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Thursday, January 9, 2020

The End of the Maze

Book 3 in the Maze trilogy is coming into focus.

Once I attempted to keep a journal on the path to a finished story. It's not a straight shot. Some stories are curvier than others. Book 3 of the Maze was like going to New Zealand to the Arctic by way of Ireland just to arrive at San Francisco.

I think I'm in Ireland.

I got 50,000 words into the rough draft. That's when it fell apart. Sort of. Other elements were popping up like bubbles in a thick stew. The kettle was getting hot. I put the story down for about a month and let it simmer.

Oh man.

I'd always envisioned all of my trilogies tying together someway. There's been plenty of crossover between Foreverland and Halfskin, elements that showed up in the Maze. This final book will finish the bow. It will bring together where those worlds started and how and why they link. Characters from the previous trilogies make an appearance.

The Maze will be the final chapter. (I think. Who knows. It's sort of like a band's final tour who end up on the road a year later.)

When I'm done, I'll be boxing Foreverland, Halfskin and Maze into a humungo arc called The Unreality Saga. There are Easter eggs from Socket Greeny, Drayton and, yes, even Claus.

The interesting thing about book 3 is that I didn't see it coming. In fact, after I finished book 2, The Hunt for Freddy Bills, I was a little concerned I was going too far in an unrelated direction. Yes, it had elements of the Maze, but it didn't feel cohesive. But book 3 is bringing it full circle.

Full circle. Hint.

Book 1 and 2 will be integral leading up to book 3. I'm still feeling my way through the Maze, but I feel the light. So here's a quick synopsis.

Micah and Dova return as main characters. Freddy Bills's duplicate, Marcus, too. (Remember Marcus in Halfskin?) The investors of Foreverland make a return. Harold Ballard, Danny, Cyn, Reed and Lucinda from Foreverland make guest appearances as does Nix, Raine, Paul and Cali from Halfskin. The inception of the Maze is resolved. Who are the investors? Why did they start the Maze? What were they hoping to get from Grey and Sunny Grimm?

More importantly, where is Sunny now? Her grand scheme is about to come full circle. Sometime this summer, the snake will eat its tail.




















Monday, November 4, 2019

The Claus Universe continues...

https://bertauski.com/claus

If you want to play, and stay out all day,
I know the place where we can do it.

 Toyland: The Legacy of Wallace Noel


Friday, September 27, 2019

Dark Tides charity anthology

I mentioned the Dark Tides charity anthology a few weeks ago (see banner). It releases in October and benefits survivors of Virginia Beach gun violence. My short, Old Bastards, is featured. Stephen King and Neil Gaiman, too. All proceeds go to survivors.

Get your copy.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dark-tides-a-charity-horror-anthology?fbclid=IwAR2whCIddEvwEOnC_oogk6LpE2bw1WgwihtD2AWhPm0KGFFoZYb8Woz704Y#/


Friday, August 16, 2019

Here come the shorties

I'm on a roll.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the short story I wrote in the Foreverland universe titled Old Bastards. That work will be part of a charity anthology set to release on October 1 and includes contributions from (get this) Neil Gaiman and Stephen King.

Yeah. I know. (More on that another time.)

In the meantime, I caught the short story bug. I happened to be reading an anthology of short stories when I was asked to write for one. Now I have a short story for all my universes: Halfskin, Socket Greeny, Foreverland, Claus, Maze and Drayton.

And I want you to have them.

The Making is the first one I'm releasing. It's in the Socket Greeny universe. It's totally different than the previously published, and no longer available, novella The Making of Socket Greeny. The Making has none of the Socket Greeny characters in it. In fact, all of the short stories have original characters. Instead, they introduce the prospective universe and elements within. A teaser.

The short stories are between 4000 and 5000 words. For some of you, that's like 5 minutes. All of these short stories will be $0.99 on Amazon, Nook, etc.

DOWNLOAD HERE

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

An audiobook for your vacation travels

Ever see that car on the side of the Interstate? You think those poor bastards. What are they going to do now?
That was me.
80 miles from home and the alternator goes. I couldn't make it to the next exit. And with vacation traffic peaking on the Charleston inbound, it was an endless string of headlights. We were the poor bastards. But God bless cellphones.
And roadside assistance.
We sat there two hours, but a tow truck arrived. A good dude was driving and dropped us off. An 80 mile tow is not a cheap one. But it beats the hoof.
This July holiday, we'll visit family on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That's a long haul. And, God willing, I will not talk to a tow truck driver. If you got the summer drive coming, I got something to kill the time.
The Hunt for Freddy Bills audiobook is out. And I've got 10 free downloads to make your ride go by. It's a straight up random draw. No tricks, just click to reach the homepage and enter the contest.
Good luck. And safe travels.

THE HUNT FOR FREDDY BILLS
AUDIOBOOK
FREE DOWNLOAD CONTEST
ENTER THE DRAWING
THE FREEBIES AND THE PROMOS
TONY BERTAUSKI
USA Today Bestselling Author

Sunday, June 16, 2019

THAT MONEY IN THE MAZE...

The race is complete.
Those who entered the Maze contest, thank you. Many knew the big twist at the end of The Hunt for Freddy Bills. Some of you just needed the money. You were honest. In the end, there can be only one.
Kayleigh is that one.
She's already been contacted, already accepted the reward. A $50 Amazon gift card is now in her account. If you didn't get in on that, no worries. There's more coming in the Maze. The third and final book has begun. It will circle around and bring book 1 and 2 into one big final twist you didn't see coming.
I didn't see it coming, either.

WRITING UPDATE
Book 7 in the Claus Universe is getting some preliminary feedback. Once we're closer to the season, ARC readers will be needed. In the meantime, the title has changed to Toyland: The Legacy of Wallace Noel. This one might stick.
Book 3, The Essence of Sunny Grimm, has begun. 7000 words into the rough draft, an arc has been sketched out. 
THE FREEBIES AND THE PROMOS

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

GOT thoughts. And there's $50 in the Maze for you.

I like a challenge.

I'm a fan of Game of Thrones. I'll be honest, I'm a little disappointed with the last season. Episode 3, The Battle of Winterfell, I liked and the dark shots didn't bother me (I'm easy). But the rest have been disappointing. It feels like they rushed it.

Only 6 episodes? An entire episode should've been the Hound v Mountain. But such is the curse of the writer. It's hard to get the viewer's POV. When you're writing, the story looks different. It's like standing in the middle of rush hour rather than flying over it in a helicopter. Could the GOT writers use test audiences? Probably not because of leaks. I mean, I still love the whole story, just could've been a better ending.

And I digress. I like a challenge.

I don't mind being thrown into a story and left to find my out. Nowadays, even the smallest hints are ferreted out by massive crowdsourcing. Starbucks, anyone?

Being lost makes the thrill of the twist. 

I wrote the Maze in this genre of thrilling challenges. In book 2, The Hunt for Freddy Bills, there are plenty of twists that get resolved. But did you see the one at the end? It's a big one. If you caught it, it could be worth $50.

Tell me the big twist. I'll draw from all the correct answers.

$50 Amazon gift certificate to the winner.  

I'll give you a month to answer. Plenty of time to read both books in the Maze. Or just answer it if know it, no need to wait.


I provided a hint below. It's a summary of characters from book 1, The Waking of Grey Grimm. CLICK HERE to correctly answer the question to enter. The question is also a hint.

Characters from The Waking of Grey Grimm
A relevant summary of characters that appear in book 2, The Hunt for Freddy Bills.

FREDDY BILLINGSLEY (a.k.a. Freddy Bills): The detective who investigated the death of Sunny Grimm. Grey Grimm confessed his responsibility involving his mother’s death. Grey claimed that he met Freddy in the Maze because it was an alternate reality that mirrored base reality. Freddy denied ever being in the Maze.
GREY GRIMM: The sixteen year old boy who went into the Maze and escaped. He returned to his body (skin) in base reality.
HUNTER MONTEBANK: The identity that Grey Grimm had unknowingly assumed when he was lost in the Maze. Hunter Montebank was a federal investigator and only existed in the alternate reality of the Maze.
SUNNY GRIMM: Grey’s mother who went into the Maze and helped him escape. She did not escape or return to base reality. Her skin is dead.

HENK GRIMM: Grey’s father who tricked his son into entering the Maze. After escaping the Maze, Grey sent Henk into the Maze as retribution. He later confessed to his crimes.

WRITING UPDATE
Book 7 in the Claus Universe is complete. The rough draft, that is. It'll take a few passes to polish but I'm way ahead of schedule. That said, I'm pleased with the story arc. I don't always feel that way about stories, but this one took directions I didn't see coming. Always a pleasant surprise.


Toys: The Urban Legend of Wallace Noel is still the working title. I'll sit on that for a while before I lock in a cover.

Stay tuned Claus fans. Christmas is coming.