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, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, 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.
The author writes, "So many books, so many choices! I would have to say from the classics I would choose Elizabeth and Darcy. I love that they both had strength of character, integrity and loyalty to friends and family. But they were both flawed, as we all are, and because of that they could have missed out on a great love."
"In contemporary stories it is most definitely Gabriel and Julia from the Gabriel Series. It's a very layered saga of love, betrayal and redemption with so many lessons and messages for the reader."
"And naturally, I love the characters I created. Sophia and Dean, first in Evanthia's Gift and now in Waiting for Aegina. How could they not be one of my favorites? They are an extension of me. I feel as though they are my best friends and part of my family. I cried every bitter tear with them as I wrote their story and rejoiced in every glorious moment they shared together. I will be very sorry to say goodbye to them when the third and final book is written.
For updates on promotions and the release of Book Three in The Gift Saga:
Book Two in The Gift Saga: The continuation of Evanthia's Gift…
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.
Published 2017 by Amazon.
This Greek American family saga follows a multigenerational story of love, loyalty, and culture. An emotional novel about family bonds and the difficult pull between home and heritage.
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.