Tag Archives: The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge

We have a winner of The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge!

The draw has been made for a winner of The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge!  The names of you who left comments were put into a little basket and my dad drew out one.  “I’m sorry” everyone who didn’t win, but – Congratulations EDITH! You will be hearing from me for your mailing info so that Christine can mail you a copy of her book.

Thanks to everyone for entering the draw, for leaving comments, for reading the review and the interview.  There are more reviews and interviews to come.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


Nolfi book giveaway reminder & NaNoWriMo updates

Hi everyone!  Just a quick post today —

Because I’m posting between my interview (<– click here to read it) with author Christine Nolfi and her book giveaway here on November 10, I’m tempting you with a reminder of what her book looks like. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge.


I want to update you on my NaNoWriMo progress. On the right of this page you can see the percentage graph showing my total words written. To see the whole list of daily reports please check out my updates page here.

What you will find is that I got off to a rough start, but not as slow as last year’s. Even so, I am far behind what the suggested total of words is for day 7. They suggest 11,669 words by midnight tonight and at this moment in time (4:15 PM AST) I have the big total of 2330! Okay, so it’s not a big total, but it’s something. I have a LOT of writing to do. I’m trying to steal time out of my days for it.

What I found is that when I started with NOTHING for NaNo 2010, once I began writing it was easier to let the story happen than it was to later pick up where I’d left off and keep writing and adding to it. In 2011 I had such a slow start because it was hard to get back into the story. This month I read it all again right before beginning to add to it, and saw my struggle at the end of November last year. It was a mess. It lacks flow and uniformity. It is choppy, and obviously I was grasping for vision.

Now I am again adding to my novel, ignoring the confusion and hoping for a completion during this NaNo. I don’t know if it will take another 50,000 words, but it’s okay if it doesn’t. I have a feeling I will be writing the whole month anyway. And I don’t even want to think about revisions once I find the end of my first fiction novel. That is going to be even more of a challenge to plow through.

I hope you will join me by following my progress in this writing challenge. I won’t be posting updates  this way daily, but I will be keeping track on my NaNoWriMo updates (2012) page. I invite you to please follow along. If you want to leave me a comment, please do – here or on my updates page.

Do you enter writing challenges or contests?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Interview with Christine Nolfi and book giveaway

I won’t keep you waiting for this interview any longer. 

I’m pleased to introduce to you Christine Nolfi, author of the adult fiction The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge. Be sure to read my review.

In 2004, Christine Nolfi began writing fiction full-time. Her debut, Treasure Me, is a finalist in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Awards and appears on the Midwest Book Review’s Bookwatch as, “A riveting read for those who enjoy adventure fiction, highly recommended.” Her second contemporary fiction novel, The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge, continues to earn 4- and 5-star reviews on GoodReads and Amazon. Her third release, Second Chance Grill, was released October 30th.    

Christine, welcome to my blog! I’m delighted you agreed to this interview. Would you please begin by telling us a little about yourself? And do you have a family, a job outside the family?

Lynn, thank you for the invitation to visit today! I’m a full-time novelist and a recent transplant to Charleston, South Carolina. Three of my adopted children are now in college; the baby is a high school senior. I remarried last summer on a beach – Barry and I both feel blessed to have received a “do-over” in our fifties. Prior to writing fiction full-time, I owned a small PR firm in Cleveland, Ohio.

You seem to lead a full and satisfying life. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer? Who or what inspired you?

Honestly, I can’t recall a time when I didn’t write. Vignettes in childhood and later, short stories. In high school, I usually received top billing in the annual literary magazine. I wrote my first novel at age nineteen and turned down an offer to sell it at age twenty-two. Don’t ask why. Thirty years later, the reason seems silly.

Aw, darn. Now you know what question I really want to ask next! *sigh* Okay, I won’t. Instead: as a writer, do you do much reading? Who were/are your favourite authors or books?

I read several hours each day, whether it’s The Economist or Wall Street Journal, or the latest novel to catch my eye. Presently I’m reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Heart of the Matter by Emily Griffin and The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff. My taste in fiction runs toward literary, but I read across genres and can’t imagine choosing a favorite author.

Have you ever felt like giving up? When did you finally believe in
yourself so you can say “I am a writer”?

Some weeks the sheer volume of promotional work on my “to do” list becomes quite intimidating. I’ve never suffered from doubts regarding my abilities because I worked as a freelance writer for so many years.

Do you have a motto or Bible verse or quote that you try to live by
and that helps to keep you going?

I use “Bible flipping” daily: open the Bible, and read the passage that first catches my eye. The practice brings both comfort and hope. Frankly, I couldn’t have survived all the years of single parenting without my faith.

What do you remember about your very first time to be published,
how did that happen?

In my early twenties I sold a short story entitled Night Hour to Working Mother Magazine. The editor called to say she loved the over-the-transom submission about a mother who finds the courage to march into the basement rec room and confront her teenage daughter before the girl and a teen boyfriend have sex. The editor was convinced I was a working mother who’d written a story about experiences with my own teenagers. Needless to say, I was happy to let her think what she wanted – and was even more delighted when the magazine’s two million subscribers read my first published work.

Now, that’s an exciting start! Do you mind mentioning some of what you have written thus far? Of what you have had published, what means the most to you? Of those, what do or did you most enjoy writing?

I’ve published three novels with two more currently under edit. My debut Treasure Me was cited by USA Today as among the best of the indies and recently became a finalist in the 2012 Next Generation Indie Awards. The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge has even higher scores on Amazon and GoodReads but hasn’t yet reached the contest circuit. My third novel Second Chance Grill was released October 30th.

Whether I’m writing lighter books like Treasure Me and Second Chance Grill or a darker, closer to literary work like Tree of Everlasting Knowledge, I invariably fall in love with the characters. The work-in-progress becomes my favorite book.

Congratulations on your success so far! What method do you use to keep track of your writing ideas?

I rarely veer off course once work commences. Compelling fiction begins with deep characterization, and I spend months researching and fine-tuning the characters destined to populate a book. If I’m not satisfied with the completed manuscript after several revisions, I file it away. Some books need a cooling off period and fresh perspective before final revision work and publication.

What process do you go through when writing and perfecting your work?

I’ll write a chapter or two then return to the beginning and edit. Then I’ll write several more chapters and edit again. After the first draft is complete, I take the Word document and create a landscaped version resembling a paperback novel and edit, revise, cut, and add new passages in longhand fashion.

Very interesting! What inspired you to write The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge?

Tree explores problems related to the U.S. foster/adopt system. As an adoptive mother, caring for the world’s abandoned children is an issue dear to my heart. The idea for Troy’s dilemma in the novel—which I’d rather not give away here—came about after I conducted interviews at an adoption network in Cleveland, Ohio.

How long did it take you to write The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge? Did you have to do any research?

The work required extensive research into foster/adopt law in the United States. I also conducted interviews with social workers, a birth mother, and coordinators at an adoption network. The novel went through extensive revision on at least three occasions. I set the work aside when Treasure Me gained notice in The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards then picked Tree back up for one last revision in early 2012. All told, the novel took three years to write.

It was worth it, I would say. Did you find any part of it hard to write about or pull together?

Writing scenes from child Emma’s point-of-view proved gut wrenching. And Troy’s pivotal scenes with Buck took many months to write.

Why did you decide to write about such a difficult topic, that of violence in varying degrees?

Originally I planned Tree as another book in the Liberty series with the much lighter Treasure Me and Second Chance Grill. A literary agent on the West Coast had put me in contact with an amazing private editor who quickly concluded that Tree was much more literary than my other works, and deserved to release as a stand-alone novel. Her advice set me free to write a book both heartbreaking and uplifting.

I agree, it is both of those. Did you write a little of yourself into any of the characters?

Certainly the children Walt and Emma are inspired by my experiences as a mother of adopted children of color. Troy and Ourania? I’ve probably put some of my personality in both of them. I hope I don’t share any traits with the loathsome Buck Korchek, the most difficult character I’ve ever written.

How did/do you go about getting published? Why did you choose the route you took?

I worked with two literary agents, had two “almost sales” to Random House then New American Library. The problem? My books incorporate features of the romance, mystery, suspense and literary genres – never a good thing when a NY editor needs to decide where to place your debut on a bookstore shelf. My critique partners finally convinced me to try indie publishing. Naturally I’ll happily embark on a traditional publishing career if the right deal ever comes along.

How do you write consistently? Do you have writing goals? daily?
weekly? monthly? long-range?

Having owned a PR firm for many years, I still work as if I’m in the Marine Corps. Early start, break at noon for a workout at the gym, return to my office to edit the morning’s pages. I stop at dinnertime. Writers who burn the midnight oil or put in 18-hour days are asking for an early death. Any artist needs to recognize that her body is as sacred a gift as her boundless creativity.

That’s something to seriously consider. What other interests do you have for a change from writing?

I love to cook, garden, stroll the beach with my husband, walk my sweet mutt in Charleston’s early morning sunlight – and read. In between books, I try to read as many novels as possible.

Do you have another project in the works?

I’ll publish two shorter romances in early 2013 then release the third book in the Liberty series. Or I’ll release a longer, literary novel set in Istanbul. It’s a real dilemma. I’ve already written a portion of the Istanbul book, but the amusing antics of the characters in the Liberty books are hard to resist!

That’s just the kind of dilemma I imagine a lot of writers would love to have.  🙂  Finally, do you have any advice for hopefuls?

My best advice for hopefuls? Join a critique group. Read often and well. Write an entire first draft then revise. And revise again. Research the publishing industry before submitting your first query to a literary agent, or uploading your first novel independently. And always believe in your singular gifts.

Thanks, Christine. That’s great advice. Thank you for the insight into your writing life.

Readers, here are some links Christine invites you to check out:

Author Christine Nolfi’s website: http://www.christinenolfi.com

Find her on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/christinenolfi

Find her on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4811669.Christine_Nolfi

Find The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Tree-Everlasting-Knowledge-ebook/dp/B007IO78QK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1340741334&sr=1-1&keywords=the+tree=of=everlasting=knowledge

Now leave a comment and your name will be in the draw for your chance to win a copy of Christine Nolfi’s The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge. Tell us what you found most helpful or interesting of what she had to share. On Saturday, November 10 at 6 PM EST one name will be drawn out of the basket. I will contact that person for his or her mailing address and when the winner gets back to me I’ll inform Christine who will send a book to the winner. So, leave a comment to enter the draw!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂






Book Review: The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge – by Christine Nolfi

The Tree of Everlasting KnowledgeBook: The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge
Author: Christine Nolfi
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing  Platform
Date: March 15, 2012
Genre: fiction, romance/mystery/suspense 
Pages: 382, paperback
Price: $13.95; less in Kindle
My rating: A gripping story that stirs emotions and feelings on many levels.

I won a copy of this adult book from the author.

The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge begins with a hook (a line that grabs one’s interest), and the reader’s curiosity is stirred immediately.

Our main character, Ourania (whose name I’m never sure I am correctly pronouncing – and I do ‘hear’ the words even as I read along silently) is a strong single woman, who owns and operates her own electrical contracting business. She bids on – and is accepted for – a challenging job that places her directly in the path and life of a man she once knew. Then her life gets really complicated.

Because of her mother’s work in family services, she gets pulled into foster parenting – and not of one child but of two troubled siblings.  As if her job’s stability isn’t precarious enough already, things start heating up between her and the man who hired her, she feels threatened by dominating male presence on the job site, and her private life gets more complicated as she has to deal with the young children’s issues when she knows little about parenting. Besides all that, the children’s safety is at risk and she must somehow protect them although they resent her.

Does this intrigue you so far? Read on.

There is this ancient tree, a tree that – if given the ability – could reveal secrets that would boggle one’s mind. Besides its being a private meeting place for people over the years, some of them romantic interludes, there had been a savage, brutal act committed there decades before. We learn with Ourania what an impact this one site had and will have on her life, along with other shocking information she struggles to handle.

Not wanting to give away any more of the story, I will say that Christine Nolfi wrote an interesting, gripping, yet tragic tale. The way she connected everyone works well. The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge is a painful story to read, while being a hopeful one through which love winds its way.

What doesn’t work for me is the repetitive lusting after one another
… but that’s my personal preference; it seems to be what many people want to read. I also found it unnecessary to repeat the explanation of one person we never meet except in the characters’ telling and thinking. Once or twice is fine, I believe the reader will remember from there.

The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge is a title I wondered about until I got into the story. Although it was difficult to read in places because of the rawness of human nature being exposed, I found it harder to NOT read this book. If you enjoy a little romance interwoven with suspense, mystery, and drama, I believe you will like Christine Nolfi’s The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge from its beginning page to its dramatic end.

Watch for a soon-upcoming interview with Christine Nolfi, the author of The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge.  She will be offering a copy of this book to one reader-commenter at that time!

You can find The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂