posted on November 19, 2015 by Joanne Rock

Christmas in Vermont

Last Chance ChristmasSnow, snow, snow, snow…. If you’ve watched White Christmas with Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, you’ll remember the song that starts that way. It’s an ode to snow, a fun and festive tune the characters sing as they take the train to Vermont for a frosty holiday.

Except Vermont didn’t have snow that December, contributing to all sorts of problems for the film’s songbird heroine, as well as the gracious old inn where she’s supposed to perform her show.

I love that movie. It tugs at your heartstrings, gives you something to smile and sing along with as you decorate your tree, and provides a sneak peek at quaint, quiet and charming Vermont.

I set Last Chance Christmas there because I visit often in December. And, contrary to the film, I’ve rarely seen it without snow at that time of year, especially in the northwest corner of the state where the Green Mountains are full of ski resorts.

In creating my setting, I took inspiration from a few real-life cities to make the town of Cloud Spin. I put a bit off Stowe and Sugar Bush in there. Took the Yuletide appeal of Grafton and Woodstock, and then mixed in a dash of pure North Country rough and tumble spirt to create the tough hockey playing families who live there.

wsgiveHere, pond hockey is as much a winter staple as sledding or skiing. And while some people simply skate on the frozen ponds, my hockey loving characters have created a real backyard ice rink complete with coils and chillers and a high tech flooding system. I had a blast reading about this technology—and yes, it really does exist if you want to upgrade your backyard into a winter sports destination for the neighborhood.

It certainly led to some romantic moments for my hero and heroine, not to mention a way to get involved in the community that nurtured them in their youth. It made me want to go throw on a pair of skates! How about you? If you took the train to Vermont this week and found yourself in a winter wonderland, what would you do to enjoy the outdoors? Let me know and I’ll give one random poster the prize pack pictured!

LAST CHANCE CHRISTMAS can be purchased in eBook format for/from:

Joanne Rock

Joanne Rock

Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over seventy books currently writes sexy contemporary stories for Harlequin Desire and small town romance for Harlequin Superromance. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly—love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with fellow author and friend Catherine Mann. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.

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26 thoughts on “Christmas in Vermont”

  1. Kim Trask says:

    I would totally love to just experience Vermont in the winter. Snowshoeing sounds fun. There is something very appealing to me about spending time in Vermont, in those small towns you see on movies, see in pictures and read about in books 🙂

    1. joannerock joannerock says:

      I read an article about how a small town in Norway stays upbeat through the long dark winters and someone referenced “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” It really does help to get outdoors in the cold and find ways to enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by the blog, Kim 🙂

  2. janinecatmom says:

    The first thing I would do is stop and take a deep breath of the fresh air. I have lived too close to the city (Dallas, Texas) for so long, I don’t remember what clean fresh air smells like. Then, a walk in the snow would be fun.

    1. joannerock joannerock says:

      Love that fresh air smell!! I haven’t had much time in a winter wonderland over the last few years, but I do love a new snowfall.

    2. Susan Simpson says:

      Hi janinecatmom! Your comment was chosen as the winner. Please send your contact info to susan(at)writerspacemail(dot)com andI will make sure Joanne gets it and sends your prize. Thanks!

      1. janinecatmom says:

        Thank you so very much! I just replied to your email.

  3. RLR888 says:

    Go for a walk and then find out an outdoor hot tub to have a relaxing soak in. It’s always awesome when it’s cold and snowy out! 🙂

    1. joannerock joannerock says:

      My husband always like this and I do too…. except for the trek out to the tub through the snow! Even when we shovel the deck, it can be icy and perilous. Once you’re in though… so pretty to watch the snow fall up close while you stay toasty warm!

  4. Lorie Glowania says:

    I would love to see Vermont never been there. I would love to go hiking and try to snowboard.

  5. Ronda Six Garnett says:

    I’d take a long hike in the woods!!

    1. joannerock joannerock says:

      Hi Ronda! I just watched the movie “Wild” last night and it made me want to go hiking too. Although not the thousand mile trek she did… a day trip would be just fine by me 😉

  6. agatha007 says:

    I lived in New Hampshire right next door to Vermont, know what the winters are like and know people in North East love hockey. I lived there 60 years, on a sunny day a walk in woods is good and you are warm then come home to make hot chocolate. Snowmobiling is another sport is another activity in winter, did it when I was young with me husband . Always had a great time and a lot of people cross country ski and skiing up in Green mountains in Vermont and White Mountains in New Hampshire. There are alot of things to due, remember when a Nor’easter came in and every one is to stay off highways got a day off to read. Sorry this so long a comment.

    1. joannerock joannerock says:

      Hi Agatha! Yes to all of this! I haven’t gone snowmobiling in ages, but I remember once as a teen, my girlfriend and I went far, far from home on her snowmobile one night for a ride. She jumped a little mogul– nothing too big– but when we landed, the engine cut out. We could not restart it. So scary!!! And darn cold too. Luckily, someone came to look for us sooner or later and we were easy to find since the snowmobile leaves tracks. But yes… great fun right up until then .

  7. Penney Wilfort says:

    I’d take a walk in the canyon looking for pretty rocks or crystals.

    1. joannerock joannerock says:

      Hi Penney! My childhood neighbor had a cliff on her property that was packed with quartz crystal and it seemed so magical to me to dig out clusters of it. We are surrounded by beauty when we take time to look for it, aren’t we?

  8. Jen Craig says:

    I would go snowshoeing and tobogganing

    1. joannerock joannerock says:

      My husband and I never went to tobogganing with our boys, and I regret this since we both have great memories of going with our respective families as kids. But the cost of a toboggan– the big kinds a whole family can fit on? Whew! We ended up getting inflatable tubes instead. But there’s something about stuffing the whole family on a toboggan that is so priceless.

  9. Linda Bowery says:

    snuggling in front of a warm fire

    1. joannerock joannerock says:

      All the more fun when you can see the snow fall through a nearby window and know you’re safe and warm tucked inside :-).

  10. Christy says:

    I’d definitely go ice skating. Not much of a skier, but I’d love to hang by the fireplace at the lodge.

    Sounds like a fun story, and I love the cover! Thanks for the chance!

    1. joannerock joannerock says:

      Thank YOU, Christy! So glad you stopped by the blog. Ice skating is the best. Unless your husband tries to turn a moonlight skate into a goal-shooting competition. Which my husband can and does. If there are sticks around,, and maybe a flat rock or a bit of driftwood– you can have a makeshift puck in no time. Sigh…

  11. Martina says:

    I love to walk in the winter snow, so my Sweetie and I would definitely take a long winter hike.

    1. joannerock joannerock says:

      Hi Martina! Although I great up in harsh northern winters and did lots of winter walks, one of my favorites was when I moved to Kentucky for graduate school. They don’t get much snow there, so when we had 14 inches, it closed my university for a whole week!! The road I lived on turned into a sledding hill because NO traffic went anywhere that first day. It was so fun to walk through the silent ghost town of a city and enjoy the wonderland.

  12. I’d enjoy exploring the town, and at the end of the day I’d ask the locals where to find the best cup of hot cocoa.

    1. joannerock joannerock says:

      Aw… you brought to mind a great memory for this. When I was 12, my older sister took me to NYC at Christmas. It was super fun, but she hadn’t done a lot of planning and it was bitterly cold the first night and she hadn’t booked a hotel. We walked around looking for a place and it was so chilly. I’m sure it was far more stressful for her at 19 than it was for me! But I remember when we took a break and went into a restaurant for the best hot chocolate ever. It tasted all the more special with my adventurous big sis at my side and as a reward for all that walking in the cold!

  13. Natasha Persaud says:

    I’d go ice skating it’s one of my absolute favorite hobby and also I’d take a walk around the town and enjoy the serenity which the city lacks and at the end of the day I’d find the best cafe and get myself some hot chocolate

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