A Kirkus Review – January 9, 2021 “Learning to Dance in the Rain II – Surviving Grief, Internet Dating and Romance Scams”

After the death of her husband, a woman learns to navigate grief, independence, and online dating in this memoir/self-help book. In 2000, Wagner and her husband, Bob, moved from Michigan into their ‘retirement dream home’ in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains. Only six years later, Bob was diagnosed with cancer, and after 10 years of difficult treatments, the author was a widow, alone in the house that she and her spouse had built together. She moved back to Michigan to be closer to other members of her family and was faced with the prospect of reinventing her life without her beloved partner—a task that required courage, soul-searching, and getting to know herself again as an individual. As she contemplated dating in her 70s, she formulated strategies that she decided she wanted to share with others her age seeking romance and intimacy. In this book, she begins by exploring what she sees as the differences in men’s and women’s thought patterns and then progresses to explaining the nuts and bolts of dating websites. As a result, the story of Wagner’s second act quickly transforms into an intimate self-help resource for elders determined to survive and thrive. She peppers her warm, personal narrative with lists of useful questions and suggestions for those who may be emerging from long-term relationships and need help rediscovering themselves. It also explains a dating world that’s very different from the one that Wagner’s target audience navigated decades ago. She approaches her readers with understanding and empathy, offering gleanings from a variety of references. Even the shyest widow or widower is likely to be engaged by her approach to online dating, which defines email, texting, and online chat and provides exhaustive pointers for avoiding scammers. Her willingness to reveal her own experiences of being swindled by prospective “dates” is appealingly frank, as well, although it does work against the hopeful attitude she tries to cultivate elsewhere.

A lively guide for late-in-life singles. — Kirkus Review

BlueInk Review – August 18, 2021 – “Learning to Dance in the Rain II – Surviving Grief, Internet Dating and Romance Scams”

When Shelby Wagner’s husband died suddenly, she suffered not only the pain of loss but, upon re-entering the dating world, the trauma of deceit. An update of her book’s first edition released in 2018, Learning to Dance in the Rain II is the retired teachers’ attempt to help others, especially seniors, avoid the scams that took her by surprise. The book is divided into four main sections: the loss and its immediate aftermath, transition to a new life, dating again, and cautionary words about predatory paramours. It’s essentially a how-to guide with exercises and tips ranging from hot to determine your positive traits to how to talk to grown children who object to a widowed parent dating again.

Despite the book’s easy-to-follow format, the early chapters often read like a “this happened, then this” diary. The storytelling falls flat, with mundane details about funeral arrangements and Wagner moving in with her daughter that siphon off the emotions such event warrant. “Used to my husband being around all the time, I was lonely, and I missed him,” she writes without sharing specific moments. In the next chapter, Wagner reveals her nervousness about taking up line dancing in just a few paragraphs void of dialogue and description, especially disappointing given the book’s title.

Eventually, it’s clear that her no-nonsense style simply reflects the spunky personality of someone who would rather move forward than dwell in the past. The advice area is undoubtedly where she excels: “[The internet] gives you the chance to practice your flirting skills”; “If you get a text message or email from a stranger telling you they love you, it is an automatic red flag . . .” In perhaps her most vulnerable revelation, Wagner includes actual posts from scammers with whom she corresponded online.

If you’re looking for comfort and solace, this may not be your best bet. But if you need someone to shoot it straight with big-sisterly warnings, this book should fill the bill.

Available in paperback, hardcover, eBook, and Audiobook. — A BlueInk Review


Margaret Gildersleeve Dunstan – May 12, 2021, [Book I]- I just finished reading your first book and it was great! A page turner that gets you thinking about life, positivity and coping when life isn’t so fun! Even if you haven’t lost a spouse, I recommend this book!! Thanks Shelby Wagner!

K. Nicole Bent of the Oh Hell No! Podcast – April 28, 2021 [Book II] – “Learning to Dance in the Rain II” is a must read for all generations. It shares lessons in life that we can and will be able to relate to at some point in our lives. Living in the 21st century technology is a part of everything we do, and this book is a great guide on how to protect ourselves and our parents from romance scams that have caught so many people off guard. Thank you, Shelby, for sharing your personal and intimate stories with us to help us make better choices as we navigate our way through this life.”

Eleanor Vale – [Book II]  5.0 out of 5 stars This is a very powerful book
Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2021, Verified Purchase – “I first was intrigued by its title. Clearly, it was going to be about overcoming obstacles. In this case, learning to live life again after the passing of one’s spouse. Wagner divides her book into three parts. First “The Rain” – where she sustains the loss of her spouse. Second “Learning to Dance” – where she evaluates herself at her senior state of life, in her 70s. Third “Dancing” – where she actually re-enters the social world of dating and mating.
I related to the first two parts of the book and found them honest and heart-warming. It brought back my memories of my own loss of my spouse after 44 years of marriage when I was in my 70s.
The Fourth part “Be Careful” – is actually a continuation of part Three. It is a detailed explanation of Wagner’s internet dating experiences. She describes how she was victimized by false “lovers” trolling the internet, looking for senior citizens. I think she has emphasized properly the dangers of believing everything you are told, and what you read. I was not a person who needed to read “Be Careful”, because I just knew one needs to be careful relating to any stranger. But this section really brought home to me just how skilled these fakers are. It’s actually a business. The same faker would flirt with Wagner under a different name and with a different profile. Wagner makes it clear that it might have been bots at work, not even a human.” –
Eleanor Vale, author of  “Secrets of Dating and Mating After Medicare – A Journey Into the Incredible World of Dating, Loving and Marrying After 60.”
Judith Cooper Hall – January, 2019 – [first book] 5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had been aware of these tools before I was defrauded by a romance scammer. Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2020 Shelby’s first book a condensed version of the second edition. – “I found this book to be very insightful and filled with important information regarding what to look for when participating in the dating scene, especially as a senior woman. It provides valuable tools and strategies when communicating with people on social media. Since I had been defrauded of a lot of money in a dating scam. I can only wish I had been aware of these tools years before. Ms. Wagner is a gifted writer. I hope she continues to share her experiences in the future.”
Larry Darling – [first book] 5.0 out of 5 stars About being scammed
Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2021 – “It is a good book for women who are widowed and looking for resources to be sure of the men they are trying to meet. It gives good advice.”
J. K. Davis, author – [first book] – “As a happily married woman of forty-eight years, I found this book to be very enlightening. Several of my friends and relatives are widowed or divorced, and they are starting the dating scene. . .again. This book helped me become aware of their journey through loss, trials, depression, and finally the success of living again and becoming whole. This book covers many subjects that women of all ages will probably go through at some point in their lives. It is a must read that will help readers understand a woman’s journey through life.” – J. K. Davis, author of Secrets Best Shared
Samantha Stone, [wrote the forward in both books] “Shelby ’s book is inspiring to all women and men. She took a vast subject and divided its complexities into individual sections. It is relatable, intellectual, and investigative. Wagner starts her book as a broken woman and ends a strong one. Her journey through the toils of online dating is eye opening and will be helpful to everyone out there trying to find “the one. “This book is both a self-help guide and a genius approach to conquering romance scammers. Much like a profiler, she brings the essence of a sleuth examining the mysterious men of the internet. Do they want you for you? Are they preying on you? Are they after your money and nothing more? Shelby takes her readers on a ride they won’t soon forget.” – Samantha Stone, Events St Joseph County Commission on Aging
Linda Rehmeyer – {Book I] “This book is a very good read. Lots of good advice concerning grief and ‘pulling yourself up again to start all over.’ It has a lot of good advice for online dating (or any kind of dating). Shelby is a very interesting and talented writer!”

Daniel5.0 out of 5 stars A must read! Great insight. Reviewed in the United States on June 20, 2021Verified Amazon Purchase. This is now one of my favorite books. Helped me see things from a different perspective.


William Milton 5.0 out of 5 stars – It’s time to MoveOn – Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2021.
Very interesting book about an elderly lady suddenly alone contemplating what to do with the rest of her life. He boldly enters the world of Internet dating. Her first date was horrible, she fell prey to a scammer because of her kind heart., I did not let that stop her from trying to find someone to spend the rest of her life with. She gives very good advice to those who want to follow in her footsteps.
If you think yourself alone and lonely this book will inspire you to Move on and find something that makes you happy.