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January 20, 2015

BILLY CHRISTMAS by Mark A Pritchard


Mark A. Pritchard

When Billy’s father mysteriously disappears and his mother responds by becoming more and more reclusive, Billy maintains hope that his father’s absence is not by choice—despite the rumors and taunts of his classmates who believe otherwise. Twelve days before Christmas, Billy acquires a magical tree with a dozen ornaments, each of which holds a clue to finding his father. In order to do so, however, Billy must solve one puzzle each day, so he enlists the help of his best friend Katherine, not realizing that in doing so, he has placed them both in grave danger. The forces of evil that have captured Billy’s father are revealed to be manifest in the landscape of their very own small hometown outside of Oxford, England, as well as in some of its seemingly benign inhabitants. A beautifully woven narrative with rich, compelling characters, this novel is sure to strike a chord with any fan of fantasy literature.

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Mark A. Pritchard
Mark A. Pritchard grew up in the New Forest in Southern England, in a village with more sheep than people. He is the eldest of four siblings, who are mostly recovering well.

Pritchard holds a degree in Drama from King Alfred's College, Winchester. Tired of suffering Mark's essays, the Head of Drama suggested he write a screenplay as his dissertation. Words ceased to be mortal enemies and Pritchard has been captured by storytelling ever since.

Mark lives in Oxford where he writes, acts and patronises the better pubs. His daughter is now old enough to despair in public.

Billy Christmas has the weight of the world way beyond a young man who is only in his early teens.    He is trying to find his missing father.  His adventure to try and do this is life threatening.  Billy is a warm natured and good hearted.   I as the reader kept cheering him on, especially since nothing every seems to go right for him.  It reminded me of how some people just have to learn the hard way. 
Billy's father disappeared on Christmas day, almost a year ago.  Billy has been the man of the house, trying to hold things together for his mother's sake.  She was in a severe depression after her husband's disappearance.  It's Christmas time and Billy brings home what appears to be an unusual Christmas tree, with decorations to boot.   What would you say if It told you the tree could talk?  That the decorations begin to come alive.?

The author wrote a wonderful start to a series of strange and interesting adventures ans we go into a magical and darkly dangerous world.  Billy soon discovers that world.,  which was right under his nose all along. The author wrote an interesting and enjoyable read that leaves you guessing to the end.  The author put in some interesting characters, whether human, animal or even plant.  They come alive through the wonderful descriptions that let the reader see and feel the story. The author wrote a web of both the fantastic and the real. There's a combination of relations that are tested,  weaknesses and strengths, fears and bravery, all put out in the opening for t he reader to take in.   Maybe on a cold, snowy Christmas night, you will give the Christmas tree a second glance and wonder!

I received a complimentary copy of BILLY CHRISTMAS from the author, Mark A. Pritchard and Night Owl Reviews for my view of the book. 

I would give this book 4 STARS.


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