Category Archives: Music & Books

A Psychological Thriller! – Book Review

Rock Slam by Sosumi Starr, is a psychological thriller so deeply authentic it could only v2RockSlamEbookCover (1)have been written by someone who has lived it.

This novel is creepy and enlightening, monstrous and graceful. It is heartbreaking, heroic, and hopeful. It is a story of great losses and the battle to be fully human.

The “brainwashing” process described by the author quietly crawls into your consciousness until the gross inhumanity of the cult bursts into awareness.

Compared to water-boarding prisoners of war, this modern cult’s indoctrination is more cleverly deceitful and overtly immoral.

Ms. Starr’s prose transitions from creative and poetic, to engagingly informative, and back again. The narrative is a wonderment of mazes.

I’ve learned that evil will seep through society like a biological stew, the author tells us. Accept her outstretched hand.  Walk with Ms. Starr on the thin ice between sanity and madness.

You will be a wiser person for having taken the risk.


Jeffery Kirkendall, Trauma Counselor, PTSD Caregiver, & Educator (34 yrs.) Co-author of Without Consent: How to Overcome Childhood Sexual Abuse and author of Indians & Aliens and unexpected short stories.

* Sosumi Starr resides in Pagosa Springs, Colorado where she steers clear of cults.


Spirit Horse Song

Lyrics by Jeff “Reddog” Kirkendall & Dennis “Doc” McCracken

Photo by Dennis Gilbert
Photo by Dennis Gilbert

Vocals by Doc McCracken
Guitar by Bubba Hudson
Recorded by Behind-the-Tack-Shed-Studios, Nashville, TN 2/2/96

Dear Readers & Listeners,
I wrote the foundation of this song when I had been through enough hard times in life to appreciate the fact that facing the truth is not only the-right-thing-to-do, it can also be the most mysterious and exciting.

The song shares the notion that facing the truth and doing the right thing have an intuitive rhythm. When practiced and done well, you don’t have to think. You sense the mood, act, and experience the quiet joy of the truth setting you free.
This song came in a dream. Bubba captures this quality with his truly fine guitar work. The magic of Doc’s vocals brings the message home.

To listen, click the black bar “Download File” below.  Then click the download.

Replies and sharing are greatly appreciated.
Many blessings to you and your relatives,
Jeffery Kirkendall

Come with me; let’s take a ride
On an Arapaho pony called Dreamer
Wrap tight your legs; let loose the reins
Open up your eyes to your Redeemer
Yes, listen to the call of your Redeemer
Come with me, on a starlit night
Ride to the edge of all you know
Sacred canyons, whispering winds
Mysteries you’ve yet to know
There are powers you have yet to know
Come with me, and I will show you
The light your spirit longs to show
You’ll cry out with passion, and you’ll weep with joy
To find out who you are, you must surrender
Yes, to know who you are . . . surrender
Come with me; take a leap of faith
On this war pony called Dreamer
If you ride with me, I’ll set you free
I’m what your soul’s been yearning for
Yes, I am Truth, your Redeemer
On a pony called Dreamer
The truth is your Redeemer
The truth of Dreamer


Co-Authoring Adventures

Hello. My name is Jeff. I am a recovering writer. I can’t help myself. I just have to write

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

things that I want to remember. Mostly I want to remember the stories. I want to remember what I learned, the people I met, the unusual experiences, and how it all unfolded.

I am regularly amazed and grateful for my life adventures.   I am rich with memories.

Talking about my late wife Carol at the Peregrine Book Company was fantastic. It was like bearing witness, or describing a rare and beautiful phenomenon in nature, or giving a toast to her in front of my peers.

Let me back up.

I belong to the Professional Writers of Prescott. It is an organization and a monthly meeting of local authors, writers, poets, readers, all getting together to share our crafts, learn from each other, and hopefully inspiring one another to keep writing and sending out our messages in a bottle.

Five of us were at the Peregrine Book Company in Prescott Arizona to tell about our Co-authoring Adventures.

Carole Bolinski, who brought us co-authors together, told the audience of her experiences sharing with her brother. Their book of poetry is titled Pearls Beneath The Rind. Bill Lynam told of him and his brother bicycling and mopedding across Europe a decade after World War II. They also “footloosed” their way through South America and back across the United States. His book is Footloose Pilgrims. Connie Johnson engagingly told the story of her and her sister’s collaboration on their book Farm Kids, A 1950’s Wisconsin Memior

Herbert Windolf recalled his precious long-distance relationship with a German woman, whose poetry he translated into English. Herb, an accomplished poet himself, dazzled us all by reading a poem in German and then the same poem in English. His book is The Year Mirrored in Poems.

It was marvelous experience collaborating with these writers, these kindred spirits, holy scribes, keepers of ancient traditions. I had a nice laugh with the audience when I finished my presentation by explaining that I was going to convince my colleagues Carole, Connie, Herb, and Bill to join forces, rent a van, and go on a national book tour of our own.

I know it doesn’t sound that funny the way I describe it now, but it really was cute and everyone in the audience laughed.  As a storyteller and teacher and entertainer long ago, it felt great to be back.

I spoke of my experiences co-authoring the book  Without Consent: How to Overcome Childhood Sexual Abuse with my late wife Carol Jarvis-Kirkendall.  I explained how our writing together was a big part of my decision to marry her. We were great together saving families. easing suffering, and sometimes helping send bad guys to prison. She had my back, and I had hers, and sometimes when people are really good together, one plus one can equal three. Our work has been a healing influence in thousands of lives.

I read my popular story Marriage Decision Vision. (Click here).  I explained that I made a promise to Carol early in our relationship that when she left this world, I would be holding her in my arms. She would know that she was safe and loved and had lived a good life. I told my listeners that I kept my word and that was just how Carol passed.

I thanked everyone there for coming. I thanked Susan Lang for the pleasure of speaking at the Peregrine Book Company. I explained that if anyone in the audience would like to know more about the child on the cover of Without Consent, they needed to read my Indians & Aliens – and unexpected short stories.

I further explained that if they bought both my books that day, I would ride home with them, do a dramatic reading, and stay for dinner.

They laughed. I laughed.

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

Met a lot of nice people.

So thank you writers,

and thank you readers.

It was a great day.



Co-authoring Adventures

ANNOUNCINGAuthor photos and more 016

2 pm / Saturday,

January 31st, 2015

Jeffery Kirkendall will speak

at the Peregrine Book Company

In Prescott, Arizona


Five writers present their adventures collaborating with a spouse, friend or sibling.  Hear the struggles, conflicts and laughter that each writer experience on the journey to complete a book.  One has to do with developing a transatlantic friendship.  Another is a coming of age experience.

The other authors share about soul-mates finding one another and sibling harmony.  These story tellers reveal how in co-authorship their stories and poetry exceeded what one could have accomplished alone




(excerpt from the forthcoming novel Grace and Dreamer by Jeffery Kirkendall)

Jack was considering asking Grace to marry him.

Photo by Winged Photography
Photo by Winged Photography

During this time of great contemplation, he was driving his truck to the cabin he and Grace were staying in for a couple of weeks of writing. On a little-traveled two-lane blacktop, among the springtime Ponderosa pines, he was startled by a large hawk flying dangerously close in front of him. He put the brakes on and watched as the bird soared up onto a nearby hill and landed at the top of a bare dead tree.

Jack pulled off the road, and stopped. The hawk was beckoning to him. He deftly eased out of the truck, walked over and slipped through a fence, and then he strode towards the crest of the hill and the old tree and the great bird. As he came close to the bird’s perch, his winged brother tilted his head for a last look, nodded, and lifted off to the east.

Jack stood still in the light breeze and scanned the valley below, much as the winged one had appeared to do. Then before him he noticed a distinct depression in the earth. It was long and narrow and strangely looked just the size for a human to lay in. Jack had read of an Indian that went on a vision quest, fasting for days while lying in just such a hole on top of a hill. So Jack laid down in the earth.

As he laid there and looked about, he thought the soft natural bed was deliberately located on the hill so that someone lying in it was positioned in an offertory fashion before the sky above and earth below.  So he closed his eyes and opened himself up to a prayer, asking God to guide him in his important life decision.

He was suddenly taken with the image and sense of an old man standing still before him, a man who appeared peaceful and carried a staff. He looked at Jack until Jack realized he had just asked in his prayer, “Should I marry Grace?”  The old man had come with lightning  response.

The old man made a slight gesture with his staff, and Jack had an amazing vision of many attractive and sensual women surrounding him in a public venue.  They showered him with attention and adulation for his many worldly accomplishments. Jack felt some of the  sensations of that vision as it lingered, and then instantly it was gone.

Before him again was the old man. Jack understood him to say. . .

or you can marry this woman and live a life of greatness.

The vision vanished.  The gentle sounds of the birds in the meadow returned.
Alone on the hill, lying in the grass and sunshine and a gentle breeze, Jack sat up and looked across the valley.

He knew . . .

It was true.



Close Encounter, a novel excerpt


(an excerpt from Indians & Aliens – and unexpected short stories)Amazon pickure cover

Grace and Jack sold their beloved home in Dickson County, Tennessee and left their twenty years of trauma counseling business to move to north-central Arizona. It was an unincorporated area of mile-high desert five miles out an undedicated dirt road. There was no one between them and the two-lane blacktop to the east. Jack said he dreamed of this place a year before they bought it, when leaving Tennessee was unimaginable.

As the raven flies, Apache Wells was midway between Iron Sight Gun Range and the Feather Mountain Spiritual Center. Depending on atmospheric conditions, one might hear automatic weapons fire from over the southern hills or heart-felt prayers and meditations from atop the distant northern mesa. Both seemed to anticipate a coming world catastrophe.

The road to Apache Wells was miles of tire-shredding rocks and scattered pockets of ankle-deep dust as fine as baby powder. It was hard on truck tires, suspensions, air filters, electrical systems, and people with spinal problems. During the decade of drought, dust storms could roll across the flat valley floor. They could form as dark roiling tsunamis, spitting sand and gravel bullets. Piling armies of tumbleweeds could take down a mile of wooden fence posts strung tightly with rusting barbed-wire.

One of the first things Grace and Jack learned about their new homeland was that it had been the subject of an international news story a few years prior to their arrival. There had been a number of impressive UFO reports from the Apache Wells area. Later the same night, identical reports came in a hundred miles to the south. It was called the Lights Over Phoenix Sighting.

During the autumn of their arrival, Jack and Grace awoke in the midnight hour by one of their outside dogs, Sparky. Country folks have dogs for security and protection, as well as companionship, and Jack knew the distinctive bark of each of the five dogs.

What he knew for sure that night was that the most easy-going member of their pack was barking in an uncharacteristic manner. She was intensely focused and upset and responding to “something” in a frenzied barrage of canine concern the others joined in on.

Groggy with sleep, Grace asked, “What are they so upset about?” “I don’t know.” Grabbing a flashlight from the night stand, Jack told Grace that he was going outside to check around. Briefly he entertained the thought of taking his grandfather’s shotgun, but dismissed the idea as over-reactive.

The creaking of the screen door sounded thunderous as Jack tried to let himself out quietly and descend the porch steps. The gravel driveway reminded him that it would have been wise to put on some footwear. Walking around the side of the tool shed he shined the flashlight in the direction of the dog kennel and could read the big red letters. “The Redbone Club.” The dim old, off-and-on, flickering flashlight reminded him that new batteries should be included on his next shopping trip.

On the moonless night, he could see that sure enough, his happy-go-lucky Sparky was barking ferociously in the direction of the nearest neighbor to the west. He wondered if someone was breaking into the vacant house in the distance.

Directing the fragile beam in that direction, Jack’s breath caught in his throat. A shimmering motion glowed at the very edge of the flashlight’s reach. A small cloud of sparkling and wavering dust danced in the inky darkness. It was about his own height and in the form of a slender person. He watched as it undulated sideways but maintained its distance.

Jack had a long-held intuition that someday this might happen, but he never told anyone, well except Grace.


“Indians & Aliens” Book Review

Amazon Review by AnticatIndians & Aliens cover

This Author Loved His Deceased Wife and Respects Indians
by Henry A. Ebarb

After being touched with the deep love the author had for his wife, as displayed in Indians & Aliens, I was struck by the author’s knowledge and respect for Indian culture. As a “card carrying” enrolled member of an Indian tribe, it made me feel proud of my culture reading the author’s words, and lyrics of the author’s songs. This is a must read for those who have suffered in life and survived to live another day. It is also about how we can help each other during this journey in life.

Finally, it feels good to use my Indian name after reading this enlightening book. AntiCat, J.D., Ph.d.


(Available in paperback and e-book at




Bono vs. Bono, a new book

I have had the good fortune and honor to write the Foreword to the recently released book Bono vs. Bono, a Battle Royal by Frances Erickson.  The author tells her family’s true story of Italian immigrants, childhood ideals, ordinariness, celebrity in the sixties, marriages, children, divorces, marriages, rifts, grifters who scam lonely old people out of their life’s savings, dueling lawyers, court dates, scheduled and re-scheduled, and rescheduled, justice compromised, and the precious gifts of grandchildren, and more.  Available now in e-book and paperback.  Check it out.

A special credit to The House of Lit ( for its fine work on this project.




Family stories are the heart of the human story.
Shakespeare knew this. So did Walt Disney.
Authors throughout history have written family stories,
including scribes of the world’s most ancient Holy texts.
There are even family stories carved into the stones of
the pyramids.

In twenty years as a professional counselor and
another ten of intense study and writing, some things
stand out. One is the many people who told me that as
children they would rather have been hit than ignored.
That is how deeply we need the attention of our

As children we absorb what our parents and family
members say, do not say, what they do, and what they
do not do. Everything comes together in our core beliefs
of self, family, and the world.

Some children are more vulnerable than others to
the flaws parents bring to this family drama. It is easy
for the adult to unwittingly blame the child for their
own failings. It is natural for the child to accept the
blame and sense of shame that comes with it.
Family is the crucible where we begin to learn
where we fit in our clan, tribe, race, and religion. Family
is also where we grow old.

My most profound experiences of aging are largely
through those as a caregiver to my wife of twenty-seven
years. She is the most intellectually astute person I have
ever known. She has two Masters Degrees and a
quarter-century of professional accomplishments in her
field. Her brain functioning is changing.

In some ways she has become more childlike. She is
more easily confused. She is weaker and less mobile
and needs more help getting dressed, going to the
bathroom, and washing her hair. She depends on me for
food, medicine, doctor appointments, shelter, and a
peace in which to pursue her own pleasures.

I have seen professionals, friends and relatives,
intentionally and unintentionally, manipulate my wife. I
am ashamed to confess have done it myself. I shudder
to think of my beloved partner at the mercy of people
with hidden harmful agendas.

It would be a horrifying scenario perpetrated by a
spiritual and financial predator. A psychological and
monetary parasite. By whatever name, it is sick and
wrong and I can bear witness to how battling such
people is monstrously complex. It can be full of legal
loopholes and landmines, with a heartbreak around
every corner.

A good family story lays bare strengths and
weaknesses, nobility and flaws, failures and successes.
A good family story describes heroic efforts for justice
and saving lives. A good family story helps us learn
how to protect our own families and find acceptance in
our passages through grief.

My heart goes out to those families who suffer for
the “sins of others.” My heart is emboldened by the
families that fight to right the wrong. My heart is
warmed by the survivors who go on to live, love, laugh,
pray, and make a joyful sound.

May we all gracefully benefit from the Bono
family’s journey of courage and commitment.

* * *

Jeffery Kirkendall
Professional Caregiver & Author

Deep Naked: a book review

 by Jeffery Kirkendall

I accepted a free e-copy of the new novel Deep Naked by Riley Hill in exchange for an honest review on


I confess I am a grandfather, and I have never read “young adult / Deep Naked_EbookSmallernew adult paranormal” before. The title caused a pause in my decision making, but oddly enough, I really liked the Acknowledgment section and wanted to know, “What’s a Nacken?” So I read on.


Riley Hill’s word choices, phrasing, blending of sentences, richness of imagery got me hooked on the book. I could have been reading any genre. I was there with the story teller just for the satisfaction of listening to the music of her literary style. The pleasure of her prose.


The book was a page-turner, or I should say, Kindle-clicker. I was pleased to find that the story was not sexually exploitative of any characters, not gruesome in its violence, but still psychologically creepy. A fine balance.


The story welcomes us all into the contemporary life of Crystal, an ordinary young woman turning eighteen, who is called on a hero’s journey by her unique “tribal” elders, their ancient teachings, the deep naked spiritual power of the violin, the reality of soul-mates, soul-families, and soul-threatening forces. And Crystal might do all of this by transforming herself.


Riley Hill has written a labor of love. The plot has a consistent internal integrity and easily imagined authenticity. I suspect it is a narrative grounded in some of her own ancestral history and life experiences, especially where fiddles are concerned.


The story reminds us that essential parts of the past are in the present and reach into our future. The story reminds us that not all truths are written. Some come to us only through our elders’ oral traditions, and in this story, aural tradition.


It could make a fine movie, and I would definitely buy the sound track, especially if it includes Donna the Buffalo. I look forward to Hill’s trilogy being as true to her cause as this first volume.


A special ‘thank you’ to this emerging author who also reminds us, of all ages, that the rewards of a magical life come from stepping off the cliff of what we believe we know, and building our wings on the way down. . . courageously, in truth and love. Good message.