Tag Archives: novel

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.


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 Amazon.com.


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.


GOODBYE JOE, excerpt from the coming novel GRACE AND DREAMERJoe & Shiloh

Jack sat on the porch bench, with the cold fingers of one hand wrapped around his hot cup of coffee. With his other  fingers he held up the famous “barrel photo” of Joe and their old friend from the past Shiloh, the Tennessee Tick Hound.  Jack looked away and noticed that Joe’s water dish froze over for the first time since the past winter.

Jack was pretty sure that he was going to call the vet and see when he could come by to help them with Joe. Jack talked with Doc’s receptionist, explaining the situation.  It was their hound Joe, and she talked to Doc, and he remembered Joe.  Everybody remembers Joe.  She called back and said Doc could be there about noon. Jack looked at Grace who was nodding yes. It happened that quick. The decision was made.

Jack sipped the coffee and reached for his journal. He knew he had to write his way through this. Joe was what Native People called Big Medicine, the red dog in one of Jack’s dreams in which he watched a red dog and a white dog fighting, unsure which dog would win.

Joe was a Healing Dog in Grace’s life for over fifteen years, the kind of dog you are lucky to know once-in-a-lifetime. Joe had slept on his bed on the floor next to Grace, side-by-side for nearly ten years. His Redbone talking always, always brought a smile and an outburst of pleasure from Grace. It had been an absolute joy to see him talk to her while she talked hound-talk to him, in the middle of the house in the middle of the day, and they both relished it.

Jack watched Joe close in on old age. In the last days, Jack carried Joe up and down the steps out of the bedroom, the steps on the front porch, and the steps off the back. Joe came to trust Jack in ways he never had before and would wait for Jack’s assistance whenever he needed it. Joe was able to do his daily hunt, just a much smaller circle in the end, and the old boy still got excited about finding new smells and following a trail.

No coons in the high desert of Apache Wells, Arizona.  Joe was a long ways from his birthplace of Bucksnort and the dense forests of Middle-Tennessee.  But Joe compromised and followed his nose tracking a rabbit or quail to its hiding place and flushing it. He just could not chase the critters and seemed at peace with that. Joe would find the place Jack dumped out the last little bit of milk and corn flakes days earlier. Jack stood in awe of the beauty of such creation.

As he sat quietly Jack searched for the words that might help him get through Joe’s death. He figured Grace was bound to take it hard. He held the pen respectfully and felt his journal’s pages flutter with the breeze.  As he always does, he let words bubble up, and he put them on paper, and they often flowed from his mind in illogical fashion. He found himself hearing the openning music of an old Hank Williams’ tune “Jambalaya.”  Then he wandered off into related thoughts and a major decision, and he wrote.


Goodbye JoeLittle Joe
 Me gotta go
   Me-oh-my-o . . .


With the melody in his head, Jack finished.

Are there Redbone Hounds in heaven?

      If not,
                  I ain’t goin’


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

To hear the song in Jack’s head,

click the link below, pause, scroll down, and click it again.

Hank Williams 19 Jambalaya (On the Bayou)