Blog Book Tour | “The Olive Tree” {an artistic adaptation} by Christine Layton Graham, Carol Layton Ogden and Joan Layton Merrell

Posted Saturday, 4 April, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “The Olive Tree: An Artistic Adaptation” direct from the publisher CFI (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read | my original note to join the blog tour:

I grew up with the parable of The Olive Tree, even though I never attended an LDS church — the Olive Tree has always held a special significance for me & my family. I believe the interpretations and the stories differ a bit from each other but at the heart of both, I believe is the same core. I’d love to host this beautiful book and talk about my own faith history with the story of the Olive Tree and intersect with where it aligns with the LDS side of it. It would be a beautiful interfaith post because one of my favourite e-cards on Jacquie Lawson I send to my friends is The Olive Tree with a white dove who ascends at the end into the fullness of Light. (the card mentioned is found on this page and you can preview it)

I had intended to expand on this post to clarify how I grew up knowing about the olive tree parable and the messages behind the references to the olive tree throughout the Bible; however, time and memory are not quite as forthcoming as I first thought! I do remember how much I appreciated listening to stories about the olive tree and how symbolic the tree was to understand our place in the world and the greater scope of life on earth as much as in heaven.

There are certain stories you learn as you grow up in a faith-centered family which become such a strong part of your inner fabric and path, you sometimes find the connecting story to be lost to time itself. I happily reflect on the joy of knowing of the olive tree, but as far as where my studies of knowledge lie and where I learnt the most of this parable, I am unable to stipulate specifics. I have attended a wide range of Protestant churches in my lifetime, and thus, somewhere along that corridor I met with pastors who have shared snippets and back-stories about the purpose of the olive tree. This in of itself is remarkable, because I found listening to this particular parable to be quite soothing, uplifting, and inspiring.

Whether your coming into this book through an LDS background or another religious background (such as I am), the truth within the passages themselves cannot be denied. This is where universal truth and the light of God shine through our differences and embrace us in the warmth of the story’s message. For this reason, I’ve started to select certain non-fiction releases through Cedar Fort to open up an exchange of conversation across interfaith connections.

Blog Book Tour | “The Olive Tree” {an artistic adaptation} by Christine Layton Graham, Carol Layton Ogden and Joan Layton MerrellThe Olive Tree
by Christine Layton Graham Carol Layton Ogden and Joan Layton Merrell
Source: Direct from Publisher

Nurture your connection with Heaven as you examine the olive tree parable more closely. This unique book will enhance your spiritual understanding with a one-of-a-kind experience that takes you beyond the story.

Through artwork, adapted text, and hand-worked calligraphy, you'll see each symbol as you never have before and feel the Savior's love each time He cares for His trees.

The branches, the fruit, the servants, the graftings - each stands in place of something with larger meaning. The story of the Olive Tree isn't just a parable. It's the story of humanity.

Savor a unique scriptural experience with this beautiful book that combines text adapted from Jacob 5 with stunning artwork and calligraphy. A gorgeous addition to any faith-centered home, it will enhance your understanding of the exquisite symbolism in this significant story. Adapted from Zenos's allegory as quoted by Jacob in the Book of Mormon.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Genres: Artistic Adaptations &/or Picture Books, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction


Published by CFI (imprint) Cedar Fort Inc

on 10th March, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 36

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: CFI (imprint) of Cedar Fort Inc (@CedarFortBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #TheOliveTree, #Jacob5, #BookOfMorman, & #LDSFaith

as well as the following: #bookillustrations & #picturebooks

About Christine Layton Graham Carol Layton Ogden and Joan Layton Merrell

Christine Layton Graham is a writer, an editor, and a college English instructor living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her books include When Pioneer Wagons Rumbled West, Three Little Robbers, and Peter Peter Picks a Pumpkin House. She also has had literary pieces published in the New Era and the Friend.

Carol Layton Ogden is an artist living in Springville, Utah. She studied design at BYU and in recent years has studied under a variety of artists, including Ann Kullberg and J. Kirk Richards.

Joan Layton Merrell is a professional calligrapher and fiber artist living in Jefferson City, Missouri. She teaches on the national level, and her calligraphic art has been published in Letters Arts Review and The Calligrapher's Engagement Calendar.

Read the story of how this beautiful book came to be by the authors.

Christine Layton Graham's Website
Joan Layton Merrell's Calligraphy Site
The Layton Sisters' Contact Info:

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The first moment you open up this beautiful hardback edition of The Olive Tree, you cannot help but notice the interior pages are the colour of parchment, and the script of the calligraphy has the brush strokes of an artist who knows how to turn everyday words into a piece of art. The inside flaps reveal the synopsis of this edition (as shared on this review) and the biographies of the authors, whilst a dedication to their parents is opposite of the Preface. Within this small paragraph, you gather the deepening awareness of the parable’s message and the importance of understanding a bit more about ourselves through how it’s been told.

The first illustration is of the elder olive tree whilst the story begins to open giving us a pause of concern for the tree’s wellness as much as to become aware of the fact we are co-habitators with nature, and thus in our close proximity we’re meant to be the earths’ caretakers rather than carelessly abandoning all service and duty to it’s health.

The second illustration is showing kind hands tending to the branches of the olive tree whilst the Lord is commanding the men to do as he says in order to save the tree if they can or to transplant the tree elsewhere for it’s roots to re-adhere in a place where it has a better chance to yield a stronger vein of growth. The artistry between the curvature of the letters and the realistic portraits of the men, whilst the withering branches are in the background is incredible. The portrait is muted a bit and gives off an old world texture and feel to how the painting was portrayed which works brilliantly against the text.

The third illustration is of the olive tree during repair (for the grafting has started) and as the tree is hanging together with ties and tethers, a curious lizard (similar to a gecko or a salamander) is observing the progress; noticing what has been added and guardingly observes.

The fourth illustration is reflecting the rejoice in seeing new fruit; a by-product which would not have been possible without intervention on the tree’s behalf. Through guidance and dedication man can help keep a level of balance in the natural world whilst persevering a bit of his own humanity. We’re all inter-connected whilst we live on earth; the natural elements, the natural world, and our own dwellings are threaded together whilst living in harmony.

The fifth illustration is a celebration of sorts, as the men from the second illustration are now giving thankfulness to the fruit which is now overly abundant and ripe. However it is the location of where the Lord wanted the roots of this new olive tree planted which surprises them the most. For what they felt was logical was not what was intended for inspiration and motivation sometimes take us outside where we envision a plausible place to be. Sometimes faith grants us the courage to walk in places where we might not consider going but where our feet are meant to take us. Similar to where a tree takes hold of ground and settles itself into a niche where it might at first have felt unwelcome.

Further into the story, when the illustration regarding the burnt branches comes into focus, I was quite amazed by the raw realness of the imagery. It was both powerful and a bit menacing as most fires are known to be, but this one felt it too had a purpose; to burn away the dead and help restore the flickering life in the branches needing grafting. The colours of the brush strokes are what capture your attention, as again this is art which feels right and true to the time period of the story.

It’s a book you want to be mindful about whilst you are reading the passages and internalising the heart of the message. Your mind is lit alive with the beautiful illustrations and the calming presence of the eloquence from the calligraphy is a buoyant balm to the importance of what is being said. This is a book to be shared with your children and family, whilst opening up a dialogue about the themes of the harvest as much as what was being attempted during the graftings as the men worked the vineyard itself under the guidance of the Lord. Definitely a book you want to lay thought, heart, and mind to during the holidays but especially as it’s an uplifting story for Easter weekend.

The care and attention which went into the production of this illustrated edition is a blessing because the Layton sisters have truly given back a work of art for the reader to enjoy.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of Cedar Fort, Inc.:

Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Virtual Road Map of “The Olive Tree” Blog Tour:

The Olive Tree Blog Tour by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Find out which Cedar Fort new releases I am hosting in 2015!

Very early-on as a book blogger, I wrote my first review on a picture book for children about a family who liked to capture their memories with photographs. I have an upcoming blog tour for a picture book in June, however, if you’d like to see the original review which had inspired me to seek out more picture books at my local library, please direct your attention to my thoughts on behalf of: A Moment in Time.

It was my intention to continue to feature the lovely picture books and/or illustrated art adaptations I was borrowing through my local library; time and life took away my focus. I am hoping this marks a return to being able to re-bring to my blog a part of my reading joy I have not yet had the chance to share with my readers.

Coming up on the morrow is another INSPY-focused review (for Mums!):

A Mother's Greatest Gift Blog Tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media

Visit with me again soon!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “The Olive Tree”, book synopsis, author biographies, and the blog tour badges were all provided by Cedar Fort, Inc. and used with permission. Illustrated Stories Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded due to the codes provided by Twitter. Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2015.

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all. "I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story) more >> | Hire me as a betareader | Policies & Review Requests
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Posted Saturday, 4 April, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Ancient Civilisation, Art, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biblical History, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Calligraphy, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Children's Literature, Christianity, Creative Arts, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Historical Perspectives, History, Illustration for Books & Publishing, Illustrations for Stories, Important Figures of Ancient Times, Indie Art, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Inspired by Stories, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Juvenile Fiction, Lessons from Scripture, Literature for Boys, Mormonism, Naturalist Sketchings, Non-Fiction, Re-Told Tales, Religious History, Short Stories or Essays, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, World Religions




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2 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “The Olive Tree” {an artistic adaptation} by Christine Layton Graham, Carol Layton Ogden and Joan Layton Merrell

  1. Andrea (aka rokinrev)

    I saw this lovely book on another site, and it is in my TBR list. It may be a while because were still buying our new bed, but I’m gonna get it! Thanx again for a great review.

    • Happy Easter, Andrea! :)

      I’m so happy you caught sight of this beautiful book! I cannot wait to write a ‘note of gratitude’ to the Layton sisters as I was truly moved by the passages within the volume! I realise I blogged about the gardening aspect of the book, however, I was going to add a postscript lateron tonight to reflect how after the words absorbed inside me it is truly a testament about how “light is directed to darkness in order for the darkness to disperse”. I’ll go into it a bit more, but it’s a book which has a duality of reflection and takeaways — where you can peer through the text one way and then, lateron, allow it’s presence to guide you to the metaphysical and spiritual.

      I hope when you bring this book hope you’ll love the plates of art as much as I did! I was trying to convey what it looks like visually in my review to give a better representation of what can be ‘seen’ as you read the interpretations of scriptures.

      Thrilled seeing your note this afternoon! I’ve just returnt from Easter services and a pot luck luncheon! A spontaneous ‘Easter Egg’ hunt as I found ‘leftovers’ from the children’s hunt; thereby giving myself a lot of unexpected wicked fun whilst helping the organisers not worry about the ‘hidden chocolate’!

      A truly blessed day! May yours be as blessed in return!

      *I stuffed all the eggs into my pocket, finding I took home a baker’s dozen! What wicked delight! I felt like a kid again! It felt *wonderful!* I even stuck my hand in a tree stump’s roots! Imagine!? I wasn’t so daring as that as a child! lol One was tucked inside the trunk of a tree’s Spanish moss! Others were underneath the fallen pine needles,… truly a magical ‘after’ Easter party for me! :)

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