Q&A with Minta Hall (THE MAGICIAN OF WALL STREET) – Excerpt, & Giveaway!!

Today we welcome Minta Hall, author of the recently released, THE MAGICIAN OF WALL STREET. Not familiar with Minta or her book?? Well… let’s fix that, shall we?

He’ll have to win her heart…and save her life Oliver Pendragon’s days as the Magician of Wall Street are over. He’s lost everything: his business partner, his reputation, and the love of his life, Abby Daltry. When Abby’s father offers him a way to get everything back— including Abby—Oliver can’t refuse.Abby Daltry wants nothing more than to break away from the controlling men in her life. When a tarot reading reveals that she’s in danger and that her ex-lover will be returning to her life, she’ll do whatever it takes to prove her independence. Oiver will stop at nothing to prove his love and to protect her from the man out to kill them both, but Abby finds out the truth about his deal with her father and issues an ultimatum: he can have her or the company. As danger looms and shots fly, will Abby give into the passion that rises to the Magician’s command—the Magician who all-too easily controls her heart?

From: The Magician of Wall Street, by Minta Hall. © 2012. Available from Amazon.com

BarnesAndNoble.com, from EntangledPublishing.com

Oliver Pendragon opened the door of the Tarot-A-While Bookstore and strode in with more assurance than he felt. Never show weakness. Never mind that the object of his quest could toss him out on his butt before he could say three words.

Never mind that if he failed, she’d be dead in a week.

He stood by the shop door, eclipsing the sun’s final evening glimmerings, but no one inside took the slightest notice of his entry. A small clutch of women huddled in the far corner. They sat on folding chairs and leaned forward, breathless as they focused on a woman sitting at a rickety card table.

The shop had the paradoxical charm of a little old lady in black motorcycle leather and spike-heeled boots. Despite the store’s predilection for mind-boggling merchandise in confusing disarray, Oliver noticed a state-of-the-art point-of-sale terminal on the sales counter.

Yes, this store suited Abby.

Anticipation throbbed through him, but he suppressed it. He’d known for months that the day would come when he’d at last be free to claim Abigail Daltry again. But now that he was here at last, he wanted to savor each moment of this long-delayed reunion as much as he wanted to swoop in and whisk her back into his life.

Back into his arms.

Back into his bed.

Oliver stepped forward, still shadowed by the tall shelves, his curiosity piqued by the intensity of the group. The woman at the table held a pack of battered, oversize cards and laid them out in a peculiar pattern on the table. For a moment, he thought she was playing solitaire, then realized the cards weren’t standard playing cards.

He took another step closer, then halted. There, seated in front of the woman with the cards, was Abby. He took a deep breath, fighting for control, and found himself listening with unexpected interest to the other woman’s explanation.

The reader spoke quickly. “…The ninth card reveals your hopes and fears.” A practiced flick of her fingers flipped the card face up. Her face drained of color.

Abby leaned forward just as he was about to move. “What’s wrong?”

The reader looked Abby straight in the eye and her voice took on an ominous note. “Your reading is filled with warnings of a deceiver, a man who is not who he claims, not who you think he is. Beware this man.” With a sure movement but keeping her eyes on Abby, she tapped the last card. “This card shows the final outcome. It reveals the answer to the struggles you face.”

“Turn it over,” Abby said.

The reader hesitated for a moment, then turned up the card. “The Magician,” she whispered as she looked up, straight into Oliver’s eyes. “Beware the Magician,” she warned, while holding his gaze with a commanding glare.

Abby must have noticed the new focus of the reader’s attention because she turned and stared at him, too, causing the rest of the ladies to turn. He fell under the microscopic survey of a suddenly hostile audience.

Visibly gathering her composure, Abby stood and gestured toward him in a mock-courteous introduction. “Welcome to the Tarot-A-While Bookstore, Oliver. Ladies, may I present Mr. Oliver Pendragon? You may have heard of him. He’s known as…” Abby faltered under his glare.

Oliver’s voice felt rusty and his words came out harsher than he intended. “Say it.”

Abby glanced again at the reader and at the cards that accused him from the card table. She reached down and lifted the final card in the layout, holding it out in sardonic offering. “The Magician. Oliver’s called the ‘Magician of Wall Street.’”

**AFTER the Q&A… check out a way to win a copy of THE MAGICIAN OF WALL STREET from Entangled Publishing!!**

1) When you write, do you prefer quiet, or do you listen to music? If you like music playing, what is your preferred genre? Do certain characters have their own personal “soundtrack”?

I grew up with my bedroom just off the family room and the television was just on the other side of the door. So quiet wasn’t usually an option! I did my homework with family hubbub going on around me, dogs (we had three!) playing, and the television on. So perfect quiet tends to make me a little crazy. I usually tune the television on to a favorite cable channel, maybe the Science Channel, or one of the History channels, or Turner Classic Movies, and just let it play, though I don’t pay that much attention to it most of the time.

When I do listen to music, it’s usually music with brainwave frequencies embedded into it to help me focus and concentrate or be creative. I find that works really well for me. But for THE MAGICIAN OF WALL STREET the song that kept playing in my head while I was writing about the hero Oliver was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera. Somehow, that song seemed perfect for Oliver. Like the Phantom, Oliver is a little dark, a whole lot sexy, and madly in love.

2) Where do you write? In an office, at the dining room table, at a local coffeeshop? Do you prefer to write alone or with a group? If you write with a group, do you also read/critique each other’s work?

I write at home because although sound around me helps me focus and concentrate, having people around distracts me. I do have a reader that I use for feedback but not during writing sessions. 

3) How do you prepare for release day? Are you calm and focused, or do you get stressed? Do you like to make promotional appearances or stay at home to watch lists and numbers?

Since my book releases are in e-book format, it’s a little hard to do a book signing! Generally speaking, by the time the book is released I’m already deep into writing the next book, so book release day can come and go without a lot of notice. Maybe I’ll go out to dinner with friends, but it’s not a big celebration. I get more excited when I see the cover for the first time!  My publisher has an incredible talent for beautiful covers! 

4) What was your favorite Halloween costume (or other costume party costume)?

I don’t attend a lot of costume parties, but my favorite was probably a couple years ago dressing up as Katniss Everdeen, the heroine of The Hunger Games. I love those books! She has all the right qualities for a heroine: strong yet vulnerable, and with a determination to rise above all obstacles to achieve her goals. I didn’t think through the costume all that well, unfortunately, so keeping track of the bow was a big problem!

5) If you could go anywhere on vacation (and not interfere with your deadlines), where would you go, and what 3 items (besides food and clothes) would you bring with you?

I would go to the Amazon rain forest and do a spiritual quest there. Other than a friend or two, I’d take with me my iPod (which has a solar recharger), of course a camera, and probably a large suitcase filled with sunblock — I’m one of those people who simply never tans and who burns right through clothing even when I’m wearing sunblock lotion. Just call me Minta the Mushroom! 

6) What song best describes your life? If you can’t think of one, who would you want to write/perform a song just for you?

I think it would be cool to have Lady Gaga write and sing a song for me! She’s not only very talented, I love her sense of outrageousness, and she’s off-the-wall enough to make the song really fun. I love her courage and her ability to follow her own dreams! 

7) If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would be it and what would you do all day?

I’m going to set aside heroes as an option for this question because it’s hard to choose among them, and you know what we’d be doing all day! However, looking at other characters, in THE MAGICIAN OF WALL STREET there are a couple of minor characters, two sisters Eunice and Griselda (“Grizzy”) who I think would be fun to hang out with. They are older ladies, maybe in their 60s, but not exactly anyone’s idea of a typical little old lady! Although they are minor characters in the book, I’d be willing to bet that following them through a day would be a real eye-opener. I have a feeling there’s a whole lot more to these two ladies than meets the eye, and it would be fun to find out what they do when they’re not showing up on stage in one of my books. 

8) What world record would you love to set for the Guinness Book of World Records? (Remember, they take ALL KINDS of interesting talents into account. Some world records include *fastest 100m sprint, barefoot, on ice = 17.35 secs… *fastest pumpkin carving of a face = 24.03 secs… *longest distance pogo stick jumping = 23.11 miles)

Well, I think the biggest competition is always with yourself rather than with other people, but I would say it would be great fun to go for making the world’s most elaborate sand castle. I lived in San Diego for many years, and the regular sand castle competitions there were unbelievable. Talk about talent! The folks who do those are utterly amazing! 

9) If you could have one word removed from the English language, from all dictionaries and out of everyone’s vocabulary, what would it be, and why? If you could ADD one word, what would it be?

The word I’d like removed from everybody’s consciousness as well as from the language itself is hate. There’s too much of that going around these days. That’s also one of the reasons I think love stories are so important; they remind us of how essential love is. 

Are you a fan of the Washington Post’s annual “Word Play Masters Invitational” contest, where people submit new words with their meanings? I love-love-love that contest. One of last year’s favorite entries would be my choice to add. It didn’t make the top-10 list, but I loved it. Shannon Fleming submitted it.  The word is:

“Gorgonzilla: A giant, mutant dinosaur known for targeting and attacking Japanese tourists throughout Italy, and whose most notable features are his rough, bumpy, blue-vein scales, and rancid-smelling atomic breath.”   

Uh, can you tell I love those old 1950s sci-fi monster flicks?  Yeah, I thought so!

10) What is one thing about you that your friends know and you would love your readers to know as well. Or… if you’re in a giving mood… what is one story that your friends LOVE to talk you into telling that you don’t generally volunteer?

A number of years ago I went to a week-long meditation retreat. Although I arrived highly skeptical, by the time I left I had discovered that all of us have tremendous psychic abilities that we may not be aware of. And all of us can learn to “be psychic,” often in a significant way. Most of us suppress those psychic skills because our culture doesn’t value them, but with a little training everyone can access them.

On occasion, I still teach workshops, often to very large groups, in which I show people how to begin to access their own psychic self. One of the exercises I almost always include in such workshops is to teach people how to do spoon bending. When I do that exercise, I hand out forks and spoons to everyone in the group and have them bend their own cutlery. Does it surprise you to learn that in large groups of several hundred people at least 85% to 90% succeed the first time they try? In small groups, the success rate is nearly 100% because I can give people individual attention if they need a little assistance. Heck, I’ve even taught spoon bending over the radio! 

The reason I teach it is not because it’s fun — well, okay, it is because it’s a lot of fun! — but because it’s an object lesson. If you have a good quality stainless steel fork, it’s nearly impossible to bend one tine of the fork with your bare fingers — try it sometime. But after I’ve shown you how to move a little chi energy around, and after you focused some of that energy through the fork for a few minutes, you’ll find that the fork literally softens in your hands to the point where you can easily bend and twist it into any shape you like. It becomes soft and malleable like modeling clay. Once you set the fork down and don’t touch it for a couple of minutes, it stiffens into that new shape and it becomes as hard and rigid as it ever was.

The picture shows some of the twisted forks that workshop participants have left behind after one of the workshops I’ve done with them. 

The lesson from all this is that chi energy, which generally seems almost imaginary when you’re first introduced to it, is very powerful — powerful enough to turn rigid stainless steel into something you can mold and shape with your fingers.

And the other lesson is that spoon-bending is a lot of fun!

So, my lovelies… Ms. Hall can teach you how to deepen access to energy and accomplish something fun like spoon bending. For a chance to WIN A COPY OF THE MAGICIAN OF WALL STREET, what unusual skill would YOU like to learn? Something fun and out of the ordinary that fascinates you, or that’s been on your “that would be cool to learn” list for a while. Leave a comment below with what unusual skill you’d like to learn and you’ll be entered in a random drawing for a copy of the book! (You can also comment on anything else in this post, but to enter the contest, you’ve got to list a skill 🙂 ) If you use twitter or facebook, share a link to this post for a SECOND entry into the drawing. (Please use the hashtag #TMoWSGiveaway so I can track the double entries.) Contest starts now, and runs through midnight pacific on May 28th. My review of this book, and the winner of the drawing, will be posted on May 29th. GOOD LUCK!!

3 Comments

  1. Comment by Emily W.:

    It sounds stupid, but I’d like to learn how to curl my dog into a hot dog bun shape and drink stuff like that. My whole family can do it except me and I’ve always wanted to be able to do it. That and learn how to read microexpressions.

    And I tweeted a link!
    https://twitter.com/chickie434/status/205833048565092353

  2. Comment by Mary Preston:

    I’d like to learn an ancient language like Latin. I don’t know who I would talk to, apart from a priest, but still.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  3. Comment by Alfonzo:

    I every time spent my half an hour to read this webpage’s posts all the time along with a cup of coffee.

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