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Billy Christmas [Kindle Edition]

Mark A. Pritchard
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Digital List Price: $10.99 What's this?
Print List Price: $16.95
Kindle Price: $8.79
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Book Description

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.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"Billy Christmas is an exciting, engaging story that has the reader rooting for Billy throughout his struggles – magical and mundane – from start to finish." —Daily Info, Oxford (September 9, 2012)

About the Author

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

Product Details

  • File Size: 1851 KB
  • Print Length: 313 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0982625189
  • Publisher: Santa Fe Writer's Project (October 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0092YGE4G
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,315 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant Christmas read for all ages September 12, 2012
Format:Paperback
Billy Christmas is a young man in his early teens who carries the weight of troubles beyond his years whilst juggling an increasingly extraordinary, even life threatening, adventure to try and find his missing father. The characterisation of Billy is perhaps what makes this first novel. His warm and well-meaning nature keeps us rooting for him as events never quite seem to go his way, and we experience the familiar injustice of why some people always seem to have to learn the hard way. All the while, we are conscious of the awkwardness of adolescence with all the clumsiness of lanky limbs and a school boy existence booby trapped with opportunities for social humiliation. The story has the makings of your typical teenage novel: Billy's secret crush on his best friend Katherine, run-ins with the school bully. Only that's only the start of Billy's story...

Billy's father has been missing for almost a year, having disappeared on Christmas day, and Billy has been valiantly holding things together for his mother, who sank in to a deep depression following her husband's disappearance. Things start to take an interesting turn when Billy brings home what turns out to be quite an extraordinary Christmas tree, complete with an unusual set of decorations. Think a talking tree is strange? Christmas decorations that come to life? That's only the beginning of a series of weird and wonderful adventures as we a thrust in to a deeply magical and darkly dangerous world which as Billy discovers, was right under his nose all along. So what's that got to do with Billy's father? Billy's got to work that one out for himself if he, and those closest to him, can survive the challenges he's got to overcome to find out.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong debut - more please! September 22, 2012
Format:Paperback
Twelve days before Christmas, the eponymous Billy acquires a strange Christmas tree. As its origins are gradually revealed, Billy must struggle against an ancient evil that threatens his family, his friends and his home.

This first novel from author Mark A Pritchard, is a confident debut. The action rattles along as Billy's life becomes increasingly complicated and dangerous. The characters and setting are well drawn, and the lovingly detailed descriptions of the Buckinghamshire town of Marlow provide a solid base as something altogether more mysterious creeps into the narrative. The transition is handled extremely well, the likeable main character carrying the reader effortlesly along.

All in all, `Billy Christmas' is an exciting, engaging story that has the reader rooting for Billy throughout his struggles - magical and mundane - from start to finish. This is a book that is, if you'll forgive the cliché, definitely not just for Christmas.

A longer version of this review first appeared on the Oxford Daily Info website.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hoping that there's a sequel (and soon!) September 26, 2012
By SSpoon
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I stayed up reading way too late considering I have an important work meeting early tomorrow morning but I couldn't go to bed without seeing how Billy Christmas ended. Wonderful book with a strong story line and delightful twists and turns I never saw coming. I'm hoping a sequel is in the works because I didn't get enough of these characters. A great book for young adults and adults alike.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Buy it now... September 22, 2012
By nelly
Format:Paperback
I have just finished this book and it is brilliant! It has a great, fast paced plot and a well rounded main character. It's probably aimed at teenage readers but I'm almost 40 and still loved it!
If you're a Hunger Games or Percy Jackson then you need to read this!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved, loved, loved this story...... December 30, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was looking for something new to read and came across this title. Not really sure what I thought it would be since it was geared for young teens, but it was an absolutely positively amazing story. I loved it so much that I just hated to put it down. Since I was reading it through the holiday season, I read between shopping trips, gift wrapping and baking. Billy was just a character you loved from the start. I don't really want to give a line by line review of the book because I don't want to spoil it, but please, read it for yourself and I promise, you won't be disappointed. I hope Mr. Pritchard comes out with a sequel to this story because I can definitely see this becoming a series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY DIFFERENT, VERY ENJOYABLE! May 5, 2013
By PATTI V
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. It is an interesting blend of a somewhat realistic theme with pure fairy tale fantasy. Nice development of the characters who teach us a lesson or two. Will read again in the future and hope that this new author gives us another good story sometime soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read January 4, 2013
By Camzmom
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a touching story enjoyed by myself and my teenage son. This fantastic tale was very well-written and the characters were easy to empathize with. I was quickly drawn into this book and had to stay up to finish it on one sitting. I hope to read more from this author soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic fun read for kids of all ages. December 2, 2013
Format:Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish it within 48 hours of getting it. I found it very engaging and exciting to read. I liked the overall theme and can't wait for the sequel. It is very family friendly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Billy Christmas
I thought this book had potential. I thought all the tasks would eventually lead somewhere and some of them did, but towards the end the story kind of just fell apart. Read more
Published 10 months ago by heather
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth it
This is not in the league of Harry Potter. I found the book not interesting enough. The story does not have the depth to keep readers captivated. Read more
Published 15 months ago by TO 28
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read
Got this to read during the Christmas season. I found it fairly interesting and would reccommend it for an easy read.
Published 17 months ago by Widget
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read!!
I sure hope there is a series as this was a good book to read. I just love the characters!!!
Published 17 months ago by Sandi
3.0 out of 5 stars Different
Quick read, OK for grandson. Not something I found spellbinding. Doubt he will be asking for more if this becomes a series.
Published 17 months ago by Day Dreamer
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Read this over the Christmas holidays. Lots of twists and turns and just thought the book couldn't go any farther but it did and did it well. Read more
Published 18 months ago by L. Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Good Read
Wonderfully write in my opinion, suspensful, warm, tearful book about a young boys quest to understand and find his missing father.
Published 18 months ago by Linda Ellington
5.0 out of 5 stars Narnia for a new Generation!
The Story of Billy Christmas is an amazing journey of a boy searching for his father who has been missing since last Christmas. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Joshua89
5.0 out of 5 stars Billy Christmas made my Christmas
I bought the book a while ago and finally had chance to read it over the Christmas period. I loved it! Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Most stupid ending ever!
Sorry to give it such a bad rating, but ending was too crazy. Too bad, it started off good, but the ending was awful.
Published 18 months ago by C. Foreman
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More About the Author

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.

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