Friday, January 1, 2010

COWBOY AND WILLS: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
COWBOY & WILLS

BY MONICA HOLLOWAY

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In this exceptionally touching memoir, critically acclaimed author Monica Holloway shares the extraordinary, deeply moving story of Cowboy, the golden retriever puppy who changed her son's life.

The day Monica learns that her lovable, brilliant three-year-old son, Wills, has autism spectrum disorder, she takes him to buy an aquarium. It's the first in a string of impulsive trips to the pet store to buy animals as a distraction from the uncontrollable, crushing reality of Wills's diagnosis. But while Wills diligently tends to the growing menagerie, what he really wants is a puppy. And one Christmas, when Wills is six, Cowboy Carol Lawrence joins their family.

Like all dynamic duos, Cowboy and Wills complement each other perfectly. Wills is cautious, fastidious, and irresistibly tenderhearted. Cowboy, a rambunctious golden retriever, is overeager, affectionate, and impulsive. And from the moment Cowboy enters their lives, Monica sees her son step a little farther into the world.

Soon, the boy who could barely say hello to his classmates in kindergarten is sharing stories of his new "sister" Cowboy during morning circle. Children crowd around them at the park, and instead of running away, Wills, holding Cowboy's leash in his sweaty fist, proudly answers all of their questions. With Cowboy, he finds the courage to invite kids over for playdates, overcomes his debilitating fear of water to swim along beside her in the family pool, and, after years of gentle coaxing, Wills finally sleeps in his own bed with Cowboy's paws draped across his small chest.

Through it all, Cowboy is there, dragging him toward other children, giving him the confidence to try new things and the courage to face his worst fears. And when Cowboy turns out to need her new family as much as they need her, they discover just how much she has taught them -- about devotion, about loyalty, and about never giving up.

Sometimes it's what you don't know to hope for that saves you. For Monica, her husband, Michael, and their son, Wills, salvation came in the form of a puppy with pale blond fur, chocolate brown eyes, a fondness for chewing the crotch out of underpants, and a limitless capacity for love.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Monica Holloway is the critically acclaimed author of the memoir Driving With Dead People, described by Newsweek as “unforgettable,” Glamour christened “a classic,” and the Washington Post deemed “irresistible.” She contributed to the anthology Mommy Wars, from which her essay “Red Boots and Cole Haans” was described by Newsday as “brilliant, grimly hilarious.” Holloway lives with her family in Los Angeles.

Monica Holloway Revealed
About Monica Holloway
  • What is your birthdate?:
    9/8
  • Previous occupations:
    Actress in the theatre, Assistant to the Executive Producers of UNSOLVED MYSTERIES (no I didn't see a real ghost), chasing a hot air balloon around Del Mar, CA and collecting the passengers when it landed, corn detasseling, driving a hearse
  • Favorite job:
    Writing
  • High school and/or college:
    MFA - University of California, San Diego
  • Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:
    Stephen Sondheim
  • Favorite movie:
    Moonstruck
  • Favorite television show: 30 Rock.....Monica Holloway: A Self Portrait shown above

MY REVIEW:

What a wonderful, amazing memoir that Monica Holloway shares with each lucky reader. Holloway writes beautifully and especially after I heard her voice on the short video about this book, I could hear her voice in my head reading to me as I read this book. This is a book filled with emotional tugs at your heart for many reasons. First and foremost, is Wills. Monica's son, Wills, was diagnosed at age three, with autism spectrum disorder. What is now fact is that 1 in 150 children born will be diagnosed with autism of which 1 in 84 are boys. As I was told when I was teaching, if you haven't already found someone in your life with autism, you will very soon. And my last two years teaching, I did indeed have 3 amazing children with autism in my classes...and I consider myself the lucky one to have been part of these very special youngsters who taught me so much.


Wills is an amazing, intelligent, lovable child and when one realizes how his autism effects him, it is easier to see why he does things his way and you have to marvel at him as well as how his parents who devote their life and love to this child. His mother had to deal with each of Will's challenges in her own way and one of them was to bring pets into the home. This helped more than she knew and certainly when she did turn to psychologists and specialists she saw how these animals had helped Will to make transitions as it drew him out of his shell. Each hermit crab and rabbit were one more step to winning small battles in his young life. However, when the puppy that Will wanted so much became part of the family, Wills really began to make great strides especially in socialization. Instead of an introverted autistic child, he became a playful young boy who could laugh and enjoy new friends. With each of these small triumphs for Wills, there was also beneficial effects for Monica. She was able to realize that she had also become isolated in Wills' world before Cowboy came along and opened up many doors for both of them.

Cowboy Carol Lawrence, an adorable golden retriever, came to Wills for Christmas as a puppy. Monica had a great deal of trouble finding this special dog that Wills wanted, and she finally had to get her from what she thought was a reputable pet store that supposedly didn't deal with puppy mills. Once Cowboy entered their lives, Wills was able to have more control over his life which was very important in dealing with his autism. His ability to transfer his fears and doubts to his loyal pet, helped him to lead a more "normal" childhood. And so, with this precious pup came new found hope. But when Cowboy herself has to face her own problems, she is not alone. She has a family that loves her and supports her in every way they can. As the reader becomes a part of this family's life, you will also feel the pain along with the triumphs that Cowboy, Wills, and his parents experience. Keep your tissues handy, but also enjoy the laughs at what I found to be one of the most enjoyable, well written memoirs I have read in a long time. Thank you, Wills and Monica for the pleasure.

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to Marni Wander, I
am able to give away three
copies of this wonderful
book that will be personally
autographed to the winners.


--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON A FAVORITE MEMOIR YOU HAVE READ. IF YOU CAN'T REMEMBER ONE, TELL ABOUT SOMEONE'S MEMOIR YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ.

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

Like me, many of you may want to keep up with Monica and Wills. You can become a fan on Facebook and enter into some of the great conversations and comments that are going on there about the book, Wills, Cowboy, and Austism. Here is the Facebook link: Www.facebook.com/cowboyandwills

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, JANUARY 18

GOOD LUCK!

36 comments:

Esme said...

Who would not want to read this book -it sounds fantastic-good memoir-they are my speciality and now I cannot remember-My Life in France, Julia Childs-I really enjoyed, not so much a memoir but a story about her life-jantsten's gift-Pam Cope, semi-memoir-On Writing Stephen King.

Happy New Year

chocolate and croissants at yahoo dot com

Aik said...

My favourite memoir is Adeline Yen Mah's Chinese Cinderella.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

justpeachy36 said...

justpeachy36@yahoo.com

Comment #1 probably never wins LOL...

Please enter me in the giveaway, this looks like such a touching memoir.

I am a fan of discovery channels Deadliest Catch television show and the memoir I most want to read right now is by Captain Sig Hanson. It's called North by Northwestern and it looks fabulous.

Linda K said...

I would like to read True Compass: A Memoir about Ted Kennedy

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Benita said...

I think The Imposter's Daughter is considered a memoir. Written with illustrations, this book was a winner.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Margied said...

This is definitely my kind of book...a good memoir with a canine character!
A memoir I really enjoyed was Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathenane, about a young boy growing up in South Africa.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

bermudaonion said...

I'm so glad to see this book is so good. It sounds like I'll need tissues near when I read it. No need to enter me.

Julie P. said...

I have lots of favorite memoirs, but the one I want to read the most right now is Andre Agassi's book OPEN.

Anonymous said...

I usually don't read memoirs but I would love to read the memoirs of Elizabeth I. "Cowboy and Wills" interests me because my niece is studying to become a teacher of special-needs children, particularly those who are autistic, and I think she would really enjoy this book.

Sheila
skkorman@bellsouth.net

g.g. said...

So many but think one favorite is Helen Keller.

anjamie4 AT gmail dot com

Bethie said...

My favorite memoir is the Glass House.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

petite said...

Thanks for this giveaway. My favorite memoir was A lucky Child which was unforgettable and special. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

RAnn said...

I enjoyed Jensen's Choice. ruthjoec at aoldotcom

RAnn said...

I blogged. http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/2009/01/giveaways.html

valerie2350 said...

Cult Insanity was very interesting ;)

Angie said...

My favorite memoir was The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

aksimmo@brainerd(dot)net

Rebecca O said...

I would love to read this. I recently read Cult Insanity: A Memoir of Polygamy, Prophets, and Blood Atonement by Irene Spence. Really enlightening.

bekki1820cb at gmail

Anonymous said...

Having worked with children with autism and their parents, this looks like a wonderful book. I love memoirs.

SusieQ at Hinson

rubynreba said...

I liked In An Instant by Lee Woodruff
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Sarah said...

Please enter me in this giveaway!

I recently read The Gift of an Ordinary Day, a memoir by Katrina Kenison. I really liked this memoir, as it really makes one stop and appreciate the small things in life.

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah Emmerson

Sarah said...

I tweeted:

https://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/7320937805

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah Emmerson

amanda18228 said...

I really liked My Life in France by Julia Child.
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

amanda18228 said...

I tweeted. http://twitter.com/amandawk/status/7333405215
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

kalynnick said...

I would love to read a memoir of Brad Pitt!

kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

Wrighty said...

This looks so good and very touching! My mom and I each have golden retrievers and they are so sensitive, smart and have amazing eyes. They would be the perfect dog to help a child. Please include me too. I would love to read this one!

I didn't care for memoirs much before but in the past few years I've found some great stories. I'm reading The Gift of an Ordinary Day now and it's very good!

5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

Wrighty said...

Added to sidebar
www.wrightysreads.blogspot.com

5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

sharon54220 said...

Memoirs are my most favorite genre to read. To come up with a favorite is hard.
I loved Marley & Me. Dewey the Library Cat, the book on Christoper Reeves & his wife, the book about Bob Woodward. I could go & on.

I would love to read Andre Agassi's book and also Glass Castle.

sharon54220@gmail.com

Rebecca Graham said...

I read Magnificent Desolution by Buzz Aldrin recently.

rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

rick said...

I liked True Compass by Senator Kennedy. That's probably one of the best Memoirs I've read recently.

This book sounds great, enter me in your contest please.

nfmgirl said...

I loved The Last Tsar: The Life and Death of Nicholas II

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

Blogged:
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/2010/01/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-1-09-10.html

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

MiscMayzee said...

I mostly like fictionalized memoirs because they usually cover people who never wrote one...especially before memoirs were a regular thing.

Books like The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette

debbiejackson said...

I'd say hellen keller or wygen lovell

Wickdogg said...

No favorites but I do want to read Agassi's book, Open


wickdogg AT gmail Dot com

Nancye said...

I read a memoir by Gerda Weissman Klein several years ago that I will never forget. Ms. Klein is a Holocaust Survivor and writes about her experiences. A must read, especially for those who have an interest in the Holocaust.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!

http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/7920866259

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

CLICK HERE TO
SEE MY POLICY