Thursday, April 21, 2016

Virtual Tour for Evanthia's Gift by Effie Kammenou

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by CLP Blog Tours, for Evanthia's Gift by Effie Kammenou.  Please leave a comment or question for Effie to let her know you stopped by. 

Evanthia’s Gift
By Effie Kammenou
The Gift Saga, Book 1

Publisher:  Effie Kammenou
Release Date: August 7, 2015
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance
Format: eBook/Print
Length:  559 Pages
ISBN: 978-0692471838
ASIN:  B013MG484M

Buy Links: Amazon  B&N   Createspace

About the book: 

In the year 1956, Anastacia Fotopoulos finds herself pregnant and betrayed, fleeing from a bad marriage. With the love and support of her dear friends Stavros and Soula Papadakis, Ana is able to face the challenges of single motherhood. Left with emotional wounds, she resists her growing affection for Alexandros Giannakos, an old acquaintance. But his persistence and unconditional love for Ana and her child is eventually rewarded and his love is returned. In a misguided, but well-intentioned effort to protect the ones they love, both Ana and Alex keep secrets - ones that could threaten the delicate balance of their family.

The story continues in the 1970’s as Dean and Demi Papadakis, and Sophia Giannakos attempt to negotiate between two cultures. Now Greek-American teenagers, Sophia and Dean, who have shared a special connection since childhood, become lovers. Sophia is shattered when Dean rebels against the pressure his father places on him to uphold his Greek heritage and hides his feelings for her. When he pulls away from his family, culture and ultimately his love for her, Sophia is left with no choice but to find a life different from the one she’d hoped for.

EVANTHIA’S GIFT is a multigenerational love story spanning fifty years and crossing two continents, chronicling the lives that unify two families. 


Bright rays of sunshine streamed through the floor-to-ceiling window where Ana gazed out the fourth story hotel room, admiring the beautiful view of her soon to be husband’s home city. Her wish to be wed in a tiny chapel by the sea with only her immediate family and closest friends had escalated into a much larger affair. She’d already done the over-the-top formal wedding, hosting over two hundred guests where the façade of “happily ever after” appeared real— every detail perfect, except for the actual marriage. This wedding would be the antithesis of that one, and would erase the past from her mind, as she and Alex took their first steps in marriage, wearing the stefana his loving parents wore on the day they pledged their love to one another. Everything about her love for Alex was deep and honest and she knew without any reservations that his love was pure. Although St. Demetrios was not the quaint chapel she hoped for, she knew in her heart it was where they were meant to marry. His uncle would perform the sacrament in the church where he’d served most of his priesthood, and where Alex’s mother bequeathed him her ring, which was now a symbol of their love. 
          The guest list had climbed to well over one hundred people — three times the number of people she planned on. But how could she leave out the neighbors who came to welcome her home, and who gathered to make the boubounieres for the wedding? Stavros and Soula wanted their family to be present, and as koumbari they were entitled to their own guests. Father Vasili had invited several of his parishioners, many of whom were preparing the reception feast. And Alex had invited Josef and Sarah. But Ana wasn’t interested in the details of the reception, for she cared only about the man waiting for her at the altar.
          Ana lifted the pale pink cotton brocade tea length dress she’d chosen from the bed and slipped it on.  She heard a knock at the door as Soula and her mother entered, and she asked them to help her with the dozens of pearl buttons that ran from the bottom of her waist and up to the nape of her neck. The bodice was a delicate compliment to her natural femininity with its lace bateau neckline appliqué. Gold and diamond rosebuds adorned her ears and aside from those and her engagement ring, she wore no other jewelry. Her mother placed a pale pink headband of tiny seed pearls with a lace veil on Ana’s head, adjusting it to accommodate her hairstyle. After she removed the matching pink lace shoes from the shoebox and slipped them on, she turned to find Soula and her mamá crying.
          “Don’t do that! You’ll get me started and there’s no time to re-touch my makeup,” Ana said, attempting to laugh and hold the tears back. She extended her arms out to embrace them.
          “I don’t know what I would do without both you. You’ve stood by me during my worst days when I needed you the most. I’m so happy you’re here with me on this day. I love you both so much.”
          Just then, Aunt Litsa walked in holding Sophia’s hand. This was an important day for Sophia as well. She would now have a father, something Ana had feared would be missing from her daughter’s life, until Alex had entered their world, accepting and loving Sophia as his own from the beginning. Sophia, wearing a children’s version of her mother’s dress, ran to Ana.
          “You look pretty Mamá.” At almost three she was bright and very aware that today was a special day.
          “But you look like a beautiful little princess, koukla.” Ana kissed the tip of her nose.          Sophia giggled and twirled in front of the full-length mirror.
          “It is time to go,” Aunt Litsa interjected. “Your babá is waiting downstairs.”
          Ana took one last look in the mirror, drew in a deep breath and smiled. She was ready. There were no nerves or hesitation — she’d never been so sure of anything in her life.

          Alex stood at the altar, anxious for his bride to enter the church. Beside him, Stavros leaned in to whisper words of support. A minute seemed like an hour and he kept his eyes focused on the door at the end of the long aisle, eager for Ana to make her way toward him.   
          As he waited, the gravity of where he was took hold. When he’d returned to this city he’d been bombarded with a flood of visions both comforting and disturbing. In this church, a central link to his youth, he thought of his past — three brothers playing as boys, family dinners, embraces from his affectionate parents. Then, soldiers invading his city, hungry people in the streets, hundreds taken away each day, citizens being shot, and his worst day; finding his own family murdered. The bullets. The blood. The agonizing loss.

          But there was also his mother’s final gift of love. He’d come full circle, he realized. The place that had become a symbol of horror was once again a place of safety, peace and family. His past, present and future were colliding in this one moment in time, in this sacred place that always seemed to be the catalyst of change in the course of his life.

Author Bio

Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart or change your career. She is proof of that. At one time, long ago, she'd thought that, by her age, she would have had an Oscar in her hand after a successful career as an actress. Instead, she's worked in the optical field for 40 years and has been the proud mother of two accomplished young women.

Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog,, you can find her cooking for her family and friends.

Her debut novel, EVANTHIA’S GIFT, is a women’s fiction multigenerational love story and family saga, influenced by her Greek heritage, and the many real life accounts that have been passed down. She continues to pick her father’s brain for stories of his family’s life in Lesvos, Greece, and their journey to America. Her recent interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.

As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the book.  

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.

For updates on the release of Book Two of The Gift Saga

Follow Effie on Twitter @EffieKammenou
Contact Effie at
Amazon Author Page:
Goodreads Author Page:

Tour Schedule

April 18 – Chick Lit Plus – Review

April 19 – LiteraryChanteuse – Excerpt
April 20 – Aroundthe World in Books – Excerpt
April 21 – Queen of All She Reads – Excerpt
April 22 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

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