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Farther Than I Meant To Go, Longer Than I Meant To Stay [NOOK Book]

Overview

As President of Grace Savings and Loans, Charmayne Ellis is an established, polished professional. Although she has reached great success, her ridiculing mother and wise cracking younger sister won't let her forget that she is a 36-year-old, overweight, unmarried woman.

In an attempt to help, Charmayne's best friend, Lynette, is obsessed with setting her up on a series of pity-driven blind dates. When a drop-dead gorgeous man, Travis Moon, ...
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Farther Than I Meant To Go, Longer Than I Meant To Stay

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Overview

As President of Grace Savings and Loans, Charmayne Ellis is an established, polished professional. Although she has reached great success, her ridiculing mother and wise cracking younger sister won't let her forget that she is a 36-year-old, overweight, unmarried woman.

In an attempt to help, Charmayne's best friend, Lynette, is obsessed with setting her up on a series of pity-driven blind dates. When a drop-dead gorgeous man, Travis Moon, shows interest, Charmayne's caution light blinks like crazy. But out of loneliness and pressure from her family Charmayne ignores her gut feeling and gets married.

Yet instead of marital bliss, Charmayne begins to discover new things about her husband that force her to question her marriage and her faith in God.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446555371
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/21/2008
  • Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 205,071
  • File size: 631 KB

Meet the Author

Tiffany L. Warren, is an author, playwright, songwriter, mother and wife. Her debut novel What a Sista Should Do, was released in June of 2005 and has ministered to over 50,000 readers. Her second book, Farther than I Meant to Go, Longer than I Meant to Stay was a national bestseller. In 2006, Tiffany and her husband, Brent, founded Warren Productions and released their first gospel musical. What a Sista Should Do - The Stage Play debuted in Cleveland, OH at the famed Allen Theatre.

Tiffany is also the visionary behind the Faith and Fiction Fellowship tour. Presently, the authors have visited groups in Atlanta, Houston, New York, Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Charlotte.

Tiffany's third novel, The Bishop's Daughter was released in January 2009. Tiffany resides in northern Texas with her husband Brent and their five children.

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Read an Excerpt

Farther Than I Meant To Go, Longer Than I Meant To Stay

A novel
By Tiffany L. Warren

WALK WORTHY PRESS

Copyright © 2006 Tiffany Warren
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-69353-7


Chapter One

Past

I gazed blankly at the television screen.

After losing my career to Travis's criminal activities, I had no idea what to do with myself all day. I had no desire to start searching for another job; the whole idea was depressing. I chose, instead, to stay home and watch television ministers all day long. And between TV church broadcasts, I cooked.

I had been doing so much dieting that I'd forgotten how comforting food was. I totally rediscovered the joy of food. Yes, I'd lost fifteen pounds, but that didn't even matter. Being skinny was no longer a priority, not when my heart was broken and my life was in ruins.

During Joyce Meyer's broadcast, I heard a car pull up in my driveway. I peeked out of the window and saw Lynette's little red car. I didn't want to see her, or anybody else for that matter. Maybe she didn't catch the hint when I didn't answer the phone when she called, or respond to any of her voice mail messages. I just wanted to be left alone. I heard her banging on the door like a bill collector, but I didn't answer. She knocked for a good ten minutes before she left.

I inhaled the scent of the chocolate cake that I was baking. It was intoxicating. I'dmade it especially sweet. So sweet that it was going to make my teeth hurt. It would be good with milk, but I was out of milk. It was going to have to be coffee.

I opened the refrigerator and realized that I needed a lot more than milk. It seemed like I'd just been to the store. But it had been two whole weeks. I was going to have to venture out again, but I'd wait until it was night. I would go to the twenty-four-hour Save and Go. Grocery stores were so peaceful at two o'clock in the morning. And best of all, I wouldn't run into anybody I knew.

Since Travis got me fired from my job, I'd seen two members from my church. Of course they knew all about me being fired. One of the problems with having bishops and pastors as the board of directors at the bank is that they all had wives. And some of them had nothing better to do than gossip about someone else's bad fortune. Well, I realized that running into people wasn't going to be very easy when the two I did see started offering condolences like one of my loved ones had died. I almost expected them to hand me a pot of spaghetti and some cold chicken. People always brought the most unappetizing food to the houses of the grieving.

I wished the cake would hurry and bake. I needed my sugar fix. I sounded like an addict. Speaking of addicts, I wondered if Travis was addicted to porn. I never would've taken him for that type. When I thought of men who indulged in pornography, I envisioned greasy, slimy-looking characters who went out in the shadows and hid their dirty secret in garages and under beds. Maybe I'd driven him to it. Maybe he was sick of looking at my fat rolls and wanted to see some folks who weren't twice his size. Guess I couldn't blame him for that. But why'd he have to put it on my laptop unless he was trying to get me fired on purpose? That didn't make any sense. But then a lot of things weren't making much sense to me.

The cake had another twenty minutes to go and then it had to cool off, but I didn't think I could wait that long. I poured myself a huge glass of Pepsi. I grabbed eight ice cubes out of the freezer and placed them in the glass. When I went to reach for it, though, I slipped and knocked it off the counter. The glass broke into a hundred little pieces and Pepsi splattered everywhere. Tears sprang to my eyes-it was my favorite glass.

Still, the sound that it made when it fell, I liked it. It was loud and kind of sharp. That sound made me feel good. Even better than a slice of chocolate cake. Even better than that glass of soda would've tasted. I ran my hand across my arm, and there were goose bumps.

Before I could stop myself I broke another glass, and then another. And it felt good! I even saw the blood on my bare feet from where I stepped on a piece, but I didn't feel any pain at all. I ran out of glasses, but I still wanted to break something. I didn't want the feeling to go away. So I started on the plates. I was disappointed. The heavy pottery just didn't have the same sound as the glasses.

For a moment, I was dejected. And I started to reach for the broom. If I couldn't enjoy myself anymore, I should probably clean up. But then I got another bright idea. I bet the window would make a sound like the glasses. Actually, it might be even better! I hit the kitchen window with the broom handle, but not hard enough. I gave it another whack and then it crashed into a million little shards. I felt a smile creep across my face.

But the kitchen window wasn't enough. So I ran upstairs and started breaking all the bedroom windows. Faintly, somewhere in the back of my head, I could hear my burglar alarm going off. There must've been something wrong with it because it didn't go off until I got upstairs. Or maybe I just didn't hear it downstairs.

There was glass everywhere. Upstairs and downstairs. But there was nothing left to break and I felt melancholy about that. I looked out of what used to be my picture window in the living room. My next-door neighbor Clara was standing right out front, and so I waved at her.

"Charmayne!" she called. "Are you all right?"

"Me? I'm fine! Actually I'm better than fine. I'm great!"

"Well, your windows are broken."

"I know!"

Well, looking out at Clara gave me another idea. My car had six sturdy windows. I was sure breaking them would prolong my euphoria for just a little longer. I opened the door and went outside. I wasn't wearing shoes so I was making bloody footprints on the walkway. They looked funny so I let out a little laugh. Clara was still standing outside, so I waved at her again before I started bashing in the car windows. I heard Clara scream, but when I looked up she wasn't standing there anymore.

Then I heard the sirens ...

Present

"How did we get here?"

I had no idea how to answer this question from my therapist, Dr. Rayna King. I wasn't exactly sure what she was referring to when she said here. She could have meant how I, Charmayne Ellis, ended up in her office as a patient. Or she could have been asking how I'd arrived at this point in my life. I breathed deeply while I contemplated a response to what seemed to be a simple question.

Dr. King affectionately called her office a sanctuary. From the inside you would never have guessed that the colorful and spacious room resided in a nondescript medical building, surrounded by dental clinics and pediatric offices. The walls were painted an appealing shade of lilac, and the lights were purposely dimmed to provide a backdrop of tranquility.

I was sitting directly across from Dr. King in a cushioned chaise while she rested on the burgundy velvet love seat. Conspicuously missing from this therapist's office was the obligatory couch where the patient spilled his or her guts, and the desk where the doctor silently judged sanity or insanity while madly scribbling on a yellow tablet.

My pastor's wife, First Lady Jenkins, had referred me to Dr. King. When she wasn't running her private practice, Dr. King served as evangelist in one of our sister churches. Her techniques, including praying and reading Bible verses with her patients, were unorthodox to most of her peers, but she received high marks from the church community.

"I don't know," I finally responded. "Honestly, I never expected to find myself in therapy."

Dr. King smiled. "First of all, Charmayne, I want you to stop thinking of our meetings in clinical terms. I'm only here to help you figure out God's purpose for your life."

"I like to think of this in clinical terms, Dr. King. I'm sick, and I need treatment. It's better for me if I don't try to make it sound like something other than what it is," I said flatly.

"I agree. You are sick, but I believe your spirit woman is what needs to be treated."

I looked down at my arms and hands. There were dozens of tiny scars-a constant reminder of my illness. I wished that they were products of a vivid imagination, but no; they were cold, hard evidence that something wasn't right. I shook my head slowly and deliberately.

I asked, "How do you know that I don't just need some medication? Can't you just give me a prescription so I can get back to my normal life?"

Dr. King responded patiently, "I don't think you need meds. They are a last resort anyway. You had an episode that I feel was stress-induced."

An episode. That was a dainty name for something so ugly that it had my arms looking like a briar patch. It would have been nice to go back to what I felt was normal. I would have loved to just take up where I'd left off-in my career and my church duties. But Travis had ruined everything for me.

"So if you won't give me medication, how do you expect me to handle this mess?"

"First, we need to determine the root of your depression."

I sucked my teeth in a ghetto-girl manner. "I know the root. Travis Moon."

"I believe that your relationship with Travis was a symptom of something deeper. Together we're going to try to find out what that is."

I was skeptical of Dr. King's spiritual approach. My life had been fine before I met Travis. I was at the top of my game-spiritually, intellectually, and financially. I had been a bank president, making six figures a year. For ten years I had carefully chosen investments and was able to boast an impressive stock portfolio. But none of that meant anything anymore. I didn't think that my relationship with Travis was a symptom of anything. It was a tragic mistake that I couldn't take back, no matter how badly I wanted to.

I looked at my watch. There were ten minutes left in my session with Dr. King. It was my third visit, and we'd barely gotten past introductions. The whole thing was moving way too slowly for me. I had a life to reclaim, and I wanted to do it sooner rather than later.

Dr. King continued, "Charmayne, I've got some homework for you."

"Homework?"

"Yes. I want you to go home and read the story of Rizpah. It's found in Second Samuel chapter twenty-one, verses eight through fourteen."

"Rizpah," I repeated. "The name doesn't ring a bell, and I used to teach Sunday school. I'm ashamed."

"Don't be. Rizpah is one of the unsung heroines of the Old Testament. I believe that God will speak to you through her story. We'll discuss it at your next visit."

"Okay ...," I acquiesced, but I would have rather agreed to discuss me and my issues, and not those of a biblical character.

Dr. King pulled a little bottle of oil from her pocket and rubbed some on her hands. Then she reached out for my hands. I'd seen those saints whom I liked to call "deep" putting oil on their hands and head before they prayed, and sometimes we did it as a church when we were about to begin a fasting period. It felt odd doing it in the context of psychiatric medicine.

As if she could read my mind, Dr. King said, "The oil is symbolic, Charmayne. It reminds us of God's anointing that is present when we come together in prayer. I want us to pray for your healing, and I want you to believe that prayer."

I nodded and bowed my head. Dr. King prayed in a soothing voice that calmed me. I heard her send up on my behalf words that I had been afraid to utter. She squeezed my hands-willing me to feel God's Spirit in the room. After saying "amen" I left Dr. King's office. I was still filled with doubt, but I felt uplifted. That had to be a step in the right direction.

I walked into my home after my session with Dr. King, and it was strangely quiet. I suppose that it had always been that way, especially before I met Travis, but it was the first time I'd truly noticed. Everything was in place, but still I felt uneasy. I went through every room turning on lamps, even though it wasn't yet dark outside. The light helped to quell the unexplained panic that I felt rising in my belly.

I went into the kitchen to prepare my dinner-a protein shake and a garden salad. It wasn't a meal that I could get excited about, but a picture of my plus-size self in a bathing suit was taped to the refrigerator as incentive. I lost my appetite every single last time I got a glimpse of the photo-which was, of course, the desired effect. I remembered taking the picture. The women's ministry at my church had gone on a cruise retreat. I'd reluctantly worn a swimsuit at the urgings of my thin friends Lynette and Ebony. We'd gone to the ship's deck, wearing our suits, to get a little bit of sun. When I heard a little boy say to his mother, "Look at the fat lady!" I changed back into my sundress and hadn't looked at a bathing suit since.

Aside from my weight issues, everyone was always telling me how pretty I was. I could look in the mirror and see my caramel-colored skin and hazel eyes, but I didn't see the beauty there. I couldn't get past how round my cheeks were or that fleshy layer beneath my chin. The one feature that I did take pride in was my hair. It was thick, long, and healthy. I never went more than two weeks without getting it styled, and I spared no expense doing so. My stylist, Unique, worked in a shop in the "hood" area of Cleveland. She was so good that I traveled forty-five minutes from my condo in the suburbs and waited all day in the salon to have her lay my perm just right.

I listlessly chewed what was left of my salad greens, and then quickly moved from my kitchen bar stool to the living room sofa. I picked up my Bible from the coffee table and made myself comfortable on the soft leather. If the Lord had a word for me from the story of Rizpah, I wanted it right away.

I read aloud from 2 Samuel 21.

But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:

And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.

And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.

And it was told David what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, had done.

And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabeshgilead, which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa:

And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged.

And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was intreated for the land.

It was just seven verses, but immediately I felt saddened by Rizpah's grief. I placed myself in her shoes, sitting out in the elements, mourning, grieving and lamenting. To passersby she probably looked quite pitiful-something like how I'd seemed to all of my family and friends. Her tears, however, masked an inner strength. I wondered if I would discover fortitude on the inside of me.

I understood the loneliness Rizpah felt when her sons were stripped from her so soon after she'd lost her husband. For my entire life I'd been surrounded by people, but I was no stranger to feeling alone.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Farther Than I Meant To Go, Longer Than I Meant To Stay by Tiffany L. Warren Copyright © 2006 by Tiffany Warren. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    ThHE BOOK

    Wonderful!!!! Fantastic you must check it out!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 17, 2013

    I really enjoyed this story. This is the 3rd book by this autho

    I really enjoyed this story. This is the 3rd book by this author that I've read. I love her writing style and the realistic approach she has to the Christian life. I look forward to more from this author

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2013

    Lawd have MERCY!!!!!!!!

    This was a grrrreat book!!!!! It's amazing how Satan tries to set up saved women!!!! If Charmayne had just heeded to the voice of the Lord & the many signs on the wall, she would have bypassed a life of pain. We've all been there, but Thank God for MERCY!!!!!!! An easy read! I LOVE the scriptures added!!!! And Les.......OMG!!!! NO WAY!!!! I am Looking forward to reading more Tiffany Warren books!!!!!!

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  • Posted March 6, 2012

    I absolutely love this book! It was my first read from Tiffany W

    I absolutely love this book! It was my first read from Tiffany Warren, so I was excited to see what her writing was like. I was blown away by how much I could relate to the main character. In fact, many of the characters in the book reminded me of people I actually knew. Along with the main character, I learned a lot about life, love, and waiting on God's timing.

    Job well done, Tiffany Warren! Ladies, you will love this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 26, 2011

    excellent read

    What a breath of fresh air this book was! I was captured from the first paragraph and was unable to put it down. I was able to pinpoint some of my own personal concerns and learn a thing or two from the main character. I am excited about this author and can't wait to purchase her latest book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2011

    Great book

    I was hooked from the beginning. I truly sympathized with the main character. The author wrote this well as she portrayed the plight of so many black women. You will not want to put it down.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 16, 2011

    love this book

    it is inspiring, well written and entertaining! well eorth a good read.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    Highly recommended.

    I enjoyed this book and look forward to more from this author. The illustration on the cover captured my interest and the book did not disappoint. The story was inspirational and a pleasure to read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Better then I expected

    This was a good read and had me captivated from the very beginning. I thought it wouldn't catch my interest, however, this book was very heartfelt. From beginning to the end this woman kept her faith in god and never gave up no matter what trials and tribulations she kept going through. She could not catch a break.

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  • Posted June 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    ALWAYS WAIT ON GOD

    I LOVED THIS STORY AND THE MESSAGE IT SENDS. WHEN WE GET IN A RUSH AND TRY TO FIX THINGS OURSELF WE MAKE A MESS. WE MUST LEARN HOW TO WAIT ON GOD, AND NOT GET IN A HURRY. GOD'S TIMING IS NOT OUR TIMING. WHEN WE MOVE OUT AHEAD OF GOD WE ALSO END UP REGRETTING THE OUTCOME OF THE SITUATION. AND THIS STORY WITH CHARMAYNE WAS A PERFECT EXAMPLE. BUT WHAT IS WONDERFUL ALSO IS THAT WHEN YOU DO, FALL GOD IS YET STILL THERE TO PICK YOU UP AND RESTORE YOU. ISN'T THAT WONDERFUL????? I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO EVERYONE. ENJOY.......

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 8, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Wow!! Breath taking, page turner, can't put it down, ....

    This is the seocnd novel that I have read by Tiffany and it was just as good as the first. This book was a page turner and I actually wanted to break some plates at one point in this book. But when he was standing in the driveway I wanted her to tell him to stand behind the car and put it in reverse because he was such an uncaring person just wanted to live life his way. I believe this is actually the way men think they can treat women who are overweight they just sweet talk them because often these individuals will have a low self esteem and they just screw them around. Great book.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    What a great Christian read!!!

    This is an AWESOME read for Christian women, all women. I love the way that scriptures are quoted throughout this book. I am a babe in Christ and I love all of the Christian fiction books. It gives you a great outlook on trusting God and leaving all the consequences to him.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2008

    Johnise-a woman of God

    I just want to go on record saying that it is such a pleasure to be able to read a book that gives reference to the bible.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2006

    Great book

    This was a really good book. Nice and simple but with a very deep meaning. I highly recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2006

    Excellant Book To Read and Recommend Everybody To Read

    This was the best book I have read in years. I truely understand where Charmayne was coming from and she let her family and friends dictate to her what she should have in life when it comes to a man. I like when she was willing to forgive herself and realized if it's meant to be. God will let it happen.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2006

    I Want To Be Happy

    Charmayne Ellis is everything that a lot of people would like to be. Attractive, intelligent, kind hearted, a Christian with a good job. Charmayne is tired of everyone thinking that she needs a man in her life in order to be complete. Although, she's overweight, she still feels like she should have a man of her choosing. Not that she needs a man to be complete, some companionship would be nice. The pastor's wife along with her best friend, keep trying to set her up. The men they select are either rejects or haven't had a date in years. They lack in personality, are too old, or just downright ugly. Both, her mother and sister believe that she's a hopeless case, sprouting that, in order to be considered somebody YOU must be married. Without anyone's assistance, Charmayne meets Travis Moon, a fine, Christian, single, working brother. He's employed at the bank Charmayne manages. At first, she was skeptical about accepting a lunch date because of their working environment, but Charmayne decides against that. Now happy, people are looking at her, as if she has to BUY Travis. Seeking prayer and guidance from God, Charmayne has asked if Travis is the man for her. God has answered her prayers and she has accepted what the Lord has said but, is she hearing correctly? Are the signs for a GO to marry this strong willed man of God, or to let him go? Farther Than I meant To Go, Longer Than I Meant To Stay, is a very good book! I highly recommend!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2006

    good book

    This is really a good book I am so touched by this book it sounds like she interviewed somebody in my family.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews

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