Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Castle, Hawaii Five-O, and Stephanie Black Freaks Me Out

Today is going to be a bit hodge-podgy. You were warned.

Just for fun, I was spotlighted on the Kelworth files. There were some fun questions on there and one possibly true Greek experience I had on the island of Crete. Go here if you want to read it and decide for yourself if there's any truth to it.

Last night’s Castle felt like old times again. Finally. Spooky and fun, and with no awkward Gates to ruin the group mojo, I was feeling it. Best line of the night, “Don’t say the word ghost.” “Apparition-American, then.”

I also watched Hawaii Five-O and loved all the action scenes. Terry O’Quinn still has some moves! And so does Alex O’Loughlin. That cage match was a little bit of awesome. But I think I mostly loved the little moment with Steve and Lori. I know some fans aren’t liking her, but I do. I think she brings a needed element to the team. Kono has always been the little sister of the group and the boys are still figuring out Lori and how she fits. I like that.

As for Stephanie Black, I’ve been reading her new book, Rearview Mirror. In case you aren’t aware, I’ve had some really freaky experiences in reading Stephanie’s books in the past. For example, this is the book review I wrote in September of 2010 for her book, Cold as Ice.

“Beware the Reach of Stephanie Black"
by Julie Coulter Bellon

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I couldn’t read Stephanie Black’s book, Cold as Ice, at night anymore because I was afraid that the creepiness factor would give me nightmares. Well, I have been having some insomnia issues, and I couldn’t stand lying there in the dark anymore wishing for sleep, so I turned the lamp on and thought I’d just finish the book. I only had a few chapters to go, and I was anxious to know the end anyway, and how bad could it be? Surely that was worth a nightmare or two.

So I picked up the book, and just as I did, the wind rustled through the window and shook the blinds a little, as if warning me not to do it. I ignored that and opened to the page. The crickets that had been happily chirping a minute ago, suddenly were silent and I felt a little shiver of eeriness go up my back. But I doggedly started to read.

Before I knew it I was on the last chapter, and the end was as good as I knew it would be. Stephanie is an incredibly talented writer and her mysteries keep me guessing every time. I closed the book, with a smile on my face, knowing that I had done it. I had made it through a Stephanie Black book in the dead of night, and I didn’t seem any the worse for wear. I clicked off the lamp and snuggled into my bed. Surely I would be able to sleep now.

Not more than thirty seconds after I thought that thought, the rocking chair in my bedroom began to creak. Not a little creak from the wind, mind you, but a creak like someone was rocking in it. Thinking maybe one of the children had come into my room, I looked over, but there wasn’t anyone in it. Deciding it had just been the wind, I closed my eyes again, but no sooner had I done that, then the creaking started again. Feeling a little more than creeped out, I quickly sat up and turned on the lamp. There was no one there. The rocking chair was empty, but even as I looked at it, it started to slowly rock back and forth, the creaking even louder in the light somehow. Just as I was about to wake my husband, however, our cat came waltzing out from behind the chair, and it seemed to me she had a little smile on her face, like she knew she’d freaked me out. She calmly walked away and I turned off the lamp and laid back down. The mystery of the creaking chair was solved, but the adrenaline was running now, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all.

So the moral of my story is, never read Stephanie Black books in the dead of night. And if your pet can be bribed, I have a sneaking suspicion that Stephanie Black would be the kind of author that would definitely bribe them to do something to make her book even more memorable for her readers.

Beware the reach of Stephanie Black.

I’ve had similar sorts of experiences with Stephanie’s other books, so you think I would know by now to expect to be freaked out while I read her books. I’m only a third of the way through Rearview Mirror and I just have to say, I think this is her creepiest book yet. It’s like Stephanie reaches through the pages of the book and just when I can’t take the tension anymore, she taps me on the shoulder just to see me jump.

For example, in the first chapter of Rearview Mirror, there is an English teacher who has an angry student that takes things a bit far. If that weren’t scary enough, just as I finished reading that chapter, the phone rang and, I kid you not, the department head of the university where I teach Journalism (an English class), was calling to inform me that I had an angry student that was demanding a meeting.

I know. Spectacularly spooky.

Then, there’s a funeral scene where the main character has an experience while she’s standing on the periphery of a crowd that almost exactly mirrored something I’d experienced at an extended family funeral a few weeks back.

Yeah, I’m a little worried about reading more.

But it’s also the kind of story that you can’t put down and so I think that, while it’s daylight, I might go read a few more chapters.

I plan on posting the full review next week. Maybe on Halloween, just to go along with the feel of this spooktacular mystery.


Stephanie Black said...

Okay, that IS creepy having life mirroring the book. Um, may I suggest you keep your doors locked and a flashlight close at hand . . .

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Oh great. Thanks a lot! :)

Debra Erfert said...

Forget the flashlight, Julie. Sleep with all your lights on! And make sure you deadbolt the doors, and keep a bat (not the little flying rat kind) next to your bed for insurance. I know how intensely suspenseful Stephanie's books are, and I'm looking forward to reading Rearview Mirror. Great review--pre-review?

Sarah Pearson said...

Oh now, that would be enough to creep me out forever - and yet I would have to read on, just to see if anything else weird occurred :-)

Looking forward to the review.

Jon Spell said...

Also, are you planning on going camping before finishing the book? What? No reason, just curious. ;D

I had a little problem with H50 this week. Kono got shot last time in the arm, and in this episode, she's wearing a sleeveless shirt with absolutely no trauma evident. And, of course, the interrogation that continued after the suspect invoked right to counsel.

It was nice seeing Annie Wersching from 24 on the show, better if SHE had been doing some MMA.

Castle was awesome, though. I really liked Esposito's Castle impressions. (And Kate's hair! I'm such a girl!)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Jon, how funny you would mention that about Kono, because I was thinking how great the continuity guys were for giving her a little scar where she was shot last week. :) I really liked seeing Annie Wersching, too. I miss 24. A lot. And I'm still mad they killed her off that show. She was Jack's match! Wahhh.

The previews to next week's Castle look absolutely amazing. I haven't been this excited about a Castle ep in forever.

I actually was thinking about one last camping trip. Maybe I won't now. And you and Stephanie have these mean streaks in you I didn't realize were there before. Weird.

Taffy said...

Loved Castle! Will be DVRing tonights episode since I'll be out trick-or-treating...I mean, I'll be with my kids.
H5O hasn't turned my wheels yet. Maybe I'll watch the one you all are chatting up and see if I like it better. I do LOVE the Hawaiian scenery.
Funny about Stephanie's books! Maybe you two are like, soul sisters and in tune??