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“Miss Brenda and the Loveladies”, by Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell, is a true story of Brenda Spahn, a self-made wealthy woman. Thanks to a former client; a woman nailed for embezzlement who used the whistle-blower law to get a reduced sentence, Brenda, the owner of a prospering tax preparation service, quickly became a victim of the IRS. Brenda was able to escape prison (being innocent of anything but a minor infraction), but chose to give up her tax preparation business.

During the time she fought to keep out of prison she says “Sometimes in life we make decisions that change the course of our destiny. I made mine one day later….”

“Exhausted, I put my head on my desk. How could I have let this happen to our business? My family? Melinda blamed herself, but I was really the one who was at fault. During the tax season we’d worked all day and sometimes through the night, seven days a week—and she had been newly pregnant and sick much of the time. In my unrelenting quest for money, I had become a ruthless boss, even with my own family. Yet I thought the rewards were worth it all.

There in the quiet of my office, I realized this wasn’t really true. I had all the material possessions I could ever want, but I wasn’t happy. I didn’t feel fulfilled. Ever since I was a little girl, I felt I was supposed to do something more with my life. I felt I had a greater purpose. But what? I didn’t know. I prayed for God to show me the way.

But He didn’t answer me.

Or so I thought.

Maybe I just wasn’t listening.

Instead, I had tried to fill the void within me by making and spending money. I had tried to buy peace of mind as if it were on a hanger at Saks.

Was God telling me it was time to stop ignoring Him and start listening to His call, the call of my destiny?

In those moments, the frenzy that had consumed my life suddenly seemed miles away. My heart became quiet. I knew the answer.”

From that point forward Brenda’s began a major change of course in the path of her life. This book is the story of how her organization “the largest and most successful nonprofit transitional center for women in the country” began. The Lovelady Center now serves 450 women and children daily by providing substance abuse counseling, drug rehabilitation, meals, childcare, career counseling and job opportunities for women working to rehabilitate their lives after prison.

It began, however, in her home with- seven seriously hardcore ex-cons. Owning multiple pieces of real-estate, she chose one large house to serve as a “whole-way” house– rather than a half-way house. She hired a housemother and a cook. She’d had to push hard to get the system to work with her, allowing her the opportunity to provide this service and it would seem they thought she was a joke. So instead of sending some of the milder women she’d worked with at the prison, they sent her woman that literally frightened her newly hired staff into immediately quitting. So, on her very first day she found she was on her own with this new venture; which survived by her grit and the grace of God.

This book contains the details of a wonderful heartwarming story of an example of redemption. I laughed and cried as I read my way through this journey of Miss Brenda’s. I learned to have compassion and love for women whom, if I’d met them on the street, I might not have acknowledged. Through her story I came to have a clearer understanding of God’s love for all of his creation.

This is a beautiful story of challenges, struggles and ultimate success; success that comes with finding and fulfilling one’s true destiny. This is a book I highly recommend for reading.


“I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.”