Smugglers Stash

Smugglers’ Stash and News: AND A SHINY NEW LOOK!

Hello everyone! Happy Sunday! Let’s get straight down to business, shall we?

Giveaway Winners:

We have two giveaway winners to announce today. The winner of a copy of Cocaine Blues and The Ruby in the Smoke is…

Cocaine Blues


The winner of a copy of The Lives We Lost is…

The Lives We Lost


Congratulations! You know the drill. Send us an email (contact AT thebooksmugglers DOT com) with your snail mail address, and we’ll get your winnings out to you as soon as possible!

New look:

TA-DA!!!! We are delighted to unveil our shiny new look!!!! *points at header*

After a few misfires, we finally found an amazing artist, who has graciously taken on the redesign of our Book Smuggler header with some fresh new art. Her name is Jacqueline Pytyck and you can see more of her amazing art over at her website. We highly recommend her work not only because of her talent but also of how smoothly things went – plus Ms Pytyck showed interest in understanding our site and what we do in order to create a header that truly suited us.

One of the most distinguishing aspects of the art is the fact that our eyes are covered. We love Ms Pytyck’s explanation behind the ribbon over the eyes (quoted with the artist’s permission):

I feel that it relates better to the Libra/librarian/Ex Libris theme. To show that your other senses are greatly heightened when you critique fiction. Rather than simply reading with your eyes, you are able to analyze the works with a different sense entirely.


Beyond the header, we also did some minor tweaks here and there.

So, tell us: what do you think? Like, dislike (please be gentle)?

This Week on The Book Smugglers:

On Monday, Ana reviews a Historical YA featuring Puerto Rican-Americans living in NY in the sixties: The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano

On Tuesday, Thea reviews a new YA Dystopia, Different Girl by Gordon Dahlquist

The Different Girl

On Wednesday, Ana attempts her first Terry Pratchett novel (YES, WE KNOW) for Old School Wednesdays: The Wee Free Men

The Wee Free Men

On Thursday, Thea reviews Heroes’ Reward, Moira J. Moore’s final novel (*sniffles*) in the Heroes series

Heroes' Reward

Finally, on Friday, it is another entry in our What She Said feature. This time, Thea reads The Name of the Star, Maureen Johnson’s first Shades of London novel and Ana reads The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell. Over at Kirkus, Ana reviews Superheroes, a new anthology of well, superhero stories (Oh please LET IT BE A GOOD ONE) edited by Rich Horton and with stories by Peter S Beagle, Kelly Linch and others

The Name of the Star UK Superheroes

PHEW. Once again, it’s a VERY busy week! Until tomorrow, we remain…


PSAs for Middle Earth by TheMetaPicture

~ Your Friendly Neighborhood Book Smugglers

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  • Eliza
    February 17, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Wee Free Men! Crivens, I hope you like it. Can’t wait to read your review.

    Again, I love the new look and even more so now that I read the artist’s inspiration behind the illustration. My, not nearly as sophisticated interpretation, saw the ribbons as a play on your thief masks from the old one. Lovely new logo.

  • Stephanie Sinclair
    February 17, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I am LOVING the new look ladies. And your designers comment was right on the mark about you guys!

  • ferdy
    February 17, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I love the new look!
    I’m looking forward to the review on Different Girl.

  • discoveringstudent
    February 17, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Your banner is so gorgeous! And I’m really excited to hear what Ana thinks of Terry Pratchett

  • Katharine
    February 17, 2013 at 10:50 am

    The new look is great! The elegant swirls around the logo show that you easily move among varied ideas and genres, and the satiny gray images in the background express your love of all things magic. Nice job!

  • Mary @ BookSwarm
    February 17, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Gorgeous header — I love the Ex LIbris feel. It really suits you all.

  • Victoria Hooper
    February 17, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I love your new look! The banner is gorgeous πŸ™‚ I think it really suits the site and you guys.

    Looking forward to seeing what Ana thinks of The Wee Free Men!

  • Alyssa @ Books Take You Places
    February 17, 2013 at 11:48 am

    The new header is absolutely beautiful, I love how your eyes are covered with the ribbon and the explanation as to why!! I also went to the artist’s website and WOW how unique and gorgeous! Also, I hear you Ana, I haven’t read any Pratchett yet either! Excited to hear what you think.

  • Gerd D.
    February 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Nice new design you got yourselves there, very fitting. πŸ™‚

    Interesting explanation for the covered eyes; wouldn’t have got it without (the reason for it, that is), but really like the mystique it adds.

  • eliza
    February 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    ERMERGERD! i won something! (quick victory lap, and now i’m back)

    i really like your new banner! and i’m looking forward to the review of ‘name of the star’, and hey! i haven’t read any terry pratchett, either! maybe ana’s review will change that? who can say!

  • Estara
    February 17, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I love the readability – the clearer and cleaner the contrast, the better for my eyes – and the understatedness and intricacy of the header – you get your first impression then look closer and see the aliens to the left and the kirin/unicorn/seahorse creature to the right. And your heads look like cameo medallions ^^.

    Also, Taro and Lee forever!

  • Li
    February 17, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I love your new header – beautiful! I’m with Eliza – I initially thought the ribbons were a (clever) play on the old header with masks, but I really like your designer’s interpretation.

  • Meghan
    February 17, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I love the new look! And I cannot wait to hear what Ana thinks of The Wee Free Men. πŸ˜€

  • Megan
    February 17, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    The new header is fantastic. It totally fits!

    Also fantastic? That Middle Earth PSA. LOL!

  • Linda W
    February 17, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Love the new look!
    Also, I hope you like The Wee Free Men. It’s one of my favorite books!

  • kara-karina
    February 17, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    That has to be one of the best headers I’ve ever seen! GORGEOUS!!! Have a great week, gals!

  • Jen Smith
    February 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Great new look. I’d like to have that book “The Lives We Lost” too. I hope I’d win some of your giveaways soon. πŸ™‚

  • Mariska
    February 17, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    I love the new different πŸ™‚

  • Erin
    February 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Glad you found a good designer and that the saga is concluded! Looks lovely. Nice color choices.

  • Darlynne
    February 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Crivens! I love the new look. Congratulations all the way around.

  • Anonymous
    February 17, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Fabulous!!! I think it really suits you πŸ™‚

  • Liz
    February 17, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    I cannot wait to see what you think of Terry Pratchett!

    And when did the last book in Moira Moore’s Heroes series come out? I completely missed that!

    Love the new look. πŸ™‚

  • Kendra
    February 17, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Gorgeous! Does the sci fi on one side/fantasy on the other intentionally match your reading interests?

  • Kendra
    February 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Gorgeous! Does the fantasy on one side and sci fi on the other purposefully match each of your reading interests?

  • Kate & Zena
    February 18, 2013 at 12:44 am

    THE BANNER. I <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 the banner a million times over. I just love staring at it and trying to find all of the genres depicted in there (the aliens, the castle, the dragon-like animal on the type, the barren wasteland…..that's all I've found so far.) SO FREAKING COOL.

  • KMont
    February 18, 2013 at 7:35 am

    BEAUTIFUL new look, ladies!

  • Lindsay Elizabeth
    February 18, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I really love the redesign! It looks awesome.

    I’m interested to know what you think of Pratchett. I like his books, but there are certain stylistic things he does that I’ve never been quite a fan of. It’ll be interesting to see what you think, since I usually agree with you.

  • Ana
    February 18, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Thank you, folks!! We are really happy with it!

  • Ana
    February 18, 2013 at 9:36 am

    @Lindsay Elizabeth – I am almost done with the book, and I have to say that I am loving it so far. It just hits all my funny spots. I am curious though about the things you are not a fan of?

  • Cecelia
    February 18, 2013 at 9:52 am

    Love your new banner! It’s beauteous!

  • Expy
    February 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Agrees with everyone here, your banner is beautiful. LOL @ LOTR PSA.

  • Rita
    February 18, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Love the new banner! Very modern and designed well. And the colors are gorgeous!

  • hapax
    February 18, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Like the new banner, and feel that the site redesign worked well, although I shall miss the old retro Smugglers.

    Thanks for the heads-up on the final (sniffle!) HEROES book; I stopped reading as soon as I saw that, and rushed over to Smashwords to buy it.

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