A Kirkus review – January 9, 2021



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 resource for late-in-life singles. — Kirkus Review

“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
“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
“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.”
                                     —Judith Cooper Hall
“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!”
                                     — Linda Rehmeyer

Review from Divya Parekh after the interview on Beyond Confidence Show: It was a pleasure, Shelby. You were amazing!!!!”;
“You both were a lot of fun.” — Divya Parekh      AND    “Your stories were inspiring and uplifting. Warmly,” Jane.
Review from Don McCauley of, “You did very well, shelby. I would give you a 9 out of 10.”