Book Blast for Groundhog’s Day and thoughts on Woodchucks

There is a really good book blast going on right now at Ebook Blaster.  If you aren’t sure what a book blast is – let me detail it:

A book blast is a way for authors to get their book marketed in a massive campaign across social media in order to reach potential readers in a short window of time.  Think shooting your book across social media like a rocket.  Some sites charge money to do this; Ebook Blaster runs ‘traditional’ campaigns that do this for free.


One of the books in the Groundhog’s Day blast is “A Secondhand Lie” by Pamela Crane.  It is a companion novella to her novel “A Secondhand Life”.  I was honored to do an interview with Pamela about her first book.  You can read that by clicking here.  If the novella is an intriguing as the book in this Killer Thriller Series, I am anxious to pick up a copy and zip through it as I don’t believe that the Groundhog didn’t see his shadow and predicts we’re going to have an early Spring.  Sorry, I put zero faith in groundhogs (more on that in a minute).

The second book being blasted is a D.F. Bailey thriller, “Bone Maker”.  Bailey invented Will Finch, the protagonist – a former member of military intelligence turned journalist.  “Bone Maker” is actually the introductory book in the Will Finch Mystery Thriller Series.   I am not familiar with Bailey’s work, but this story admittedly has my interest piqued.

Okay, now back to the groundhog deal. I have had personal experience in dealing with one such animal – a real booger.  I live in a rural area and had a groundhog traverse my lawn one day looking like a Pug on steroids.  It was the biggest rodent I had ever laid eyes on.

Before the scientific community jumps in here – yes, Groundhogs are rodentia.  In fact, they are Marmota monax, in the family Sciuridae.  They belong to the group of large ground squirrels known as marmots.  They are also referred to as: Chuck, Wood-shock, Groundpig, Whistler, Thickwood Badger, Canada Marmot, Monax, Moonack, Weenusk, and the Red Monk.

Those are a lot of names for something that basically is a huge nuisance.  I don’t dislike the creature, per se, but the one I had to deal with was a menace.  When the American Indians called them Monax, it literally meant ‘the digger’.  Don’t be fooled that these things are simply hiding in mounds in the side of a nice hill.  Oh no, they enjoy digging under buildings quite frequently.  My rodent archenemy decided he would dig under the foundation of my home (into a crawlspace area) and defy logic by chewing pipe heaters and fiberglass insulation.

Our groundhog was on the large size of normal – about 80 cm (30 in) long in body, not counting his tail, and weighed about 14 kg (that is more than 30 lbs).  I don’t know what he’d been eating before he decided he had a taste for fiberglass, but his short, stumpy legs were perfect for blazing a trail into the most inappropriate location for him.  This guy was a complete jerk.  And he didn’t mind the trail camera I had placed near the foundation to see just how large he was.  In fact, he was quite the pig and hammed it up on infrared.  If I could find the videos, I would share them here so you could get the laugh I got until it came down to the moment we had our showdown.

Initially, I did not want to confront it in the confines of a crawlspace.  My brain kept sending pulses of neurotic images of sticking my head into the hole that opens into the crawlspace and having this hairy beast with nothing but 6 inch choppers fly straight for my face and scratch out my eyes.  I armed myself with a flashlight and said a silent prayer that I would not be maimed.  He wasn’t under the house – but I’d heard him rummaging around under my feet.

It took some time, but in a cleverly disguised live trap baited with apple slices, I was finally able to capture him after a ton of damage.  I loaded him in the van and drove him down to the river – like Nick Foley.  Nearly losing my fingers, I sprung the door and that thing hauled tail into the brush.

I do not understand the fascination with asking such a creature if there will be six more weeks of winter weather or not.  I would prefer to watch for the Robins to return.  They don’t have monster dagger teeth, don’t smell like they’ve never bathed since the day of their birth and don’t cause heart palpitations when confronted in small spaces.

Here is to hoping that winter truly is coming to a close.





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