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Summertime news

Other than social media posts, including my daily Rules for Successful Living, I haven't written anything in more than a month. And I'm okay with that.

All the writing advice says you should write every day, and that's good practice when you're starting out. But veteran writers -- I've been trying to write fiction for 30 years -- occasionally need a break to recharge the mental and physical batteries. Also, life intrudes. Sometimes, you've got to stop dreaming about your next story and deal with leaky roofs and family traumas.

My wife and I have reached that age where our parents are dying or making end-of-life decisions about assisted living. Our days revolve around their care and the required government and medical paperwork. I've driven to Arkansas, where my mom lives in a nursing home, seven times in the past year and a half.

Summer is often when I write a new novel. I disappear into the book for a month or two, and come out with a first draft that I polish during the school year, when part of my time and attention is devoted to teaching at the Honors College at the University of New Mexico.

Not this summer, though. Not only am I not writing a new book, I'm not even thinking about a new book. I wrote a couple of short stories last spring, but my head is pretty much empty of story at the moment. And that's okay. Because I've been doing this so long, I'm confident the next story will show up when it's ready.

My latest crime novel, COLD CUTS, is still fresh on the market, but I've been too distracted to give it the full promotional push it deserves. It did get its first Amazon review: Five stars!

Speaking of Amazon, I'm running regular sales on my backlist on Kindle. I try to keep at least one of my Kindle books on sale for 99 cents. Currently on sale is BANK JOB, which is in development in Hollywood. Give it a read and visualize who should play the roles in a movie version!

I should note that it's not all grief and drudgery at our house. 'Tis the season of the cookout, and we have wonderful friends. Our younger son is getting married next month, and the outdoor wedding should be an occasion of great joy.

The summer monsoons have arrived in Albuquerque, which reminds me of the climactic scene in COLD CUTS. But you'll have to read it for yourself.

Until next time, happy reading!



Here's something fun: One of my books will be featured (ever so peripherally) in a future episode of BETTER CALL SAUL.

BETTER CALL SAUL is the prequel to BREAKING BAD and, like that enormous hit, it's filmed here in Albuquerque. They're filming the fourth season at locations around town now.

One scene is being filmed at the Monte Carlo Steakhouse, a local institution which I used as a setting in my crime novel BOOST. The Monte Carlo is one of those restaurants where every square inch of wall space is decorated in memorabilia -- model cars, Elvis statues, sports pennants, you name it. Unbeknownst to me, the folks at the Monte Carlo made a big display of BOOST sometime after it was published in 2004. The wall display, which includes the cover of the book, my photo/bio and the three pages that feature the Monte Carlo, apparently will be in the background of a scene in the final episode of Season 4 of BETTER CALL SAUL.

I don't know anything else about the scene or the episode, but I wouldn't blink when I'm watching, if I were you. You might miss my moment of fame.


Pre-order COLD CUTS now!

My latest crime caper, COLD CUTS, is now available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle. If you pre-order, the ebook version will appear in your reader automatically on the official pub date, April 30.

The Kindle version is only $2.99. The trade paperback version, available at Amazon here, is $9.99.

COLD CUTS was inspired by a real-life situation: people smuggling Mexican bologna across the border because it's illegal to bring it into the United States. Rookie smuggler Lucky Flanagan gets into all kinds of trouble when he tries it.

I'm scheduled to do a booksigning for COLD CUTS on May 20 at Treasure House Books here in Albuquerque. Details here. I hope to see some of you there.


COLD CUTS now in paperback!

My new crime novel, COLD CUTS, was published this week in trade paperback. It's my 31st published book, and I'm very proud of the way it turned out.

The paperback sells on Amazon for $9.99. A $2.99 version will come out on Kindle by the end of the month.

The fast-paced novel was inspired by news reports about smugglers who specialize in Mexican bologna, which some consider a delicacy. The main character in COLD CUTS, a small-time crook named Lucky Flanagan, is recruited into a bologna smuggling ring. Things go terribly wrong, of course, resulting in some hilarious moments.

I'd like to thank award-winning authors Charlie Price, Bill Fitzhugh and Joseph Badal for the great blurbs on the back cover of COLD CUTS. I appreciate all of their support over the years.

Joe Badal says, "Only Steve Brewer could create a story based on contraband bologna." I think he meant that as a compliment.


COLD CUTS coming soon

I'm at that stage of the publishing process where I'm waiting for the printed proof to arrive in the mail. Earlier this week, I finished the final edits and formatting for my new crime novel, COLD CUTS, which will be available in trade paperback and Kindle versions by May 1.

COLD CUTS is a comic crime story about a low-level scammer, Lucky Flanagan, who gets mixed up with some guys who are smuggling Mexican bologna into the United States. Lucky is such an unlikely smuggler that he's perfect for the job. But there's a bigger scheme afoot, one that will end in violence.

Other characters in COLD CUTS include a butcher, a comic book nerd, two tattooed thugs known as the Badass Brothers, and a meat inspector who's a vegetarian. It's a fun novel, and I look forward to sharing it with all of you.

COLD CUTS will be my 31st published book, counting two Bubba Mabry novellas and three novels I wrote under the pen name Max Austin.

Meanwhile, another of my crime capers is on sale this week on Kindle for only 99 cents. BOOST follows Sam Hill, a professional car thief, as he challenges a vicious drug dealer in Albuquerque. Check it out here.