A new book co-authored by Irene Zutell ’87 and Brenda Spahn, “Miss Brenda and the Loveladies: A Heartwarming True Story of Grace, God, and Gumption,” was released this month.
“Miss Brenda and the Loveladies” is the story about Spahn, the founder and director of the Lovelady Center, the largest and most successful nonprofit transitional center for women in the country. Threatened with incarceration for a crime she didn’t commit, Spahn met and worked with women serving time in the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Ala. Inspired to help the women gain success upon release, she took the ex-cons into her home.
“This is the story of Brenda’s journey from rags to riches to redemption. It’s the story of the first unlikely year of her ‘Whole Way House’ and of the extraordinary lives of the first seven women who came to call her ‘Miss Brenda.’ It’s a story that testifies to the power of faith and how God changes hearts every day,” says a recent review on Amazon.
The Lovelady Center serves 450 women and children daily, providing substance abuse counseling, drug rehabilitation, meals, childcare, career counseling, and job opportunities to women working to establish successful lives outside of prison walls.
Zutell began her career as a journalist working for papers and magazines such as People, Us Weekly, The New York Times, the NY Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Today, Glamour, Reuters and the Associated Press. She created and co-executive produced “Wickedly Perfect,” a primetime CBS reality series that matched 12 gifted experts against each other to find America’s next great style-maker. “I’ll Never Have Sex with You Again!: Tales from the Delivery Room” by Zutell and her husband, Larry Bleidner, was her first and their only novel together but was shortly followed by “They’re Not Your Friends: A Novel” by Zutell, published in June of 2005. Zutell has since written “Pieces of Happily Ever After,” released in 2009, and is coauthor with Vanessa Williams of “You Have No Idea,” which was published in 2012.
Zutell lives in Los Angeles. While at HWS, Zutell majored in English and worked at WEOS-FM, the Colleges’ radio station.