Thirty Below
Carrie Ritter runs away to the wilds of Alaska with Bart McFee, a manly yet gentle fugitive from society who she has met through internet dating. Intent upon escaping her repetitive life in southern California where she has experienced one too many failed relationships, Carrie is shocked when she arrives at a tiny, wood-heated cabin with an outhouse set a daunting distance away amid a waist-high October snowfall. Forced to deal with sled dogs, wolves, sub-zero temperatures, blizzards, cabin fever and an eccentric native Alaskan intruder, she finds surviving in her new world bewildering and uncomfortable. But the majestic scenery dazzles her and the rigors of frontier life give her a bracing sense of self-sufficiency and Carrie eventually falls in love with her cabin mate and the natural landscape that defines her new life until the suffocating winter darkness sets in and her struggle to survive begins in earnest...
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Carrie ran a shiny red fingernail along the books lined above the bed and stopped her hand on In The Lake Of The Woods. It was a book she'd been told she just had to read and she struggled to remember what it was about. It came to her that it was the story of a woman who disappears in the wilds of Minnesota and the reader never knows if her husband killed her or what, and Carrie giggled a nervous giggle and thought this couldn't be her story, or could it? She shuddered, but this time not from the cold. As she pushed the book back in its space on the shelf she was startled by the crack of the rifle, again and again, four times in all.

She screamed, "What's going on?" and pushed open the door and called into the darkness, "Bart, what are you doing? Are you okay?"

The rifle barked once more and then all went quiet.

Carrie waited for an answer and then screamed again, "Bart, what's going on?"

Bart's voice was muffled by the drooping, snow-covered branches of the woods. "I'm taking care of the sled dogs."

"What do you mean, taking care of them?" She grabbed her hair and pulled on her curls.

"You didn't shoot them, did you? They're my only way home!" She didn't wait for him to speak. Something told her that she already knew the answer. "How could you? I thought..." She thought he was so gentle and wondered if she'd run away from one mad man to be with another. "Are you going to kill me, too? What have you done to the dogs? To me?"

Bart's dark form emerged from the woods by the outhouse. Carrie backed from the open door as he trudged toward the cabin, the rifle resting on his shoulder, his boots punching holes deep in the snow, a sled dog loping behind him.

"You're a killer," she cried. "They didn't do anything wrong."

"Nor did I," Bart said quietly. "There's no way we could feed them the whole winter." He reached down and scratched the ears of the sled dog that had followed him and looked up at Carrie. "I saved the blue-eyed one for you."

"Oh, for God's sake," she said, the cold wind beginning to fill the cabin. "I never thought it would be anything like this. Not anything at all." She was both horrified and frightened by his nonchalance. "This isn't what I dreamed about, Bart. It isn't at all what I expected. I want to go home. Right now. I've made a horrible, typical-me mistake. Help me, please."

Reviews
"...when Groome tests his characters, human and animal, against the wilderness, he moves us with the harshness and beauty of an uncivilized world. The result is a gripping portrait of life stripped to the bare essentials."
-Kirkus Discoveries
"Harry Groome writes the sort of vivid, sensory prose that allows the reader to see through the language as through a window into the world he describes. He writes about the old verities, and he does it with grace, humanity, and even beauty."
-David Jauss Author of Black Maps
"Absolutely brilliant. I love this novel."
-Betty Kelly Sargent