The Girls at 17 Swann Street by: Yara Zgheib

Publication date: February 5, 2019

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

*A BookMovement Group Read*

Yara Zgheib’s poetic and poignant debut novel is a haunting portrait of a young woman’s struggle with anorexia on an intimate journey to reclaim her life. 

The chocolate went first, then the cheese, the fries, the ice cream. The bread was more difficult, but if she could just lose a little more weight, perhaps she would make the soloists’ list. Perhaps if she were lighter, danced better, tried harder, she would be good enough. Perhaps if she just ran for one more mile, lost just one more pound.

Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears – imperfection, failure, loneliness – she spirals down anorexia and depression till she weighs a mere eighty-eight pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day.

Every bite causes anxiety. Every flavor induces guilt. And every step Anna takes toward recovery will require strength, endurance, and the support of the girls at 17 Swann Street.

Recognition

 February 2019 Indie Next selection

 February 2019 LibraryReads selection

My Review

I read this book in less than 24 hours. I was so incredibly invested in Anna’s story and I was on the verge of tears for most of it. I adored this debut novel and recommend this read highly.

The subject matter is devastating and intense but one that is an eye opener to read about in this way. I look forward to the next book that this author writes.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Her One Mistake by: Heidi Perks

Publication Date: January 8, 2019

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

What should have been a fun-filled, carefree day takes a tragic turn for the worse for one mother when her best friend’s child goes missing in this suspenseful, compulsively readable, and darkly twisted psychological thriller. 

It all started at the school fair…

Charlotte was supposed to be looking after the children, and she swears she was. She only took her eyes off of them for one second. But when her three kids are all safe and sound at the school fair, and Alice, her best friend Harriet’s daughter, is nowhere to be found, Charlotte panics. Frantically searching everywhere, Charlotte knows she must find the courage to tell Harriet that her beloved only child is missing. And admit that she has only herself to blame.

Harriet, devastated by this unthinkable, unbearable loss, can no longer bring herself to speak to Charlotte again, much less trust her. Now more isolated than ever and struggling to keep her marriage afloat, Harriet believes nothing and no one. But as the police bear down on both women trying to piece together the puzzle of what happened to this little girl, dark secrets begin to surface—and Harriet discovers that confiding in Charlotte again may be the only thing that will reunite her with her daughter….

This breathless and fast-paced debut—perfect for fans of Big Little Lies and The Couple Next Door—takes you on a chilling journey that will keep you guessing until the very last page.

My Review:

I don’t know what I would do if a child that I was watching for a friend went missing while under my care. I can’t imagine the thoughts, fears and anger that would course through my body if I was either of the mothers in this book.

Charlotte and Harriet were friends, at least that is what Charlotte thought, but as time moves forward and the police look further into their lives, the depths of their friendship is questioned. So many different things kept drawing me into this story. I was able to read this quickly and it surprised me. Although, this is the first time I’ve heard about or read anything from this author, I doubt it will be my last.

I gave this book 4 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Death by the River by: Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor Nerd Blast


http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2018/11/kindle-force-death-by-river-by.html


FANTASTIC NEWS BOOK NERDS!! We have an awesome PROMOTIONAL BLAST for Alexandrea Weis and Lucas Astor’s DEATH BY THE RIVER running from now until 11:59 PM (PST) on the last day of the blast.


KINDLE FORCE – A PROMOTIONAL BLAST CREATED BY JEANBOOKNERD
A special promotional price ($2.99) for DEATH BY THE RIVER E-book will be set for the duration of the event. Make sure you get your copy now!  

SYNOPSIS

Some truths are better kept secret. 
Some secrets are better off dead. 

Along the banks of the Bogue Falaya River, sits the abandoned St. Francis Seminary. Beneath a canopy of oaks, blocked from prying eyes, the teens of St. Benedict High gather here on Fridays. The rest of the week belongs to school and family—but weekends belong to the river.

And the river belongs to Beau Devereaux. 

The only child of a powerful family, Beau can do no wrong. Handsome. Charming. Intelligent. The star quarterback of the football team. The “prince” of St. Benedict is the ultimate catch. 

He is also a psychopath. 

A dirty family secret buried for years, Beau’s evil grows unchecked. In the shadows of the ruined St. Francis Abbey, he commits unspeakable acts on his victims and ensures their silence with threats and intimidation. Senior year, Beau sets his sights on his girlfriend’s headstrong twin sister, Leslie, who hates him. Everything he wants but cannot have, she will be his ultimate prize. 

As the victim toll mounts, it becomes crystal clear that someone has to stop Beau Devereaux. 

And that someone will pay with their life.

WARNING: Readers of Death by the River will encounter situations of violence and sexual abuse which could be upsetting.  
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORYPraise for DEATH BY THE RIVER

“… a thrilling psychological work … Catching the current vogue of teen psycho and revenge tales like Bates Motel and 13 Reasons Why … a horrifically brilliant book … Beau Devereaux could have easily been a clichéd psycho, but the plot constructed around him and his development during the novel really shone as a masterpiece of character creation … much in the style of Dexter or Hannibal.” ―K.C. Finn, Multi-Award-Winning Author 

“Rare is the story that simmers and rises to a boil so naturally and constantly that the reader manages to be repeatedly shocked … a full-speed rollercoaster that doesn’t slow down until the final page. Employing an evocative setting, powerfully defined characters, and taking along hard look at the darker side of human desire, this novel will catch your breath and hold it until the very end. RECOMMENDED” ―Michael Radon, US Review

“While the authors have written a chilling story here, there’s more to Death by the River than thrills. It’s actually a fascinating study into the effects of good and bad parenting on children. Do it badly and parents, children and society as a whole pay the consequences. This book is not just an exciting read; it’s a sobering one.” ―Viga Boland, Retired high school English teacher and Author of No Tears for my Father: Viga’s true story of incest 

“While the story follows compelling characters, it also plunges readers into an intriguing setting. It is ironical that the horrors are taking place along the river that runs so close to a seminary, an establishment that should evoke a powerful sense of God and reverence for life. The characters are sophisticated and readers will learn to honestly hate the villain of the story — he is well imagined and developed with skill. In a subtle way, the authors allow his crooked mind to reveal itself. Like most serial killers, he is a charmer and an intelligent young man, but beneath the cool surface is a cauldron of simmering evil. Weis and Astor have written a riveting crime tale with strong psychological underpinnings. Death by the River is ingeniously plotted, written in gorgeous prose, and featuring a strong conflict that propels the narrative forward. The suspense intensifies as the story moves on, with the reader always feeling as though something awful could happen at any moment, and this feeling grows in intensity until the explosive climax. A real thriller!” ―Romuald Dzemo, Readers’ Favorite

“A suspense-filled thriller steeped in equal parts atmosphere, insanity, and revenge.” ―Mary Ting, Award-Winning Author of ISAN: International Sensory Assassin Network

“Weis and Astor have created something so dark, edgy, and gritty, it will stay with you long after you close the book.” ―Julieanne Lynch, Dragon Award Finalist: Horror (2018) 

“… a crime thriller that pulls readers into the twisted mind of the protagonist and holds them engaged till the exhilarating finish. The writing is flawless … Death by the River is psychologically engaging, emotionally rich, and utterly absorbing.” ―Christian Sia

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, CRRN, ONC, PhD, is a multi award-winning author of over twenty-five novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured animals. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans. Weis writes paranormal, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance.

Lucas Astor, Lucas Astor is from New York, has resided in Central America and the Middle East, and traveled through Europe. He lives a very private, virtually reclusive lifestyle, preferring to spend time with a close-knit group of friends than be in the spotlight. He is an author and poet with a penchant for telling stories that delve into the dark side of the human psyche. He likes to explore the evil that exists, not just in the world, but right next door behind a smiling face.

Weis and Astor’s first collaboration was the multi-award-winning Magnus Blackwell Series.
PHOTO CONTENT FROM ALEXANDREA WEIS AND LUCAS ASTOR
WEBSITE: http://www.alexandreaweis.com/
TWITTER: @alexandreaweis
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1211671.Alexandrea_Weis
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/authoralexandreaweis/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/alexandreaweis/


Giveaway is open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter

– 1 Winner will receive a Kindle Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, 7″ Display

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e849f7751540/  

ENDS: JANUARY 7, 2019



BOOK TRAILER
LINK:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uck7f4rBgn0



EXCERPT – DEATH BY THE RIVER – LESLIE AND DEREK

Leslie followed him along the shoreline until they came to a rusted iron gate with a No Trespassing sign secured to it. Decorated with crosses and swirls, the sign marked the entrance to The Abbey grounds. Stepping through the open gate, she peered up at the imposing structure.
Two spires of white limestone, shaped like the tip of a sword, cut into the blue sky. The structure of red brick and limestone, the front windows and doors secured with loose scraps of plywood, sat in the middle of a field of high grass. The squat stone building of cloisters behind The Abbey remained intact. The Benedictine monks who had run the seminary school demolished the dormitories, refectory, and library after the site had been abandoned.
“Some place, huh?” Derek let go of her hand and trudged his way across the high grass.
Leslie’s apprehension bloomed in her chest. The grounds, unkempt after years of neglect, were a hodgepodge of weeds, overgrown trees, and green vines. On the way across the thigh-high grass, they passed a beautiful triple-tiered fountain with an angel on top, raising her arms to the heavens—a silent witness to the past.
How do people come here at night?
“You ever wonder why those priests just up and left it?” she asked, uncomfortable with the eerie quiet. Even the birds had stopped singing. “I know everyone in town says they got a better offer from the seminary in New Orleans, but it seems funny a bunch of people abandoned the place for no reason.”
“They left because it’s a wreck.” Derek parted a thick pile of tall grass with his shoe. “My mom told me it was falling apart when she was a kid, and the Archdiocese didn’t have the money to fix it. So they packed up the seminary school, the priests, and all the staff and shipped them to New Orleans.”
“Seems a shame, though. I read once that the structure dates back to the early 1800s when the Devereaux family built it as a private church.” Leslie eyed the frame of the empty belfry atop one of the square-shaped towers. “You’d think they’d want to save it.”
Derek nudged her with his elbow. “Maybe the ghost drove the priests away.”
Beau’s tale had been in the back of her head the whole time, but Derek’s comment spooked the crap out of her. “By ghost, do you mean the lady in white?”
“Yep.” He scanned the land around them. “They say she wears a glistening white cloak and wanders the priests’ cells. She only appears when the moon is full or during storms.”
The thought of being alone in such a disturbing place terrified her. “Have you ever seen the ghost?”
“Nah.”
Leslie kicked herself for letting him talk her into coming to the remote location. “What about the wild dogs? Have you seen them around The Abbey?”
“Not to worry, baby. I’ll protect you from ghosts, wild dogs, and Beau Devereaux.” He climbed the granite steps, encouraging her to join him. “But I have to draw the line at your mother. There’s no way I’m taking her on in a fight.”
 
Copyright © 2018 by Alexandrea Weis & Lucas Astor



For Better and Worse by: Margot Hunt

Description from the Publisher through Netgalley

On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.

Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?

My Review

All I had heard about this book was exactly what I posted above.  I was thrown for a loop when I read the book and found out what the story was really about.  I really struggled through the content of the story although it was well written.  I did read through to the end because I wanted to know the outcome but I really had a hard time “enjoying” this book because of the subject matter.  

I do not want to tell you what it was about because it seems that the publishers are keeping the content a secret but it is a difficult topic to read about.  

I am struggling to rate this book because of the mix of emotions about the content and the actual writing.  I am going to hesitantly give this book 3 crowns. 

I received an E-Arc of this book by the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by: Christina Lauren

Description from the Publisher through Netgalley

By the New York Times bestselling author who “hilariously depicts modern dating” (Us Weekly), My Favorite Half-Night Stand is a laugh-out-loud romp through online dating and its many, many fails.

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine”and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

Perfect for fans of Roxanne and She’s the Man, Christina Lauren’s latest romantic comedy is full of mistaken identities, hijinks, and a classic love story with a modern twist. Funny and fresh, you’ll want to swipe right on My Favorite Half-Night Stand.

My Review

This was my first read from the author duo that goes by the pen name Christina Lauren and I had a blast reading it.  It was the perfect mix of fun and romance.  It was exactly what I needed to read as a refresher in between the other books I had been reading.  

The writing style of these two authors flows perfectly and you can’t tell that it is not written by one person.  The relationships in this story were down to earth and sweet and not over the top cliche.  I will definitely pick up another book by them when I need to read a good contemporary. 

I gave this book 4 crowns. 

I received an E-ARC of this book from the Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Some Boys by: Patty Blount Nerd Blast

Tour Info:

http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2018/11/nerd-blast-some-boys-by-patty-blount.html

SYNOPSIS

Some boys go too far. Some boys will break your heart. But one boy can make you whole.

When Grace meets Ian she’s afraid. Afraid he’ll reject her like the rest of the school, like her own family. After she accuses the town golden boy of rape, everyone turns against Grace. They call her a slut and a liar. But…Ian doesn’t. He’s funny and kind with secrets of his own.

But how do you trust the best friend of the boy who raped you? How do you believe in love?

A gut-wrenching, powerful love story told from alternating points of view by the acclaimed author of Send.  

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORYPraise for SOME BOYS

“You will be satisfied at the end of this powerful work. ” ―RT Book Review

“A largely sensitive treatment of an emotionally complex topic. ” ―Kirkus

“Some Boys” belongs in every YA collection.” ―School Library Journal  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Patty Blount grew up quiet and a bit invisible in Queens, NY, but found her voice in books. Today, she writes smart and strong characters willing to fight for what’s right. She’s the award-winning author of edgy, realistic, gut-wrenching contemporary and young adult romance. Still a bit introverted, she gets lost often, eats way too much chocolate, and tends to develop mad, passionate crushes on fictional characters. Let’s be real; Patty’s not nearly as cool as her characters, but she is a solid supporter of women’s rights and loves delivering school presentations. 

Patty is best known for her internet issues novels, including SOME BOYS, a 2015 CLMP Firecracker winner and SEND, a 2012 Junior Library Guild Fall Pick. Visit her website at pattyblount.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter. She blogs at YA Outside the Lines and is also active online. She loves hearing from readers, especially when they tell her she’s cool (even though she knows it’s not true), and is easily bribed with chocolate. Never underestimate the power of chocolate.

PHOTO CREDIT: DAN DEMERIAD 
WEBSITE: https://www.pattyblount.com/
TWITTER:  @PattyBlount
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5344531.Patty_Blount
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/PattyBlountNovels
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/pattyblount3/

Giveaway Info:


Giveaway is open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter

– Winner will receive a Signed Copy of SOMEONE I USED TO KNOW (+Swags) by Patty Blount


ENDS: DECEMBER 19, 2018

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e849f7751523/

BOOK TRAILER
LINK:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-agmuvUOOAI

Excerpt:

SOME BOYS BY PATTY BLOUNT EXCERPT

Minutes pass, but they feel like centuries. I fumble for my phone—my mom’s phone since she made me switch with her—and call her.

“Grace, what’s wrong?”
“Can’t breathe, Mom. Hurts,” I push out the words on gasps of air. “Okay, honey, I want you to take a breath and hold it. One, two,

three, and let it out.”
I follow her instructions, surprised I have any breath in my lungs to

hold for three seconds. The next breath is easier.
“Keep going. Deep breath, hold it, let it out.”
It takes me a few tries, but finally I can breathe without the

barrier. “Oh, God.” “Better?”

“Yeah. It doesn’t hurt now.” “Want me to take you home?”

Oh, home. Where there are no laughing classmates pointing at me, whispering behind their hands. Where there are no ex-friends calling me a bitch or a liar. Where I could curl up, throw a blanket over my head, and pretend nothing happened. Yes, take me home. Take me home right now as fast as you can.

I want to say that. But when I glance in the mirror over the row of sinks, something makes me say, “No. I have to stay.”

“Grace—”
“Mom, I have to stay.”
There’s a loud sigh. “Oh, honey. You don’t have to be brave.”Brave.
The word hangs in the air for a moment and then falls away, almost

like even it knows it has no business being used to describe me. I’m not brave. I’m scared. I’m so freakin’ scared. I can’t see straight, and I can’t see straight because I’m too scared to look very far. I’m a train wreck. All I’m doing is trying to hold on to what I have left. Only I’m not sure what that is. When I say nothing, she laughs too loudly. “Well, you’re wearing your father’s favorite outfit, so just pretend it’s a superhero costume.”

That makes me laugh. I glance down at my favorite boots—black leather covered in metal studs. My ass-kicking boots. Ever since Dad married Kristie, Mom lets me get away with anything that pisses him off, and wow does he hate how I dress.

“Why don’t you go to the library until the bell rings? Relax and regroup, you know?”

Regroup. Sure. Okay. “Yeah. I’ll do that.”

“If you need me to get you, I’ll come. Okay?”
I meet my own gaze in the mirror, disgusted to see them fill with tears. Jeez, you’d think I’d be empty by now. “Thanks, Mom.” I end the call, tuck the phone in my pocket, and head for the library.

The library is my favorite spot in the whole school. Two floors of books, rows of computers, soft chairs to slouch in. I head for the nonfiction section and find the 770s. This is where the photography books live—my stack. I run a finger along the spines and find the first book I ever opened on the subject—A History of Photography.

I pull the book off its shelf, curl up with it in a chair near a window, and flip open the back cover. My signature is scrawled on the checkout card so many times now that we’re old friends. I know how this book smells—a little like cut grass. How it feels—the pages are thick and glossy. And even where every one of its scars lives—the coffee ring on page 213 and the dog-eared corner in chapter 11. This is the book that said, “Grace, you are a photographer.”

I flip through the pages, reread the section on high-key tech- nique—I love how that sounds. High-key. So professional. It’s really just great big fields of bright white filled with a splash of color or some- times only shadow. I took hundreds of pictures this way—of Miranda, of Lindsay, of me. I practiced adjusting aperture settings and shutter speeds and overexposing backgrounds. It’s cool how even the simplest subjects look calm and cheerful. It’s like the extra light forces us to see the beauty and the flaws we never noticed.

I unzip my backpack and take out the school’s digital camera. It’s assigned to me—official student newspaper photographer. I scroll through the images stored on the card—selfies I shot over the last few months. Why can’t everybody see what I see? My eyes don’t sparkle. My lips don’t curve anymore. Why don’t they see?

With a sigh, I close the book, and a slip of paper floats to the floor. I pick it up, unfold it, and my stomach twists when I read the words printed on it. A noise startles me, and I look up to see Tyler Embery standing at one of the computers. Did he slip this paper into my favorite book? He’s had a painfully obvious crush on me forever. Every time he gets within five feet of me, his face flushes, and sweat beads at his hairline. Tyler volunteers at the library during his free periods and always flags me over to give me the latest issue of Shutterbug that he sets aside for me as soon as it arrives. He grabs something off the desk and walks over to me. I smile, thankful there’s still one person left in this world that doesn’t think Zac McMahon is the second coming of Christ. But Tyler’s not holding a magazine. He’s holding his phone.

“Six-eighty-three.” There’s no blush, no sweat—only disgust.

I make it to the end of the day. At dismissal I make damn sure I’m early for the bus ride home so I can snag an empty row. I plug in my earbuds to drown out the taunts. It’s not so bad, I tell myself repeat- edly, the taste of tears at the back of my throat familiar now. I don’t believe me.

Once safely back in my house, I let my shoulders sag and take my first easy breath of the day. The house is empty and eerie, and I wonder how to fill the hours until Mom gets home. Thirty-two days ago I’d be hanging out after school with Miranda and Lindsay or shopping at the mall or trying to find the perfect action photo at one of the games. In my room I stare at the mirror over my dresser, where dozens of photos are taped— photos of me with my friends, me with my dad, me at dance class. I’m not welcome at any of these places, by any of these people anymore. I don’t have a damn thing because Zac McMahon took it all. I think about Mom killing all of my online accounts and switching phones just until things settle. But now that the video of me that Zac posted on Facebook has 683 Likes, it’s pretty clear that waiting for things to settle is a fantasy.

I rip all the pictures off the mirror, tear them into tiny pieces, and swipe them into the trash bin next to my desk. Then I pull out the slip of paper I found in the photography book, and after a few minutes of staring at it, I dial the number with shaking hands.

“Rape Crisis Hotline, this is Diane. Let me help you.”

Copyright © 2014 by PattyBlount

Literary Book Gifts – A Shop Review & Discount for my readers

Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, and I thought, what better way to support these small businesses, then to tell you about one I came across recently.  

Website- Literary Book Gifts

www.literarybookgifts.com

If you take a glance at this simply designed webpage, you will notice the simplicity of the page itself as well as the products offered.  Each item has either an author or a book title in its’ classic form, printed on it.  

The t-shirts sytles are available for either Men or Women and appear to be made on very soft t-shirts.  The tote bags look sturdy, have longer handles for convenience and come in 3 different sizes!

  If you know a book lover or are one and would like to share the joy of books with others for the Holiday season, then consider supporting a small business and check out Literary Book Gifts.  

Discount Code

Just for my readers, I am able to offer you a discount of 20% your purchase of anything in the store with no minimum required, and it never expires.  Just type in: BookQueenReviews20 when asked for a discount code at checkout.