Thursday, 1 December 2011


Author Alan Lewis is wrapping the parcels and preparing a traditional merry Christmas for his children. But he has an altogether different Santa story to tell the rest of us … and it doesn’t ring with jingling sleigh bells and cheerful ho-ho-hos.

BeWrite Books today (December 2) releases – in paperback and all ebook formats – Alan’s debut novel, The Blood in Snowflake Garden; the garden is the park and murder scene at the heart of a bitterly chilling North Pole where nightmares, rather than dreams, come true. Only blood stains its virgin snow.

The Claymore Dagger finalist asked himself the question all authors must: What if? And Alan, who hails from Tennessee’s Chattanooga, chew-chewed over the puzzle; what if Santa was real in another world, what if he wasn’t the kindly, roly-poly, fun-loving and generous character kids believe him to be, what if his elves were little more than slaves, what if flying reindeer were whipped to work … what if … what if?

Back cover text to The Blood in Snowflake Garden tells you what:

In an alternative universe, Santa’s North Pole City is no mere myth.

But the reality has little to do with the jolly image promoted to the rest of the world. The North Pole is a grim industrial complex where worker elves and flying reindeer rarely live happy and long lives … and where Santa Claus is a booze-sodden wreck.

Detective Max Sneed is dragged out of retirement when Vlad Volsky, Premier of gun-free North Pole City, is mysteriously shot to death in Snowflake Garden.

Prime suspect is Santa himself, suffering alcoholic depression after McCarthy anti-communist witch-hunts in his universe ban him from US airspace.

During the six months’ long polar night, Max is assisted in his investigation by visiting English journalist, Robert Watson, who struggles to resist the advances of Mrs Claus’s pot-induced horniness and is bemused by the complex social interplay between humans and elves.

Within this universe echo the events of our own turbulent sixties when the winding murder investigation becomes tangled with cold war politics, corporate espionage, bitter worker revolt and a powerful civil rights movement that threatens to destroy the fragile tinsel myth.

Author Alan Lewis
Lewis brings us a North Pole struggling to retain its image in the midst of labor disputes, volatile human-elf relations, a discredited Santa, and now the murder of Santa’s right-hand man. With a little grit and a lot of charm, 'The Blood in Snowflake Garden' is a perfect mix of mystery, mayhem and magic. Jaden Terrell, Executive Director of the Killer Nashville Crime Literature Conference and author of the Jared McKean mysteries

Fans of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’ will feel at home in Lewis’s ‘The Blood in Snowflake Garden’. Poet and author Sam Smith

Alan Lewis now lives in Nashville with his children. He authored technical guides and manuals for over twenty years but branched out into fiction. In 2006, he took the reins of a writer’s workshop where he has been striving to teach and aid aspiring authors. He also has several published short stories under his belt and other exciting projects in the works. 

His debut novel, The Blood in Snowflake Garden, was a finalist for the 2010 Claymore Dagger Award presented to the best unpublished murder mystery manuscript. It is no longer unpublished.

As of today it is available in paperback and all ebook formats for all electronic reading platforms from all major online stores, many smaller retails and direct from BEWRITE BOOKS.

Author: Alan Lewis. Editor: Hugh McCracken. Cover, text design and technical preparation: Tony Szmuk. Additional input: The BeWrite Books team. Print distribution: Ingram. Digital distribution: BeWrite Books, Canada and BeWrite Books LLC, USA.

And a personal note from Neil Marr: I wondered over this past week just how far away Alan’s ‘alternative universe’ is from our own. Maybe no more than a cat's whisker.

We’ve just witnessed a Black Friday where riots broke out and pepper spray was used by those battling for Christmas bargains in US stores. As stocking-fillers, many bought loss-leader electronic goods churned out by slave-wage Chinese workers in dismal and dangerous conditions that would shame a captain of industry during the gruesome Victorian Industrial Revolution. Credit cards were maxed out, courtesy of 'Santa the Banka' ... and the whole world now knows the cynicism behind a banker’s ho-ho-ho.

Alan’s answer to the ‘what if?’ question is pretty close to home these days, I reckon.

Find out for yourself by reading The Blood in Snowflake Garden. When you’re bursting at the seams with turkey and Christmas pud, there’s still room to feast on food for thought.

Happy weekend and best wishes. Neil et al at BeWrite Books.


  1. Well done Alan! And what an addition to the BeWrite catalog. That is some cover. Thrilling release.

  2. Alan's cover's another smidgin' of Szmuk magic, Rosanne ... as was yours on 'According to Luke'. Little of Tony's work (art, design or tech) is what you'd call 'conventional'. He blows the socks off me with ideas at times. Partners like Tony don't grow on gum trees. Neil

  3. Congratulations to Alan! Have known him for over 25 years, and he is amazingly talented! Well done!

  4. Proud to have Alan at the table, Denise. Not a typo; we don't like the word 'stable' in this context -- so we have a round table of authors instead. Alan will soon find he's part of a mutually supportive group of talented wordsmiths. They're scattered all over the globe but always happy to exchange views and advice with fellow BBers. We have good readers, too. Their feedback is not only encouraging, it's often insightful and invaluably helpful. Cheers. Neil