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What’s on your spring reading list? As we are anxiously waiting for warmer days, there couldn’t be a better pastime than relaxing indoors with a good read!

This spring, The Motherhood is excited to partner with Tyndale House Publishers, the world’s largest privately held Christian publisher of books, Bibles, and digital media – many of which are New York Times bestsellers. We are working with bloggers to feature and review a few of their brand-new titles this season!

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The first book we’re featuring is The Antelope in the Living Room by Melanie Shankle, reviewed by the amazing Staci of 7 on a Shoestring, who says of the book, “Whether married or not, The Antelope in the Living Room is an excellent read. The book puts a creative, fun spin on marriage as well as lays out Biblical truths in the union. Melanie Shankle will have you laughing out loud and looking at your own marriage with new perspective. After all, we can all use fresh eyes every now and then.”

Melanie draws from her own experiences on marriage – the good, the bad, the challenges and the blessings! Whether you’ve been married five years or 50, you will find yourself relating with laughter and tears to Melanie’s down-to-earth insights on marriage, as well as the humorous stories she shares. Melanie, who also blogs at Big Mama Blog, shares about The Antelope in the Living Room in the video below:

Melanie was kind enough to answer a few questions about the inspiration behind and writing of The Antelope in the Living Room for us. The Q&A appears in Staci’s blog post, and we’ve re-printed it here:

What was your number one inspiration for writing The Antelope in the Living Room?

A few years ago I came home from a trip and discovered that my husband Perry had decided to “surprise” me with a new antelope head he hung in our living room.  I cannot even describe how enormous it was or how it looked like it had been running down the street and crashed through the front of our house.  We ended up getting in an argument and barely speaking for the next three days.  

It just seemed to be one of those moments we all have in our marriages and my hope is that by writing about all these experiences, we can take a deep breath and know we’re normal.

How did you choose the title of the book?

I decided after our fight over the antelope that The Antelope in the Living Room would be a great title for a book about marriage.  Because we all have those things in our marriage that drive us crazy but sometimes we’re afraid to be real about them or to share them with others. 

Is there one important piece of marriage advice that has helped you the most in your marriage? 

The best advice I can give is to not compare your marriage to anyone else’s.  A marriage is as unique as the two people in it and what works for one couple may not work for you and your spouse.  You need to focus on what’s important in your marriage and not constantly compare it to something that may just look better on the outside.

If there was only one thing your readers could take away from reading this book, what would you want it to be?

My hope is that readers will read this book and exhale deeply knowing that the frustrations and joy they experience in their marriage is normal.  We can all start to believe the grass is greener and I want this book to be a reminder that there is no greater legacy you can leave than to have a marriage that lasts in spite of all the ups and downs.

You also write for the Big Mama Blog. How long have you been doing that, and what do you see as the main purpose of the blog? 

I’ve been writing the Big Mama Blog for almost eight years.  I originally started it as merely a way to document family memories, but the readership has grown and the blog has become a real community.  My goal is to give people a moment to laugh or appreciate the absurdities of life in a world that can sometimes be so heavy and serious.

GIVEAWAY!

We are thrilled to be able to give away five copies of The Antelope in the Living Room so you can read this delightful book yourself! All you need to do is Tweet why you would like to read this book, tagging #antelopeintheliving and mentioning @theMotherhood. We will select five winners and notify you via tweet!