Title: Evanthia’s Gift
Series: The Gift Saga
Author: Effie Kammenou
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: August 8, 2015
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.
Anastacia sat at her desk, absentmindedly eating a salad while
daydreaming as she stared out the office window. Down below, people
walked briskly through the city. Where were they running? An actress
late for an audition? An investment banker meeting a wealthy client?
Lovers meeting for lunch? The possibilities were endless in this
eclectic and energetic city, yet hers were limited. She wrapped her
hands around a mug of steaming tea and looked around the room. The
gray walls matched the gray chairs, which matched the gray desks.
Dull, dull, and dull. There were no paintings on the walls or plants
to brighten up the room. It was practical and functional. The exciting
New York life she hoped for was outside these walls, but someone else
was living it.
Anastacia remembered how as a young girl, she had poured over
Photoplay magazines as if they were the Bible, imagining that one
day her life would be equally as exciting. When her mamá ordered
her to nap during the afternoon break from school, she would sneak
the magazines under her pillow and read about the fabulous lives of
Vivien Leigh, Ava Gardner and Hedy Lamarr, and swoon over the
pictures of Robert Taylor and Cary Grant. Pretending her footboard
was a barre, Anastacia would teach herself ballet. She begged her
father to take dance lessons.
“Good girls don’t do such things,” he told her firmly. That was
that. There was no negotiating. Apparently, there were a lot of things
“good girls” didn’t do. They didn’t ride bicycles, shave their legs, wear
lipstick or talk to boys.
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, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, 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
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