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Monday, January 29, 2007
My latest Storytellers Unplugged essay is live. Here...

Target Acquired

And it's archive time again...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
My author copies of Blue Devil Island arrived today, so I reckon it's officially a book. As always, Five Star Books did a bang-up job. This is one nicely produced hardcover volume, with a sharp-looking dust jacket and the art printed on the bound cover itself. Reviews have been kind, and I hope readers will enjoy the hell out of this book. I can't be terribly objective, so I don't know if I can say it's the best book I've written, but it's one of the most gratifying, as it touches on so many areas of personal interest (military history being but one of them) and explores my personal feelings about fellowship between people, martial conflict, and hope in the midst of fairly serious darkness. While writing the novel, the characters — many of whom are directly or indirectly based on folks of my personal acquaintance — came so alive to me that when I wrote the finale, I found myself getting rather emotional. Talk about a rarity; only two other of my works ("Stalker of the Wild Wind" and "Fugue Devil") have had such an effect on me.

Anyhoo, if you're checking out this entry, I hope you'll check out the book. I think it'll be worth your while.

Sunday, January 21, 2007
Spent a mostly relaxing weekend in Virginia, very pleasant but for a lot of physical discomfort from the damned diverticulitis. Yesterday, I rode up to Ferrum College, where, back in the dark ages, I spent a couple of years building up smarts. It's a picturesque area in the southwestern Virginia mountains, and I spent much of the day cruising the backroads, getting in some serious walking, and general meditating. There's a long story behind it, but someone out on route 666 in Henry County may find an excerpt of the dreaded Necronomicon near a little graveyard in the woods. I, however, know not the first thing about it. Really.

Also got in some serious work on my latest, The Monarchs of Harrow, and I reckon I'm somewhere near the halfway mark. It isn't progressing all that rapidly, what with so much else in the world forcing me to keep pace with it, but on the other hand, it's shaping up to be a monstrously good book. Not as monstrous as The Necronomicon, of course, but monstrous nonetheless.

Thursday, January 18, 2007
Last week, I did a wee bit of  updating to my James Bond 007 soundtrack Web site, and tonight, I made the biggest addition it's seen in about two years — a review of the Casino Royale soundtrack, which I finished up writing this evening. This site is strictly a hobby-thing, me being such a Bond fanatic and all, so I don't devote much time to it these days. However, since the latest Bond did get me all hot and bothered, I've had a field day watching the movies and listening to the soundtrack CDs. In general, I rather like the Casino Royale score, though it suffers from the same shortcomings as all of David Arnold's scores: a lack of distinctive themes. The biggest disappointment of all is that the excellent title track, "You Know My Name," by Chris Cornell isn't even included on the album.

Anyway, if Bond is at all your bag, you may find my review page here.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Wowie. I hate to keep beating this subject to death — well, sort of — but right on the heels of The Edge review of Blue Devil Island,  Library Journal features one in the current issue. And it's a nice one:

"In 1943, U.S. Navy pilot Lt. Cr. Drew McLachlan and his Blue Devils are based on Conquest Island west of the Solomons in the South Pacific. Their duty: to battle the Japanese and prevent them from capturing the strategically important islands. Conquest Island, however, holds a dark secret in its volcanic caves, one that testifies to an older, stranger group of inhabitants who may still dwell within the darkness and whose very existence poses a threat even greater than the Japanese. Rainey (The Lebo Coven) skillfully mixes military fiction with alien encounters to present a fast-paced tale of wartime heroics and unearthly terrors. A good selection for large sf or horror collections."

Both Publisher's Weekly and Library Journal have smiled on the book — almost to my surprise. It's horror, it's World War II, and I almost expected that, having such specialized subject matter, it might pass below radar. I'm kinda glad that's not the case.

Over the last couple of days, I did end up visiting both my eye doctor and primary care doctor, due to some vision issues that have turned out to be a result of high blood pressure. I'm going to be taking some medication for a few weeks and then go back in for more testing to see how things look.

I'm sure it's all the wife's fault. I shall deal with her in the appropriate manner.

Monday, January 15, 2007
Another review of
Blue Devil Island, also — thankfully — a positive one, just up at The Edge, a Boston-based alternative news and entertainment site. An interview with ye muddling author will be following quite soon, I'm told. Here: The Edge Reviews Blue Devil Island.

Thursday, January 11, 2007
Five Star Books always sends out a fair number of advance review copies, not only to mainstream and speculative fiction publications, but also to several that cater to the romance genre. I was wondering whether any of them would actually review Blue Devil Island, and sure enough, it appears that Romance Reviews Today will be featuring it in their January 20 edition. They sent me an advance look, an excerpt of which follows:

"Blue Devil Island is an action-adventure story that pays homage to the works of H. P. Lovecraft. Men at war see enough evil, in the enemy and in themselves, but what can they do when faced with an evil from another universe? Fight to the death, that’s what! Mr. Rainey writes his aerial combat scenes with great attention to detail; the culture of military life in a far outpost is harsh, with little comfort and constant danger. I was reminded of the movie Bridge on the River Kwai in which soldiers held prisoner in a jungle ultimately triumph over their captors. McLachlan and his men come to the island expecting to do battle with an enemy they understand and find unspeakable evil seeking to enslave them all. Readers who enjoy a World War II setting with plenty of action and thrills should pick up Blue Devil Island."

That's a sweet one, and I'm grateful they saw fit to publicize the novel. I'm not sure how big it's going to be with the romance crowd, since it doesn't feature a single female, or any moments of throbbing erotic passion, but hey — I'll welcome any reader who wants to give it a shot. So, thanks, RRT.

Now, the book does feature lots of guns
with great big barrels going off....

Saturday, January 6, 2007
The epitome of passive resistance. Evidently, it's not time to put away the Christmas decorations.

Thursday, January 4, 2007
The arrival of every new new year for the last several has been a rude reminder that there's just something terribly wrong with a year that begins with a "two." All my young life, any year in the 2000s signified the distant future, filled with rocket ships, moonbases, underwater cities, mile-high skyscrapers, and all that good stuff from the science fiction of the 20th century. And dammit, I'm still in my young life! Really!

Tonight, I watched Licence to Kill, which is a much under-rated, pretty damn decent Bond movie. Timothy Dalton did a very good job as 007, particularly in this entry. It's a flawed film, to be sure, but it's one in which Bond's character is very true to the Fleming novels, which for me is always a big selling point.

Peg's been at my mom's these last few days while recovering from her surgery so I can go to work rather than stay home and play nursemaid. (Not that I terribly mind missing work to play nursemaid.) She'll be back tomorrow, though, so tonight's my last as a swingin' bachelor for some time. So what did I do? I turned up the movie real loud.

I discovered tonight that Bob Freeman gave The Lebo Coven the treatment at his Byte Marks blog, and he was not terribly displeased with it. I'm always pleased when someone who is much larger and more powerful than I, and has a knack for writing about the grim things that happen to displeasing people, is not displeased. Thank you sincerely, Bob; you are quite the gentleman.

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