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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Shapiro, Rochelle Jewel: Miriam the Medium

  Amazon  

4.5 stars

Phone psychic Miriam Kaminsky may be able to predict the future and to ask advice of the occasional visiting spirit, but she has at least as many problems as the rest of us. Her husband's pharmacy is hemorrhaging money. Her previously overachieving daughter, who is too embarrassed by her mother's profession to mention it to her friends, has taken up with Great Neck's resident bad boy, a shaven-haired hoodlum  who doesn't "do" parents. And Miriam herself has become an object of interest to a broken-hearted client, thuggish restaurateur Vince Guardelli, who just may have fitted an acquaintance or two in his past with cement shoes. As her family's financial difficulties escalate, Miriam must decide whether to sell her psychic abilities on a larger stage, a lucrative option which might further alienate her daughter and disappoint the spirit of her paternal grandmother, her psychic mentor, whose shimmering image appears to Miriam frequently.

Rochelle Shapiro's charming debut novel introduces readers to the unusual demands and work-a-day business of an occupation with which most of us won't be familiar. Her Miriam is a fully sympathetic character whose psychic ability is portrayed as more often a curse than an advantage. Not only is the information Miriam receives psychically often incomplete and misleading, but her talent colors people's perceptions of her: Miriam is either fraud or freak, psychic spy or potential savior. It is a burden with which Miriam's creator is herself familiar, for the book is at least to some extent autobiographical: Great Neck resident Rochelle Shapiro is likewise a psychic whose talent was first recognized by her paternal grandmother. Let's hope there's another great read waiting for us in Ms. Shapiro's future.

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