A sister is a gift.  Whether she is the mirror allowing us to see ourselves clearly when we’ve imagined we are somebody we are not, or whether she is a cautionary tale whose mistakes we act to avoid, our sisters shape us in profound ways.

Last week I shared how my sister gave me the gift of reinvention – reinvention as a writer.  Today, I am interested in hearing about your sister – specifically I want to know what positive gift or gifts she has given you.  I don’t mean that cashmere sweater she sent you for Christmas.  I want to know the good stuff — how she made you the person you are today, opened your eyes to something you might not have seen, or otherwise shaped you for the better.  The floor (or rather the comments section) is open.

And, in celebration of the fact that my novel, The Sister Queens, makes its debut one month from today I am going to make the sharing fun.  I will select two individuals from among those posting their comments (about their sister–see above) to this blog by midnight February 12th  and send each of them TWO (2) signed “advance-reader “copies of The Sister Queensone for themselves and one for their sister.  That means the winners will have  galleys of  The Sister Queens before anyone can purchase the novel.

Check this comment thread Monday, February 13th (one week from today) for names of the winners and instructions for those lucky two.  Bonne chance!

26 Responses to “Gifts My Sister Gave Me – Part II: The Giveaway”

  1. Gorgeous cover, Sophie. Count me in, and best of luck with this release!

    • Right now I can only hope that my two girls will be as close as Eloise and Esther are right now. Caroline is 5 and Sydney is 2, and Sydney is just a big bother to Caroline. I hope that once Sydney is a ltltie older, Caroline will see what a true gift it is to have a sister who is closer to her in age. My sisters are 10 and 12 years older than me, and it was truly my wish to have two girls/daughters close together in age ..it’s hard seeing them rarely getting along. Sydney adores Caroline, too, so it’s tough to see Caroline brush her off all of the time. At any rate, I think it’s so, so special and wonderful that your girls are the best of friends. I hope that all three of your girls will always feel that way!

  2. I don’t have a biological sister. But I have many “sisters” who are kindred spirits. We met online, as fans of the same author, and have become close over the years. Many of them I have never met in person, but whenever we hear that one of our group has had a financial or physical setback, the others are there with cards of encouragement, small gifts, and donations. I am fortunate to have these “sisters” in my life.

  3. I’m very lucky to be blessed with four amazing sisters’. We’ve always helped support each other through thick or thin. Oh sure, we’ve had our little disputes but, as the saying goes, “blood is thicker than water” and we only have each other . We’re all separated now by thousands of miles but still come together in times of crisis either by “phone or Skype . Just hearing each others’ voice is a big lift me up.

    I love the cover art on your book. You’re a new author to me, so this is very exciting.

  4. I have a sister. She was born when I was seven. She is my gift. She is my only sibling and her arrival made my family’s life complete. She is my perfect foil, and we often joke about how we must not be related because of how different we are.
    The differences have enabled to appreciate our similarites all the more.

    Almost eleven years ago, she gave me another gift. I had my daughter, my only child, and she became the aunt/the godmother/and again, my perfect foil – for my daughter. As a single mother, with a family origin that consists of my parents, my sister, and myself, my sister plays an integral role in the life of my daughter and in my relationship with my daughter. She is there for my daughter and for me as a mother, and she is a very different role model for my daughter than I am.

    My little sister – the gift who keeps on giving. <3

  5. Hi Sophie,
    Just wanted to chime in about my sister–my first book was all about that sister relationship, AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ: Autism, My Sister and Me. And, as a result of writing the book, I discovered all kinds of gifts she has given me. For one, I seem to be able to accept people as they are–I had to accept a lot of strange behavior and quirkiness to love my sister in childhood, so these things feel okay to me. I have the gift of continuing childhood throughout my life because my sister still gets her stocking at Christmas, we still play hide-the-Easter-eggs and we both love dressing up for Halloween. My sister gives me pride in her accomplishments and unrestrained laughter when she is delighted. And those are just a few of the things I have been given by my sister. Best of luck with your book–I know it will be a smashing success!

  6. Not that I ever forget, Sophie, but your post made me think of my sister. Her name is Carolina. She is a teacher, a terrific single mom, and a small business owner who works very hard and lives very far from me, in Spain. I miss her terribly. When we were girls she put up with me, listening to my stories for hours on end. For years I did not write my stories but I told them to her. She would give me the characters and the terrible accident, often a shipwreck, and I would come up with the story on the spot. Best of luck, Sophie.
    I can’t wait to read The Sister Queens!

  7. I have only one sibling, my sister, Lyndeee, who is also a writer.

    Eleven years ago our father passed away and our mother shortly after his death, basically left our lives to be with an old boyfriend, which broke our hearts, so she and I are the only remnants of our once nuclear family. Despite the miles between us, (I am near Atlanta, GA and she resides five hours away in Florence, Alabama) we talk on the phone constantly.

    The magic happens however, when we visit with one another in person. Our sons are close friends too, and husbands friends. It’s absolutely heaven when we spend time together!

    My sister and I both are writers, and during each visit, we’ll stay up late into the night, discussing our manuscripts, talk of life, and drink fabulous wine.

    During our last visit over the Christmas holidays, she and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning, critiquing the first few chapters of my manuscript. She can rip into my book and be brutally honest, yet do it with such a gentle spirit. That is one of her many gifts. She was there for me unconditionally when I found myself as a single mother after a devastating divorce. We held hands with each other during the funerals of our grandparents a year and a half ago (they died six weeks apart). And we laughed ourselves silly watching old movies and cried watching “P.S. I Love You” and “Gone With the Wind”.

    My sister and I have clung together during some of our darkest days, and we’ve come to learn it’s not the size of the family, but the strength of bond within a family which truly matters.

    Sophie, I am so excited for your new journey. May THE SISTER QUEENS inspire sisters everywhere to strengthen their bond and stand together through life.

  8. She helped me become strong and someone who speaks up for those who can’t defend themselves.

  9. wow..

    the great cover,,i like it,,count in me pls…and i dont have a sister but i have a 2 brother,,,i never give agift for him,,,but if they need money i always give..^^

  10. i AM very lucky to be blessed with one amazing sister that shares my love for books so much. It would be great to read these two books together with my lovely sister :). Count me in please so I can give the book as a special surprise in her bithday. N.B my sister birthday is on February, she will totally happy with this book:) aretha_zhen@yahoo.com

  11. I have a sister, and she’s everything to me. She’s my sister, my friend and my mother at the same time. She’s 19 years older than I am. When I was 18 years old, my parents passed away, and then she’s the only one that I have ( well, I have a brother, but I don’t really close to him ).
    She took care of me since then. Paid for my college, give me home to stay and everything. I owed her so much.
    Now I’m married and settled. But my sister still there for me and supporting me. I’m very lucky to be blessed with such an amazing sister. I love her very much. Ok, I have to stop now, because I feel like my tears are going to burst.

    Thank u for this amazing giveaway Sophie 🙂

  12. I don’t have sister but I have 4 rascal brothers and we will fight each other for everything. But I have a lot of girlfriend especially my booklovers friends whom I interacted with them like sisters than my brotherblood. hahahhahaha. May THE SISTER QUEENS inspire sisters everywhere to strengthen their bond and stand together through life.

  13. No sisters for me, but I have many “writer sisters” who offer unending support and encouragement. I’d love to win a copy of your book, Sophie!

  14. My sister gave me Paris. I’d wanted to go for as long as I could remember, but children and other obligations always got in the way. My sister called and said she had room credits she had to use, and we needed to go to Paris. Just like that, she made my dream a priority. She organized the trip, made sure we saw everything and when I got stage fright (it’s been a long time since college French) she ordered and eased our way through the city. Sharing the city with her is one of my best memories.

    We’re very different and even as adults, we still tussle. She’s strong willed, generous and one of my best friends. She’s also one of my biggest supporters. Having her for a sister is its own gift.

    Thanks for having the contest, Sophie. I can’t wait to read the Sister Queens.

  15. i have little sister, she very diffren from me but i love her
    she not like read but i love read, she great about cooking and i don’t

    we both have in common is love each other

    thanks for giveaway

  16. My sister is five years older than me. We both chuckle that I’ve always had the chance to learn from her many mistakes 🙂 But it’s not really that. It’s that we’ve both learned over the years that while we’d probably never like each other if we weren’t related — we love each other and will always be there for each other — even if we don’t quite “get” the other one. She’s always stood up for my brother and I and I always know that my family will be there because of her.

  17. I have two elder sisters Jodi and Jill, we haven’t lived in the same state for over 30 years. But when we are together we laugh so hard that I think that we are demented, no one can make me laugh the way they do! The last time we were all together was at our Dad’s memorial service. Dad would have hated a formal funeral so it was simple with only close family. There were tears but much more laughter. I don’t think we could have gotten through that without each other.

    Thanks for the give away Sophie, and good luck with The Sister Queens.

  18. My older sister and I are both adopted, seven years apart in age, and our adopted mother did everything possible to engender a fierce sibling rivalry between us. Upon graduating high school Sis immediately escaped to the wider world. From that point on my sister who taught me my letters, to read, to count, who championed so many details that made my life better, was off adventuring. Until the advent of voice mail, emails and cell phones we didn’t have a lot of contact. After our dad died in 2005 we grew much closer. All this lead in has a point…
    In 2009 I met my Mate. An amazing man I couldn’t wait to drag 100 miles into the mountains to meet my sister. I let him drive my truck and when Sis saw us drive up she knew he was The One. We went on to share many delicious meals that summer.
    In September 2009 I received a call he’d been in an accident in Texas, with no idea of his condition. Shaking so hard I shook the couch I called my sister.
    She dropped EVERYTHING during a very busy time to drive pell-mell down the mountain to fly to Texas with me. Her business partner booked her plane ticket on my same flight while Sis drove. A close friend’s middle son drove us to the airport so we wouldn’t wreck in our distress.
    As we boarded the plane the call came that My Everything had died in ICU. Much of the rest is a blur. At that point my sister took charge, getting us on the plane, changing seats to be next to me, getting us to the hospital. Eventually later that night she pulled me from his closet, wailing as I was wrapped around his laundry and a pillow that still smelled like him, dressed me in my pajamas and stuffed enough sedatives in me to knock me out. For days Sis was once again my fierce protector, advocate and caretaker. She made sure I ate, slept, lived and finally made difficult decisions. She made the first move to meet his ex-wife and set the stage for she and I to become friends, built on the mutual understanding as the adults we needed to handle things in harmony so his sons, one quite young, could grieve in peace.
    Long story short, Sis made sure I made it through the worst possible time in my life.

    • Congratulations Larisa! You are won of my two winners. Please use the contact form at my main website to send me your mailing address. Feel free to let me know if you want any special inscriptions in your books 🙂

  19. Seven years separate me from my sister, my only sibling. I was her shadow when I was little, wanting to do everything just like my big sister. She and I put on plays for our parents, and while she always got the prime parts and acted as director (aka the bossy big sis), she shared her spark of imagination with me at an early age. I began filling notebooks with stories, most of them written while sitting in gymnasiums at my sister’s high school cheerleading competitions (at this point I was the pesky younger sister who was ALWAYS in the way). When she went to college she studied history, and soon my family made road trips to various historic sites, all prompted by my sister. And before I knew it, I was my sister’s shadow again, bitten by the history bug and following in her footsteps all the way to a history degree from the same university. While I wouldn’t call ourselves “Hallmark sisters,” as we’ve had our differences over the years and have never been the best of friends, I can’t imagine my life without my sister. She has taught me so much, and I continue to learn from her. And I can honestly say I wouldn’t be the person I am today without her.

  20. My sister was my best friend as a kid and still is! We talk almost every day and we live on opposite coasts. 🙁 But she has shaped me in many ways. She has taught me about fighting for what you want, about accepting what you can not change, and about gratitude in 100 ways. I could go on and on.

    Thanks for the opportunity to MAYBE win! I’m so excited to read this. And PICK ME PICK ME!

  21. I want to thank all of you who took the time to share your very heart-felt stories of sisterhood. Sisters, whether you are born with them or choose them yourself, enrich our lives in innumerable ways. THE SISTER QUEENS giveaway is now closed. I will be getting out the “magic hat” shortly and selecting our winners but to my mind you are all winners and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing something special from yours.

  22. The burnt-orange decorative vase in my office (also useful for drawing names when one does not, in fact, own a hat) has spoken. The winners of the “Gifts My Sister Gave Me Giveaway are:

    Jen W. Merritt, and

    Congratulations ladies! Each of you will receive two signed galleys of The Sister Queens. Please go to my main website and use the contact form to send me your mailing information so that I can get your books out to you. If you have any special dedication you would like me to put in the front of your books, you can also let me know that.

    As for the rest of those who entered, I want to thank you again for your enthusiasm for both your sisters and my debut novel. I wish I personally had enough copies to send you each one!

  23. I now have Jen’s mailing information.

    Larisa, hoping to hear from you soon (use the contact form at my main website) so that I can get your books on their way to you 🙂

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