Free Book Friday Feb. 2: The Origin of Groundhog Day (really).

Leon Stevens
4 min readFeb 2, 2024

At some point in the distant past, or perhaps not so distance, a person, somewhere, looked out into the forest (or their field) during what felt like a long cold winter, although it may have been unseasonably mild that year, and saw a groundhog-what they use to call ‘dirtpigs’ in the days of yore-poke their head out of the dry, cozy burrow.

Angered by the encroachment of this pest, the farmer/hunter/settler grabbed the trusty and extremely accurate blunderbuss*, raced out into the cold (or unseasonably mild) winter day and preceded to shoot at this varmint.

Now, you might think this is where the origin story ends, with the animal darting back into it’s hole-which animals are prone to do when getting shot at with a 17th century firearm-and the shooter waiting 6 weeks, suffering through the now bitterly cold weather, and claiming that the actions of the Marmota monax (also known as the woodchuck, a rodent of the family Sciuridae) caused the elongation of the winter season, thus perpetuating the myth of what’s now commonly called Groundhog Day.

But you’d be wrong.

It’s all because of that damn Bill Murray movie.

*Wondering what a blunderbuss is?


Can it be that good? Only one way to find out.

The story behind Free Book Friday:

I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available? Readers don’t just read one author — they stick with their favorite genres. Therein lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.

Some free book offers require a newsletter sign-up, which is a small non-monetary price to pay to try out a new indie author.

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Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella trilogy, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.

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Originally published at on February 2, 2024.



Leon Stevens

Leon Stevens is a writer, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education.