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It’s never too late to put your best foot forward
From the outside, Reagan “Rae” Doucet has it all: a coveted career in Washington, DC, a tight circle of friends and a shoe closet to die for. When one of her crew falls ill, however, Rae is done playing it safe. The talented but unfulfilled writer makes a “risk list” to revamp her life. But forgiving her ex, Jake Saunders, might be one risk too many…
From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.
The Friendship Chronicles/Book 1: The Shoe Diaries
“Reminiscent of Sex and the City and the Shopaholic series in the best possible way. Her stories are a lot of fun and yet she still tugs at your heartstrings.”–Gail Chasan, Special Edition Editor
Read an Excerpt
©Darby Baham, All Rights Reserved
Love of Shoes
October 28, 2019
“It was barely 7:00 a.m. when I heard my alarm blasting the sounds of Nicki Minaj’s “Pound the
Alarm.” “Not yet, Alexa.” Groggy and yearning for at least five more minutes of sleep, I stretched
my arm over the length of my bed and pressed down on the snooze button with my eyes still
closed. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to get up, necessarily; it was just that the cocoon of my
comforter in my queen-size bed felt so much better than whatever could have been waiting for
me outside it. I pulled the cover over my head as an extra protection against the sun.
“Pound the alarm!”
“Agh!” I screamed out as it went off once more. “Fine, fine. I’m up now.”
The music still blaring, I finally acquiesced and rolled myself out of bed, one leg coming free
from my cover cocoon, then the next, and made my way to my closet for what had become my
daily routine: pick out shoes for the day, figure out the outfit that goes best with them, take a
shower and then, of course, post my #shoeoftheday photo to Instagram before heading to work.
Conveniently, I passed right over the red pumps that spelled disaster for me the night before.
“Hmm, now what do I feel like wearing today?” I questioned, dancing to my closet and scanning
all the shoes I own with my eyes, from my flats to my heels, boots to sneakers, in every color
one can imagine. They were all intricately displayed on the shelves—heels facing out to show
the length and style of the pump, flats facing forward to make it easier for me to see if it was a
peep toe, curved toe, pointed toe, or square. “Oooh, these!” Something about my deep red,
almost maroon peep-toe heels from BCBG caught my eyes, and I knew they were the ones for
the day. The shoes were adorned with a silver buckle on the side of each peep toe and would
go perfectly with my red-and pink floral blouse, black pencil skirt and peplum blazer to match. It
was amazing how the rest of an outfit could come together for me once I picked out the shoes,
and today was no exception. These might even be the ones to help me finally convince my boss
to let me do the article I’d been pitching to him for months. Excited about my choices, I laid them
out on my bed and hopped in the shower, continuing my best rap impressions as my playlist
toggled through my favorite female rappers.
It was 9:00 a.m. when I walked into work at Washington, D.C.’s premier political news online
magazine, my heels clacking on the linoleum floors they must have purchased just to make it
that much easier for women to alert everyone of their comings and goings in the office. Seated
at her desk already was my always-early, no-holds-barred freckle twin, and the best IT specialist
in the office, Rebecca, her reddish-blond hair pulled up into a loose bun and a smile on her face
the size of a kid in a candy store. “So…” she said, dragging out her first word. “Tell me about
What are your favorite TV shows?
I watch a lot of TV! There are some classics I can’t let go of like My So Called Life
and A Different World. I also thoroughly enjoyed Girlfriends and Sex and the City
like most women of my generation. These days, I still watch Grey’s but also find
myself watching shows like On My Block and Blood and Water. I’m also very
excited to watch the sequel to Game of Thrones!
What is your favorite meal?
My grandma’s gumbo
If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?
Well, The Shoe Diaries is actually going to be a series! It will have at least three
books (hopefully more) and each book follows a different friend's journey to find
what works for them in love, life, their careers, family and friends. I always wanted
it to be a multi series story because I felt like the ending to The Shoe Diaries
wasn’t a perfect one and more of a “happily for now” ending. I wanted to continue
Reagan’s story but my editor actually came up with the idea to follow each of the
friends' journeys while continuing Reagan’s story in the background. A huge part
of The Shoe Diaries is focused around their friendship and the idea that guys and
girls have come and gone but friendships stay strong.
Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?
Many, but it starts with Maya Angelou first and foremost.
How did you come up for the title of this book?
I can’t remember how I came up with The Shoe Diaries, honestly. It happened so
long ago, but I knew once I did, I was not going to think of a better title for that
book. I think it probably had something to do with the shoe stories I’d started
telling about my own life on a personal blog I was writing at the time.
About the Author:
Darby Baham (she/her) is a debut author with Harlequin Special Edition and a New Yorker of five years who sometimes desperately misses the sprawling shoe closet she had while living in Maryland. She’s had personal blog posts appear in The Washington Post’s relationship vertical and has worked in the communications industry for more than two decades. The New Orleans, LA native is also a lover of big laughs and books that swallow you into their world. Her first book, The Shoe Diaries, debuts in 2022.
Author Website www.DarbyBaham.com
Darby Baham’s Washington Post bylines:
I had the perfect date dress. Why did it hang in my closet unworn for more than a year? —
When it comes to relationship advice, sometimes it’s best to ignore your friends — February
I’m the oldest sister in my family and I’m single. And that’s okay. — March 2016
I was afraid to say ‘I love you.’ Here’s how I found the courage. –
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