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Announcement: Taking Stock, by Barbara Elsborg

Taking StockQSFer Barbara Elsborg has a new MMF Sci Fi book out:

Her last days on Earth could be out of this world.

Zoe has accepted that a brain tumor will make this Christmas her last. She plans to spend it in the Caribbean, hoping some gorgeous guy will scoop her off the beach for a passionate affair, a one-night stand—anything just to be held and wanted.

When she discovers—horror of horrors—she has no unread books for the plane trip, she heads out for an early-hours run to good old 24/7 Supa-Mart.

Rowe’s and Kai’s lives are so regulated by their home planet’s equivalent of Big Brother they even have to hide their thoughts. Not easy when a secret attraction exists between them. When they’re chosen for an off-world reality show involving unsuspecting humans, they jump at this no-rules chance to open their hearts.

When the giant store’s exits clang shut, trapping Zoe and several others inside—including two impossibly sexy guys—Zoe figures she won’t need a beach for a no-strings romance. But it doesn’t take long for her to realize she could be facing the end of her short future sooner than she expected.

Warning: This book contains two hot aliens with “interesting anatomy”, one lucky human heroine, zero-gravity ménage sex, male-male tongue worship, and all the toys one super store can provide.


Kai inhaled the cool night air as he stared at the brightly illuminated green-and-white sign of the Supa-Mart store, then exhaled with a quiet sigh.

Rowe stopped pacing and glanced his way. “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” Kai forced a neutral look onto his face.

“It won’t be long now before they have everything in place. This is going to be fucking brilliant. Oh I love the way that word sounds. Fucking, fucking, fucking.”

Rowe sported a broad grin and almost bounced with excitement, an inappropriate demeanor for this time in the morning and inappropriate for anyone over the age of five. But then Rowe had never grown up and was well paid because of it.

“This language is crazy,” Rowe said. “Did you know that the Oxford English Dictionary has twenty volumes? There are over 170,000 words in current use, almost 50,000 obsolete ones, and a whole load of derivatives. Amazing. Yet the average English speaker only uses about two thousand. What a waste.”

The language he and Rowe usually spoke, Tantulan, had only five thousand words in its entire lexicon, honed down over the years and still falling rather than rising, though all words were in current use. Kai agreed with Rowe, English was fascinating. He liked the way it sounded, the inflections, the strangeness of some of the words, though he suspected Rowe’s interest had moved no further than the stats and the cursing.

“Aren’t you in the least bit excited?” Rowe asked.

“I can hardly contain myself.”

That comment earned him a scowl. “You’re going to have to act excited.”

“I thought we were supposed to exhibit normal behavior.”

“Yeah, well, I’m normally hyper.” Rowe grinned.

“And I’m not.” Not excited but apprehensive. Kai might look calm, but the churning in his stomach was a reminder that no one knew how this was going to turn out. Cyton’s brainchild could be a huge success or a disastrous failure. In less than an hour, he and Rowe could be dead. And if they didn’t die but things went wrong in a different way, Kai knew who’d get blamed. Not Cyton and probably not Rowe.

Rowe pointed to Kai’s face. “Your perd.”

Kai lifted his hand to his cheek and ran his fingers around the stainon his skin, physically and mentally compelling the perd to hide. Away now. Even his thoughts were in English until the autotrans was shut down back on Tantula.

Can I find a place and watch? his perd asked.

Yes, little one. He felt it slither over his eyebrows and settle behind his ear, hidden by his dark hair.

“I don’t understand why your perd does that,” Rowe said. “You think you ought to get it checked out?”


“It could be malfunctioning.”

“I’m sure it’s fine.”

Perds rarely appeared on the skin of any Tantulan, but from the day Kai learned the truth about what existed inside him, he’d felt a strange companionship with the creature. The perd was obliged to fulfill its role, so why should Kai deny it any pleasure it could find?

Buy Links

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Author Bio

Barbara Elsborg lives in West Yorkshire in the north of England. She always wanted to be a spy, but having confessed to everyone without them even resorting to torture, she decided it was not for her. Vulcanology scorched her feet. A morbid fear of sharks put paid to marine biology. So instead, she spent several years successfully selling cyanide. (Try saying that fast)

After dragging up two rotten, ungrateful children and frustrating her sexy, devoted, wonderful husband (who can now stop twisting her arm) she finally has time to conduct an affair with an electrifying plugged-in male, her laptop. Her books feature quirky heroines and bad boys, sometimes two bad boys for each quirky heroine, and more recently two bad boys all on their own. She hopes her stories are as much fun to read as they are to write.

You can find out more about Barbara and her books at, catch more of her scintillating wit at her blog at, and if you want to tell her how much you love her books, please, email her!

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