Girlfriends Love Giveaways!

Welcome and come on in!

It’s fabulous to see you here at our CELEBRATING WOMEN party!  

As you know from our HerBooks page, I’m joining with five of my favourite girlfriends  to talk about ways we celebrate the women in our lives.

Those of you who know me also know that women’s friendship is a subject I LOVE to talk about! That’s why I wrote THE BRIDGE CLUB!

Today along with my post about women and friendship and also our HUGE giveaway, I’ve got my own special gift here for one of you. See below for details, but for now….

As long as we are living, no matter when or where,

If you should ever need me, just call and I’ll be there.

I’ll climb a thousand mountains and swim a thousand seas.

Anything to be there, because you’re always there for me.

Those are a few lines from a poem by “anonymous”  that I came across one day and they really struck a chord. Women who share a true friendship live those words without even thinking about them. I know many who do and feel blessed to have such friends.

Every woman probably has her own unique take on the secret to having or being a good friend. To some, it’s the women who are there for us at a very important time our life or who simply offer support and companionship in our routine life. To others, it’s the lifelong friends who have become more our family than ‘just friends.’ To others still, it may be those who have taught us great lessons or inspired us to reach our dreams.

As well as some steadfast BFF’s I also have a group of girlfriends that has shared friendship for over 45 years. There are ten of us in what we laughingly call The Bridge Club because, to be honest, cards have not played the most important role in our lives although we do enjoy the game.

Although we are all the same age,

The REAL Bridge Club-PSandsPhotos
The REAL Bridge Club-PSandsPhotos

give or take one year, that is about all we physically have in common. We have very diverse personalities, sizes, shapes, hairstyles, careers, bank accounts, and families. Yet at the same time, we are one. That ‘one-ness’ rests in our hearts and minds. It shows itself in our values.

We share a history filled with memories that range from deliriously happy to devastatingly sad and encompass everything in between. It’s been quite a ride; made all the more meaningful by knowing each one of us was “there” for whatever we needed. It hasn’t always been everyone responding at the same time but rather whoever had the best to offer the situation. No matter what, we were all in the loop and ready to bring what we could.

Even though some of us are separated geographically now, we keep in touch regularly. Six of us still get together often and we plan reunions with the others when we can. For the past twenty years, we have held a major birthday celebration for a week every five years and it’s a given that we will laugh way too much!

This much we know: whether you are 25 or 85, a girlfriend is a girlfriend, through and through. Age is no barrier.

The most important lesson we have learned from each other? To have a good friend, you must be a good friend.

I would love to hear your take on women’s friendship. What is the most important lesson you have learned from your best friends? What do you offer them?



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Following on the theme of my new novel, THE PROMISE OF PROVENCE,  my special giveaway is an edition of “The Most Beautiful Country Towns of Provence”. For more details about this fabulous book, click on the picture.

To be entered to win a copy, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on women’s friendships. What is the most important lesson you have learned from your best friends?  What do you offer them?

All names will be entered into and one lucky winner will be selected. (I LOVE this book!)

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Now for more prizes!

First, enter to win an iPad Mini or one of 60 ebooks from our group of authors.

To do that, click on the link below, and you will be taken to the Rafflecopter to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

But wait … you aren’t finished yet!

There are more prizes to be won!

There is a chance to win a special prize at each of our websites, as you can see from the list below:

Steena Holmes, bestselling author of Finding Emma, is giving away a chocolate gift basket to someone who leaves a comment about their fairy godmother

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Rachel Thompson, bestselling author of Broken Pieces, is giving away an Amazon Gift Card to a lucky commenter on “sisters”

*   *   *

Christine Nolfi, award winning author of Treasure Me, is giving away a gift basket of Charleston treats as her giveaway

*   *   *

Karla Darcy, bestselling author of 7 Regency Romances including The Divided Hearts, is giving away an Amazon Gift Card to a lucky person

*   *   *

Bette Lee Crosby, ten-time award-winning author of Spare Change, is giving away an Amazon Gift Card for answering a question.

*   *   *

Thanks so much for joining us today. To keep up to date on new releases and  giveaways, visit Her Best Books and sign up for our newsletter.

Published by patriciasands

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada when she isn't somewhere else, particularly the south of France. With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all of her life through photography. Much to her surprise a few years ago, she began to write and has now published three novels, including two that are part of a six-book series set in the south of France. Love France? Love her work! Check out her website She is particularly drawn to the rewarding friendships of women and the challenges many embrace once their families are grown. "It's never too late to begin something new," she enthuses. "As the saying goes, just do it!"

95 thoughts on “Girlfriends Love Giveaways!

  1. Best friends will always be there for each other in time of need. Doesn’t matter if you haven’t seen each other for months (if you don’t live nearby), but knowing that that person would be there for me no matter what, and that I would do the same for her, is my idea of a good friend.
    And we can pick up a conversation where we left off, months ago. No role playing or pretending. A best friend is a person you can share a belly laugh with.

    1. What a thoughtful husband! I love that you and your best friend spend a week together each year and can truly imagine the fine time you share. Those kinds of friendships enrich our lives in ways too numerous to list. Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Yes, women do tend to have very special, long lasting friendships, don’t they? My best friend lives in Australia, but we chat regularly on Skype.

    1. I LOVE Skype! It truly is wonderful how it enhances our ability to see and hear our friends wherever they are. I was just chatting with my sister-in-law near Granada and told her about your hummamole recipe. How is that for a coincidence? Thanks for stopping by!

  3. What’s fun about old friends is that you pick up the conversation where they left off. And now with the internet we can be in touch with all the friends who we can see on a regular basis. Good post.

  4. Oh Patricia. I have been so fortunate, like to you, to have a strong circle of friends. — some go back to elementary school. But my bestie? I can call her any time of day or night. Say goes for her. The other day, she needed to talk. We never made it out of her driveway. Two hours in the car, talking. We working something out. It was a complicated something. WIth best friends, there is a kind of understanding and honesty. They want you to be your best self and you want to lift them up, too. We support each other, but we are also each other’s crutches when we need each other. I love my husband, yes. But my girlfriends? I don’t think I could exhale without them.

    1. I could tell you have wonderful girlfriends from you blog, Renée, and it’s obvious you know exactly what it takes to be a fine friend in return! I love your last comment … “I don’t think I could exhale without them”. I feel the same way. The love we share with our BFFs is something very special. Lucky us!

  5. My best friends have taught me that life is about love and laughter; that hugs are important and that taking the time to really listen to someone can show how your friendship is valued. A good friend’s actions have taught me how to be a special friend as well. BTW, love this site!

    1. Hey Gail, I count you as one of those very special friends in my life. Time and distance make no difference. I am so excited about seeing you in June in Haliburton! xoxo I love that you love my site!

  6. My best friends are my two sisters. When people ask if I have any girlfriends my first thought is that, no, I don’t have many. Then I remember that just because they’re my sisters doesn’t diminish the fact we’re best friends. If I really need someone, they’re there for me to talk with. My other two friends live very far away but when we talk, it’s not weird at all. So I think, well there ya’ go, I have four close friends. I miss having someone near where I live who I could call up and meet for coffee though. I’ve met some cool people through blogs like this one and wish we lived closer. I may never meet them in person.

    1. I love hearing stories about sisters that are also wonderful friends … it’s not always the case! Lucky you to share such meaningful connections with your sisters as well as your other friends. It’s nice to have a good friend close by but the way the internet is, it’s easy to make a latte or a cup of tea and get on Skype! I have tea with my sister-in-law (also a dear friend) in Spain almost every morning. Love it! You are right about friendships forming through blogs too. Keep in touch! 🙂

  7. The most important lesson I have learned from my best friends is acceptance. I offer them the same. Acceptance isn’t merely tolerance. It is loving the other person just as they are, no matter what. It’s a biggee and not always easily achieved…but it is the gold at the end of the rainbow. Not even by our spouses or significant others are we always totally accepted “no matter what.” But best friends have somehow found the key to achieving and offering acceptance. It sustains us, it lifts us up, it does not die. Thank God for best friends!

    1. What a beautiful sentiment and perfectly expressed. It is this truly non-judgmental aspect of women’s friendship that sets it apart. “Acceptance isn’t merely tolerance. It is loving the other person just as they are, no matter what.” Exactly!

  8. I have a large group of friendly acquaintances but no real best friend. The nearest is my youngest daughter–we think alike, enjoy the same things and
    can practically read each other’s minds. She lives in another state but we email each other constantly and if something “big” happens we reach for the phone.

  9. I was actually just talking about this with one of my best friends. We were chatting about how there are so few people we’ve remained friends with from High School, or even college, beyond social media sites anyway. For me, it came down to the fact that my two best girl friends are the women in my life that I can be completely myself – good or bad – and not be judged. They allow me to be me, and whatever choices I make are my own and if I have to learn the hard way, they don’t say I told you so, they say “you’ll get through this.” And no matter how much time goes by, when we are together it’s like no time has passed at all.

    1. That’s true friendship for sure, Jess. “Not be judged” are the operative words IMHO. I get the feeling from the warmth of your blogs that you would be a fine friend to have and I love how you often feature your friends in your posts as you share the good times! That always makes me smile!

  10. My best friend and I live away from each other nut when we do get together it’s just like we never were never apart from each other..She’s always there for me when I need someone to just talk to or to just need a quick hi..We share everything with each other..

  11. Learned that good friends are always there for you no matter what and vice versa

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  12. I met my BFF 9 years ago. I can’t imagine my life without her now. Her daughter has been having some problems with her friends at school, a few mean girls. She looked at her mom and asked…When am I going to find my Sara? Her mom said it took me 25 years to find mine. I just hope you find yours sooner. Sometimes it takes many years to be able to find your best friend! I am just glad I found her!

    1. It’s so nice that your BFF’s daughter recognizes the special friendship you and her mother share. Passing on the understanding of true friendship to our daughters and granddaughters is something we should all make certain we do. Thanks for sharing your very meaningful connection with your friend.

  13. Best friends are those that stay in our thoughts and hearts wherever they may be and when you chat with them it is always comfortable and 5 hrs seems like the blink of an eye.

  14. Beautiful sentiment. I have a very good friend who just so happens to be an author in our area. I met her 15 years ago when she was doing a book signing at Waldenbooks in the mall. I purchased her book, she signed it and put her phone number in there asking me to call her after I finished reading her book and let her know what I thought. I called her . We talked about her book and from then on we kept in contact building a friendship that has spanned many years. Although I am married and she is single and the same age as my mother we are right there when needed.

    1. Friendships often spring out of the most unexpected situations! Your story particularly hit home with me as I have met a number of wonderful women at book signings who have become treasured friends. Age really does not matter, does it?

  15. I have many friends who have always been there for me but my best friend if my oldest sister Dorene. She gave us so much of her life to be with me when I was a child when she could have been doing things with her friends instead. She taught me what was important in life and that was to always be myself and to not judge others but to always give them another chance. She also taught me to be the best I could be and not be what others thought I should be, Thanks Dee Dee, even thought we’re both Senior Citizens now you’re still there for me even after all these years!

    1. Jeanne, what a beautiful testament to your sister. It sounds like she has been an amazing support and influence in your life and you are fortunate to have had all these years together. Thanks so much for sharing a heartwarming story that many people never have the chance to experience.

  16. Sadly, I haven’t had a woman’s friendship in over 15 years. By mistake, I isolated myself as I focused on raising my daughter. I miss that companionship and am going to focus on finding that as my teen heads out of the house!

    1. Sometimes circumstances cause us to lose touch. You seem to have analyzed your situation and recognize that you miss the type of friendship we talk about here. I have a feeling you will be able to start over again. I wish you the best of luck and hope you will let me know how things go.

  17. It’s amazing that friendships, true friendships, can continue through time, space, and age. I have reconnected with a wonderful friend from 45 years ago. We have grown, changed but still friends. Amazing and wonderful

    1. I love stories like that! It’s so easy for us to lose touch in this busy world and when I hear about people reconnecting after long periods and simply picking up where they left off, it warms my heart.

  18. Love this post and the quotes about friendship! You are so fortunate to have such great group of friends- to share with and to buoy each other up!
    I’ve always liked the saying that a true friend is someone who knows all your faults and weaknesses and loves you the same. Sister friends are family that you choose. 🙂

  19. I am extremely lucky to live a few miles from my BFF. We could be seperated and still know when one of us needs to talk to the other. She is my strength and I am hers. We vent to each other about our problems and hold each other up when we need to have someone elses strength.

    1. You are lucky! I feel the same way because my BFF lives here in Toronto. In fact we had dinner together tonight and I was reminded again of how fortunate I am to have a friend like her. I can see you feel the same way about your BFF!

  20. Good friends are hard to come by and should be cherished.Always there for each other with a shoulder to cry on and a way to cheer each other up.

  21. I have learned from my best friends that everything is better shared – the highs & the lows.


  22. Great party you have going on here Patricia! What a wonderful way to celebrate books and girlfriends. My friends and I always find something to laugh about even when the topic takes a dark or sad turn. My girlfriends always say I’m a calming force among them but in reality they’re my calming force.

    1. I can believe you are a very calming force. I love how much laughter women are able to share … even when there are struggles. Sometimes it’s the only way to see things through.

    1. Susie, that doesn’t surprise me! The warmth and sincerity of your personality shines through every post of yours. I feel so fortunate to have begun a friendship online with you and just know what a great friend you must be with your BFFs. Rock on!

      1. Awww! You made my whole week with that compliment Patricia! Wow!
        I too am glad we met and hope to meet up in person someday. If I have it my way, I will travel all over to meet everyone!

  23. My girlfriends are like gold to me. I have a few groups of girlfriends. One group gets together every summer to attend a Bard on the Beach event.. We have apicnic, catch up and then attend a performance. We may not see each other any other time of the year but we never miss this get together. I have a group of girlfriends I travel with. We try to think of unique places to meet. Then I have my writer girlfriends and friends from school. I know that no matter where I am or what I am doing, any of these friends will be there for me. I am so lucky!

    1. You said it, Darlene. You are lucky to have so many truly meaningful friendships in your life. I know you would agree with the Bridge Club’s saying that to have a good friend you have to be a good friend. Thanks for sharing about your beautiful friendships here.

  24. My best friends have taught me the way to stay best friends is through love, laughter, honesty, music, and the ability to share books at the drop of a hat! They have helped me through many terrible times, and through almost as many fantastic times. I probably wouldn’t be alive today without them.



  25. You’re right. A true friendship last forever no matter the difference in age. Even though my college friend/roommate lived on the other side of the country, she and I keep in touch with each other with phone calls and FB.

  26. BFF are friends that you can trust and depend upon during your hour of need and be there when they need your help.

  27. I believe that listening, supporting, and caring are all key ingredients to lasting friendships. I feel so lucky to have the friends I have. Thanks for reminding me, Patricia!

    1. I share that feeling of good fortune too, Valerie! Sometimes we take each for granted and it never hurts to be reminded to give our friends a hug … virtually or otherwise!

  28. I thoroughly enjoyed your story Patricia, and found myself wishing I were part of your group. The story of your friendships is so beautifully captured in “The Bridge Club” which I thoroughly enjoyed. I already have “The Promise of Provence” on my Kindle and hope to start reading it next week. Thank you for sharing this awesome story of friendship – aftr reading it, I am going to call a BFF who lives in NJ and tell her how much I appreciate her.

    1. Bette, you would fit right in with the women of the Bridge Club! Thanks for your kind words about the novel and perhaps you will want to lend it to your BFF in NJ after you call her! I’m smiling at the thought!

  29. In my late teens I learned how to forgive a couple of my friends for their betrayals & bad rumors about me. In this I hope they learned what it means to be forgivin. I have always tried to be a good listener to them & only give my opinion when it was asked for. We recieved much laughter & a few tears through the years. We are ourselves around each other. Eventhough we live apart now, we are only a phone call, text, or fb message apart. We still make time to get together in person on occasion. I gained sisters I never had in them. (We even fought like sisters on occasion when we were younger.) We now still stand up for each other as a sister would. We have gained much joy from one another over the years.

  30. Since I’m a lesbian, I think I am the obvious square peg in the round hole in this discussion. The term ‘girlfriend’ for me is different than it is for straight women. I think of my platonic female friends, whether they’re straight or gay, as my friends. Whoever I’m dating at the moment is technically my girlfriend. That said, my closest friends are actually pretty equally divided between gender. I’ve always had a close rapport with a number of guys throughout my life since I’ve had such positive and accepting male role models. My father is very loving and I have a very caring older brother. My longest lasting friend is a woman I met 35 years ago in college in San Francisco when the world was so much different than it is today. There was a sense of social stigma toward lesbians and you were made to feel inferior. I’ve always been very interested in animation, and as a film major I naturally signed up for an animation class that was taught by three people. One was a woman who was, to be perfectly blunt, extremely beautiful to look at but an absolute bitch to know. At the end of the semester, the instructors were hosting a party, but it was at a trendy bar selected by that female instructor. The drinking age in California was 21, so that excluded easily half the class and all the gay kids. I really wanted to go, but I couldn’t. The woman that became my life-long best friend was 21. She just happened to be the only person I talked to in the class, but she was just an acquaintance to me. I figured that once the class was over, I wouldn’t know her anymore since she was a business student and would never take another film class again. But, as fate would have it, instead of going to that super cool party, she asked me if wanted to hang out. I knew she knew I was gay and I knew she wasn’t hitting on me. She just wanted to be friends and accepted me for who I was. We did hang out and we talked about our mutual love of cartoons all night. And 35 years later, even though she remains in the Bay Area and I’ve lived in New York for now, 30 years, that conversation continues. There’s an inexplicable chemistry between lifelong friends, even people that on the surface would seem to be opposites. If that formula could be bottled, that elixir would be priceless.

    1. Nope, you aren’t the square peg in the round hole here. We are all in this together when it comes to the connections we share. We’re not talking about the definition of “girlfriends” here but rather the unique quality of friendship that some women share with each other. You have described just such a fine, nonjudgmental friendship in no uncertain terms. I just may quote you on the last few lines of your comment : “There’s an inexplicable chemistry between lifelong friends, even people that on the surface would seem to be opposites. If that formula could be bottled, that elixir would be priceless.” I love this part! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on this. It’s been such fun to meet you through Susie’s party and like many others who take the time to connect here in the blogosphere, I would like to take the liberty of suggesting that we may become virtual girlfriends as time goes by!

  31. Ah what is a friend…she’s the sister I wished for, the ‘anam cara’ or soul friend I dreamed of ever since I read Anne of Green Gables. She’s the woman who knows me and still loves me, no matter what I say or do. She’s the companion I talk to even when she’s not here! Lovely post Patricia! xxx

  32. True friendship is being there no matter what. When I needed a place tolive, my best friend opened her house to me no questions asked. She is now an “honorary” aunt to my kids. We have been there for each other so many times we have lost count and yet, we have no need to keep track because it never matters. She is the sister of my heart and I know I am the same to her.

  33. My best friend and I have been apart more years than we’ve been together. We’ve found that fact to be completely irrelevant as the important aspects are there. We support each other. We believe in each other. We laugh with each other. Sometimes we tell each other hard truths. At the end of the day, though, one message has always come through, loud and clear…We have each other’s backs. We’ve been best friends for 25 years.

    1. You made me teary eyed Kitt! I still remember the day when we became friends! Who knew that the Hinsdale cafeteria before school would hold such a treasure! I know that I have had many friends that come and go, but I always knew our friendship would last because of who were are to ourselves and to each other. You are the sister I never had!

      1. Thanks Amadiex & Patricia. I just realized that we’ve been friends longer than either one of us had been alive prior to meeting. Unconditional love & support truly are the most generous gifts people can give to one another.

  34. My best female friend is my sister. She lives a distance from me but we manage to visit 3 or 4 times a year. I would do anything for her. I also had a male best friend for a long time, but he died and I really miss him. We could carry on a conversation that we had started a year ago, like it was just yesterday. I miss him very much, and have not found another male friend like him.

    1. I think it is really lovely when sisters also are each other’s best friends. I’m sorry to hear about you losing such a close friend. Guys can really be very special friends too and I am sure you feel blessed to have had him in your life for as long as you did. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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