Expectations: A True Adoption Story

1

I write fiction. I make up stories. This is not one of them.

This is all true. Some minor details have been altered and names changed, but the story itself is true.

At some point, you won’t believe it. Hell, I don’t believe some of it and I was there. I never planned on writing about it until I did. It’s a story about crises. It’s about resolution, about life prevailing.

It’s about adoption.

This is not a step-by-step guide to turn lemons into lemonade. I’m not dull enough to ignore the luck involved that made all of this happen. It’s just one story.

It happens to be true.

All proceeds are donated to Through Emma’s Eyes, a nonprofit organization that helps prospective adoptive parents, adoptive parents with special-needs children, and birth mothers with urgent needs.
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Additional Information

Published on
Oct 14, 2017
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Pages
34
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ISBN
9781537848297
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Family & Relationships / Adoption & Fostering
Juvenile Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Tony Bertauski
 When kids awake on an island, they’re told there was an accident. Before they can go home, they will visit Foreverland, an alternate reality that will heal their minds. 


Reed dreams of a girl that tells him to resist Foreverland. He doesn’t remember her name, but knows he once loved her. He’ll have to endure great suffering and trust his dream. And trust he’s not insane. 

Danny Boy, the new arrival, meets Reed’s dream girl inside Foreverland. She’s stuck in the fantasy land that no kid can resist. Where every heart’s desire is satisfied. Why should anyone care how Foreverland works? 


INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR


HOW IMPORTANT ARE NAMES TO YOU IN THIS BOOK. DID YOU CHOOSE THEM BASED ON SOUND OR MEANING?

Almost all of my books have names with special meaning, some foreshadowing a big twist. In The Annihilation of Foreverland, Reed’s name was symbolic of his ability to tolerate suffering, bending in the face of gale forces but never breaking. 


WHERE DOES YOUR TOMORROW SPRING FROM? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CRAZY WORLD?

Sometimes, I can’t remember how the story started by the time I get to the end. The Annihilation of Foreverland started with the premise of identity. I wanted to write it as a YA book in the science fiction dystopia genre in a way that slowly unfolded as well as questioned who we are and explore our fear of death, and what we’re willing to do to avoid it. Like all of my stories, it does have a romantic angle mixed into the action. Because it should.



GIVE YOUR BOOK THE BECHDEL TEST. IT HAS TO HAVE AT LEAST TWO (NAMED) WOMEN IN IT WHO TALK TO EACH OTHER ABOUT SOMETHING BESIDES A MAN.

I failed because there’s only one female in The Annihilation of Foreverland. However, the young adult sequel (Foreverland is Dead) passes with flying colors since its mostly female characters that rarely talk about men.


WHAT SORT OF BODY COUNT ARE WE TALKING HERE?

The bodies die, but not necessarily the characters. Chew on that a second.


DO YOU WANT YOUR TOMORROW TO MAKE IT BIG, AS IN JK ROWLINGS-BIG? WHY OR WHY NOT?

Believe it or not, no. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to make enough cash to pay off this house and send my kids to college, but I’ll pass on fame and fortune. Anonymity is a blessing.


YOU CAST YOUR CHARACTERS FOR A MOVIE. WHO MAKES IT?

In The Annihilation of Foreverland, I only casted two characters in my head while I was writing it. The Director is Jeff Bridges and Mr. Jones is Anthony Hopkins. It was like watching a movie as I wrote.


HAVE YOU WRITTEN IN ANY OTHER GENRES BESIDES YA DYSTOPIAN?  WHAT DREW YOU TO YOU THIS GENRE?

I’ve been fascinated by consciousness, identity and what this all means since I was young. I would read my grandfather’s science fiction books with elements of artificial intelligence and alternate realities and wonder what happened when they died? I suppose that’s why all of my writing deals with the big mysteries of life in one way or another. In a way, I write for my own exploration, in a sort of thought experiment approach, pulling apart our identities, exploring what makes us who we are. If I lost my memories, would I still be me? If I had my body parts replaced with synthetic replications, at what point would I not be me? Do I even need a body? 


What am I?


A few years ago, I figured I’d write a romance novel. Since all of my books have a romantic element, I thought it would be fun. Halfway through the novel, I found myself thinking more and more about the next project—a dystopian idea. So 40,000 words in, I scrapped the romance novel and got back to what I love. Science fiction.

Tony Bertauski
The entire Socket Greeny trilogy (Discovery, Training, and Legend) follows a white-haired teenager that discovers he's part of an evolved human race, how he trains to understand his true self, and the legendary conclusion of his true nature.

THE DISCOVERY OF SOCKET GREENY

Work has always come first for Socket Greeny's mother, ever since his father died. But when she shows him the inner workings of the Paladin Nation, he discovers why. 

Paladins traverse the planet through wormholes to keep the world safe, but from what, they won't say. Although his parents were not actually one of them, Socket is different. He soon finds himself in the center of controversy and betrayal when he's anointed the Paladin Nation’s prodigy. He didn't ask for the "blessing" of psychic powers and the ability to timeslice and he doesn't want to be responsible for the world. He just wants to go home and back to school and be normal again. 

But, sometimes, life doesn't give us that privilege, his mother tells him. 

THE TRAINING OF SOCKET GREENY

A year has passed since the Paladin Nation was exposed to the public. Their mission is still to protect humanity from whatever may threaten them. Previously, it was the human duplications, but now that they've been extinguished their biggest challenge is dealing with the complications of public image.

Socket Greeny, now 17 years old, has been a Paladin cadet for the past year and is nearing the final test. But that's the least of his problems. He's trying to live two lives: one as a superhero while hanging onto his normal life. While fearlessly dealing with his masochistic trainer, he's trying to salvage his deteriorating relationship with his girlfriend back home. But Socket's greatest challenge is to find his true enemy.

He discovers that fear has many faces.


THE LEGEND OF SOCKET GREENY

The Paladin Nation is rebuilding. Socket Greeny is leading them into a new era of compassion and understanding. But when Pike returns, Socket discovers nothing is what he expected, that his life has been planned from the beginning. He is faced with ultimate betrayal.

In the end, he won't be asked to save the world. It'll be the entire universe.



INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

When did you start writing?
My first effort started with Socket Greeny. It was a story I started for my son because he hated to read. It didn’t work, but this character – Socket – took root. It was the first time I felt possessed by a character with a story to tell. It took me 5 years and countless rewrites to get it right. I waited by the mailbox after that, but the giant paycheck never arrived.

If you can’t make money, why write fiction?
I didn’t say you can’t make money. There are a lot of people out there with a good book, whether it’s romance, dystopia, science fiction or young adult. I’m just a minnow in a crowded pond. It took a good deal of networking and research to realize just how hard it is. 

Thanks to epublishing, I can get the book out. That frees me up to write what inspires me. Writing is the true love. There’s something deeply satisfying to have characters come to life in your mind and watch their stories unfold. It’s a deeper experience than reading someone else’s story.

What do you want readers to get from your stories?
I’ve always been inspired by fearless writing that asked poignant questions; questions like who am I and what is the universe? Things that made me look at life slightly different; books that exposed a layer of reality. Writing in the young adult genre appealed to me most because that’s the age I really craved those questions and answers.

I want readers to see the world slightly different.

What is your favorite character?
I love a bad, bad antagonist that you can’t entirely hate; there’s some smidgeon of redemption you feel inside this demented, sorry character. Heath Ledger’s Joker. A despicable character that didn’t deserve an ounce of pity, but, for some reason, I didn’t hate him as much as I should have. It’s that character I find most intriguing. In The Socket Greeny Saga, the character Pike was my Joker.

Tony Bertauski
 The Complete Foreverland Saga. 


THE ANNIHILATION OF FOREVERLAND 
When kids awake on an island, they’re told there was an accident. Before they can go home, they will visit Foreverland, an alternate reality that will heal their minds. 

Reed dreams of a girl that tells him to resist Foreverland. He doesn’t remember her name, but knows he once loved her. He’ll have to endure great suffering and trust his dream. And trust he’s not insane. 

Danny Boy, the new arrival, meets Reed’s dream girl inside Foreverland. She’s stuck in the fantasy land that no kid can resist. Where every heart’s desire is satisfied. Why should anyone care how Foreverland works? 


FOREVERLAND IS DEAD 
Six teenage girls wake with no memories. One of them is in a brick mansion, her blonde hair as shiny as her shoes. The others are in a cabin, their names tagged to the inside of their pants. Their heads, shaved. Slashes mark the cabin wall like someone has been counting. 

Hundreds of them. 

There’s wilderness all around and one dead adult. The girls discover her body rotting somewhere in the trees. As the weeks pass, they band together to survive the cold, wondering where they are and how they got there. And why. 

When an old man arrives with a teenage boy, the girls learn of a faraway island called Foreverland where dreams come true and anything is possible. But Foreverland is dead. In order to escape the wilderness, they’ll have to understand where they are. 

More importantly, who they are. 


ASHES OF FOREVERLAND 
Tyler Ballard was in prison when his son created a dreamworld called Foreverland, a place so boundless and spellbinding that no one ever wanted to leave. Or did. Now his son is dead, his wife is comatose and Tyler is still imprisoned. 

But he planned it that way. 

The final piece of his vision falls into place when Alessandra Diosa investigates the crimes of Foreverland. Tyler will use her to create a new dimension of reality beyond anything his son ever imagined—a Foreverland for the entire world. 

Danny, living outside of Spain since escaping the very first Foreverland, begins receiving mysterious clues that lead him to Cyn. They are both Foreverland survivors, but they have more in common than survival. They become pieces of another grand plan, one designed to stop Tyler Ballard. No one knows who is sending the clues, but some suspect Reed, another Foreverland survivor. Reed, however, is dead. 

Everyone will make one last trip back to Foreverland to find out who sent them. And why. 


INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR


HOW IMPORTANT ARE NAMES TO YOU IN THIS BOOK. DID YOU CHOOSE THEM BASED ON SOUND OR MEANING?

Almost all of my books have names with special meaning, some foreshadowing a big twist. In The Annihilation of Foreverland, Reed’s name was symbolic of his ability to tolerate suffering, bending in the face of gale forces but never breaking. 


WHERE DOES YOUR TOMORROW SPRING FROM? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CRAZY WORLD?

Sometimes, I can’t remember how the story started by the time I get to the end. The Annihilation of Foreverland started with the premise of identity. I wanted to write it as a YA book in the science fiction dystopia genre in a way that slowly unfolded as well as questioned who we are and explore our fear of death, and what we’re willing to do to avoid it. Like all of my stories, it does have a romantic angle mixed into the action. Because it should.



GIVE YOUR BOOK THE BECHDEL TEST. IT HAS TO HAVE AT LEAST TWO (NAMED) WOMEN IN IT WHO TALK TO EACH OTHER ABOUT SOMETHING BESIDES A MAN.

I failed because there’s only one female in The Annihilation of Foreverland. However, the young adult sequel (Foreverland is Dead) passes with flying colors since its mostly female characters that rarely talk about men.


WHAT SORT OF BODY COUNT ARE WE TALKING HERE?

The bodies die, but not necessarily the characters. Chew on that a second.


DO YOU WANT YOUR TOMORROW TO MAKE IT BIG, AS IN JK ROWLINGS-BIG? WHY OR WHY NOT?

Believe it or not, no. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to make enough cash to pay off this house and send my kids to college, but I’ll pass on fame and fortune. Anonymity is a blessing.


YOU CAST YOUR CHARACTERS FOR A MOVIE. WHO MAKES IT?

In The Annihilation of Foreverland, I only casted two characters in my head while I was writing it. The Director is Jeff Bridges and Mr. Jones is Anthony Hopkins. It was like watching a movie as I wrote.


HAVE YOU WRITTEN IN ANY OTHER GENRES BESIDES YA DYSTOPIAN?  WHAT DREW YOU TO YOU THIS GENRE?

I’ve been fascinated by consciousness, identity and what this all means since I was young. I would read my grandfather’s science fiction books with elements of artificial intelligence and alternate realities and wonder what happened when they died? I suppose that’s why all of my writing deals with the big mysteries of life in one way or another. In a way, I write for my own exploration, in a sort of thought experiment approach, pulling apart our identities, exploring what makes us who we are. If I lost my memories, would I still be me? If I had my body parts replaced with synthetic replications, at what point would I not be me? Do I even need a body? 


What am I?


A few years ago, I figured I’d write a romance novel. Since all of my books have a romantic element, I thought it would be fun. Halfway through the novel, I found myself thinking more and more about the next project—a dystopian idea. So 40,000 words in, I scrapped the romance novel and got back to what I love. Science fiction.

Tony Bertauski
 The epic Halfskin journey all in one boxed set.

HALFSKIN (#1)
Biomites are artificial stem cells that can replace any cell in your body. No more kidney failure, no severed spines or blood disease. No cancer. Pharmaceuticals become obsolete. With each dose of biomites, we become stronger, we become smarter and prettier. 

We become better. 

At what point are we no longer human? 

Nix Richards nearly died in a car accident when he was young. Biomites saved his life. Ten years later, he’s not so lucky. The Halfskin Laws decree a human composed of 50% biomites is no longer human. Halfskins have no legal rights and will have their biomites shutdown. It’s not called murder, merely deactivation. 

Cali Richards has been Nix’s legal guardian since their parents died. She has lost far too many people in her life to let the government take Nix. She is a nanobiometric engineer and will discover how to hide him. But even brilliance can succumb to the pressure of suffering. And technology can’t cure insanity. 

Cali and Nix keep a slippery grip on reality as they elude a maniacal federal agent dedicated to saving humanity from what he calls 'The Biomite Plague'.

CLAY (#2)
Jamie wants to be a halfskin. 

Her life has become dull and pointless. If she had more biomites—synthetic stem cells that promise hope—she could take control of her life. But Jamie’s body is already 49.9% biomites. The rest is clay—her God-given organic cells. Any more biomites and she becomes a halfskin. And halfskins are shutdown. 

But there is a way. 

Black market biomites, called nixes, can’t be detected by the government’s halfskin hunter, M0ther. Jamie would have to sacrifice her clay to get the nixes, but they would make her halfskin without anyone knowing. Including M0ther. But first she has to find them. 

Nix Richards can help. He’s the first halfskin to escape M0ther and Jamie has something he wants. He’ll need her to help him find a fabricator. He’ll betray anyone to get it, even those closest to him. 

This psychological thriller will keep Nix and Jamie second-guessing every move while they elude M0ther and Marcus Anderson, the man that wants to rid the world of biomites. But in the end, they’ll all discover just how deep the betrayal goes. 

BRICKS (#3)
Fabbers, slabbers and fakies were dehumanizing slurs for fabricated humans. Bricks, however, was the People’s favorite.

The Sentience Laws were created to protect the rights of Bricks, but the laws didn’t last long. Banished to the remote isolation of the Settlement, Paul and Raine are sentenced to live the rest of their lives in the wilderness.

Escape and freedom will depend on Marcus Anderson, the man responsible for all the suffering that’s been endured since the invention of biomites—the synthetic stem cells used to fabricate halfskins and Bricks. Marcus needs them in order to find the “powers-that-be,” the man he believes is truly responsible for the world’s suffering. Their journey will take them to a tiny island in the South Atlantic, where the truth is much closer than they realize. That’s where they will discover the “powers-that-be”.

And so much more.


INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR


WHAT GENRE DO YOU PREFER?

Science fiction, dystopia, technothriller and, to some extent, young adult. I do have a series of novellas in the vampire genre. Yeah, I know. Doesn’t fit. That character, Drayton, came out of nowhere when I was at a community theatre production of Dracula. I figured that an immortal vampire would more likely become compassionate and wise as he grew older. The technothriller Halfskin is similar to vampires in that technology promises immortality and complete control of our bodies. But then what?


WHY A SYNTHETIC STEM CELL?

Organic life is too nilly-willy. We’re limited by our DNA. Give it to the scientists to perfect this vehicle that carries us around because it is a vehicle. If we no longer have organic bodies, if every one of our cells is replaced by something manmade all the way down to the neurons and synapses, then what are we? What if our world is just a computerized environment, ala The Matrix? Would we know the difference? Look, we’re printing organs today. I’m not, but someone is. Some genius has figured out how to push play and heart or liver or kidney comes down the chute. Halfskin takes the idea into the distant future and explores whether this leads to more happiness or just more of the same. Because more money, more problems.


DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?

Day job, I’m a college horticulture teacher. Writing is a passion. No plans to change it. 


WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

Breathe.


WHAT TALENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO HAVE?

Omnipresent supergalactic oneness.


IF WE HAD A CUSTOM THAT ALLOWED US TO EAT OUR CHILDREN, WHAT KIND OF SAUCE WOULD YOU USE?

Ketchup, the miracle condiment.


ARE OUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES STEALING OUR SOUL? AND IF SO, DO YOU MAKE 

OFFERINGS TO YOUR TOASTER?

I offer white bread and the toaster gives back crunchy, brown bread. Never doubt a true miracle. 


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