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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


A 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

Book One:
Dino B.
Reviewed Book One: 1-28/19

"I read her book over the weekend. Nice job and thx for sharing your hurts and pains but especially how to overcome. The book is a winner just like the author!"

Margaret Dunstan
Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2021
A very good choice!!

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! ♥️,

Book Two:
Eleanor Vale
Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2021
This is a very powerful book

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, attorney and author "Secrets of Dating and Mating After Medicare - A Journey Into the Incredible World of Dating, Loving and Marrying After 60."

Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2021
Highly Recommended Reading

Fantastic book, full of inspirational knowledge that I haven’t found anywhere else.

Robin K.
Reviewed in the United States on June 27, 2021
Love this book!!!!

Wagner offers much needed insights into grieving to heal and strategies to protect oneself financially, emotionally, and physically. Mingling narratives with topical discussions and documentary evidence, Wagner has created a resource/memoir that captivates the reader and propels him/her through some painful education toward a positive end.

Linda Rehmeyer
Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2021
An interesting and very helpful read for all widows !!!!!

This book is full of good advice and insights concerning grief and starting over. Most of us are sort of scared to enter the dating scene after the loss of a spouse but Shelby gives you some good insight as to how to do it and what to do to avoid the scammers who are lurking out there. You can learn a lot from her experiences with online dating. The book was interesting and a very good read.

Reviewed in the United States on March 12, 2021
About being scammed

It is a good book for women who are widowed and looking for resources to be shur of the men they are trying to meet it gives good advice.

Reviewed in the United States on June 20, 2021
A must read! Great insight.

This is now one of my favorite books. Helped me see things from a different perspective.

William Milton
Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2021
It’s time to MoveOn

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.

Book Three:
September 2023

In the award-winning self-help narrative, "Learning to Dance in the Rain," author Shelby Wagner takes readers on her personal journey from a grief-stricken, broken woman to an impassioned, strong one.  Wagner craftily weaves learned insights and life strategies into stories of her own experiences, together with occasional tips from relationship experts and the result is this captivating,

relatable guide that goes beyond traditional self-help books. Her candid storytelling allows readers to be impacted and to connect with her. Bravely, she tackles the five topics of interest below, using knowledge learned from personal experience.


  • loss and grief.

  • self-awareness and self-improvement.

  • love and relationships.

  • The dos and don’ts of internet dating

  • and romance scams: how to recognize and thwart them.


The book's title, "Learning to Dance in the Rain," appealed to Wagner for the following reasons:

  • She literally learned to line dance, met new friends, escaped her loneliness, needed a fun way to exercise.

  • Figuratively, the phrase reminded her that it is okay to have fun and be happy again after a loss. Ecclesiastes 3:4 “A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.

  • It also reminded her to keep her positive attitude even in the face of life's storms.


Buy the book today. Prepare for an entertaining and emotional read

Audio Book:
Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2021
Excellent book!

A must read for anyone who is considering internet dating or is already a member on dating sites. Wagner did an excellent job bringing awareness to internet romance scams. I listened to this book on Audible & the narrator was great as well!

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