Through a Chamber Door by Jean Sweeney

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Hope and Dottie, the time-traveling teachers from Sedona, Arizona’s Garnet Canyon School of the Arts, experience the unexpected and the macabre when they find themselves thrown into Edgar Allan Poe’s nineteenth-century Baltimore, a city said to have a past more significant than its future. Why are Hope and Dottie experiencing random unplanned time-travel? And do the ever-present ravens carry a message?

A professional opportunity takes Hope and Dottie from a seminar presentation, teamed with Sedona new-age spiritual leader Frank Begay, to an Irish pub in the most historic section of Baltimore. A visit to the ladies’ room turns into a vision of the past, one featuring a familiar-appearing shaggy-haired gentleman. The phenomenon is repeated in the ghost-town turned tourist attraction of Jerome, Arizona, where they realize that they are seeing glimpses into the life of Poe, from his early days of failure at the University of Virginia to his mystery-shrouded death.

Back in Sedona, Hope’s new roommate, Annabel Black, Garnet’s English teacher, is causing chaos, from her dress-code shattering appearance and affinity for ravens, to her penchant for seducing the local males (some of whom turn up missing) and snatching early morning quickies in the maintenance man’s office. Even so, Annabel’s students are inspired by her Poe expertise and soon Garnet is inundated by raven-influenced art, literature and science projects.

Meanwhile, Hope and Dottie are submerged in their own obsessions. Hope has danced and choreographed until exhausted and finds herself in several compromising situations. Dottie is fixated on becoming pregnant, collecting feathers from the ravens that have swarmed Jerome, feathers that Frank Begay alleges have mystical properties sustaining fertility, spiritual progress, faith and change. Garnet’s student body and faculty are consumed with preparations for the dedication ceremony for Begay’s Raven Wellness Center, which will showcase a colossal raven sculpture courtesy of Dottie and her students. And both women suspect Annabel of unfathomable evil powers that she wields in modern-day Sedona and in Poe’s past.

A session with Jerome’s resident psychic, a consultation with Frank Begay and a trail of ravens lead Hope and Dottie to further insight into their out-of-body travel experiences, channeled from a significant figure in Poe’s life. Now they have a mission, if they can only figure out what that mission is.

Will Hope and Dottie decipher Annabel’s psychic supernatural connection to Edgar Allan Poe before their observations into the past spiral out of control? It takes a bold fog-shrouded rescue and a real-time visit to Baltimore to make sense of their quests through a chamber door.

About Jean Sweeney

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Published September 13, 2012 270 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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