Thursday, April 30, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Avon Lipstick Samples

As a preteen and teenager, I was really interested in makeup.  Although I liked light, natural looking makeup, I remember experimenting with different colors and brands in front of the mirror.  We always had a friend or neighbor who sold Avon, so the little catalogs and samples were fun.  I had not thought of these little Avon lipstick samples in years until I saw this photo ... and it brought back a lot of memories.  I loved these tiny lipsticks.  They were little and cute, and you could pick from a number of different colors!   Just seeing this pic takes me back to my early teen years.  Do you remember these little lipstick sample cases?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Daily Vintage - A Visit to the Children's Zoo Little Golden Book

 As a little girl, Little Golden Books were my favorites.  I still feel a thrill when I find them out and about to list.  It really brings me joy to photograph, share, and research them.  

Today's Daily Vintage is A Visit to the Children's Zoo, a Little Golden Book from 1972.  It was written by Barbara Shook Hazen and illustrated by Mel Crawford.   The illustrations are so super cute.   I especially like the Storybook Land type pictures, like the one below.  (Do you remember Storybook Lands as a child?  I loved them.)   This sweet book is from Birdhouse Books:  A Visit to the Children's Zoo.

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: For Your Love by Beverly Jenkins

For Your Love
Blessings # 6
By: Beverly Jenkins
Releasing April 28th, 2015
William Morrow

NAACP nominee and bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns to Henry Adams, Kansas-an unforgettable place that anyone would want to call home-with a story of family, friends, and the powerful forces from our past that can irrevocably shape our future.

Mayor Trent July and his wife Lily are enjoying life as newlyweds and embracing the challenges and joys that come with being adoptive parents to two wonderful boys. But being a father has inevitably forced him to think about his own birth mother. Raised by his grandmother Tamar—and in many ways the good people of Henry Adams—Trent was blessed with a childhood full of love.

But now he can’t help wondering what happened to the scared teenage girl who gave birth to him. And questions that he’s never voiced are now begging to be answered: Who was she? Is she still alive? Why didn’t she want him?

Trent has always believed no good comes from dwelling on the past, especially when you have a loving family, a strong community, and folks who depend on him. But when the past comes to Henry Adams, Trent has no choice but to face it—and the woman who left him behind. The truth will shake his very being and everything he thought he knew about life, love, and the bonds that hold families together…yet can also tear them apart.

Goodreads Link:

Goodreads Series Link:

Buy Links:  Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo | Publisher

It was the first week of December. Four inches of snow had fallen overnight and according to the dashboard gauge on Trent’s truck, the temperature outside was a balmy fifteen degrees. Driving down Henry Adams’ main street to the Dog, not even the winter weather kept him from marveling at the changes to the landscape brought about by the largesse of town owner, Bernadine Brown. The open stretches of land that were once strewn with the crumbling remains of Henry Adams’ 19th century past now held a new recreation center, school and church. The old dirt roads were paved. Asphalt parking lots had been added along with cement sidewalks and towering solar street lights. Other improvements were in the planning stages and he couldn’t be more pleased by the towns rebirth. His family had been residents since the 19th century and over the years had seen it rise to become a model for
African American communities nationwide, but by the 21st century due, it fell so low, he as mayor was forced to offer it for sale on eBay. That’s
when Bernadine Brown, armed with a multi-million dollar divorce settlement, rode to the rescue like a one woman battalion of the famed Tenth Cavalry. She’d even footed the bill for re-habbing the Dog, turning what was once a well-loved but dilapidated eyesore into a glistening eatery complete with brand new red leather booths, smooth topped tables, a state of the art kitchen, and wi-fi.

Inside, old school music played on the fancy red jukebox, as always. The mounted flat screens TVs were tuned to the day’s football games, and the interior was filled with the familiar faces of those he’d grown up with: Rochelle “Rocky” Dancer, the diner’s manager and Henry Adams’ resident bombshell; Clay Dobbs, his god father and his dad’s best friend, and Bing Shepard the crusty old WW2 vet, now living with Clay after the death of his wife. Both men played a significant role in Trent’s life growing up.

His dad, Malachi walked over to greet them. “Well if it isn’t my favorite
son and grandsons.”

“We’re your only son and grandsons,” Trent countered, which made the boys grin. Father and son ribbed each other constantly, a testament to their strong bond.

“You over educated engineers always have to point out the obvious,” Mal groused. “Go on and get a seat. Your booth in the back’s waiting on you.”

After pausing a few times to speak to friends, Trent and his sons took seats in their favorite booth. Crystal Chambers Brown, Bernadine’s seventeen year old daughter and the resident big sister of the town’s kids came over to take their order. “Hey, guys. Your usual burgers and fries?”

“Yes, ma’am,” Trent told her. While she wrote down the order he asked, “When are your friends coming from Dallas?”

“Tomorrow morning. Mom’s going to let me miss school so I can ride with her to the airport. I’m so excited.”

“I’m looking forward to meeting them. Hope they’ll like living here.”

“What’s not to like?” she asked. “We live in the middle of nowhere – no fast food – no clubs, no real music on the radio. It’s paradise.” She left them to go and put their orders in.

Trent looked to Amari. “Was she being sarcastic?”

The boy shrugged. “Who knows? With her it’s hard to tell but I do know that after running away and having to come back to paradise after only a few days with her tail between her legs, she figured out Dorothy got it right: There’s no place like home.”

Trent concurred. After earning his Master’s degree in Engineering from
Stanford, he’d taken a job with a multi-national architectural firm in LA
and for ten years immersed himself in big city living. Eventually, wearied by the break neck pace, the sometimes cut throat nature of the people, and two failed marriages, he’d returned, never to leave again. He glanced Devon’s way and saw him staring across the room at his former best friend Zoey sitting with her dad, town pediatrician Reginald Garland and eleven year old Wyatt Dahl. Wyatt and his grandmother Gemma were the town’s newest residents and he and Zoey had become inseparable in the short time since the Dahl’s arrival. Everyone in town was well aware of Devon’s long running feud with Miss Miami as Zoey was affectionately called, and although Devon wouldn’t admit it, Trent knew he missed calling her friend. “You want to go over and say hi to Zoey and Wyatt?”

“No,” Devon replied as if Trent had just asked him to drink motor oil.

Amari shook his head but kept his opinion on the matter to himself.
Trent didn’t press, but the irritation in Devon’s eye was mixed with
unspoken longing and a deep sadness. Later in the week, they’d be meeting as  a family with Reverend Paula. He hoped the rift with Zoey would be one of the subjects on the agenda.

A short while later, Crystal returned with their meals. Devon said grace and they dug in.  

Author Info
Ms. Jenkins is the nation's premier writer of African American historical romance fiction and specializes in 19th century African American life. She has over thirty published novels to date.

She has received numerous awards, including: five Waldenbooks/Borders Group Best Sellers Awards; two Career Achievement Awards and a Pioneer Award from Romantic Times Magazine; a Golden Pen Award from the Black Writer's Guild, and in 1999 was named one of the Top Fifty Favorite African-American writers of the 20th Century by AABLC, the nation's largest on-line African-American book club.

She has also been featured in many national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, Dallas Morning News and Vibe Magazine. She has lectured and given talks at such prestigious universities as Oberlin University, the University of Illinois, and Princeton. She speaks widely on both romance and 19th century African-American history and was the 2014 featured speaker for the W.W. Law Lecture Series sponsored by the Savannah Black Heritage Festival.

Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Ten Print Copies of FOR YOUR LOVE)

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Daily Vintage - Baseball Boy Birthday Card

Welcome to my brand new blog feature!  I'm looking forward to sharing a vintage item with you every day.  Many of these will be from my shop, Birdhouse Books, but some may be from my own home, friends' collections, etc.   I am happy to be surrounded by friends and family who love all things vintage!

My first Daily Vintage offering is this cute vintage birthday card.  It features a little boy in a Cubs baseball uniform celebrating his 10th birthday.  A little girl in a beanie cap is eating popcorn and cheering him on, and her terrier dog joins in the fun.  Super cute!

From Birdhouse Books:  Baseball Boy Birthday Card.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What are eBay Collections, and How Do I Use Them?

eBay now has a collections feature.  This is a fun feature with curated photos from eBay items, on a theme.   You can browse collections that other buyers and sellers have made, or you can make a collection yourself. 

It is easy to make a collection based on a theme.  You can make a collection of items you are selling, or just put one together of items you like.  For instance, you can search for astronaut Valentines.  Then click on an individual listing, as seen below.    You will see the option to "Add to Collection."  (I circled this in red, below.)

After you click on the "Add to Collection" option, the following will pop up.  You can create a new collection by choosing a name here.

It's easy and fun, and a nice way to save items that interest you.  You can find all my collections here:  eBay collections by Birdhouse Books.   If you'd like to explore what an individual collection looks like, here is an example:  vintage coloring books collection.

I hope you enjoy the collections posted here.  It's a fun way to visually enjoy some unique vintage items.

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Life Unaware by Cole Gibson

Life Unaware
Release Date: 04/28/15
Entangled Teen

Book Summary:
Regan Flay has been talking about you. 

Regan Flay is on the cusp of achieving her control-freak mother's "plan" for high school success―cheerleading, student council, the Honor Society—until her life gets turned horribly, horribly upside down. Every bitchy text. Every bitchy email. Every lie, manipulation, and insult she's ever said have been printed out and taped to all the lockers in school. 

Now Regan has gone from popular princess to total pariah. 
The only person who even speaks to her is her former best friend's hot but socially miscreant brother, Nolan Letner. Nolan thinks he knows what Regan's going through, but whatnobody knows is that Regan isn't really Little Miss Perfect. In fact, she's barely holding it together under her mom's pressure. But the consequences of Regan's fall from grace are only just beginning. Once the chain reaction starts, no one will remain untouched... 

Especially Regan Flay.

Guest Post Video #1

About the Author
Cole Gibsen first realized she different when, in high school, she was still reading comic books while the other girls were reading fashion magazines.

It was her love of superheroes that first inspired her to pick up a pen. Her favorite things to write about are ordinary girls who find themselves in extraordinary situations.

Author Links:
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Monday, April 27, 2015

Music Monday - "Mighty Love" by The Spinners (1973)

When I was a young girl, I loved music so much that I would listen to my favorite songs on the radio, sometimes taping them to play back, and then write the lyrics down in notebooks. "Mighty Love" and "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" by The Spinners are two love songs that I remember as particular favorites.

"Mighty Love" was released in 1973, and made it to the Top 40 in 1974.  The Spinners were a group of friends from Michigan, near Detroit.  They debuted at the Apollo Theatre, but did not find great success in the 1960's.  They worked at Motown - but in desk jobs and support staff positions.  Their success came in the early 1970's, and they were everywhere on the radio during the mid-'70's.

I heard this song over the weekend on the radio and have been thinking ever since how much I enjoyed it.  I hope you do, too.

Book Excerpt and Giveaway: Double Duplicity by Paty Jager

Double Duplicity:A Shandra Higheagle Mystery (Volume 1)
Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Windtree Press (January 5, 2015)
Paperback: 242 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1940064925

 On the eve of the biggest art event at Huckleberry Mountain Resort, potter Shandra Higheagle finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. She’s ruled out as a suspect, but now it’s up to her to prove the friend she witnessed fleeing the scene was just as innocent. With help from her recently deceased Nez Perce grandmother, Shandra becomes more confused than ever but just as determined to discover the truth.
Detective Ryan Greer prides himself on solving crimes and refuses to ignore a single clue, including Shandra Higheagle’s visions. While Shandra is hesitant to trust her dreams, Ryan believes in them and believes in her.
Can the pair uncover enough clues for Ryan to make an arrest before one of them becomes the next victim?


"I think that would be a good idea." 

Shandra's neck popped as she jerked her head to look up at the voice. Damn! Poor timing. Detective Greer stood over them holding a clear plastic baggie of ice. He handed it to her and knelt next to Naomi. 

 "Mrs. Norton, now would be a good time to tell me what you want to get off your conscience." His soothing voice didn't fool Shandra. 

"Naomi, you haven't done anything wrong. There isn't any reason-" 

Detective Greer shot her a glare. "Mrs. Norton are you the one who tossed a file about your sister into the dumpster behind the donut shop?" 

Shandra couldn't stop her friend's reaction. Naomi shot to her feet as if to run, then dropped into the chair and cried into her hands. 

 "Are you happy?" Shandra spat at the detective. "It's taken her months to get over her sister's death, and you bring it up with about as much tact as a rhino in rut." Shandra put an arm around her friend. "I don't want you asking her any more questions until you get her husband over here." She leveled an unwavering glare on the detective. 

He sighed and rose to his feet. "If you try to sneak her out of here while I get the husband, I'll find you both and haul you in for obstruction of justice." 

She continued to glare at him. 

"Am I clear?" 

"Yes." Shandra wanted to keep glaring at him, but as he walked away she had to admit, he could have pressed Naomi for information.

Buy Links:
About Paty:
Award-winning author Paty Jager and her husband raise alfalfa hay in rural eastern Oregon.  On her road to publication she wrote freelance articles for two local newspapers and enjoyed her job with the County Extension service as a 4-H Program Assistant. Raising hay and cattle, riding horses, and battling rattlesnakes, she not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters. Her penchant for research takes her on side trips that eventually turn into yet another story.

Author Links:
blog Writing into the Sunset
her website
Twitter  @patyjag

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Book Spotlight and Giveaway - The Tale of Willaby Creek by Victoria Lindstrom

I'm excited to share the cover reveal of The Tale of Willaby Creek by Victoria Lindstrom! This is a middle grade adventure fantasy that releases in June 2015. 

About the Book:
A magical tale of amazing sacrifice...

When a violent windstorm strikes an enchanted rain forest many of the woodland creatures of Willaby Creek are stranded, injured, or lost forever to the frenzied force of the tempest. Basil, a black bear full of doubt and fear, becomes the unlikely leader to head the woodland creatures' rescue. He is joined by Daphne, a spunky blue dryad; Oliver, a wise horned owl; Elbert, a noble elk; and a host of other creatures that inhabit the enchanted rain forest.

Dangerous twists and turns in this animal adventure fantasy cause Basil to discover a courage, and a conviction, he never knew he had. The answers to the ancient mysteries in this magical tale emerge in an extraordinary finale under the tall timbers of the hidden hinterland.
About the Author:
VICTORIA LINDSTROM is a full-time writer, a voracious reader, and the author of the children's picture book, The Scandinavian Santa. She loves to wander through the woods, capture the beauty of Nature in photographs, and visit museums and fine art galleries. She and her husband, Michael, live near the shore of the Columbia River in the Pacific Northwest. You may visit Victoria at:

One hardcover copy of The Tale of Willaby Creek (US) and an ebook of The Tale of Willaby Creek (INT)
(Books will be delivered upon release, or shortly before.)
Ends May 19, 2015

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This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Cork Lined Soda Caps

Do you remember when soda bottles were made of glass, and the caps were metal with a cork lining?   This is exactly what they looked like during my childhood.  I was just thinking of this today, and found this photo.  That is a wonderful thing about the Internet;  it is great for obscure and sudden memories.

If these were my caps, they would be from Orange Crush and Grape Nehi, my childhood favorites (although I was not a big soda drinker).  How about you ... what was your favorite soda as a child? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Jaunty Bird in Straw Hat Valentine

Almost wordless!  This vintage Valentine looks like Spring to me.  "Just chirping in to say 'I'm the bird for u!'"

Bird Valentines at Birdhouse Books:  click here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: The Deadly Dog Show by Jerold Last

The Deadly Dog Show(Roger and Suzanne South American Mystery Series Book 6)
Cozy Mystery
Self Published
Print Length: 252 pages
Publisher: Amazon (July 19, 2013)

The sixth book in the popular Roger and Suzanne mystery series finds Roger and Bruce hired to go undercover impersonating the owner and handler of a Champion German Shorthaired Pointer named Juliet to investigate certain irregularities that might be occurring at dog shows in California. To complicate this case the bodies of dead judges start popping up and Suzanne picks up a mysterious stalker sending her most unwelcome gifts. Throw in drug cartels and corrupt cops and it sounds like a typical job for our detective couple.
The Deadly Dog Show can be read as a stand-alone novel.
About This Author
The author is a Professor of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of California’s Medical School at Davis, near Sacramento in Northern California. Jerry writes mystery stories that follow the cozy conventions of no graphic sex and no cussing but feature tougher protagonists and darker worlds than most cozies. Jerry knows the real world of dog shows from his own experience and that of his wife, Elaine, who breeds and shows prize-winning German Shorthair Pointer dogs. The cover photo is the author’s own dog Jolie (Grand Champion V. D. Nacht’s Classic Beaujolais, SH). Elaine provided technical advice for The Deadly Dog Show and editing for all of his books.
Author Links
Amazon Author Page:
Twitter: @JeroldLast
Purchase Link
The author is giving away an e-copy of his story, "The Dog With No Name."
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Monday, April 20, 2015

Music Monday - "Badge" by Cream (1969)

I tend to like my retro music pretty or uptempo - pop, soul, dance, singer/songwriters - but occasionally I really love a great classic rock song.  "Badge" by Cream is one of those songs.  This song was written in 1969 by Eric Clapton and George Harrison.  It has a bit of a Beatles sound that really appeals to me.  I heard this over the weekend and it has been stuck in my head ever since ... so I'm sharing it here with you.  Do you remember this one?  I would love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Estate Sale Treasures

I went out treasure hunting today.  There weren't a lot of sales out there in quantity, but there were two wonderful estate sales.

I found this adorable vintage wooden Christmas ornament featuring a Dachshund and another little dog.  It's so cute that I included front and back pictures for you.  This little cutie will probably stay out in my study year-round.   It's rare for me to find "keeper" items at sales ... but this ornament is mine.  :-)

I also found this lovely Sound of Music Keepsake book.  This is my favorite movie - I couldn't resist!   This is my other "keeper" find from the day.

I found a box of vintage Christmas stocking holders that are about to get listed.  I am guessing these are 1970's vintage.  They are really cute!
And - I found many, many unused vintage Christmas cards, 1940's - 1970's.  Most have envelopes.  They are pretty fabulous!  I filled a 12" high box with all the unused cards.   These will be listed individually in my store.  I have Marjorie Cooper cards, Holly Hobbie, cards that fold out into Mid-Century paper ornaments, and more.  This picture is just from the top of the box - treasures inside!
Did you treasure hunt this weekend?  I would love to hear from you in the comments, below.

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: To Catch A Falling Star by Anna Belfrage

02_To Catch a Falling Star_Cover

Publication Date: March 1, 2015
SilverWood Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Series: Book Eight, The Graham Saga
Genre: Historical Fiction/Time-Slip

To Catch a Falling Star is the eighth book in Anna Belfrage’s series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham. 

Some gifts are double-edged swords … 

For Matthew Graham, being given the gift of his former Scottish manor is a dream come true. For his wife, Alex, this gift will force her to undertake a perilous sea journey, leaving most of their extensive family in the Colony of Maryland. Alex is torn apart by this, but staying behind while her husband travels to Scotland is no option. Scotland in 1688 is a divided country, torn between the papist Stuart king and the foreign but Protestant William of Orange. In the Lowlands, popular opinion is with Dutch William, and Matthew’s reluctance to openly support him does not endear him to his former friends and neighbours. 

While Matthew struggles to come to terms with the fact that Scotland of 1688 bears little resemblance to his lovingly conserved memories, Alex is forced to confront unresolved issues from her past, including her overly curious brother-in-law, Luke Graham. And then there’s the further complication of the dashing, flamboyant Viscount Dundee, a man who knocks Alex completely off her feet. 

All the turmoil that accompanies their return to Scotland pales into insignificance when a letter arrives, detailing the calamities threatening their youngest daughter in Maryland – at the hand of that most obnoxious minister, Richard Campbell. Matthew and Alex have no choice but to hasten back, no matter the heartache this causes. 

Will they make it back in time? And what will Richard Campbell do?

Buy To Catch a Falling Star

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Graham Saga Titles

Book One: A Rip in the Veil
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
Book Four: A Newfound Land
Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest
Book Eight: To Catch a Falling Star

About the AuthorAnna Belfrage

I was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction. 

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred. 

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

To Catch a Falling Star Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, April 7
Review at Just One More Chapter
Excerpt at Rainy Day Reviews
Guest Post at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, April 8
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter 

Thursday, April 9 Review & Giveaway at So Many Books, So Little Time
Spotlight at Unshelfish

Friday, April 10
Excerpt & Giveaway at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time 

Saturday, April 11
Spotlight at Caroline Wilson Writes

Tuesday, April 14
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews
Interview at Becky on Books 

Wednesday, April 15
Review & Guest Post at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book 

Thursday, April 16
Review at CelticLady's Reviews 

Friday, April 17
Review at Book Nerd 

Saturday, April 18
Spotlight & Giveaway at View From the Birdhouse

Tuesday, April 21
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, April 22
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation
Interview & Excerpt at Oh, For the Hook of a Book 

Thursday, April 23
Review at Griperang's Bookmarks

Friday, April 24
Interview & Giveaway at Griperang's Bookmarks

Saturday, April 25
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection

Tuesday, April 28
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, April 29
Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway at A Virtual Hobby Store and Coffee Haus

Thursday, April 30
Spotlight & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books 

Friday, May 1
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee 

Sunday, May 3
Review at Quirky Book Reviews 

Tuesday, May 5
Review at Beth's Book Nook Blog

Wednesday, May 6
Review at Layered Pages
Spotlight at Long Ago Love

Thursday, May 7
Review at Mari Reads
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog

Friday, May 8
Review at Flashlight Commentary
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Prize:  Print copy of the book To Catch A Falling Star.
– Must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open internationally.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.

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