In the News – Spinning on a Barstool

In the News – Spinning on a Barstool


In the News –

Spinning on a Barstool 



Thank you to Jenna Hauck at the Chilliwack Progress for taking the time to investigate and write this story. The link to the news article is below *** NOTE*** the article is full of Spinning on the Barstool Spoilers so if you want the surprise ending, read the book first 😀

Shoebox Baby – Review by Glenda

Shoebox Baby – Review by Glenda

Shoebox Baby

Review by Glenda


Shoebox Baby

By Sharon Bruce

Self-published/Tellwell Talent 



… and there on the warming shelf, laid the ‘Shoebox Baby’.





Shoebox Baby. You know with a title like that, there is a story worth reading.

I used Tellwell Talent to publish my book and so naturally I scrolled through other books, and other authors who also used this service, and there on the warming shelf, laid the ‘Shoebox Baby’.

For the price of a double-double and a donut, I bought the Kindle and started to read.

Three generations of eastern Canadian women quickly pulled this westerner into their lives as told by Author Sharon Bruce. Her style is uncomplicated. Her voice, distinct. Her storytelling, simple. This ‘Bruce Thrice’ had my nose riveted until the last page was swiped. 

The story of Grace was unadorned and engaging with her earthy character and windswept humor chinked into the crevices of her life. Grace’s life was difficult. It pulled me back to a time when houses were cold and food, scarce. I chided myself a lot this week when I complained internally about living in a 5th wheel. It’s warm, I have a heating blanket and food, I’m damn lucky!

I loved everything about Grace and I’m incredibly thankful to have picked up this book to meet her! It’s not surprising that Grace’s wit and resilient nature were passed on to Sue. I loved Bruces’ ability to present the sweet disposition of Sue without mincing the difficulties of dealing with her strong character as she aged. 

While Bruce put just enough of herself into this book to make her presence known the fact that she stood to the side in a supporting role made this memoir sing beautifully. 

I have heard it said that our lives are remembered only to the third generation, then, there is nobody left to remember those who once lived. This family is blessed to have moments of their lives preserved through the story ‘Shoebox Baby’, and, while for sure those connected in this family bloodline will appreciate reading about those that came before them, it was also a super read for those of us who don’t know them, who only just met them, while sipping tea in a wintery week as the year turned from 2023 to 2024. 

I loved the title and it’s what immediately drew my attention to this book. The cover supported the title simply. I would recommend this book particularly if you enjoy a nicely paced memoir. If you enjoy true stories of life, of uncomplicated people, and particularly if you need reminding that life today isn’t nearly as difficult as it was back then. I would even encourage those who have their noses in fiction to pop into this book, there is something riveting in reading real.  

The Shoebox Baby is a memorable memoir. Nicely done Ms. Bruce!



The Pale-Faced Lie Review by Glenda

The Pale-Faced Lie Review by Glenda

The Pale-Faced Lie

Review by Glenda

It was the cover and nothing other than the cover that pulled me in to press the ‘buy’ button for this memoir.

Who was that little boy holding up such a big car? What was his story? I knew it wasn’t going to be good because the words scrawled across the front in white and blood red screamed what the little boy couldn’t…

Dark. Glenda, this one will be dark.


The Pale-Faced Lie is a perfect title for this memoir set throughout the late ’50s, ’60s, and into the ’70s culminating with David Crow, the adult, answering the unanswered questions I had gathered along the way.

It was dark, and I had to put it down on several occasions because it was disturbing. I also read other books between it. I could only absorb bits of David’s experiences at a time. I felt bad about that. He had to live it every moment of his life.

To say that I grew to despise the actions of his Mother, his Father, and Mona is an understatement. What they did made my blood curl. If you are particularly sensitive to the plight of childhood abuse you may want to pass this book over. While the lashings lashed, it was the psychological attacks that made me seeth, more than once I threw the book down uttering “What is WRONG with people!”

It was hard to read. YET…

There is victory.

Some readers may not think so. I can imagine some readers would have liked a victory that had David slaying Goliath with a sword of flames. This David used a potato… and then later a pebble. He inspired me by using the pebble of forgiveness. It’s so much easier to hate.

While I know David needed to forgive to survive, I did very much enjoy reading how he used everything his father taught him on his father. (I’m guilty of enjoying a little vengeance. 😛 )

Throughout the story, David ran. I was able to catch him on Facebook to ask if he was still running. A knee injury has him pedaling instead. (PS I love Authors who take the time to respond to us ‘regular’ folks!) I understood what running did for him and truly was thankful that he discovered it for himself.

David pulled me into the era of his youth and introduced me to places I’ve never been yet his descriptions of the Navajo battling their alcoholic demons resonated with me here in Chilliwack BC. Our natives beat back the same demons in 2023.

I gave the book a solid 4 out of 5. But David gets a 10 out of 5 for endurance and overcoming!

If you love memoirs, if you love stories of human lives enduring and surviving (against the odds I have to add) then you will enjoy A Pale-Faced Lie.