ellenkushner: (Default)
Our fine friends at Tor.Com are offering a complete set of Riverside Audiobooks, plus extra goodies including Neil Gaiman's signed script for his Introduction to The Fall of the Kings audiobook, and a photo of all of us in the studio the day we recorded Neil's part (to be signed by Delia & me).

It's a Sweepstakes you can enter just by Commenting there on their site.

Photo:  Me, Neil, Delia & producer/director Sue Zizza

My co-author, Delia Sherman, & I are just thrilled. Thanks again to all the actors who took part in this ambitious project, and to everyone at Audible, Tor.Com & SueMedia who made it happen.

The Sweepstakes runs through Sept. 1.  To enter, click here.
--And don't be churlish:  Tell your friends!
ellenkushner: (Default)
Thanks so much to everyone who contributed culinary delights to the Riverside Series Recipes-and-Menus Contest! You must now click through and see them all, for they are a wonder to behold.

They ranged from the witty to the more-ish, the stunningly artistic to the heart-meltingly "I can't believe you read my books and know them so well....!" Last night at midnight, we read them all, and immediately went on a snacking binge that has lasted . . . well, let's just say it's not over yet.

Congratulations to our Winners:

Lynn A. Aderholt
Daphne Knudson
Nightwing Whitehead

You will each receive a download code by e-mail for your free copy of the new audiobook of THE FALL OF THE KINGS.  We'll need a working e-mail address to send that to you, so please drop us a Comment here with your preferred e-dress. Don't worry:  We have LJ comments on this post screened so no one but my assistant, Laura, and I will see them. If you'd prefer to DM me at Facebook, that's OK, too.

And while we're on the subject of things we need from our winners:
We'd also like to include as many of the recipes & menus as we can on my forthcoming NEW website (!!!) in the all-new, all-revised CUISINE section of "The World of Riverside" (designed by the fabulous Tara O'Shea!).  Please let us know if you are willing to let us post your recipe there, possibly along with your original note from my LiveJournal explaining your entry.  We will give credit where credit is due, so if you're willing, just let us know how you'd like to be credited:  your real name? your blog name? or even "Anonymous?" -  and what link, if any, you'd like us to link your name to.

Again, thanks to everyone who participated by entering or helping to spread the word!

Hmmm.....speaking of SPREAD . . . do we have any of that goat cheese left?
ellenkushner: (Default)
To celebrate the advent of a new Riverside Audiobook - narrated by your humble co-author - we like to throw a little contest, to give you a chance to win a FREE download of our latest from Neil Gaiman Presents: The Fall of the Kings, by Ellen Kushner & Delia Sherman.

Last time, it was Book Covers – this time, it’s CUISINE!

We invite you to create a
for food described in any of the "Riverside" books . .  or food that you think one of our characters would enjoy--
or a MENU for a meal they might eat . . . . You can even name a new dish for a character (What would Cherries Tremontaine taste like? what’s in a Riverside Fool?) . . .   And, of course, we welcome all recipes for how to make a really decent cup of chocolate.

1) Post your recipe (or menu) somewhere online on one of your own social media sites (LJ, Tumblr, FaceBook, blog, whatever--but your site, not mine!) where all your friends can see it, explaining what it's for (either by referring back to this post, or to the audiobook itself)

2) Post a link to that in the Commments on this page, below

The most delectable 10 entries will each get a FREE DOWNLOAD of the new audiobook!

And don’t worry – if you’ve already pre-ordered your copy, you’ll be able to give your winning Download to a friend.
The winning recipes may also appear (with permission) on the CUISINE section of my new website (currently a WIP, but coming soon in all its glory!).

Contest ends at 5:00 pm EST on FRIDAY, August 23rd
-- in time for us to judge them, & to send out the Secret Audiobook Prize Code in time for you to for
THE FALL OF THE KINGS AUDIOBOOK Release Day: Tuesday, August 27!
FOTK final NGP cover
ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))

Oh, look what I just found under the Tree!  Um, a post KD drafted in October that we forgot to put up.....

Fortunately, it now doubles as a New Year's Gift to all.

It fits nicely over the  Small Beer Press hardcover edition of TPOTS currently on big dog sale for $9.95 for all your DIY'ers).  And Taline also says you're welcome to use bits of it for Icons if you like.  (I like!!!)  I adore ever square inch of it - it's like she reached inside my brain & plucked out the pictures!

Thanks again to the gifted Taline Boghosian for this amazing work, and to everyone who participated in the TPOTS Cover Contest, which we created to celebrate the TPOTS audiobook from Neil Gaiman Presents.  I've really appreciated all your reviews & Likes on that page, too.  I'm headed back into the studio this week to continue recording The Fall of the Kings, which should be out in spring.

* *

Attention all The Privilege of the Sword (aka TPOTS) fans! This is Ellen's assistant Katharine, here to present the final version of the winning design from our TPOTS Create Your Own Cover Contest.

Taline Boghosian’s superb and intricate design had many Riverside fans wishing for a dust jacket version of their very own. Taline has graciously obliged, adding a spine so that her cover will fit snugly over the hardcover edition of TPOTS and making the desig available to download and print in two different versions, no less!)

If you don’t already have your own hardcover copy, you can buy one here to use with Taline’s cover (although the Small Beer Press cover is gorgeous as well—maybe trade them out for special occasions?)

Taline also gives her kin permission for everyone to se any part of the cover to make icons (as long as it's for personal use). 

Congratulations again to Taline on her winning design, and many thanks for letting us use your amazing artwork!

ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))
O how could I forget?!?

In all the excitement about the TPOTS Cover Contest Winners, I left out one category:

   Best Madcap Use of Photography in a Live Setting!   

TPOTS Cover photo

And the Prize goes to the dynamic duo of 
Alena McNamara aka  [personal profile] aamcnamara and Kate ("the Swordswoman in the Picture") Potter !

Alena explains:

I sent a message to Kate suggesting a "terribawesome idea": that she should dress up in Katherine-y clothes and do swashbuckley poses while I chased her around the Mount Holyoke campus with a camera.  She's a former fencer who's loved The Privilege of the Sword since I, er, gently encouraged her to read it (dating me comes with a reading list), so of course she said yes--and then texted me the next day to suggest a location for the photoshoot.  We took photographs across half of campus, but the location she suggested, the garden beside Abbey Chapel, produced the picture we chose for our entry.  

They will be receiving some kind of weird prize, if I can find one good enough.

Meanwhile, thanks again to everyone who entered the contest or helped to spread the word about it, and about the new Privilege of the Sword audiobook, whose release all this was in honor of.

I encourage you to go and look at the contest winners here - and also to dig back into the contest Comments for all the entries, which are superb.  Oh, and here is Kate & Alena's original post of the photo on Tumblr, for those who wish to ReBlog.

ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))

This is Ellen’s assistant Katharine, back to announce the winner of our TPOTS Create Your Own Cover Contest, while Ellen nurses a head cold and gloats over all the art.

I’m glad to see that my rallying cry of “Lace! Leather! Silk and steel!” inspired so many of you to design your own covers for The Privilege of the Sword (aka TPOTS, which Ellen really does pronounce "teapots!") in honor of the release of the new audiobook, and I loved seeing the different covers that came in, from photos to drawings to digital collages.  (You can see all the entries as links in the Comments section of the original Contest post here.)

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest for the time and hard work you put into your designs. Both Ellen and I were impressed by the high quality and originality of the entries, and judging so many excellent covers was no easy feat. That is why, in addition to our Grand Prize winner, Ellen has selected two second-place winners, whose art you can see below.

We are thrilled to announce that the Grand Prize winner of the TPOTS Create Your Own Cover contest is…

         Taline Boghosian!         

TPOTS Winner p1TPOTS Cover Contest winner 2

TPOTS Cover contest winner 3TPOTS Cover contest winner 4

Ellen and I were blown away by Taline's exquisite design and thoughtful layout of the cover, which is for a hardcover with both front, back and side flaps. You can find more of Taline’s work here. In addition to receiving a limited edition copy of The Privilege of the Sword from Small Beer Press, Taline will have her art displayed on the official TPOTS Covers page. We'll announce it when the art goes up, so check back for that post!

And now for our two second-place winners, who will also receive a hardcover copy of The Privilege of the Sword. Well, one of them will, anyway—because one of our two winners, Elizabeth Evans-Gist ([profile] underthewetmoon), was already, by chance, the winner of our "What's your favorite imaginary book?" contest and has a copy of TPOTS on the way!

Here's Liz's subtle and elegant cover:

TPOTS Cover Contest runner-up 1

Tied with Liz for second place, we have this terrific cover art and design from [profile] vaultedthewall:

TPOTS Cover 2

We were especially impressed with the WIP posts she did as she worked on this cover; you can see them here on her Tumblr.  She also managed to get all our favorite characters in.

Congratulations to our winners, and thank you again to everyone who entered!!! Even if you didn't win, you can still perfectly legitimately acquire your own limited edition copy of The Privilege of the Sword here (at a discounted rate) - and/or download the new TPOTS audiobook, narrated by Ellen herself (with a little help from the great Barbara Rosenblat & a cast that includes Felicia Day and Joe Hurley) from Neil Gaiman Presents.

We loved each and every entry, and all the enthusiasm everyone has so kindly shown over the launch of the TPOTS audiobook.  

I think it's time to lock Ellen in a tower and make her write another novel, now, don't you?

She says she has to finish recording The Fall of the Kings first.  But I dunno . . . . 

ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))
I am beside myself with joy at the many gorgeous entries so far! A lot of them are on Tumblr, tho' not all.

To recap: Contest rules are here. --And all Entries are linked in the Comments section, for your viewing pleasure!

You don't have to draw your own art - like my hardcover publishers (Small Beer Press), you can use "found" art (the limited edition, cloth-bound, gold-stamped, sewn binding version which is also the Prize): theirs is a detail from 16th century French painter Francois Clouet's "Portrait of Charles IX."

Creative use of Dolls Divine is also on the table.

All of this is in support of the new audiobook of TPOTS, from Audible/Neil Gaiman Presents. I hope that you will at least listen to the sample 5:00 we have up here, one of our special "Illuminated" scenes, which includes Neil Gaiman as a decadent artist, and Felicia Day as Katherine. All narrated by me.

Please tell your friends about the contest - and if you've already listened to the book, reviews & review-votes are much appreciated.

Thanks! Have a great and creative weekend.
ellenkushner: (Default)
As promised:

From Ysabeau S. Wilce's brilliant "Flora" series, beginning with FLORA SEGUNDA:

"A series of yellowback novels called Nini Mo: Coyote Queen."

Nini Mo is badass. She is a fighter and a trickster, a legend in her own time. Some of the yellowbacks Flora mentions are Nini Mo vs. the Ice Weasels: the Ultimate Ranger Dare . . . Nini Mo vs. the Xocholatte Rustlers . . . and of course, her autobiography, High Jinks in Low Palces.

Flora wants to be a Ranger, like Nini Mo. But she's still in school, which seems like a waste of time. As Flora complains in Book 2, FLORA'S DARE:

"There is no yellowback called NIni Mo Sits in Math Class, or Nini Mo and the Curse of the Overdue Library Book, or Nini Mo vs. the Term Paper on the Orthogonal Uses of Liminal Spaces in the Novels of Lucretia McWordypants."

While we never get more than a hint of the texts Flora and her friends have read, Nini Mo is full of Sayings that turn out to be very useful, like:

"Think twice and act once" . . . "Not all battles are fought on the battlefield." . . . "Sometimes, by the time you get it, you don't want it anymore." . . . "Fear will kill you faster than any bullet." . . . "Move forward, and don't look back, even if you can hear the snapping of the wolves on your tail." . . . "There's no way out but through." . . . "Keep it meaningless, if you don't know the meaning." . . . "Don't spit in your own well." . . . "That day, that sorrow." . . . and of course, the famous "Dare, Win, or Disappear."

So there it is. If you haven't read Wilce's books, obviously I think you should.

What else did all 100+ of you not touch on in the Imaginary Books (in other books) Contest list? Well:

I just read Mark Siegel's new graphic novel SAILOR TWAIN,* and am most eager to get my hands on a copy of Secrets and Mysteries of the River Hudson, by the mysterious C.G. Beaverton.

And I was surprised no one mentioned Stick Wizard from the Bordertown series - that doesn't really exist, does it??


* I will be moderating a panel with Mark & 2 others on Sunday, Sept. 23rd at 1 pm at the Brooklyn Book Festival.
ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))
One month ago yesterday, THE PRIVILEGE OF THE SWORD audiobook went on sale (on Audible.com and iTunes), courtesy of Neil Gaiman Presents!

To celebrate that, we're running a little contest.***  It has to do with a very important element in TPOTS (yes, I pronounce it "teapots"):  the mysterious book known as
"The Swordsman Whose Name Was Not Death."**

It is the Book that our heroine, Lady Katherine Talbert, finds in the Mad Duke Tremontaine's library, which at first inspires and then infuriates her, until she sees it again some time later:

It was my very own copy of The Swordsman Whose Name was not Death.  I recognized the stain on the third page, where I had dripped apricot juice.  I opened the book at random, expecting now to find it silly stuff.  But it opened to Stella's escape from the city, right after she's lost the child and thinks Fabian's betrayed her, with Mangrove hot on her heels.  No one could find that silly. 
          Stella wants to despair, but Tyrian won't let her.  You have done tonight, he says, what ten thousand men could not.  Now show your great enemies what one woman alone can do.
          I am not alone, she says, and is about to make Tyrian very happy indeed when the hunting cats appear on the rooftops.
          I did not read the book straight through.  I read my favorite parts, and then the bits between them.  Fabian still never practiced.  Stella still nearly ruined everything by keeping secrets from those she should have trusted.  But it didn’t seem to matter.  If anything, I knew now that people were even stranger and more unpredictable than that, and that when we don’t know the truth about someone, we will make it up ourselves.

It is The Book Lady Artemisia Fitz-Levi's mother doesn't think much of:

“And don’t think I don’t know what kind of nonsense That Book’s put into your head.  ‘Fabian,’ indeed.  When we read it, my friends and I knew that he was a monster, a seducer and a cheat – we all agreed Tyrian was worth two of him – Helena Nevilleson was even planning to name her firstborn Tyrian, but her husband wouldn’t permit it.  To put such a thing on the stage, and with the Black Rose, of all people….”

Because, Yes!  Someone has adapted The Book for the stage!

“You mean – “ Artemisia caught her breath at the thought.  “They are going to perform The Swordsman whose Name was Not Death – in a theatre?
          “It’s already been played!  Lavinia Perry and Jane Hetley both have seen it, for Jane’s birthday.”
          “Lavinia says that Henry Sterling as Fabian is a pale and feeble joke, though Jane says she’d marry him in an instant.  But Lavinia has hardly a good word to say for the piece; she’s vexed that they’ve left out the entire bit about the hunting cats, though I can hardly see how they’d play that onstage.  Jane says it doesn’t matter, because Mangrove’s repentance at the end is even more affecting than it is in the book.  But Lavinia thinks it is not true to the spirit of the novel.”

But we'll let Artemisia's friend Lydia Godwin get the last word:

        “Oh, dear,” sighed her mother, “it’s that awful piece of trash about the swordsman lover, isn’t it?  My friends were mad for that book when we were young.”
         “It’s not trash,” her daughter said.  “It is full of great and noble truths of the heart.  And swordfights.”
* * * 
Literature, of course, is full of Imaginary Books, referred to in other works of fiction, but never actually published (on this planet, anyhow).   

What is your favorite Imaginary Book?*

Just answer below in Comments.  You've got til 5 p.m.EST  September 7th to come up with something.

We will pick a winner based on ancient numerical systems, the position of the stars, and what I had for breakfast.  The prize is a copy of the stunningly gorgeous, cloth-bound, gold-stamped, sewn binding'd Limited Edition Hardcover of TPOTS from Small Beer Press.

*I do have my own favorite Imaginary Book.  After Sept. 7th, I'll tell you what it is!
** Don't be confused by the fact that I have published a short story called "The Swordsman Whose Name Was Not Death."  It also has The Book in it, but it is not The Book. You can, however, read it online here.

*** The Create Your Own TPOTS Cover contest runs through Sept. 16th. Good luck!
ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))
 Lace! Leather! Silk and steel!

And, of course, Girls with Swords.


tpotsmass    600tpots_japan


Thomas Canty's original painting for the new TPOTS audiobook represents only the latest design in a series of gorgeous covers for The Privilege of the Sword around the world since it was first published in 2006. 

Whether it's high fantasy grace, gypsy punk cool, or stylized manga, all of the TPOTS covers convey the vibrant, complex spirit of Riverside and its denizens in their own distinct, creative way.

Now it's your chance to show us your vision of Katherine, the Mad Duke, and the world they inhabit - as it would appear on the cover of the next edition of the book!


That's right....


We want to see your art and design for a The Privilege of the Sword cover!


Visit Ellen's website to see the existing TPOTS covers, including covers from the Dutch, German, and Spanish editions, then create one of your own, that you think is perfect for your own private or dream edition of The Privilege of the Sword.

Post your cover on Facebook, LiveJournal, DeviantArt, Tumblr or anywhere else we (and your friends!) can see them.

Then post a link to your entry in the comments below by 11:59 p.m. EST (U.S.A. Eastern Time) on Sunday, September 16.

Ellen will judge all entries herself.  The winning entry (and runners-up) will be posted here and on the Covers webpage for all to ogle and enjoy.



An elegant limited edition trade-cloth hardcover of The Privilege of the Swordpublished by Small Beer Press!

So start drawing, painting, or otherwise creating, and spread the word to any artistically-inclined friends you know are just waiting for the chance to design a brilliant, beautiful sword fighting-inspired book cover. Thanks in advance for your entries—we can't wait to see your new TPOTS cover designs!

—Katharine Duckett
Assistant to EK

ellenkushner: (WtB*PB*)

The “Bring a Friend to Bordertown” contest, sponsored by the editors of the new Welcome to Bordertown trade paperback anthology, ends at one minute to midnight (E.S.T.) TONIGHT!

See the contest rules, plus links to entries by fans who have already created passionate, funny, and moving letters, songs, and artwork, inviting a friend to join them on the Border city between Elfland and our World, at:


Visit the newly redesigned Bordertown series website for a chance to win exclusive Bordertown prizes, including a signed copy of the new Welcome to Bordertown paperback, and rare memorabilia from the Border.  

Check out our Stories page for a collection of free tales of the Border (as Farrel Dinn says, "First one's free, kid! After that, it's up to you. . . . ")

Please help spread the word about the word about the “Bring A Friend to Bordertown” contest today . . . before it's too late!


Ellen & [livejournal.com profile] blackholly
Editors, Welcome to Bordertown

The editors deeply regret the concurrence of the contest's deadline with that of U.S. taxes.  Last time they were in the World, taxes were due April 15th!  We deeply and humbly thank everyone who took the time to enter the contest during this busy season.  Maybe they finished their taxes early.  Maybe they were using it as a procrastination device.  
Whatever it was, we are deeply grateful, and very moved by the passion and quality of the entries!  It's going to be hard to choose from amongst such wonderful letters, poems, songs, photos, and art.

ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
More addictive than Mad River water!
Lighter than a Spell Box!
Cheaper than a round of drinks at the Dancing Ferret . . . . 
It’s the:
now available from Bluefire Books!

(Check out that pretty new cover!)

And in honor of the paperback, we’re running a CONTEST:
Here’s how:

So you’ve already found your way to Bordertown. It wasn’t easy, but you did it. You’ve found a place to live, and maybe a friend or two.  Maybe you’re in a band, or selling your sketches on the street, or just looking for work….   And now you’d like your friend (from the World or from the Realm, depending on your own origins) to come and join you.

Write them a letter, or send them a postcard (a photo or a drawing + a short note) telling them why they should come. Then post it on your blog, Tumblr, Facebook notes, DeviantArt account… anywhere your friends can read it. 

And then, to enter it in the contest (and make sure we know it’s there!),
put the URL for your post in the Comments section over at our OFFICIAL CONTEST PAGE:   
The Welcome to Bordertown editors, Holly Black & Ellen Kushner, will judge all entries, and award 3 prize sets to the 3 best entries.
PRIZE set includes:  
  • New Welcome to Bordertown paperback, signed by Holly & Ellen
  • A flyer we found in the gutter on Carnival Street announding Eldritch Steel playing at The Dancing Ferret last year (“1 free drink for noobs”)
  • A ticket for the Unicorn Trolley (expired, alas!)
  • A Bordertown necklace by Chimera Fancies Bordertown necklace by ChimeraFancies
  • A Bordertown T-shirtBordertown T-shirt
The contest runs from now through Tuesday, April 17th at 11:59 p.m. EST (U.S.A. Eastern Time).

Good luck!  See you on the Border -- 

October 2014

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