Chasing Petalouthes by guest author Effie Kammenou

I am thrilled to have the author Effie Kammenou visit my blog today to share an excerpt of her new novel Chasing Petlouthes (Chasing Butterflies). This book forms the third part of her trilogy, The Gift Saga.

Effie has generously agreed to share an excerpt from her new novel with us.

Chapter 1 Aegina July 2005
Twilight cast an incandescent glow over the Saronic Gulf, as the sun slowly began to peak over the horizon. The reflection of porch lights from homes surrounding the shoreline glimmered like stardust on the water. In less than an hour, the sun would assume its full magisterial position and, as though gifted from the Gods themselves, another day would dawn on this enchanting island. Two by two, a contemplative assembly of young adults leisurely walked along the momentarily vacant main road to Aegina Town. Once daylight broke and the ferryboats pulled into the harbor, the streets would be cluttered with tourists, and it was for this very reason they’d set off at the early hours of the morning. For what they were about to do required solemnity—privacy—a place to pay tribute and share deeply personal remembrances. Evvie had left a note for her mother on the kitchen table before exiting her great-grandmother’s beach house with the rest of the group. She rolled her eyes thinking of how her mother, Sophia, seemed to have the need to know where she was every minute of the day. She Effie Kammenou 2 and her twin brother, Nicky, were nineteen years old and, in Evvie’s mind, their mother sometimes treated them as though they were nine-year-olds. It was the last few days of the ‘extended family’ vacation Evvie’s stepfather, Dean, had arranged for the entire family and Sophia’s closest friends to spend some much-needed bonding time together. The past year had been a difficult one. Dean had almost lost his life in a car accident, and Sophia’s friend, Amy, had been in jeopardy of losing her career and family. But it was RJ and Donna who had suffered the most dreadful tragedy of all. Donna had lost her younger son, and RJ, his only sibling. But RJ was not alone, Evvie thought. They were all brothers and sisters of the heart. After all, they were the children of the ‘Honey Hill Girls,’ and those girls—women—were now fifty years old and still the best of friends. As they approached the harbor of Aegina Town, their destination came into view—a tiny, whitewashed chapel standing proudly at the edge of the dock known as Agios Nikolaos. It was Nicky and her cousin, Stella, two people with the softest of souls, who’d suggested this sojourn. RJ had been overwhelmed with emotion when they’d asked his permission to memorialize his brother, Anthony, who had taken his own life ten months prior in response to the emotional cruelty he could no longer suffer. This was to be their own requiescat inside the near-ancient walls they were about to enter. As Kristos, Stella’s older brother, pushed open the heavy entrance door, a light breeze blew by. A pinging rattle of rope slapped against the high, metal poles standing on either side of the double-domed building, each one waving its own flag. The blue and white banner of Greece and the double-headed eagle emblem representing the Greek Orthodox Church fluttered high above the pristine structure. The chapel was small and the space empty, devoid of pews like many traditional Orthodox churches in Greece. The floor was made of gray marble, with a narrow pathway leading to an altar where images of saints, dulled from time and candle soot, separated themselves from 3 Chasing Petalouthes worshippers. Beautifully painted icons painted above the archway had chipped in random spots, as if to remind newcomers of the many generations that had come to pray before they had.

Chasing Petalouthes cover

The Blurb

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.  Although this novel 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.

The Author

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 is Book Two in The Gift Saga and Chasing Petalouthes is Kammenou’s latest release, completing the series.

 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 entertaining family and friends or traveling for ‘research.’

 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. 

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4 Comments

  1. Val, thank you ever so much for your tour support! Kelly xx

    Like

    • Val Penny

      Always a pleasure, Kelly. I learn about so many fab new books through Love Books Group Tours.

      Like

  2. Effie Kammenou

    Thank you for featuring me!

    Like

    • Val Penny

      My pleasure. I wish you every success with your book.

      Like

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