Follow by Email

Sunday, April 19, 2020

The Essence of Sunny Grimm, Book 3 in the Maze

It's been a long journey.

The conclusion of the Maze will launch May 13. The final book ties book 1 and 2 into a long story arc with a wild finish. I didn't see it coming till I got there.

As mentioned in previous posts, book 3 brings characters into the arc from Foreverland, Halfskin and Socket Greeny. For fans of those stories, you get a peek at Danny Boy, Cyn, Reed, Lucinda, Cali and Streeter in their later years.

Further down the road, I will bridge these trilogies into the Unreality Saga. But for now...

The Maze must end where there is no beginning.


Fans of Neuromancer, Inception, and the Matrix... the mind-bending conclusion of the Maze.

A name was tattooed on his finger.

Marcus woke in a cell. No memory of how he got there or what his name was. Just a tattoo. There were others like him. They called this place unreality. They told him this was where someone was hiding him.

Clues lead him on a journey in search of who he is, who he was, and why someone did this to him. Each time he finds someone connected to a mysterious symbol, something inconceivable happens. Something even the people who live in unreality can't explain.

Micah and the investors built the Maze, a massive alternate reality that feeds on the players who enter. But now someone is pursuing them. One by one, the investors begin to vanish.

When clues are left behind, Micah suspects who it is that’s taking them. It’s someone from a game played long ago and a promise she made. He believes she wants to avenge all those responsible for what they did to her. And her son. But she wants something much more than to destroy the Maze. He must stop her before all hope is lost. He thought she was dead. But he was wrong.

She was only waiting.

  • “I’m going to have to read every other book and short story he has written.”
  • “Very well written and the characters are amazing. It will make question your reality.”
  • “…masterfully brings together at the end”
  • “This book is one craziness of a ride.”
  • “Best book ever!”
  • “Well worth reading, difficult to put down.”
  • “If you’ve not yet read any of Bertauski’s books, this is a superb one to start with!”
  • “This book is brilliant!”
  • “Bertauski has done it again!! I’m afraid to watch video games or use virtual reality now.”


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...

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.

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.


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.

USA Today Bestselling Author

Sunday, June 16, 2019


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.

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.