The Stories We Cannot Tell
Rachel is a thirty-year-old married, Jewish woman who’s wanted a baby for a long time. Katie’s a thirty-two-year-old single, catholic woman who has been trying to find a man who’ll stick around. We follow the women individually as they find themselves pregnant, Rachel happily, Katie, not. As they enter their second trimester, they’re shocked to hear that there’s something very wrong with the babies they’re carrying. Rachel and Katie meet in a support group and bond as they help each other through not only the excruciating decision they need to make, but through the issues that come with making that decision. The Stories We Cannot Tell explores friendship, loss, love, hope, and family.
After Happily Ever After
Maggie Dolin is forty-five and isn’t dealing with getting older very well. Seventeen years ago, she gave up her job in publishing to raise her daughter, Gia—but now her only child is about to leave for college, and Maggie isn’t sure what her new purpose will be. She’s been the caretaker and nurturer for so long that she can’t even remember the last time someone took care of her. She wishes Jim, her husband of nineteen years, would take that role on—but he’s been distracted and disconnected, and she’s convinced he’s hiding something from her. Her self-involved, judgmental mother and resentful brother, meanwhile, are certainly no help, and her father—the only person in her life who’s always been there for her and asked nothing in return—is dealing with increasingly serious health issues, leaving Maggie without her rock.
As all these stressors pile on, Maggie finds herself pulled in a direction that makes her question the life she’s always known when she finds something more intriguing that she never expected. After Happily Ever After deals with love, marriage, family, the empty nest, aging parents and what happens when they all come crashing down at the same time.
“Leslie A. Rasmussen’s After Happily Ever After gives voice to many women in the “sandwich generation” – and the voice is a funny one.
–Leslie Lehr, prizewinning author of A Boob’s Life and What A Mother Knows
“Rasmussen is a freelance journalist and former TV sitcom writer, and the latter is evident in the novel’s sharp, funny dialogue and Maggie’s wry, observational narration.”
“About a soon-to-be empty nester learning to love herself one blunder at a time. After Happily Ever After is a delightful and probing novel”
“In Leslie A. Rasmussen’s debut novel, a woman finds herself reanalyzing her life and her marriage when her daughter is heading off to college. Smart and funny, After Happily Ever After is an exciting debut.”
–Laura Dave, international bestselling author of Eight Hundred Grapes
“With warm tenderness, peppered with humor throughout, Leslie A. Rasmussen has written a novel of fresh, relatable characters, easy to root for and easy to know. Anyone juggling the lives of loved ones while navigating their own, will recognize the protagonist….as she struggles to find the missing parts of a so-called life which turns out to be…herself.”
–Sande Boritz Berger, author of Split-Level and The Sweetness
“After Happily Ever After is a road map for every empty nester whose marriage has lost its spark. You can’t help but see yourself on these pages.”
—Adrienne Barbeau, actress and author of There are Worse Things I Could Do and the Vampyres of Hollywood series
"Isn’t it only normal for people to question whether they have made the best life choices? If so, the next phase of questioning is to wonder whether this is all there is. Welcome to After Happily Ever After, the debut novel by the multitalented TV screenwriter Leslie A. Rasmussen. This highly entertaining and thought-provoking book portrays the struggles that millions of women in the “sandwiched generation” face."
–Booktrib, April 8th 2021
"I love that this book addresses the question of what happens after the “happily ever after,” when we settle in, years pass, and the relationship becomes more friendship than passion.
Rasmussen addresses a lot in this short novel, from a woman’s self-image to relationship dynamics to aging parents and death. The cover and synopsis had me expecting something light, and while the story absolutely gave me a few giggles, it also has many contemplative and sad moments. This is the kind of novel that leaves an emotional impact."
Darci Helle, Quiet Fury books
"This book takes a very real look at the complex lives of forty-something women who are torn between their duties to all family members while still trying to fulfill their own desires. The characters ring true, and although there are heavy themes, the book manages to be very funny at times and also a fast, easy, read. Many women will see a lot of themselves in Maggie and will enjoy seeing how her circumstances and decisions will play out."
Sarah Perry, Seattle Book Review
"Maggie Dolin was one of the characters that I shook my head at while simultaneously rooting for her. It was easy for me to understand her perspective – lonely and feeling undervalued by both her husband and daughter, and floundering when it came to having an identity outside of wife and mother. It didn’t make me love her actions further along in the book, but I could I understand where she was coming from? Yeah, I could. Even though we also got Jim’s perspective, I struggled to root for him. Once again I could understand he was struggling internally and wanted to be a better husband, but he really didn’t seem to take any responsibility in his failing marriage and that frustrated me. I definitely stayed invested throughout the story, and while I had an idea of how the ending might be, I still enjoyed reading how the characters got there."
Samatha March, Chick Lit Review
"In After Happily Ever After author Leslie A. Rasmussen deftly deals with love, marriage, family, the empty nest, aging parents and what happens when they all come crashing down at the same time — the result is a compelling, entertaining, often humorous, and inherently fascinating novel that will prove to be a welcome and appreciated addition to community library Women’s Domestic and Family Life Fiction collections."
Midwest Book Review
2022 Independent Press Awards
Distinguished Favorite in Contemporary Novel
2022 Reader Views -Silver Award
2022 Eric Hoffer Award
Honorable Mentions for Commercial Fiction
2021 Winner Next Generation Indie Book Awards
2021 Winner Firebird Award Winner in three categories
2021 NYC Big Book Awards winner in Marriage
2021 Literary Titan Award – winner of the Silver Award
2021 NYC Big Book Awards
Distinguished Favorite in New Fiction
2021 Finalist International Book Awards
2021 Finalist Book Excellence Award
2021 IAN Book of the Year Awards
– Finalist in Women’s Fiction
2021 Finalist in Readers Favorite Awards
2021 Kindle Awards – Finalist
2021 Honorable Mention
Hollywood Book Awards in Fiction