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Jeffrey L. Richards

We Are Only Ghosts 

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Image by Aleksandr Eremin

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In the summer of 1979, the rural town of Ashmoore, Oklahoma has its bucolic world rattled from within by an act of unprecedented violence against seventeen-year-old Jenny Wade. In the aftermath of the attack, the town rallies together but with no immediate arrests, the small-town gossip mills quickly begin to grind the story into pulp, churning with speculation, distrust and doubt, ultimately aimed at Jenny herself. At the same time, Brian Thompson, the fourteen-year-old brother of Jenny’s best friend, enters into a relationship with Mr. Barnes, his former sixth-grade teacher; a relationship that quickly crosses all moral and legal lines and alienates Brian from his friends and family and brings down on him every childhood fear of being branded and tormented as an outcast. In the shadows of the gossip and rumor, an unlikely friendship develops between Jenny and Brian—a friendship marked for destruction by a town set on reclaiming its once safe but now fragile existence.




Elijah Haslip, a gay man in his early 40s, returns to his childhood home after a 25 year absence, summoned by his dying mother, Lette-May Haslip, to assist her in dying before the cancer can take her. Old wounds bleed fresh as Elijah seeks truths from his mother amid the secrets and lies of their past and present. In their struggle to come to terms with each other and deal with the revelations that unfold during his visit, Elijah and Lette-May ensnare Saundra, the Haslip’s former maid come back to take care of Lette-May in her time of need, and Carl, Elijah’s much younger boyfriend, who tags along on the visit in a quest to learn about the emotionally closed-off Elijah and his past.


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Originally from Oklahoma, Jeffrey L. Richards is the author of the 2015 novel, The Summer of Jenny Wade. He has lived in the New York City area for two decades.

As a playwright, his play “Stillwater” presented at the Venus/Adonis Theater Festival in New York City in 2016.

His second novel, We Are Only Ghosts, is forthcoming from Kensington Publishing in early 2024.



Buy this book, Intense, moody, disturbing and well written.

It's an excellent book. It won't be forgotten.Cloying, claustrophobic, atmospheric and tense, waiting for the other shoe to drop. This author is gifted and this book is intense.

Cid Herman
Amazon Review

A must read!

There is nothing better than being snuggled up on your couch with a good book. Oh wait, yes there is…. Being snuggled up on your couch reading THIS book!

The Summer of Jenny Wade is one of those books you just don’t want to put down. 

Amazon Review

A beautifully tragic treat

This book was a treat to read. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down!

 The plot resolved in ways I wouldn't have expected and there were so many twists I couldn't stop reading. 5/5 stars!

Amazon Review

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