Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Learning Newfie.

Showers make great napping spots.
Two years ago, Denise and I set out on a journey. We wanted to bring a Newfoundland into our home. Now, we both had different reasons. Hers was not solidified until she met a pair of the big, beautiful dogs at Royal Flush Newfs. I actually took her as a surprise during her birthday week. When she got out of the car and the pair bounded up, she was almost in tears right then and there. Over the next few years, I will be documenting my journey into this amazing world with our girl. Her official name is Royal Flush's Lady Freyja Limerose. We just call her Freyja.

Flat on her back, enjoying the cool breeze on her belly.

For me, it was a dog from my childhood, and I never forgot that loving, wonderful bond I felt. Unfortunately for me, when I got out on my own, I had neither the room, nor the funds for such an amazing animal. So, as I begin to chronicle this journey with our girl, I will share a few things that I have learned as well as try to demystify a world that can seem daunting to an outsider (which I consider myself to be for now).

She won't be fitting there much longer.
If you are considering a Newfoundland, there is a lot you should probably ask yourself. Here are few internal conversations you may not be considering:

  1. Can I handle water being sloshed, tracked and spilled everywhere in my house?
  2. If I have stairs in my house, am I willing to be diligent and carry my Newfie up and down them for the first several months?
  3. Do I want my Newfie to enjoy a life of doing the activities that come so naturally?


Enjoying a light misting.
Newfoundlands LOVE water. There is no way to emphasize this enough. Puddles, streams, lakes, bathtubs, sprinklers. If it involves water, a Newfie is all about it. They will "dig" in their water dishes, flop down in any puddle they find, and then they will slip past you and run into the house while you are reaching for the towel that has now become a part of your wardrobe. It is in their nature, and you need to be accepting of it. Keeping a Newfoundland out of water (besides being a Herculean effort that you will simply never win) would be cruel at best. Can you deal with the mess? If not, keep looking for that ideal companion.

A budding friendship...
Stairs. The reality is that a Newfie is a big teddy bear in the early months. However, their weight is simply not something you want them dragging up and down stairs. It will put a strain on their joints that can cause PERMANENT damage. It might seem strange, but the best thing you can do for them is to carry them up and down for as long as possible. Also, you need to be responsible and limit that sort of activity once they are too big to carry. Think of it this way...would you drive a sports car on a motocross dirt track? Probably not. It would be damaged and ruined. Well, a Newfie is a member of your family and certainly much more important than a car. Don't put him or her in conditions that will cause damage and even injury.


Newfoundlands are working dogs. They are superb candidates for pulling carts, water rescue, as well as amazing companions. They have a heart to match their size and will want nothing more than to make you happy. Can you reciprocate? I was fortunate to watch a draft cart certification. The owners were on pins and needles, but the dogs were in heaven. There are clubs all over that will introduce you to some wonderful things that will only create a stronger bond between you and your Newfoundland. One of my complaints with the "dog world" is the people. There can be an exclusionary attitude that borders on mean. Personally, I don't understand such things. I was very lucky to find a group that was inviting and eager to add another Newfie family to the ranks. Look around, the good ones are out there. If you find a nasty bunch...keep looking.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Get over yourself.

Okay, so this is one of those ramblings where I make an ass of myself in some eyes and preach the gospel in others. I know there will be hurt feelers out there, but, think about it, if YOU are getting bent out of shape by this...maybe YOU are part of the problem.

The indie scene is sorta like that groovy little corner coffee shop that you think is this huge secret shared by only you and the few faces that you see every single day as you sit in the corner using that free wi-fi and listening to music that has bongos or heavy electronica sounds...or both. You give each other that knowing nod as you take your regular seat every day until one morning, you walk in to find somebody sitting in YOUR seat! The problem is, that is not YOUR seat, it is part of the establishment that is trying to eke out an existence. So, in a huff, you sit someplace else and scowl at the other person the entire time.

Where am I going with this? Well, there are people in the indie scene that think there is not enough room at the top for others (outside of their little clique, of course...wink-wink). Now, I can only speak for myself, but, even pushing it, a book every three months is a lot of work. I see it hit the market, and then enjoy the feedback from people who devoured it in ONE DAY! So, what are they gonna do for 89 more days until my next book comes out? READ SOMEBODY ELSE! And guess what? I love sharing titles that I stumble upon and enjoy. I am stoked if somebody takes that suggestion and finds a new writer to love. The thought never occurs to me that the reader will never return to my work again. 

The way some of the folks in the indie scene have been acting as of late is sort of disgraceful. They almost seem to want to horde their readers. And unless you are part of the small clique they have created...you won't get the time of day, much less a recommendation. Now, I have a few writers that I absolutely love to hype. (Claire Riley, Eli Constant, Rhonda Hopkins, Heath Stallcup) But I really dig stumbling on to somebody I have never heard of and never really had any serious dealings with and then reading their stuff and sharing it with the world (provided it is good), or at least the small circle of people who read my blog or follow me via social media. 

Next week, I will be digging around the indie-verse and finding a few things to read (might not ALL be zombie stuff...never can tell) and then I am going to give you some names to hit up and add to your list. Maybe you have some suggestions. If so, now is a good time to leave them in the comments.

If you are an author...and if you want me to read YOUR book, let me know. That is my other gripe with some of these self-serving types that are entrenching themselves in the indie scene. I have read and reviewed HUNDREDS of my peers. Some when asked, some just because I want to show support. One of my favorite LAME excuses to hear in response to a request for some of them to reciprocate is that they don't want to have my work possibly influence what they are writing and then get accused of stealing an idea. REALLY? It couldn't have anything to do with you being selfish, and now that you got your review and a sale (or two if anybody pays attention to my reviews and decides to give it a shot), that you don't see the need to return the favor. 

Or...oh, wait...maybe it is the social stigma of showing me some support. Yes, that is a real thing I get from writers due to a few no-nothing types who threaten to boycott anybody that has anything to do with me. NEWSFLASH: How much do you really know about the personal life of the writers you read? I put my stuff on front street because I know me, I know the facts, and I know what is bull. I've never hidden anything simply because I do not feel the need. These little busy-body types are nothing more than locusts or lemmings that swarm and try to cause destruction to my personal income (since the whole being a writer thing is how I make my living and support my family). They get weak-minded people to carry their banner and use intimidation and threats to get others to fall in with their line. Classy. Like the headline says: Get over yourself.

Now, get me some names and some titles to BUY this week and show my support for my fellow indies.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I was not overwhelmed by this book, it offered a decent premise and an interesting story. K L is the focus with the ability to move between the various Londons that exist in this magical realm. As I said, there was nothing groundbreaking, and often I found myself sort of waiting for something to happen, but in the end, it proved to be a satisfying read/listen that entertained me.

View all my reviews

Friday, August 28, 2015

Tired of Newfie puppy pics yet?

Me either!



Wrapping up the week with another visit from one of my amazing Beta readers. For those of you thinking about throwing your hat in the Beta reader ring, this might hopefully take away some of the mystery. So, let's see what Caron had to say after this mini-request. Bottom line is that I need a good 20 more reviews for UnCivil War: A Modern Day Race War in the United States. I will gift you a copy or send you the epub or Mobi version. All you need to do is commit to posting the review. Yes, it is still okay if you don't like it. This is not trolling for positive reviews...just reviews PERIOD. Any takers? Email me at twbrown.maydecpub@gmail.com.



1.      What do you like about being a Beta Reader (maybe not just for me, but for others as well).
I have like being a Beta Reader so much, especially as the story is set in my neck of the woods.

Being able to see a story slowly in the making, makes me feel privileged. And offering my help, may help the author if only a little. Also helping with the authenticity of the story, where it is set, I don't like the books I choose to read to be in imaginary places.

2.      For somebody seeing an announcement for being a Beta Reader, help demystify the situation for them and tell them what it is all about.
I had never heard the term Beta Reader untill I read the post on Todd’s wall asking for Beta Readers, I googled it, right up my street. I love zombie books which is a huge plus, and I knew how the author wrote. And being just down the road from me I thought I may have something to offer. As we all speak the same language here in Yorkshire it's often used very differently. If you enjoy the books you have seen an announcement for Jump in feet first you won't regret it. It's a little like editing really. But you do need to set time aside to do it.


3.      I did things different with this title. I sent a single chapter at a time every day or every other day. Then, I packaged up each third AFTER making the fixes or addressing issues raised by some of the Beta Readers. What were the positives and negatives of this method versus sending an entire project at once?
I prefer to read a chapter every other day, I like to read how it's developing first ,then read again for any missing punctuation, authenticity of area and characters. As I have never done this before I can only imagine what it would be like to be given the whole book to Beta read in one go. Way too much for me, as am sure there would be a deadline , and I would have wanted to read more than once before I had to send in anything. Keep it this way!

4.      Do you prefer this “new” method of Beta reading, or would you rather receive the entire project at once?
See above!
5.      What can an author do to entice more people to become Beta Readers?
An author maybe needs to advertise everywhere, at the back of a book, even saying you will be looking for future Beta readers for future books and to send an email to say you’re interested, even a little explanation of the help they could offer. Front of the book. Even when you can read a chapter of the new follow on book, put that you are looking for a wider audience.

6.      Now, we talk about DEAD: Snapshot—Leeds, England. If there was one reason to grab this book, what would it be?
If you love Zombies you will love this book, great story writer and most characters are your every day, regular person next door. Yes you will get army, SAS trained people , die hard  gun enthusiasts,  peppers but with TW Brown there will be just normal "Joe soap" the people next door. And he always leaves you wanting more.


7.      Without giving away any serious spoilers, what scene stood out for you?
So far what stood out for me was when Shadiyah slaughtering the men that had zombies collected in the swimming pool, and what followed. A great, " oh noooo" moment. I tried to justify it for her.

8.      What makes the DEAD series stand out from other zombie series?
For me the DEAD series has been about communities trying to survive the apocalypse. There is more than one group of survivors in each book, and there are some seriously nasty "people" too. But to me the characters spring alive and jump off the page. You only need to read the first book to be hooked, the DEAD snapshot to me are tasters of the 12 book series.

9.      The DEAD: Snapshot—{insert town here} series is a spinoff with each book being a standalone story set in a specific location. My hope is to capture the feel of the location and make the reader feel like they are “on location”. I bring up Google Earth and go down to the street level view as I write to try and bring the location in as a secondary character.  How likely are you to pop over to Google Earth to check out a strange and unfamiliar locale just to get a feel for where the adventure is taking place? Or does the location not really matter?
I do use Google Earth, all the time. I like to get a feel for a place, I like my fiction set in non fiction town, the story is more authentic, if the place is real the characters become real .
Whitby would be perfect, lol. There are smugglers caves, catacombs under the abbey that you could hide out in. Only accessible with boat at high tide. Secret passage ways. We have the moors, the army base in the middle of nowhere, which is UK early warning system. Deep valleys , where you could herd the dealers and fill in each side. Even the steam trains still run. There are old hidden carries at old station you could make as home.........sorry getting carried away. I have an amazing memory, and I remember stuff I have seen years ago, not just recently.

Location matters or it's just another story. Same old same old. You need a location to be authentic as possible. There are any wonderful places to visit to write about, but often it's not possible, Google Earth gives you that possibility. I know I got the rock wall wrong, whilst out on the steam train I saw them.


10.  Should I make it a point to invite the readers to utilize Google Earth in my introduction?
Yes get them to look, tell them , go see where this one is set. Although I can't find the horses or house my name sake's character lives.

11.  Last question: You are being asked to determine which of my main characters survives. Any pressure?
This is so hard, Shadiyah has reacted in a knee jerk way, act first think later. Most of the time she had good reason to. But I think she will come full circle, with a friend like Caron at her side am sure she will. But others may act first think later towards her too. She needs a strong man to help her heal and become a warrior princess. Because i Would want her on my team.

Then we have Simon, he's the dependable chap everyone needs, a natural leader, but doesn't really want it, but he is the best choice. As a couple they would be formidable. Every community needs them both.

As I wrote my answers on a few pages, I was still pondering who I want to win out. Thinking I would have made up my mind by the time I typed this up. NOPE still haven't................gimme five minutes!!!

It's Shadiyah........she needs to survive, growing up in the apocalypse young girls will need a fearless role model and I believe she could lead an army to save a community.











Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What do puppies and Beta readers have in common?


The answer to that question is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. However, pictures of cute puppies are much more appealing than...say...a picture of yours truly. Also, most of you have seen the cover of my upcoming release, DEAD: Snapshot--Leeds, England. This is the second stand-alone title that I have released set in my DEAD world and I am actually very happy with this spin-off series.

Speaking of my Snapshot series, I am dipping my toes in a new (to me) promo site:
http://www.thebooksmachine.com

I will be submitting UnCivil War: A Modern Day Race War in the United States, and if it goes well, then I will give DEAD: Snapshot--Portland, Oregon a spin.

I will probably do three or four of these a year for the foreseeable future. What I won't do is write a 13th book in the DEAD series. Book 12, DEAD: End (coming this October) is the conclusion. I have more respect for the fans of my series than to pad it and water it down after you read what you expect to be the finale. This is NOT a "The Who" farewell tour. 

Yes, I write for a living, and that makes you, the wonderful people who part with some of your hard-earned money to buy my books, my employers. I do work for you. That is why I will probably have a short series of a few books that cover the story of what happened to Kevin and Catie in that 10-year interim. And then there are the DEAD: Snapshot--{insert town here} titles. At present, they are designed to be stand alone books. That is not to say that one or two offerings won't span a two or (at most) three book arc. Also, I will eventually be doing one for each of the branches of the United States Armed Forces.


That said, on to my interview with my Beta Reader, Jeff. I did things different this time, and I wanted the responses from a few of my wonderful Beta readers about the process. So, without further delay.



1. What do you like about being a Beta Reader (maybe not just for me, but for others as well).

I would say it’s the feeling of helping out and being a part of something bigger then one’s normal life.

2. For somebody seeing an announcement for being a Beta Reader, help demystify the situation for them and tell them what it is all about.  

When being a beta reader it basically means 3 things. 1st the author is looking to have you basically proof read it but for more than grammar or spelling mistakes but also to look for actual character errors or reference errors. 2nd is overall feel of the book. Basically you are noting any issues you have with the flow of the book. Is there something you feel is wrong or is it what you expected. The toughest part is criticizing the book but at the same time the author truly wants to hear the good and bad. Sometimes a change is needed and this is how it is found and fixed. And last up is to write a review of the book upon release, this is what helps the author to get the initial push off. Overall it can be fun and at the same time you get to make a difference in the books final outcome. 

3. I did things different with this title. I sent a single chapter at a time every day or every other day. Then, I packaged up each third AFTER making the fixes or addressing issues raised by some of the Beta Readers. What were the positives and negatives of this method versus sending an entire project at once? 

On the positive side is that you only have to focus on 9 or 10 pages. So one fast read and then a second slow read is easily accomplished. On the negative-It sucks when you get into it and your at the end a few pages later and end up saying dammit Todd just 1 more page!!!

4. Do you prefer this “new” method of Beta reading, or would you rather receive the entire project at once? 

I think it will weed out the “free book beta readers” . My only concern would be it took 6 chapters to get any semblance of who is the main characters and where the story is going. The other rough side is you are into a month long project vs a weekend project. HOWEVER I think the fact that a author could basically rewrite sections of the book at any point without the entire book already having been written, Gives the author much more flexibility for change prior to the final cut.

5. What can an author do to entice more people to become Beta Readers? 

Not sure why you have problems here. Maybe we need to make A Fan Page on FB. I know that a lot of authors have a core group of beta readers that they use and it is hard to get into the group. So I would guess it’s more of a retention issue that may need to be addressed. Once you get a group built you're happy with do what you can to keep them.

6. Now, we talk about DEAD: Snapshot—Leeds, England. If there was one reason to grab this book, what would it be? 

Well the obvious is its related to the DEAD series and its ZOMBIE’S

7. Without giving away any serious spoilers, what scene stood out for you? 

Ask me at the end of the story.

IF I WAS allowed to change any 1 thing in this book. I would remove the rape scene from the book. It is way too early in the story and instantly makes the story Brutal. I feel you could have had the rape happen prior to our jump into the story or leave it out and let her commit suicide from the death of the family. I’m seriously afraid of you turning people off that early in the story.

8. What makes the DEAD series stand out from other zombie series? 

It’s not a 1 book wonder it’s a series. Series means the ability to have characters we get to know. The dead series stays in the realm of “this could happen” not that military attitude or the “its only zombies”. A good Apocalyptic story must involve the degradation of man also as well as the good in man.It must have the ability of survival with a possible decent outcome otherwise what is the point.

9. The DEAD: Snapshot—{insert town here} series is a spinoff with each book being a standalone story set in a specific location. My hope is to capture the feel of the location and make the reader feel like they are “on location”. I bring up Google Earth and go down to the street level view as I write to try and bring the location in as a secondary character.  How likely are you to pop over to Google Earth to check out a strange and unfamiliar locale just to get a feel for where the adventure is taking place? Or does the location not really matter? 

Yes and No. I wouldn’t likely google it but at the same time if I knew the area I would be disappointed if it wasn’t right.

10. Should I make it a point to invite the readers to utilize Google Earth in my introduction? 

Absolutely any interaction with the audience is always good

12. Last question: You are being asked to determine which of my main characters survives. Any pressure? 

Nope. Simon all the way so far

Monday, August 24, 2015

A new approach with BETA readers.

Too cute not to share her picture again.

So much to say about this new method (no, I am not claiming to have invented it, but I do know it is NOT the norm). With DEAD: Snapshot--Leeds, England, I took a new approach when it came to working with my amazing Beta readers. Instead of dumping the entire thing in their lap, and then letting it trickle in (not all who sign up or say they want in actually reply after you send them the ARC), I decided to send them the book one chapter at a time. 

This method allowed me to make fixes and/or changes in small bites. I believe that this also allowed me to connect more with my amazing Beta readers. Instead of just a "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am/man" method, we were able to address issues as they arose. Also, after the changes and fixes were worked out, I would send them a a section (3 chapters) of the material where they could see their suggestions put in to play. Also, if something was missed on that first run through, it was likely captured in subsequent looks. 

Pre-order it HERE!
This week (and maybe part of next week, I want to feature a few of my Beta readers and their responses to some questions that I had. Any writer will tell you that their Beta readers are amazing and are a large part of making the final book a better read. Not only do they tell you if you get long-winded, confusing, or perhaps forget that you killed that certain character two chapters earlier and need to take that into account in a scene where that same character saves the day...or dies again.

Without delay, let's here what Melena has to say. Bonus...I will scatter pictures of an adorable Newfoundland puppy throughout these answers as incentive to you, the reader.

Nap time!

1. What do you like about being a Beta Reader (maybe not just for me, but for others as
well).

As a fan, I enjoy, of course, the fact I get to read the book before it's actually published. I'm not
the most patient of person, so it's nice not to have to wait until it's in print (or on audio). But I also
enjoy thinking I'm helping in some way to iron out the kinks, so to speak. It's almost like a game
for me, so when I can spot a misspell or something, I feel like I just won a prize. It's a silly idea,
maybe, but it's fun for me.

2. For somebody seeing an announcement for being a Beta Reader, help demystify the
situation for them and tell them what it is all about.

I actually only came across the idea of a beta reader by seeing it on your Facebook and it was
immediately interesting for me. I think it's an awesome idea, to run a novel through a group of
readers, who help find grammatical errors, as well as any hiccups or conflictions in the story.
Maybe offer opinions if you don't feel a particular bit is working. Basically, you relate if you feel the
novel's good or not and why or why not this bit or that is or isn't working.

She would nap here if we let her.

3. I did things different with this title. I sent a single chapter at a time every day or every
other day. Then, I packaged up each third AFTER making the fixes or addressing issues
raised by some of the Beta Readers. What were the positives and negatives of this method
versus sending an entire project at once?

I believe the positives were more for you, the author, as it gave you ample time to fix things early
on, rather than maybe having to rewrite greater sections, according to what feedback you
received. But as a reader, it also meant less time reading each day, which if you have a busy
schedule, is usually important. The negatives were that, as a reader, it was sometimes difficult to
be caught with a cliffhanger and having to wait for the next chapter. I usually found myself having
a couple chapters open, anyway, and reading back. It can sometimes get distracting, the stopping
and starting with each new chapter presented, so I'd have to go back and make sure what I'd read
before. That's not to say I didn't like this way of doing things, I think it was less of an undertaking
with no pressure behind it. An ideal situation if you have little free time.

4. Do you prefer this “new” method of Beta reading, or would you rather receive the entire
project at once?

For me, either way is fine. I like being able to read it all at once, but I also like the idea of taking
my time and hopefully catching more issues. In the end, it's what helps the author more, so I'm
certainly okay with either method.

Cute? Umm...yes.

5. What can an author do to entice more people to become Beta Readers?

Honestly, I think if you need to 'bribe' or entice them by offering something, you run the chance of
finding readers less mindful of doing what they're there to do. Does that make sense? I think
doing this is an honor, really. For me, it was a bit of a humbling experience. Maybe it's my
admiration for you as a writer that makes me feel that way, or to think that I might, in any way,
benefit you in doing this. But with that mindset, I feel I really wanted to do a good job and to help. I
guess, on the flipside, though, some might want to do it if they know they're getting something in
return, like a free copy of the book or something. I hate to say offer money, because I think that
kind of defeats the purpose of your doing this to make money. Personally, once again, I just loved
the idea of getting to read it without having to wait. That was incentitive enough!

6. Now, we talk about DEAD: Snapshot—Leeds, England. If there was one reason to grab
this book, what would it be?

The obvious answer would be ZOMBIES! If you're a fan of them, any of TW Brown's books are
must haves. I do like that with Dead:Snapshot--­Leeds, England, that you get to experience a bit of
a different culture (if you're not from that area of the world) and gain a different perspective on
how other countries deal with the threat of zombies. Also. Bacon sandwhich. You'll have to get the
book to know what that means!

7. Without giving away any serious spoilers, what scene stood out for you?

There's one scene that will, undoubtedly, stick with me forever, because it was one of those
scenes you get no answer as to why, or how. It just is. I know that's really vague, but I don't want
to spoil it. Just trust me, when you read it, you're going to be like, "Nooooo! But whyyyyyy? What's
going on?!" Also, the child zombies in any of TW Brown's books always stand out for me. I love
his take on them and they're seriously creepy and sad, all the same time.

Lisa wanted to remind the world that SHE is cute as well as she imitates a bat.

8. What makes the DEAD series stand out from other zombie series?

First and foremost, they're very well written. The amount of characters and twists and plots keep
you interested and invested. I love that we, the readers, get so many different views and takes on
the same global tragedy. Humans don't handle the same situation in the same ways as everyone
else, and I like getting a taste of those differences in the DEAD series. It's impossible to get bored
when reading these books, and as you go along, you find yourself immersed in this storyline or
that one, so you always look forward to getting back to that particular group of survivors. Of
course, there are times when you REALLY like a particular character, only to have them die. It's
all part of the realism that TW Brown brings into his books (zombie plot aside). So be careful who
you get attached to. Even so, every time I had to stop reading and mourn, swearing I'd not read
anymore, I kept finding myself coming back for more. This series is highly addicting.

9. The DEAD: Snapshot—{insert town here} series is a spinoff with each book being a
standalone story set in a specific location. My hope is to capture the feel of the location
and make the reader feel like they are “on location”. I bring up Google Earth and go down
to the street level view as I write to try and bring the location in as a secondary character.
How likely are you to pop over to Google Earth to check out a strange and unfamiliar locale
just to get a feel for where the adventure is taking place? Or does the location not really
matter?

Actually, I've already done this. I'm still learning about Google Earth though, and it makes me a bit
dizzy to maneuver, but at least I got a sense of the area and probably would have never gave it a
glance, without reading this book.

Freyja playing "Where's Waldo?"

10. Should I make it a point to invite the readers to utilize Google Earth in my introduction?

Sure! Disorienting or not, Google Earth is still a neat tool to check out!

11. Last question: You are being asked to determine which of my main characters
survives. Any pressure?

No pressure, no; just worry that the vote won't sway on my side, so the character I actually like will
be killed. However, I'm used to TW Brown killing my favorite characters, by this point, so nothing
new, right? *laugh*

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Journey Begins...Newfoundland Life.

Getting acquainted.
Today, our home welcomes a new member. Her official name is Royal Flush's Lady Freyja Limerose. We just call her Freyja. (Yes, the 'J' is silent.) So, here is the story of her name. First, she comes from a wonderful line of Newfies. The Royal Flush Newfoundlands. So, that is the first part of her official name. Next, her mama is (shortened version) Lady Tutu, hence the "Lady" in her name. Then we have her "regular" name...the one we call her by: Freyja. (As we move forward with our Newfies and explore the possibility of breeding, our Newfs will sport Nordic and Viking Names. Lime was her identifying collar color. (When a litter is born, it is common to put a colored string around each one so you can identify them as they slowly mature.) Rose is our home name...as in DEAD ROSE MANOR (Thank you, Vix and Ivor!)

Yes, she knows she is pretty. But tell her anyway.
Over the next few years, Freyja will be learning various fun things that allow her to gain an array of titles. There are obedience titles, companion titles, draft cart titles, water rescue titles...get the picture? There is a lot that goes in to trying to create a champion. And the truth/reality is that we may not be perfect. We may not win a wall full of ribbons, and for a competitive person like me, that will be a lesson. What this MUST be is a special time for Freyja where she gets to enjoy doing what a Newfie is born to do.

She loves to lay like a seal...especially in the shade.
I will be training her and doing all I can to reach the mark that each title requires. If she loses due to my handling her wrong, then I will have to learn from my mistakes. But the funny thing about that will be how little she will actually care. For Freyja, it will just be play time. She will be told how wonderful she is each and every day. And through it all, I will be journaling the experience as I compile a book about owning, training, and ENJOYING the Newfie.

"Really? More pictures? Can't a gal doze in the shade in peace?"
And there will be pictures. Yes, there will be pictures. I recently completed a photography course and will be putting that to good use. If you love puppy pictures...be ready for LOTS of them. And once she starts her journey in all the certifications that will go on her pedigree, my photo journal will grow to epic proportions.


We have been waiting two years for this moment. That patience paid off as we have had the pleasure of working with an amazing breeder who will be friends for life with Denise and I. They will actually be coming over for dinner in a few weeks to see how she is doing (and fill up on my barbecued delights). They will be joining us at the many events and helping us become more knowledgeable in the world of the Newfie. 

Cuddle time!
This is not just bringing in a new dog to the house, this is the growth and expansion of our family. After all, when it comes down to it...Freyja will be a new member of the family.