Guest Post by Unfurl’s Sylvia Ruiz

groundhog day with the unquestionable cool bill murrayUnfurl is the exciting third installment in the Rippler young adult series. You can purchase the series here or visit the author, the brilliant Cidney Swanson. The Rippler series is about Samantha Ruiz, who finds that she has an odd strain of a disease…odd because the only visible symptom is invisibility! As soon as she discovers this new talent she is on the run, chased by those who wish to eradicate the disease by taking out its carriers. I highly recommend this read.

Unfurl includes a sweet scene where Sam’s step-mom, Sylvia, throws a Groundhog Eve Party to help cheer her up. With the holiday quickly approaching, I asked author Swanson if Sylvia could stop by and share her tips.


Hey, everyone, I’m Sylvia Ruiz, better known as Sammy Ruiz’—oops! I mean Samantha Ruiz’—step-mom. I’ve never been on a blog before, so forgive me if I make any obvious faux-pas! Bryna asked me to give you some tips for a Groundhog’s Eve Party. At first the thought scared me to death! What if my ideas really sucked? Everyone would find out! But then I realized I was being cowardly (and if there’s one thing Sam’s taught me, it’s this: always go for brave and not cowardly!) So, here are some things to keep in mind the next time you throw a party celebrating Groundhog Day.

First off, what is a groundhog? It’s just an oversized squirrel that lives in burrows underground. What is the “holiday” about? It actually is a holiday in a few cities across the US and Canada, believe it or not. Supposedly, if a groundhog comes out of his burrow on February 2nd and sees its shadow, it will retreat in fear and winter will last another six weeks. But if it sees no shadow due to cloudy (or rainy or snowy) weather, it will come out of its burrow and spring will arrive soon.

Sounds simple, right? So how to celebrate?

  • One: I don’t recommend trying to beat a groundhog up out of bed. They rise early. Pre-dawn-early. Seriously, how many people are going to come to a party if the invitation says “Join us at 5:45 AM for a Groundhog Party!” I don’t think so.
  • Two: which is why I recommend celebrating the night before. Hence, a Groundhog’s Eve party.
  • Three: because everything is more fun with a count-down, you’ll want your party to last until midnight local time. You could rig up a disco-ball-drop, if you wanted to.
  • Be sure you have something sparkling on hand for everyone to toast the arrival of midnight and Groundhog Day. Sparklers and pop-its are fun, too, if your county allows such.
  • Karaoke machine. Need I say more?
  • Rent the 1993 Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day and start watching it around 9:30PM so you finish in time for the countdown. It is a classic even if the hairstyles, etc. are dated. Hey, that was when I was graduating high school, so you can see what we thought was fashionable. (Eeeeek!)
  • For food? Fun stuff like snow cones (avoid yellow syrups) and snowball cupcakes (white frosting with coconut flakes on top) and anything with marshmallow crème on top.
  • Have everyone vote whether the groundhog sees his shadow or not and have an awesome prize drawing out of the winning group.

There you have it. If you throw a Groundhog’s Eve party, be sure to let me know your amazing tips! If you email cidneyswanson at gmail dot com, she’ll make sure I see your email! Thanks, Bryna, for having me here today!