Wednesday, March 29, 2017

BOOK TOUR: Evanthia's Gift and Waiting For Aegina (The Gift Saga 1 & 2) by Effie Kammenou

 photo evanthiasgift_zpsgjnnwqg2.jpg
Book Information
Series: The Gift Saga
Genre: Women's Fiction, Romance

 photo 26069535_zpsgqhhcpkb.jpg
  • Paperback: 558 pages
  • Publisher: Effie Kammenou; 1 edition (August 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692471839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692471838

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.

Review: This is a wonderful story of family and friendship. It provides an insight into the Greek culture, both in Greece and in America, but it also is relatable to everyone who has had a lifelong friend and seen their children also become lifelong friends--or more.

There are several plot twists in the story, several of which I didn't see coming. The plot definitely held my interest from beginning to end, and I finished the book anxious to read the second one, to learn more about Sophia, Demi and Dean and their friends.

Another plus to this book is the inclusion of several of the Greek recipes mentioned in the story. It means I can try some of them out in the future!

Rating: Four stars

 photo 33819288_zpskfliy3qj.jpg
  • Paperback: 386 pages
  • Publisher: Effie Kammenou; 1 edition (January 12, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692825932
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692825938

In 1961, five little girls moved into a suburban neighborhood and became inseparable, lifelong friends. They called themselves the ‘Honey Hill Girls,’ named after the street on which they lived. As teenagers they shared one another’s ambitions and dreams, secrets and heartaches. Now, more than thirty years later, they remain devoted and loyal, supporting each other through triumphs and sorrows.
Evanthia's Gift follows the life of Sophia Giannakos. In Waiting for Aegina the saga continues from the perspectives of Sophia and her friends as the story drifts back and forth in time, filling in the gaps as the women grow to adulthood.
Naive teenage ideals are later challenged by harsh realities, as each of their lives takes unexpected turns. Now nearing their fiftieth year, Sophia, Demi, Amy, Mindy and Donna stand together through life-altering obstacles while they try to regain the lighthearted optimism of their youth.

Review: This was a great follow-up to Evanthia's Gift. It offers a chance to learn more about Sophia and her friends during the years of that book, as well as the years following.

This book is more dramatic and "gritty" than the first story, and yet it still has the same realistic engagement, drawing the reader into the Greek culture at every turn. Once again we are treated to the inclusion of  Greek recipes, which I hope to try at some point.

I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Rating: Four stars

Purchase Links
Landing page for both books –

About the author
 photo 14204724_zpsvknhpab6.jpg
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 actor. Instead, she worked in the optical field for 40 years and is the proud mother of two accomplished young women.
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 interview with him was published in a nationally circulated magazine.
Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 award finalist in the Readers Favorite Awards in the Women’s Fiction category.  Waiting for Aegina: Book Two in The Gift Saga is Kammenou’s latest release.
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.
As an avid cook and baker, a skill she learned from watching her Athenian mother, she incorporated traditional Greek family recipes throughout the books. 
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Arts from Hofstra University.

Contact Information


Emily H said...

Thank you for posting

Effie Speyer said...

Thank you for featuring my books on your impressive blog.