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A Ring, A Dance, A Second Chance

The book is Katie’s and Taylor’s love story. They dated in high school, but married others, and both are now widowed and live along. Their odyssey begins when, out of the blue, forty-something years since they last talked, Taylor calls Katie.

Since all of us grew up in families, I believe the story will resonate with those who identify with the characters that populate Katie’s and Taylor’s world, and will recognize the push and pull that the couple feels as they respect their commitments while they attempt to bring a new relationship into their already crowded lives. It is a story of individual choices in a changing world.

Jonell Kirby Cash’s Thoughts:

Readers from every stage of life will be satisfied to finally have a work of fiction that is entertaining as well as thought provoking. From the first pages we engage with Katie as she answers the phone and finds her high school sweetheart on the other end of the line. 

Certainly love moves mountains to manifest itself in amazing ways. What is unique to this story is that the characters are reunited for a second chance at love very much like the author herself was in real life.  Jonell brings her characters into a robust existence that is unique as well as introspective.  Each chapter brings questions of personal growth, entertains the expectations of family members, and causes the reader to challenge their own life thoughtfully.  

Within the pages of A RING A DANCE A SECOND CHANCE several story lines play out. Katie engages with other women her age, she nurtures relationships with her children and she falls in love. The opportunity to look at how adults interact with their grown children is rare because these conversations can be difficult ones. Most women worry what others will think and question how family members will react to their actions.  At last grownups have a platform to discuss these hard and yet relevant issues amongst themselves and with the people that they love.

What would a great love story be without a happy ending? You won’t be disappointed, but as you close the final chapter you will be left thinking about the relationships in your life. Whether you have experienced a divorce, lost a loved one to age or illness or have been looking for love and missed out so far…be encouraged…life is full of second chances.

This book offers a realistic look at love later in life, a jumping off place for open and loving conversations and is simply stated and enjoyable read. You won’t be disappointed.    




Book Introduction - "A Ring, A Dance, A Second Chance"

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Plot Overview

A. Setting (time period and location):

In 1998, in her sixties, Katie lives alone in the same home where she and her husband moved as a couple; they raised a family and planned their retirement and then suddenly her husband died.  Katie is upset, and in the midst of frantically hunting her wedding band, the one she’d worn for over thirty years, when out of the blue, Taylor, her high school sweetheart, calls.  Taylor tells Katie he is traveling through Georgia, on his way to a family gathering, and stops to call, hoping to locate her. Katie learns Taylor is also widowed and lives in Clermont, NC, about a four-hour drive north

Taylor’s voice stirs up memories of 1947 when they fell in love, and fills Katie with fantasies of what might have been. Taylor checks out the territory, questioning Katie if she is married or involved with someone and, though he hangs up abruptly, he intends to pursue Katie, and this time not let other concerns get in his way. Katie worries that if she sees Taylor her settled life will be disrupted.

What do you want people to take from your book?

First, I hope the reader enjoys the story and feels uplifted.  If the reader is an older person and considering changing one’s living situation that involves another person, I hope he/she will learn from the story and think about the advantages and difficulties of marriage later in life, while at the same time understands some of the issues that should be discussed and perhaps resolved with one’s partner before they marry. 


by Jonell Kirby Cash


Thank you for your interest in A RING, A DANCE, A SECOND CHANCE.  Your  Emails, Facebook postings, Tweeters, and LinkedIn group discussions have bolstered my energy and given me reason to search for ways to serve you. 

My webpage manager noted that readers wanted to know more about A RING, A DANCE, A SECOND CHANCE.  We decided to create a blog called, A READING GROUP GUIDE.  Beginning with Chapter One, for each chapter I’ll post brief excerpts, or a short summary of an event, followed by questions for discussions.  The guide is designed for group use, but it can also be used to piqué the interest of individual readers.

Note: For you who have asked for a reader’s guide, please let me know if working through the blogs offers a sufficient alternative.   If more is needed I could be persuaded to do a separate discussion guide.



PART A:   Emotionally, KATIE’S world is locked in when the story places her in her home alone—no longer a wife or part of a couple: she is a widow but still feels married even after almost two years.  Katie realizes that if she ever expects to have a full and enriching life as a older single women, she has to give up her fantasy (or is it an obsession) that she is still Dalton’s wife and that his priorities should serve as her benchmark when making independent choices 

Discussion questions: 

1. Is it “normal” for a Katie to feel married more than two years after the death of her husband? 

2. Does the marriage end when a spouse/mate dies? 

3. If Katie gives up the emotion that she is still married:

      (a) what will she lose?

      (b) what will she gain? 

PART B:  Thoughts about still being married are playing around in Katie’s head when, out of the blue, TAYLOR, her high school sweetheart, calls.      

Discussion questions: 

1.  What do you think Katie is feeling and thinking when she answers the phone and hears Taylor’s voice—a voice she has not heard in almost fifty years? 

2. If you were single and someone special from your distant past called you, what emotions would you experience?   How would you express your emotional reactions to the caller?    

EXCERPT  (Ch. 1,  p. 26-27): 

A. Now that she’d put her wedding ring away, Katie wondered if she could start over with a clean slate and write a new story. Then she worried if dating Taylor again was starting over or regressing, and if she dated Taylor, would she lose her self-confidence and independence.   Mulling over the possibility of allowing Taylor back into her life . . . 

B. Discussion question        

    1) What emotions do you think Katie experienced when she tucked her wedding band away, out of sight?  

    2) Why do you think Katie is afraid that dating Taylor might lead to disappointments and changes that she wouldn't choose? 

    3) What do you think is motivating Katie to ‘get on with her life?’