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Description of The Shoe Diaries
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
Excerpt of The Shoe Diaries
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 last night.”
Interview with Author Darby Baham
What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?
This is going to sound really simple, but the guy who would become my Mr. Big showed up for me for my 25th birthday in a way I’ve never forgotten. It started off as my worst birthday. It was 6 months to the day that my boyfriend at the time was killed when robbers tried to steal his car, and one by one, all the plans I’d made to celebrate and distract myself from that realization fell through. That gave all the emotions about his death that I’d been avoiding room to come flooding out, which they did at UniverSoul Circus, in front of the teens I was supervising for my job. Talk about being mortified. Even though we’d already had our ups and downs and I was crying about another man, this guy instantly made sure that I wouldn’t go through that birthday alone. First, he surprised me with flowers delivered to my job and then by paying for me to go to NY for that weekend. I spent the next few days with him and his friends, feeling completely cared for. And I think it meant so much to me because we weren’t together at that time; we were barely even speaking to each other, but he loved me enough to be there for me when I needed someone despite anything else going on between us.
How would you spend ten thousand bucks?
Sadly, that money wouldn’t even put a dent in my student loans, so I definitely wouldn’t use it for that! Honestly, I’d probably help my mom with some stuff around the house, buy one indulgent thing, and then put the rest in savings. Boring, I know.
Where do you get your best ideas?
My therapist told me one day that great songwriters and athletes are basically never off the clock. They take inspiration from everything around them, so that’s what I pretty much do. Some of it comes directly from things that have happened in my life that I think can be a good plot point to build off, some are from stories I’ve heard from friends and family, and some are from just being a really observant person and people watching a lot.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
A little of both. The main idea comes first for me, then the characters, and then the more detailed plot line.
What does your main character do that makes him/her special?
Honestly, I think the fact that she could be any woman walking down the street is what makes her special to me. I didn’t really want to write a main character who has an unrelatable special thing about herself. And so, she genuinely could be so many women who I’ve talked to who have also dealt with anxiety, perfectionism, questions about their love lives, etc, and yet they still lead very constructive lives. It’s not stopping her from living and doing a great job in her career; it’s just stopping her from feeling fulfilled while she does all that. That, and she’s got a pretty amazing shoe closet that even I am jealous of!
About Author Darby Baham
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? — March 2016
When it comes to relationship advice, sometimes it’s best to ignore your friends — February 2016
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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Darby’s book will be included in the January edition.
The Shoe Diaries Sales Links
One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.