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Margaret L. Carter's Crossing the Border

 Title: Crossing the Border
 Author: Margaret L. Carter
 Genre: paranormal romance / SF / Horror
 Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
 Cost: $4.99; 67 pages (eBook format)
 ISBN: 9781419993879
 Available at: Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers
 Rating: 5 Balloons

Before his death, Paula’s husband, Kyle, warned her not to publish his latest horror novel. Worse, an obsessive fan keeps hounding her with excerpts hinting at a gate to an alternate world, and insisting that she is in danger. When Paula and Doug investigate the labyrinth at the heart of the story, they cross over into a monstrous dimension. The experience, though horrifying, triggers their long-suppressed mutual attraction. Is it lust or love?
Margaret Carter has done an awesome job with Crossing the Border. I’ve got a weakness for tales about horrific alien worlds, but Crossing the Border will appeal to readers of paranormal romance and fantasy, too.
Carter has a knack for dialogue and descriptions that make the characters and scenes come alive. Her characters have to be tough to solve their problems, and this makes for a great page-turner. Our protag Paula is dealing with major demons: grief over the death of her husband, persistent emails and calls from an obsessive fan, the labyrinth which opens to an alien universe, and worse, the creatures that inhabit this universe when she finally crosses the border. No friendly extraterrestrials here; just monstrous blobs, insects, and starfish that will gladly have you for dinner. Although she’s attracted to Doug, a family friend and her late husband’s agent, early on in the story, she struggles with feelings about her late husband. Carter portrays her behavior in a way that readers can accept.
Carter makes great use of all the senses. The labyrinth consists of slabs of granite forming a path that doubles on itself in a spiral pattern to the center. At the center, nothing grows. In the alternate world, two crimson moons have slashes that open and become eyes that watch the humans, Paula and Doug, when they visit. Carter’s thorough description of these moons and the creatures spoke of a perilous world. I knew something terrible was going to happen there and began to wonder if Paula could get out alive. To find out more about this world and what becomes of Paula and Doug, read the book. It will make a welcome addition to your collection.

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