<![CDATA[michelleburden.com - Blog: News and Sneak Peeks]]>Fri, 02 Aug 2019 11:31:17 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[The Hunter and the Hunted]]>Fri, 02 Aug 2019 17:54:01 GMThttp://michelleburden.com/blog-news-and-sneak-peeks/the-hunter-and-the-huntedI was born seventeen years ago, in a dilapidated cabin in the middle of winter. We go back there once a year, when we can make it. Sometimes Grandpa meets us there. He always seems to know when we’re going. Strange, considering we barely speak to him. 

You see, Grandpa travels a lot, but he would pop in on us suddenly from time to time. Somehow he could always find us, even though we moved around a lot ourselves. But more on that later.

Grandpa treats me well enough but with a certain distance, as if after all this time, he still isn’t sure about me. He never did love me. Oh, he was kind and attentive. He taught me so much, what little time I got to see him.
Did I mention Grandpa travels a lot? He is an obsessed man. 

I mentioned that we go back to that run down shack in the woods once a year, didn’t I?  You can’t even call it a cabin anymore. Nobody has lived in it since I was a baby, and it’s even more run down now, falling over practically. 

If it’s so run down, why do we go there, one might ask.
Out behind that little falling-down-shack is a single grave with no marker, other than a large rock. My mother.

I still remember her face, how she looked when she kissed me just before she closed her eyes forever. I remember her smell, her voice, everything. You wouldn’t think that was remarkable, except that I had just been born a moment before. 

That’s right. She died giving birth to me. I guess that makes it my fault she’s dead. Maybe that’s why Grandpa could never bring himself to love me, for I am partly responsible for his daughter’s death. Or maybe it’s for another reason.

That brings me back to Grandpa’s obsession. He hunts for monsters, demons. It consumes him.  

There was a time when Dad and I traveled with Grandpa. It was just for a couple of years. That time ended when I was twelve years old. I was attacked by a demon Dad and Grandpa were tracking. I guess it was tracking them at the same time. It found me, alone, and ill-equipped to face such a monster. It nearly killed me. Dad and Grandpa showed up just in time. They fended it off, and it escaped. 

After that, Dad decided he would retire from the demon hunting business. Grandpa continued alone. 

What is the reason for Grandpa’s obsession?
Grandpa hunts one particular demon. 

While searching for that one, he often discovers others. Since he can’t kill the one he wants, he kills what he can find.

He will not say the name of the one he hunts. Saying the name would attract its attention. Grandpa is only trying to keep Dad and me safe by not telling us. 

He needn’t bother. I know its name. I’ve known my entire life.

The demon Grandpa searches for is my father, my real father.

Yes, I am half-demon – a monster, I suppose. I also suppose that is why Grandpa can’t truly love me; I am not quite human. 

Dad, the man that raised me, keeps us in hiding. We never stay in one place for very long. He has never said it out loud, but he fears for my safety, for my life. If others discovered me, what I am, what I can do, they would hurt me, maybe try to capture me, study me, or even kill me. Dad worries about that a lot. 

I know he worries about it because I can hear his thoughts, when I’m trying to. I don’t try very often. I learned early on that it’s an intrusion, and people resent it. It scares them.  

I have other powers, some only recently discovered and unhoned. And some that I won’t speak of, just yet.

I can put my thoughts into the heads of others, and I can affect them. It took most of my childhood to learn to control it. I know that was the part that scared Dad the most.

If he only knew what else I can do.
If I only knew what else I can do.

I practice, hone my skills, but only when alone. By some instinct, I sense I’m not strong enough, yet. 

But I will be.

My name is Elan. I am half-demon, and I will kill my demon father.

Author note: Fans of the Cleo series will recognize this as a sequel. To experience the original story of Cleo and how Elan came to be, click here.

<![CDATA[What a mother!]]>Sun, 12 May 2019 21:24:46 GMThttp://michelleburden.com/blog-news-and-sneak-peeks/what-a-motherI’m sitting here on this Mother’s Day thinking about June Cleaver and how much the world has changed. I can see her in her immaculate kitchen with her little immaculate apron. Just the picture of perfection.

Now, I wasn’t that kind of a mother, myself, not exactly June Cleaver, but I think I did all right.  

I saw a meme on social media this morning that said, “All mothers are slightly insane.”

I guess it is a little bit crazy, trying to turn our little animals into civilized human beings. To try to take this little being that eats with her hands and miraculously transform her into one that drives a car, votes, holds conversation, and works a job, is no short order.

Gone by the wayside is that June Cleaver image. Put that image out of your head. Motherhood looks like many different things and none are any less valid than any others.

If you manage to get your little being to eat with a fork, you’re doing a marvelous job, and don’t let anybody tell you different.

Let’s stop judging each other by those old standards. Let’s stop tearing each other down and start building each other up.

Motherhood looks like many different things. Whether you bottle feed or not. Whether you stay at home or not. Whether you had a C-section or not. Whether they are step-kids or not. Whether you cook from scratch or order take out. Whether you are a mother, step-mother, or a single dad. You’re taking these small beings and transforming them into card-carrying members of society, so kudos to you.

To all mothers out there, Happy Mother’s Day.

<![CDATA[Fate Unknown Prologue]]>Sun, 12 May 2019 00:39:57 GMThttp://michelleburden.com/blog-news-and-sneak-peeks/fate-unknown-prologuePrologue Fate Unknown

I AM A HUNTER. My prey, my nemesis, has no name. He can be anyone he desires, but then, so can I.
I’ve been pursuing him for a long time.
He has a driving need to maim, to evoke terror. He feeds off of fear like a vampire.
By his actions, he endangers the way things are, the way things must be. He endangers his own existence, and mine, our entire race.
Tracking him this time proved difficult. It seemed he’d gotten smarter, more careful.
I knew only the name of the city in which he last resided and that he would, most likely, stay in the area. Years passed, checking crime reports for his particular flavor of mayhem. A woman in a motel room, mutilated, left broken and ruined? That sounded like him, but the trail led nowhere. After no more incidents, I began to search in a different direction.
He has a taste for excess, the finer things: Porsches, sprawling villas, silk suits, diamond cufflinks, and money. Money he would have, as he had an innate skill for acquiring it.
I recognized him the moment I laid eyes on him, despite appearances. I have my own skills.
Thus began my surveillance.
When I followed him that night, I discovered him residing in a humble dwelling, living a life of meager means.
How could it be that he suddenly changed his standards of living? Was he simply being more careful this time, or did he know my plan to stop his spree of terror? I had to know the answers to these questions.

Read Fate Unknown for free with Kindle Unlimited!
Also available in paperback.

Purchase at Amazon
<![CDATA[Hello Friends!]]>Tue, 07 May 2019 21:31:02 GMThttp://michelleburden.com/blog-news-and-sneak-peeks/hello-friendsToday marks the launch of my first all-my-own website! Can you tell I'm excited?
I'm so excited!

I'm still building content, so check back soon for new stuff!
One of the things planned for the near-future is to begin posting excerpts of Fate Unknown and sneak peeks at the sequel.

As a thank you for visiting my new site, I will now reveal the title of the sequel to Fate Unknown, second in The Inhabiters Series.

Are you ready?

Here goes . . .

Book 2 in The Inhabiters Series is called The Rise of the Geminus. I can't wait to tell you what Ann and Mitch have been up to!

They still don't know if they can trust Calder, but it looks like they have no choice.

There will be many twists and turns as Ann and Mitch discover more about Marcus and Calder, as well as discovering a great threat like nothing they've ever encountered before!

Check back soon for a sneak peek at the prologue!