Win a Weekend Getaway in Vermont!

Enter to win an all expenses paid Weekend Getaway for Two in Vermont!

Three nights and four days at the historic, luxury Equinox Resort in glorious Manchester, Vermont. The countryside is pure Vermont—rolling meadows, covered bridges and soft round mountains. Indulge in a maple sugar massage at the spa or just sit by one of the many giant fireplaces and enjoy the view. Hiking, horseback riding leaf peeping or skiing —you will have a blast.  You’ll enjoy dinner at the Downtown Grocery in Ludlow with Chef Rogan and his wife Abby —passionate chefs cooking local, seasonal— really good food. And breakfast one morning at Up For Breakfast where you will climb the steps and settle in for a cozy homemade breakfast with Bonnie and all the locals who know where to eat. This is Vermont just as you have always imagined it.


Good Grief! by Ellen Stimson

What sets Good Grief! apart from other memoirs and books about the loss of a family member, is that this author has an uncanny ability to take any situation and tell a story brimming with all the joy, struggle, laughter, messiness, and triumph of the human condition. You will laugh and you will cry. On the same page. Maybe even the same paragraph.


How Can I Win This Fabulous Weekend Getaway?

Read Good Grief! and then write a paragraph or two about how humor helped you or someone you know grieve the loss of a loved one. Ellen will choose her favorite entry from all the entries. And the lucky winner will spend a fabulous weekend in Vermont!


Weekend Getaway for Two in Vermont Contest Instructions:

Write a paragraph or two about how humor helped you or someone you know grieve the loss of a loved one. Don’t worry about producing a polished piece of writing that is publication ready. Simply write from the heart.


Email your entry along with your name and all your contact information to:

or mail your entry to:

c.b. norris publicity

1 E. Fox Chase Rd.

Asheville, NC 28804

Kirkus Review

Kirkus Review is here!! (And it’s a good one)-

The continuing adventures of a family in Vermont. In magazine articles about the state of American families and their homes, writers will often wistfully long for a time when things were simpler—even while acknowledging that, technically, there was no such time—when families were tightly knit in the bonds they shared. It makes for a good article, but the truth is different; this sort of family exists now just as much in “the good old days.” That truth also makes for a good book, as readers of Stimson’s Mud Season (2013) can attest. More proof arrives in her second book, which largely picks up where the first one left off. Stimson, her husband and their three children are still living in rural Vermont, dealing with all of the changes that come as children become teenagers and marriages find their patterns. It’s difficult to tell, in a satisfying way, whether Stimson’s family has an unusually high number of stories that read like heartwarming and amusing family comedy films. For example: Daughter Hannah has a new boyfriend; he’s a decade older than she is, and he’s Republican, while the family is liberal. He’s coming with Hannah to meet the family over brunch; mom also has an elaborate dinner party planned later in the day; before the brunch, mom inadvertently sets the dining room table on fire. Maybe the author’s clan doesn’t have more mishaps and amusing anecdotes than the average family, and it’s simply her engaging writing style that shapes their experiences into these well-balanced stories. Either way, it’s an enjoyable journey for readers. Stimson’s children will be lucky in having these stories of their lives to pass down through the generations; the rest of us only get to visit for a while, but it’s a visit to remember.

Here they come! Advanced reviews for Good Grief!

The Booklist Review is in!

In Stimson’s second delightful memoir, following Mud Season (2013), she is no longer a fish out of water. She and husband John have shed the albatross “Horrible Quaint Country Store” that very nearly brought the house of Stimson-Rushing down in Mud Season. Instead, they have adjusted to life as adoptive Vermonters, scoring fresh milk from neighborhood cows and eggs from their very own chickens. This time around the focus is on family—kids Benjamin, Hannah, and Eli; ex-husband, Steve; and dogs too numerous to name—and the kinds of things that seem to blindside us all. Stimson makes great, entertaining reading out of kids’ unusual dating selections, shark attacks, sudden illness, and even an untimely death. Entertaining? Yes. She has that particular way with words and storytelling that makes the most out of learning to deal with grief. All of life’s moments are not amusing, some are downright terrifying, and others are laugh-out-loud funny, but Stimson comes through, in retrospect, with the goods to offer wisdom and a noteworthy perspective.

— Donna Chavez