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And the winner is...

Mrs. Julien has our eternal thanks and awe for being her usual clever self. Please say hello to the newly-minted Cannon Fodder! Thanks also to Mswas's daughter, Molly, who designed our newsletter header. 

To spend a bit more time basking in her brilliance, we're going to let Mrs. Julien kick off a new Cannonball Read feature, Quick Questions with a Cannonballer. Take it away, Mrs. J!

Q: How many times have you participated in CBR?

A: This is my fifth CBR and HOLY CATS! I did not realise that. I missed the cut off for 2011 and wrote one screed of a review on my blog, but made it for 2012 which was, coincidentally, when my current kissing book obsession kicked in. I managed 33 reviews my first year and have increased my total every year since. I do get review burnout every few months or so and then have to frantically catch up, like now, for example, when I am really, really far behind.

Q: What's the first book you recommend to new friends?

A: I have bought Oldest Living Confederate War Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganus for a few people. If they want a kissing book recommendation, I unfurl my questionnaire about eras, hero types, and comfort with [insert funky bass line here], but Julia Quinn's Bridgerton books are an excellent gateway drug and I am more likely to recommend authors (Courtney Milan) than specific books.

I know you're shocked and stunned, but our prolixitous (yeah, I had to look it up too) Mrs. J had more to say. Read the rest of her interview on the group blog.

Have you done your homework yet?

The year's first book club will be Tuesday, March 1. Brilliant Cannonballers from far and wide will be discussing The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev. All are welcome, whether you're an avid romance reader or just along for the ride to try something new. Historically, we've had some pretty great book club discussions, and we're glad to keep the tradition alive this year. Faintingviolet has some discussion topics planned, if you want to be pondering.

Join us, won't you?

In addition to our Facebook Page, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram accounts, we've started up a brand new Facebook group where you can discuss books to your heart's content. We'll be having some of the book club discussion in the group, so click on over and join our group.

A formatting tip

Though we are, by and large, word people, sometimes a visual assist really makes a review pop. For example, please check out this cuteasaurus:

Isn't he fun? Aren't you paying more attention now?

If you're going to put pictures in your reviews, please make sure to align your photos left, right, or center so the text wraps around - saves space, makes it easier to read, is more aesthetically pleasing, as Nina Garcia would say. Plus, it's pretty easy to do!

One of our own got blurbed!

Are you keeping an eye on our Fan Mail page? We're off to a good start already this year. PLUS, author Jim C. Hines used a pull-quote from narfna's review on his blog when he announced his new book. How cool is that?

Pattykates also got a complimentary Tweet from an author, who obviously has self esteem of steel. Follow along, and let us know if you hear from an author.


Our first donation of the year

Man, it's hard to be humble when you're this awesome. Barely into February, and the Cannonball Read web hosting is paid up through the end of the year, and we're already donating $175 to the American Cancer Society. Go team! Go forth and continue to be awesome.

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

I know you're all lovely, talented geniuses, but just in case there was some info you didn't already have an encyclopedic knowledge of, there is a Cannonball Read Frequently Asked Questions section. If you have a question about blogging, or just in general about Cannonball Read and don't see it here, send it in! Your question might help someone else in the future.

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Amanda Howard (aka "Bothari43")

The Cannonball Read Newsletter Nerd
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