Monday, October 1, 2018

Blog Tour Stop - Chasing Petalouthes by Effie Kammenou

The Gift Saga concludes with the next generation coming into the forefront of the story during their tumultuous years between adolescence and adulthood.


Evvie has lived through more tragedy than a young girl should ever endure, having lost both her father and a most beloved grandmother at a young age. Her rebellious ways are her only defense to mask the ever-present pain in her heart. Closing herself off emotionally, Evvie vows to never let anyone into her heart. But will her determination to keep everyone out see her lose the only person who could heal her broken soul?


Over-achieving, focused, talented, determined to succeed. Those are the traits Stella envies in her siblings and cousins. Her insecurities and lack of confidence stunts her ability to realize her own worth. When an older, handsome young man claims her as his own, Stella believes she has finally found who she has been looking for—someone to love her enough to mold her into the best version of herself. But has she fallen in love too quickly for a man she barely knows anything about?


Chasing Petalouthes (Chasing Butterflies) is the coming of age story of two flawed, young women who push their way out from the confines of the cocoons they’d built around themselves and discover how to soar.

 Can be read as a standalone. For the full emotional impact on the character's live and histories, read Evanthia's Gift & Waiting For Aegina.

Effie’s Thoughts on Tradition
Even as a very young girl I was not only proud of my Greek heritage but I also enjoyed all the traditions that went along with it. To me, everything we did was just a little different from the others around me, and that made it unique and special.
          Easter seemed to be the holiday that stood out the most as it was almost always a week or more later that the “other” or American Easter. And for Greek Orthodox Christians the day didn’t simply come and go with a quick trip to church and a meal. Our lives revolved around the entire forty days of lent with dietary restrictions and frequent church services. During Holy Week, we would attend church once or twice a day as each service represented a different event in the last days of Christ’s life.
          One would think a youngster would hate this. It’s not an easy week. But I loved it. On Palm Sunday the youth group would form crosses out of palms for the priest to hand out, and on Holy Thursday we would stay up late into the night adorning the structure that represented the tomb of Christ with thousands of flowers.
          But as a child, a teen or even a young adult I truly didn’t appreciate what went into keeping those traditions alive. Everything was laid out before me, prepared and organized by someone else—my mother. She worked tirelessly to make each holiday perfect. She cooked and baked all the traditional Greek foods and pastries while trying to attend church, clean the house take care of three girls and often hold down a job. Did I mention that on Easter Eve our services start at eleven in the evening and go until about one–thirty in the morning? After that we break our fast with a traditional Greek meal. Yes! At two in the morning. That is another thing I love about our Greek traditions. That, and the beautiful resurrection service that takes place outside of the church.
          My mother passed away in 2012 and being the oldest daughter I felt it was my duty to carry on the traditions that were so important to her. Letting go of these customs would be like losing another part of her and no one in our family was willing to do that. Mom was proud of where she came from, but she loved this country too. Preparing the foods she grew up with, keeping the rituals and listening to the music, was her way to hold onto her childhood and the beautiful memories of her youth.
          Throughout The Gift Saga, holidays and traditions hold a special importance in the story. In Waiting For Aegina, the five friends come from different backgrounds, but the beauty of this is how they come together to celebrate and honor each other’s customs.
          Tradition is about history, memories and family. In your own family, it may not even be related to a heritage but simply a practice your family has been doing for generations. Never let those special moments slip away. It’s the difference between taking an ordinary day and making it extraordinary.
Effie Kammenou
About Effie

Effie Kammenou is a believer that it is never too late to chase your dreams, follow your heart to 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.

Member of Women's Fiction Writer's Association & Romance Writers of America

For updates on promotions and the release of Book Three in The Gift Saga

Follow Effie on Twitter @EffieKammenou
Link to Purchase

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