Book Smugglers Publishing Smugglerific Cover Superheroes

A Smugglerific Cover: The Indigo Mantis by E. Catherine Tobler

In which we reveal the cover for The Indigo Mantis by E. Catherine Tobler!

Today we are thrilled to share with you the very first cover of Book Smugglers Publishing’s Superhero season of short stories.

Without further ado, BEHOLD! The smugglerific cover!

The Indigo Mantis

About the Story

A crime-fighting praying mantis avenges her father’s murder in E. Catherine Tobler’s The Indigo Mantis

Since witnessing her father’s murder, revenge has been on Indi’s mind. A mantid with a vendetta, Indi has searched her tree high and low for the murderer. In the hunt for her father’s killer, Indi has unleashed her own brand of justice as the notorious “Indigo Mantis”–a vigilante blue-winged mantid, killing lawbreakers with impunity.

When Indi follows the first solid lead in her father’s case, however, she uncovers a frightening, terrible possibility. Indi must confront the harsh truth about her own dark nature, and choose what kind of hero–or villain–she wishes to become.


A Word From Your Friendly Neighborhood Editors (and Book Smugglers)

Today we kick off our third season of short stories with an unexpected twist on the superhero. When we received E. Catherine Tobler’s submission, we were delighted at its originality and audacity–a preying mantis as a superhero, on a hunt to avenge her father’s murder?! How could we say no? More than just an interesting premise, however, The Indigo Mantis is a crime noir style mystery that is as powerfully cathartic as it is imaginative. It’s the story of a heartbroken daughter who grapples with her own darkness–so she turns vigilante and starts decapitating bad bugs undercover. Suffice it to say, Indi can teach Bruce Wayne a thing or two–and we can’t wait to see what you think. And we cannot imagine a better way to kick off our Superhero season.


About the Author: E. Catherine Tobler

E. Catherine Tobler

E. Catherine Tobler is not a mantis, indigo or otherwise. Among others, her fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and on the Sturgeon ballot. You can find her online at, and @ecthetwit.

About the Artist: Melanie Cook

The Indigo Mantis (no text)

Melanie Cook is an illustrator, concept artist and writer. She has produced storyboards for the likes of Ridley Scott Associates and concept art for the award-winning short film Payload and the science fiction project Restoration. Her current projects include The Tyger and the forthcoming webcomic The Death of Negative Man. You can find her on Twitter (@melicook), Tumblr ( or her personal website


How to Get the Story

The Indigo Mantis will be published officially on May 24, 2016. You’ll be able to read the short story in full for free here on The Book Smugglers, but we’ll also have a DRM-free ebook (EPUB, MOBI) that contains the story as well as a Q&A, and an essay from the author available for purchase on all major ebook retail sites.

Preorder the Ebook Today
Kindle US | Kindle UK | Kobo | Google Play | Smashwords

Need a copy *right* now? Want to read it *today*? You can buy it directly from us!

Buy Now

Add the book on Goodreads, and read The Indigo Mantis for free online on May 24, 2016.

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  • Nikki Egerton
    May 17, 2016 at 8:00 am

    This sounds AWESOME!

  • The Year Behind Us – E. Catherine Tobler
    November 29, 2016 at 11:44 am

    […] Clarkesworld #112 (January) Andromeda of the Skies, Interzone #263 (March-April) The Indigo Mantis, The Book Smugglers (May) Cloud Dweller, Beneath Ceaseless Skies (May) The Kraken Sea, Apex Book Company (June) […]

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