Saturday, May 16, 2020

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Spa at Lavender Lane by Phyllis Melhado @RABTBookTours

Women’s Fiction
Date Published: May 7, 2020
Publisher: Black Rose Writing 

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Take a peek behind the curtain of wealth and glamour in Phyllis Melhado’s sassy and sultry beach read. The guests who arrive for a 10-day stay at the nation’s premier spa at Lavender Lane seem to have everything a girl could want: high-flying careers, social and financial prowess, access to the top fashions and beauty products, and even a dash of fame. Yet each woman is in need of rejuvenation from insecurities, flatlined business motivation, or failed relationships – problems that will require more than the spa’s renowned anti-aging quince cream to fix. As the women learn to trust one another, they each figure out how to take a second chance at life, and reclaim what’s most important.

Interview with Phyllis Melhado

    For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?
    There are two themes in The Spa At Lavender Lane – finding your power within and forming enriching and meaningful friendships.

    Sometimes it can take a lifetime to learn who we really are and find the power within that we all really have. Education, exposure, and therapy can all help with the process but ultimately, we all have to discover it for ourselves and learn to truly believe in our self-worth, from which all good things flow.

    Friendship, too, always begins with ourselves. What do we have to contribute to a relationship? What kind of reciprocity do we expect? What level of intimacy do we want – or can tolerate? How much do we have to offer a friendship and how much do we expect in return?

    Too often, we never ask ourselves these questions because there’s no need. We fall into friendships by proximity, mutual interests, meeting at school. It is rarely a conscious pursuit. And it is wonderful when there’s lots of warmth and mutual support and little friction. When friction bubbles beneath the surface it can explode and this can be avoided if the relationship is conscious all along and never, ever, taken for granted.

    How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
    When I was the Vice President of Public Relations for Estee Lauder – a job I loved – I generally worked very long hours and traveled a great deal. A real vacation was rare, and a spa was a great place for me to grab a few days, unwind and get a little self-care. A spa seemed like a perfect venue in which to set a story about women from different backgrounds who meet and form relationships – both real and not-so-real friendships, as well as a place where women often have journeys of self-discovery.

    What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
    My goal was to write a fun, entertaining book that also had an underlying message of self-empowerment and the rewards of friendship. Readers are telling me that I have achieved that goal!

    Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Glenda The Good Witch in Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz said it perfectly for me:
You’ve always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself.”

    What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
    I loved creating the characters, putting them in a mix, and being a part of their lives. It’s kind of magical, actually. They are very real to me and will stay with me. Even when I go on to writing another project, I will wonder how they are all doing!

    Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?
    My next book is a novel based on the true story of an extraordinary young woman who, against tremendous odds, went on to earn her MD degree as well as a PhD in bio-chemistry to become a pioneer in the field of palliative care – a journey made possible by the selfless love and support of her husband, whom she met on her first day at college. It is a story of love, commitment, sacrifice, humor, and life lessons that inspire me every day.

    How long have you been writing?
    I’m an overnight sensation! I’ve only been writing seriously for about twenty years. LOL! During this time I had have several heartbreaking near misses including being courted by a big publisher for a novel I wrote which was mysteriously dropped…having a screenplay optioned for production (that means giving a production company the rights to run with your project), only to have the production company partnership dissolve, and the project along with it…putting my heart and soul, four years and travel to Europe and the Middle East into writing the aforementioned true story only to have legal issues rear their ugly heads and having to make the decision to drop the project in its initial form. (So happy I have dound a way to still tell that story.) I’ve been around the block and now am so very pleased that my novel has been published!

    Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Spa At Lavender Lane?
    The characters in The Spa At Lavender Lane are a diverse group, mostly women but some key men, as well, ranging in age from 15 to mid-70’s.

    NADIA DEMIDOVA, founder and mistress of Lavender Lane – petite, elegant, Russian born. Early 70’s. She has an air of elegance, authority and mystery. Her staff loves and respects her, but she keeps her distance.

    PHOEBE BANCROFT, British born, Assistant Director and Nadia Demidova’s most trusted employee. 45ish. She’s attractive and smart and like Nadia, her life took a direction she never would have imagined. She holds Mme. Demidova in great esteem, but also feels her contributions have not been adequately rewarded.

    TONI ETHERIDGE, 40, attractive, totally burned-out designer sportswear buyer for a prestigious Fifth Avenue store, who has come to Lavender Lane to recuperate from the grueling job she has just quit, to rest, relax and prepare to do everything she can to insure the safety of her recently confirmed pregnancy.

    Frequent guest MAVIS PERKINS, late 40’s, striking Chicago socialite and former super model who is bored with both her rich husband and their life together and decides it’s time to make a grand re-entrance into the modeling world as THE older model…and who hatches a clever scheme to make that happen.

    The mother-daughter duo of overweight, Houston Housewife CHARLOTTE TANNER , 40’s - Charlotte, once a beauty queen and now about to be divorced a second time - and her beautiful, anorexic, 15-year-old, wannabe-model daughter LAUREN FANNING, willful, rebellious and ready to explore her body with some on-site help.

    ELEANOR FRANKLIN, mid-50’s, long-time friend of Mme. Demidova…CEO of her family’s nutritional supplement business, secluded in her suite because she has just had an unfortunate session of plastic surgery designed to keep her at the helm of her youth-oriented company.

    PETER CULVANE, late 40’s, handsome, powerful M&A lawyer, who unexpectantly arrives at Lavender Lane, with portfolio, so to speak, and becomes carrion for the preening lionesses.

    GREG, hunky tennis instructor - early 20’s – who serves up more than good tennis to the spa’s guests.

    IAN GRAEBERT - Once a top fashion photographer, still talented but aging out.

    KEVIN GAVELLI – 40-ish, top designer, gay…Toni’s best friend and the unlikely father of the child she is carrying.

    If you could spend the day with one of the characters from The Spa At Lavender Lane, who would it be? Please tell us why you chose this particular character, where you would go and what you would do.
    If I could spend the day with one of the characters from The Spa At Lavender Lane, it would be the spa mistress herself, Nadia Demidova. What a strange and interesting journey she’s had from losing her mother in infancy and being the daughter of a physically abusive father in the meatpacking district of Moscow to the height of success as the owner of one of the most prestigious luxury spas in the world. What a warrior! What a survivor!
She’s been very secretive about her story so it would be fascinating to stroll the streets of Moscow with her, stop for some steaming hot borscht and maybe a vodka or two, and delve into the hidden woman.

About the Author
The former Vice President of Public Relations for Estee Lauder, Phyllis Melhado has had her work published in Town & Country, Cosmopolitan, and The Scarlet Leaf Review. She has also ghosted a best-selling beauty book as well as a nationally syndicated beauty column. She earned her Master’s degree in Communications from NYU and lives in New York City. The Spa at Lavender Lane is her first novel. To learn more about Phyllis and her work, visit

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Unknown said...

Thank you for hosting!

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