Taste this marijuana novel

Here's an excerpt from my latest crime novel, THE BIG WINK, told from the point-of-view of a sleazy character as his gang robs a cannabis dispensary:

>>Sonny Tucker pointed his gun at the black gal's face, but he had to reach up to do it. She must've been six feet tall. The athletic type, wearing sneakers and loose warm-ups. He didn't like the look in her big brown eyes. Lot of thoughts churning behind those eyes. She was a smart gal, he could tell. Sonny didn't like smart gals.

The surfer girl behind the counter appeared to be in shock. The others – a scrawny old woman, a poor fucker in a wheelchair – cowered from the robbers, but that black woman stood ramrod straight, only her wide eyes giving away her fear.


Sonny turned to find Jared hard on his heels, blue eyes burning bright in the cutouts of his ski mask.

"What are you doing?" Jared said. "Go with him."

He pointed at Ray Bunch, who stalked across the waiting room, yelling, "Everybody stay calm! This will be over before you know it."

Jared jabbed Sonny's shoulder. "Go on, dude. I've got them covered."

"Then do it, goddammit," Sonny snapped, though Jared was right. Sonny hadn't followed the plan. He hurried across the room, best as he could on his toeless feet, and was right behind Ray as they reached the curtained door.

A tattooed brute erupted through the curtain, wild-eyed and howling and running full-tilt for the exit. Before Sonny could react, Ray threw out a sinewy arm and caught the man in the throat.

The big man lifted off his feet, and his howl died with a squeak. A white wad of gum shot from his mouth and flew through the air. He smacked the tile floor flat on his back.

Ray watched him thrash and cough for a second, then looked up at Sonny.

"The fuck is wrong with him?"

"He saw us on the video." Sonny pointed at a camera near the ceiling. "He panicked."

"What a dumbass."

Sonny kept his pistol pointed at the hacking musclehead as he followed Ray through the curtain into the back room.

The clerk behind the glass counter already had his hands in the air. Sonny looked up and saw the black-and-white video monitor above the door. Fucker had seen the whole thing. He was waiting for them.

The man wore glasses, and Sonny figured him for the kind of egghead who reads books for fun. The clerk kept his face impassive, but there was a trace of impatience, too, as if he wanted to get this robbery finished so he could get back to business.<<

Fun stuff, huh? THE BIG WINK explores the medical marijuana industry in Northern California, packing in plenty of action and laughs along the way. Now available for only $2.99 from Amazon and Smashwords.


You're doing it wrong

Today's tip for aspiring criminals: When fleeing after a bank holdup, it's a good idea to look over your shoulder once in a while and make sure no one is following you.

Two robbers in Brownsville, PA, forgot this important lesson, and were promptly arrested after a motorist followed them home from the robbery, then told police of the robbers' location.

Full story here.


Big e-book sale

Nearly all my published novels now are on sale as 99-cent e-books. Everything I read about e-books says successful self-published authors are the ones who use the 99-cent price point, and I want to catch that wave.

The sale features books published before 2010 -- essentially everything previously printed on paper. (The one exception is BOOST, which is offered as an e-book by a different publisher.) The 99-cent books include all the mysteries in the Bubba Mabry series, the two novels starring sportswriter Drew Gavin and such standalone thrillers as BULLETS, BANK JOB, WHIPSAW and CUTTHROAT.

My latest e-books -- the medical marijuana novel THE BIG WINK, the hillbilly noir CALABAMA and the hitman thriller FIREPOWER -- remain $2.99, as does my hilarious "1000 RULES FOR SUCCESSFUL LIVING."

You can see all my e-books by clicking either of these links: Kindle or Smashwords.

Please tell all your friends. Thanks!


Sample my new marijuana novel

The beginning of my crime novel THE BIG WINK:

>>There once was a woman named Kwanzaa DuPont who went to the store to buy marijuana. It was her first visit to a cannabis dispensary, and she felt fluttery inside as she steered her silver Saab into the tidy parking lot

The dispensary occupied a stucco storefront shaded by two lop-sided oaks. The flat-roofed building was one of those downtown locations that changed hands frequently – a tax office one year, a skateboard shop the next. Only outward difference now was the sign: A green, seven-bladed leaf above the bold red words, "NorCal Herbal Health Collective."

The building faced one of Redding's busiest streets, and the cars zipping past worried her. Last thing Kwanzaa needed was to be recognized at a pot shop by one of her clients.

No matter that what she was doing was perfectly legal, or that thousands of Californians did the same thing every day. No matter that she had a prescription for the marijuana and a more-or-less legitimate reason for its use. Customers didn't want their bankers doing drugs. Banking was all about trust, and that was shaky enough these days.

As manager of the downtown branch, Kwanzaa was one of North State Bank's bright lights. If someone spotted her going into this "herbal health collective," word would get around town. The social stigma could jeopardize her job, her standing in the community, even Mama's legacy.

Was a legal high worth the risk?<<

Kwanzaa's visit to the dispensary goes terribly wrong when robbers burst in a few minutes later.

You can sample more of THE BIG WINK at Kindle and Smashwords. Or get the whole book for only $2.99.


Calling Ryan Gosling

My hillbilly noir novel CALABAMA is featured on the latest posting of "My Book, The Movie," the website where authors speculate about the film versions of their books.

I suggest that the young actor Ryan Gosling, who has done such amazing work in recent years, would be perfect to play Eric Newlin, the slacker antihero of CALABAMA.

Click the link to see more.


Great new blurb for THE BIG WINK

"Steve Brewer is like the evil offspring of Don Winslow and Elmore Leonard. His wit and warped perspective make for a rare and wonderful reading experience. He’s done masterful work before, but Brewer’s outdone himself with THE BIG WINK." --Reed Farrel Coleman, three-time Shamus Award-winning author of HURT MACHINE

That means a lot coming from my friend Reed, one of the giants of contemporary crime fiction. Check out his website here.

THE BIG WINK goes inside the medical marijuana industry in Northern California. A gang of misfits are having a fine time, knocking over cannabis dispensaries, until a headline-grabbing shooting changes everything. Available now for only $2.99 via Kindle, Smashwords and other e-book formats.


Marijuana heists in fact and fiction

A cannabis collective in Redding, CA, has been robbed twice in the past few weeks by handgun-wielding bandits. I'd say it's a case of life imitating art, but the heists happened before the publication this week of my new crime novel THE BIG WINK.

In THE BIG WINK, handgun-wielding robbers knock over half a dozen marijuana dispensaries in Redding. The story follows the robbers as they go to ground after one of their robberies goes wrong. In my novel, the hunt for the robbers draws national attention, and people on all sides of the medical marijuana debate try to push their own agendas.

I wrote THE BIG WINK a year ago, in case you were wondering. I no longer live in Redding and can account for my whereabouts on the dates of the real-life robberies.

Full story here.


New marijuana novel on sale now

My new crime novel, THE BIG WINK, is now available via Kindle and Smashwords for only $2.99.

THE BIG WINK is my take on the medical marijuana debate. In Northern California, where all-but-legal marijuana has set off an economic Green Rush, a gang of misfits are happily knocking over cannabis dispensaries. But when prominent banker Kwanzaa DuPont gets shot during a holdup, media attention becomes focused on the hunt for the robbers.

The gang goes to ground, hiding out among the growers, dopers and double-crossers of the Emerald Triangle. Meanwhile, others use the shooting to push their own agendas. The cops and the city fathers hope the attention will interrupt the spread of medical marijuana. A pot advocate from Sacramento tries to use the shooting to promote full legalization. The Mexican crime cartel wants Ray's gang silenced. And the lead detective on the case wants to rekindle his childhood romance with Kwanzaa DuPont.

A fun book, which I'm sure you'll enjoy. Give it a try, and let me hear from you!


Please judge this book by its cover

Check out the terrific cover art for my soon-to-be-released crime novel, THE BIG WINK.

THE BIG WINK is my look at the medical marijuana movement. Set on the fringes of the Emerald Triangle in Northern California, the novel features a gang of misfit armed robbers who are knocking over cannabis dispensaries. When a local banker is shot during one of the robberies, the law can't look the other way anymore. The cops turn up the heat.

THE BIG WINK is the third in a trio of standalone novels set in and around Redding, CA; the others are BANK JOB and the recent hit CALABAMA. I poke a lot of fun at the "Ozarks of California," but the community reaction to the medical marijuana boom in my novel reflects what's really been happening across the country.

As for that brilliant cover art, it's designed by my wife Kelly Brewer, who's done several of my e-book covers. I think this one is her best yet.

Expect to see THE BIG WINK on Kindle and Smashwords by the end of the week. Don't worry, I'll let you know as soon as it's available. ;-)


You're doing it wrong

Two geniuses in New Mexico have been arrested for starting an 11,000-acre wildfire, sparked by a burning charcoal grill they were carrying in the back of a pickup truck.

The campers loaded the grill into the truck and drove off after being told to extinguish it by park rangers. Flying embers set the men's camping gear on fire, so they pulled off the road and dumped all the burning material off the shoulder. That started the larger fire.

Full story here.