Friday, October 24, 2014

All Things to Everyone by Aldred Chase - Book Review and Giveaway

This review is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour (and more chances to win).

Fifteen year old Paul Blake is not looking forward to spending quality time with his grandmother, who has never taken an interest in him. This time however, things are different because he reveals to her an ability to see the supernatural. She wants to train him but she is not the only one who is keen to help him develop his talents. He soon realizes that he can't be all things to everyone and he will have to make some difficult decisions. His choices will lead him into a terrifying fight for survival that will test his skill and courage to the limit.

All Things to Everyone is the first book in the Sinister Sydney Series: stories where the supernatural pierces the thin skin of modern life in Sydney.

My Review:

This is a short, but exciting introduction to what promises to be a fun, new series set in Sydney, Australia.

Paul and his mom have led a fairly nomadic existence up to now and the few times they have visited with his grandmother, the visits have been cut short by the clashing chemistry between mother and daughter. But this time, things are different.

Paul has the ability to see things as they really are--unlike most of the population and when his grandmother discovers this, she (and her Ladies Historical Society) determine to help him develop his talents. But, he soon runs into another couple, who run the interesting little store "All Things to Everyone" who would also like to help him with this and Paul must discover where his loyalties lie.

The author does a good job of bringing the characters to life--Gran is very much a curmudgeon, while Lynn, Paul's mom, has a quick temper of her own--and has trouble staying in one place (or with one man) for long since her husband died. And Paul-- Paul is a teenage boy who has learned from moving so often that the best way to get along is just to fade into the background and not cause waves. Unfortunately, he's placed in a position where that's not possible.

The story was set up well.. with enough information slowly doled out that fills you in on Paul and Lynn's background without have a lot of information dumped on you--and while this story doesn't leave you hanging, the reader knows there are more adventures to come. And I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. Well done, Mr. Chase. Rating: 4

Enjoy an excerpt:

Later that evening, I approached Mum in the back garden. She was smoking furiously, sucking the life out of one of her cigarettes like she had a grudge against it, the glowing orange tip a beacon in the dark.

I wondered if Mum had set things up earlier, letting me go into the lounge and bursting in a few minutes later to attack the members of the Ladies Historical Society. In her own mind, she would now have a valid excuse to leave. “We can’t walk out, Mum,” I said. “We have nowhere to go.”

A mosquito buzzed around us. Mum shot out a jet of smoke at it and it fell silent. “Your gran is crazy,” she said.

“Does it matter?” I said.

Mum took a savage drag on her cigarette, making it flare up like a bush fire. She breathed out a spray of smoke. “Your gran and her cronies, emphasis on the crone, believe this suburb is full of mournful ghosts, wandering ghouls and open graves,” she said. “This might seem funny or harmless or even a little pathetic and sad, but it’s done a lot of damage over the years.”

She lit a new cigarette from her old one and stubbed the old one out in a plant pot, grinding it into the soil. “Mum joined the Ladies Historical Society when I was a little girl,” she said. “Dad saw it for the nonsense it was, but Mum became obsessed with it. It drove a wedge between them and it broke Dad’s heart, literally.

About the Author: Aldred Chase is the author of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet and the Sinister Sydney Series. His first experience of fantasy fiction was reading ‘The Hobbit’ at school, and he has been hooked on the genre ever since. His favorite places for writing are cafes and park benches, but he does most of his work sitting at his desk. His best ideas come to him when he is travelling by train or walking by the sea.

His current writing project is ‘Lurker’, the second book in the Sinister Sydney Series.

Aldred’s website:
Aldred on Facebook:

All Things To Everyone can be purchased at Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for hosting me today and thank you for taking the time to read and review my book. I do appreciate it.

  2. Thank you for the excerpt, I enjoyed it, and thank you for the chance to win :)

  3. What a great review. I enjoyed the excerpt. It really gave me an insight into the mother.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt. Lynn, the mother, was one of my favorite characters to write.

  4. Thanks for sharing! How are you this morning Aldred??

    1. I'm good. It's a beautiful morning spring morning here in Sydney and l'm multi-tasking, thinking about stories while I hang out the washing. Hope your day is going well, Andra.