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As a reader there are writers that catch your attention and then there are writers that captivate one's being. T.L. Alton is such a writer. She compiles her words in such a way – that the reader cannot help but find themselves immersed, in the worlds being created in her stories. Under the Sitka Tree is a long awaited treasure; deserving of a big comfy chair, a warm cup of tea and complete attention. ~ S. Kube

Entangled in corruption and desire, the novel links a unique skeleton key, to the Sitka spruce tree. Ultimately, each character realizes what lies beneath the masks they wear, is connected to their roots across the land.

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We are bound by our roots, not by our feet.

~Abimbola


One of the splendid additions to the cabin was a loft, which he added long before his granddaughter was born. The wooden stairs leading up to it always creaked with each step taken, reminding her presence in the upper room, was strictly forbidden.

“It was musty,” her grandfather said, “full of cobwebs and old junk.”

He had redone the bedroom downstairs, for Lily’s visits overnight.

She recalled the pleasant surprise of opening the guestroom for the first time. A splendid array of delicate pastel colours filled the room. In the middle, a queen-size quilt covered an Oak bed frame covered in patterns of hand-stitched red poppies adorned the linen. The bed complimented the interlocking pine logs, which framed the home. Lily’s favourite accessory was a gathering of tinted bottles with strings of illumination. When plugged in, sparks seemed to dance off the walls, reminding Lily of lightning bugs. Although she treasured the charming room, the mystery surrounding the loft attracted her upstairs.

Over the years, she had tried several times to obtain entry into it. However, each time was met with dismay to find the entrance locked.

Today, though, Lily was determined to open the door of the secret room. The young girl desired to know what hidden treasures lay within and more importantly, why her grandfather kept it from her.

Lily remembered seeing Christian placing a key into a lace-trimmed handkerchief. In spite of her recollection, she did not see it anywhere. Once again defeated, Lily was about to walk back down the stairs when something caught her attention. On the cabinet’s lower shelf, tucked inside a watering can, was a piece of lace. She knelt and gently picked up the tarnished antique. Lily reached inside for the item she desperately had searched for many times.

Pulling out the frilled cloth, she placed it on her knees and delicately undid the weathered twine. With sweaty palms and a heartbeat pounding so fast like a hummingbird’s wings, Lily felt she was about to faint.

The skeleton key was silver and unique, with a heart at the top enclosing a cross in the middle. She felt the weight of it in her palm. It was heavy with the word “FAITH” inscribed on one side. Turning it over, she read the word “PIPER”. Slowly, her fingertips felt every inch of the key and holding it in her hands; she realized it was for the lock on the door. Puzzled as to why no one entered the loft, she grabbed the top cabinet for balance and pulled herself up, off the hardwood stairway.

Stepping towards the door, Lily’s hands began to shake. She knew she was disobeying her grandfather. Lily convinced herself she had to know what existed behind the door. Placing the key into the small hole below the doorknob, she turned it to the left and then right, until Lily heard the click of the lock open. She paused, nervously listening for any signs of life from downstairs. Satisfied it was safe to continue; Lily opened the massive, pine door.