nearest handy bloke.

I gratefully stepped out of the dress as it pooled in a purple heap on the pastel carpet. Staring at my scrawniness with a slight frown, she prowled around me, kicking Norman’s magnificent garment out of her way like it was a used nosewipe. She grabbed a pale pink dress from the frothy, multi-coloured bundle on the bed and holding it up against me, she nodded.

I wasn’t convinced. It was plain, with a simple scooped neck and straight, three-quarter length sleeves.

“Come on. We’ve a lot to do and not much time.” However, she was far gentler as she slipped the dressed over my head and clipped the easi-snug fittings together.

The dress shrank – and then stopped. Still too big.

I stared at my reflection in horror. “Mother Earth above, he’ll be so angry.”

Miss Giftstar hadn’t finished. “Turn around – there. That’s it... No, stand still, why don’t you?” She was fiddling with-

“That’s Tuf-Tape!” Mum used the stuff as a universal fix-it around the house when the Cap was away. Or used to. Don’t know what she does, now. Haven’t heard from any of them since... Wonder how the boys are? I stamped on that thought. Hard. I had other worries to contend with. For instance, Miss Giftstar, here, was taping me into this dress.




Five Reasons Why I Love Science Fiction

Anyone who has visited my blog will know that I love reading. While I also love fantasy and read a fair amount of it, my favourite genre of all is science fiction and here’s why:-

  • I love the unpredictability of opening a book and not know exactly what will be ahead of me. Science fiction can range from a gritted fight for survival (Dark Eden by Chris Beckett and Jodi Taylor’s amazing time travelling series The Chronicles of St Mary’s) to a chirpy, often humorous read for children (Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall and Frozen in Time by Ali Sparkes). It’s why I’m generally very laidback about crashing midway into a series – I enjoy working out the new rules of a new, unknown world...


  • Leading on from the previous point – along with never quite knowing exactly what is coming up, I love visiting landscapes and future worlds that are as far away from my everyday life as possible. It isn’t that I hate my life – quite the opposite – but it is a very busy, rather responsible life with lots of different calls on my time and energy. So reading about an amazing alien like Yalda in Greg Egan’s Orthogonal series or what happens when a boy grows up physically damaged in a warrior culture as in the Miles Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold is an absolute blast. I find it refreshing to read murder mysteries with a future twist, like Lock In by John Scalzi and the remarkable After Atlas by Emma Newman.


  • It is a genre where future ideas and themes are often discussed in amongst the adventure. Indeed, a raft of inventions owe their origins to science fiction authors who envisioned their creation. US submarine inventor Simon Lake became obsessed with making a working model after reading about the exploits of Jules Verne’s version in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, while the first mechanical arm used in the nuclear industry was called a waldo in honour of the character Robert Heinlein wrote about who needed an artificial arm in one of his short stories. And there are dozens of other examples…


  • I firmly believe that if humanity is to survive longterm, we need to use our ingenuity and technology to spread out beyond this planet. Apart from anything else, we are hardwired to roam – and we are fast running out of space and resources on Earth. So unless we are fated to cull ourselves by embarking on planetwide warfare over water and land – we need to overcome the obstacles to travelling and living in space in order to find new worlds to settle. Science fiction can assist in envisioning the scope of those issues. Similarly, if we are to survive beyond the next couple of generations in the face of widespread climate change, science fiction can not only provide timely warnings – but highlight possible solutions.


  • There is just something about a well-written science fiction tale that leaves a tingle factor no other genre reaches!

What about you – what is your go-to genre and why?

First book in the series:
Running Out of Space
Elizabeth Wright has yearned to serve on the space merchant ship Shooting Star for as long as she can remember – until one rash act changes everything…

You can buy Running Out of Space on Amazon


SJ HigbeeAbout the Author:
Born the same year as the Russians launched Sputnik, I confidently expected that by the time I reached adulthood, the human race would have a pioneer colony on the Moon and be heading off towards Mars. So I was at a loss to know what to do once I realised the Final Frontier wasn’t an option and rather lost my head - I tried a lot of jobs I didn’t like and married a totally unsuitable man.

Now I've finally come to terms with the fact that I’ll never leave Earth, I have a lovely time writing science fiction and fantasy novels while teaching Creative Writing at Northbrook College in Worthing. I’ve had a number of short stories, articles and poems published – the most recent being my story ‘Miranda’s Tempest’ which appeared last year in Fox Spirit’s anthology Eve of War. I recently signed a publishing contract with Grimbold Publishing for my science fiction novel Netted, which is due to be released in 2019.

I live in Littlehampton on the English south coast with a wonderful husband and a ridiculous number of books. I can be found online chatting about books at my book review blog https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/ and you’re very welcome to pop onto my website www.sjhigbee.com and my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/sjhigbeeauthor/.

You can find and contact S.J. Higbee here:
- Website
- Blog
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads





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