Monday, July 5, 2010

COWBOY AND WILLS: REVIEWING REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
COWBOY & WILLS

BY MONICA HOLLOWAY
NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK!


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
"REVIEWING" MY REVIEW:

I am so thrilled to be able to revisit and "Review My Review" of COWBOY AND WILLS now that it is out in paperback. I know this will make it available to many more people and especially to book clubs. This book came to me in December, 2009, and my review began the 2010 year of my blog on January 1. I loved the book then and have gotten to love it even more since then. I have been honored to be in touch with Monica Holloway and to follow Will's growth and accomplishments through news and online. I also am excited to get the opportunity to present COWBOY AND WILLS a second time with a giveaway so many of you can read what for me, was a life-changing book. I am also sure that like mine, many book clubs will now be able to afford to read and discuss forever on, the wonder that is COWBOY AND WILLS. And now, here is my original 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 DARLENE AND MONICA,
I HAVE FOUR COPIES OF THIS WONDERFUL
MEMOIR, COWBOY & WILLS, TO GIVE
AWAY TO FOUR LUCKY 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 SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING ABOUT COWBOY & WILLS FROM WHAT YOU HAVE READ ABOVE THAT WOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO WIN AND READ THIS BOOK

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

+1 MORE ENTRY:
COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FIND INTERESTING ABOUT AUTHOR/WILL'S MOM, MONICA HOLLOWAY, FROM THE INTERVIEW FROM SIMON & SCHUSTER'S WEBSITE HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON ONE OTHER CURRENT GIVEAWAY YOU HAVE ENTERED FROM MY BLOG. THE CURRENT GIVEAWAYS ARE LISTED IN THE RIGHT HAND COLUMN. IF YOU HAVE ENTERED MORE THAN ONE, PLEASE ONLY COMMENT ON ONE THIS TIME

BONUS ENTRIES: GO HERE TO MY SECOND POST FOR A CHANCE FOR BONUS ENTRIES WHERE I POSTED SOME GREAT WAYS OF USING COWBOY & WILLS IN BOOK CLUBS AND READING GROUPS!

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST, JULY 21!

83 comments:

Margie said...

I first noticed this book when it was in hardcover...and thought I would love to read it. I enjoy memoirs and I'm a sucker for dog stories, so a good match!
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

The author's favorite movie and TV show are Moonstruck and 30 Rock. She says she would love to play the cello.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

+4 swag
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Margie said...

I entered the Mr. Rosenblum giveaway.
mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

Debs Desk said...

I love stories that have animals in them and when an animal helps his human it is my favorite king of book. Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Debs Desk said...

I love that Monica's favorite movie is Moonstruck, that is one of my favorite movies. Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Debs Desk said...

I entered your Hachette beach giveaway. Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Lee Ann said...

I work with three autistic children at my elementary school. One of the teachers at our school has an autistic son who's going to have to repeat kindergarten.

I'd like to read the book and then pass it on to Dawn: I suspect it would help her and her son find a way for him to communicate and focus more...not to mention remind Dawn she's not alone in dealing with an autistic child.

Steve Capell said...

A dog can sure add a lot to a family. We have two Chihuahuas at the moment and they get a lot attention from us and in return they have become one of the family in many ways. I really enjoyed your review and I am sure this is a book that I would enjoy reading. Thanks for hosting this giveaway.

Sandra K321 said...

I remember when this book first came out and the cover with Will and Cowboy. I really want to read this. I love stories about pets and how they manage to become such a close part of our lives.
seknobloch(at)gmail(dot)com

Sandra K321 said...

I love her "animal addiction". To have that many pets all living peacefully under one roof is an accomplishment.
seknobloch(at)gmail(dot)com

Sandra K321 said...

I entered your April and Oliver giveaway.
seknobloch(at)gmail(dot)com

Tina said...

this one sounds like a winner. I love stories about people and animals interacting, and anytime I see a review like this, I know I have to read it.

tbranco(at)hughes(d0t)net

Tina said...

I blogged about all your giveaways at Tutu's Two Cents

Thanks for such a great array of contests.

Tina said...

I also entered your "secret of Newberry" giveaway (among others)

tbranco(at)hughes(d0t)net

Tina said...

I loved reading that Monica Hollaway was once a hearse driver. I wonder if that gave her 'quiet time' to come up with story ideas.

tbranco(at)hughes(dot)net

Nan said...

The book had me at "... and the puppy that changed his life." I love books about dogs.

vtgoat[at]gmail[dot]com

Nan said...

I'm really hoping to win The Passage.

vtgoat[at]gmail[dot]com

debbie said...

I liked the connection between her son and their dog. I have a very similar story, my son and his cat,who helped my son to speak.I would love to read this book.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

debbie said...

I entered the bucolic plague giveaway.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Lisa said...

I love true life touching stories about children who overcome challenges.

Lisa said...

I learned that she's working on a book of essays right now.

traveler said...

This book sounds captivating and I enjoy reading this combination of real life story and experience with a canine. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

I entered Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

traveler said...

This author is fascinating to red about and is talented. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Shaz said...

Great review. My partner, and two sons have all been diagnosed with autistic sepctrum disorder. I always enjoy reading books about others peoples life journey with ASD.

As I live in Australia and not eligible to enter the free giveaway I will be sure to buy this book and pass it on to my sister to read as she also has sons with ASD.

Renee G said...

My nephew has mild autism -- so the subject interests me. I'd love to read a good boy/dog story involving it.
rsgrandinetti@yahoo(DOT)com

Tore said...

Sounds like a very good read. Please enter me in contest. Thank you. Tore923@aol.com

petite said...

This subject and the story is heartwarming and appeals to me. thanks. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

That she can manage all her pets is amazing. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

petite said...

I entered Mr. Rosenblum Drams in English. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com

nfmgirl said...

I find it interesting that you have had three autistic children in your class over the years, so you know firsthand some of the challenges and triumphs of autism.

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

I also entered the April and Oliver giveaway

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

Blogged:
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/2010/07/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-07-03-10.html

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Pamela Keener said...

I love books about pets and since I am owned by a golden I truly would love to read this book.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I love that Wills helped Monica with some of the resources about his life with Cowboy. How touching!
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

Pamela Keener said...

I entered The Madonnas of Echo Park giveaway.
Love & Hugs,
Pam
pk4290(at)comcast(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I enjoy animal stories and I'd love to read about hos Cowboy and Wills interact.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I entered Farm to Fork giveaway.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

The author wishes she would have relaxed more when Wills was diagnosed.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Debbie F said...

Wow! This sounds like a great read. Any story about kids and animals is sure to be a tear jerker. the fact that's its a true story just adds to it. I would love to read this! Thank you!

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

PS - LOVE the Cover!!!

Debbie F said...

Entered The Eyes of Willie McGee.

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Debbie F said...

I follow - networked blogs.

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Debbie F said...

I follow thru google reader!

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Debbie F said...

I follow - GFC.

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Debbie F said...

I do not belong to a book club but I always wanted to! There is nothing I like talking about more than books!

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Shirley H said...

+4 swag shundelt@yahoo.com

Jeff H said...

+4swag jeff72768@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

+4swag chirth7@yahoo.com

LoveMyCoffee said...

Autism has entered my life through an adorable boy we now have as a part of our family. I would love to read this book, and share it with my family as well.

Dutchlvr1(at)aol(dot)com

LoveMyCoffee said...

I entered the, To Kill a Mocking Bird giveaway.

Dutchlvr1(at)aol(dot)com

Congrats on your nomination Karen

bridget3420 said...

I think it's interesting that salvation came as a puppy

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

bridget3420 said...

Tweet

https://twitter.com/bridget3420/status/18659988131

bjhopper(at)me(dot)com

ruthiekb72 said...

Retired teacher...have worked w/autistic children.

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

ruthiekb72 said...

Entered After Darkness

ruthiekb72@yahoo.com

Lynn said...

Cowboy & Willis seems like a very touching book. I'm a dog lover and so I am very interested in reading more about Cowboy.

lynnx512 at gmail dot com

Lynn said...

I tweeted:
http://twitter.com/livelovelynn/status/18790046835
lynnx512 at gmail dot com

Lynn said...

I learned from the interview that the author wears a silver chain with a sterling silver cowboy hat hanging from it in memory of Cowboy.

lynnx512 at gmail dot com

Lynn said...

I entered the WHAT'S NEW, CUPCAKE GIVEAWAY.

lynnx512 at gmail dot com

Misusedinnocence said...

I would love to read another book about the impact of pets on children with autism. :)

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I entered the Hatchette Beach giveaway.

misusedinnocence@aol.com

allisonsbj3 said...

I love that this is a true story.
allisonsbj3(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I want to read this book because my brother is severly autistic and he developed an attachment to our cat,Happy Days.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

The author said that her son was heartbroken when he lost Cowboy, the same thing happened to my brother when he was not allowed to keep Happy Days in the group home.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I also entered the book contest for The Rule of Nine.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Shirley said...

https://twitter.com/Grandmamaof10/status/18946228295

shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/shundelt45/review/44076629/

shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001087052807&v=wall&story_fbid=140767685942134&ref=mf

shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

Ive entered the FARM TO FORK GIVEAWAY

shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

http://bulletins.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=bulletin.read&authorID=540593519&messageID=6675674174&hash

shundelt@yahoo.com

Shirley said...

I just seen on Regis and Kelly that Nick Cage was on and he was talking about the movie Moonstruck which he did with Sher, thats her favorite movie I however have not seen it.

shundelt@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

I found this different, this is how she describes herself:
Shockingly, yet happily, not what I expected - ever!

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

I entered THE RULE OF NINE GIVEAWAY chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

https://twitter.com/jeff72768/status/18963867157

jeff727682yahoo.com

Christine H said...

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000609680005&v=wall&story_fbid=124872037557987&ref=mf

jeff727682yahoo.com

Christine H said...

http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/Jeff72768/review/44082853/

jeff72768@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

http://bulletins.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=bulletin.read&authorID=540594583&messageID=6675711645&hash

jeff72768@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

Favorite television show:30 Rock
jeff72768@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

I entered: FARM TO FORK GIVEAWAY

jeff727682yahoo.com

Christine H said...

https://twitter.com/Romantic73/status/18964227092

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/profile.php?id=100000641625482&v=wall&story_fbid=136587993038829&ref=mf

chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

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chirth7@yahoo.com

Christine H said...

http://bulletins.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=bulletin.read&authorID=533391661&messageID=6676713040&hash

chirth7@yahoo.com

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