The Shoe Diaries


The Shoe Diaries

by Darby Baham

GENRE: Contemporary Romance

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



Bright and early on a Saturday morning, I found myself in a swanky gym locker room, less than a fifteen-minute walk from my apartment. Robin, Jenn and I had spent the past week sitting beside Christine’s bed more than anywhere else, but in desperate need of a distraction, I’d agreed to join Rebecca at a morning spin class at our local gym. And while I’d jumped at the chance to do something, anything really, other than think about Christine’s drip-drop slow recovery, it dawned on me not too soon after I met up with her that there was one small problem with me agreeing to the class: I hated spin. 

Like, literally hated everything about it. It wasn’t that I didn’t think it could help; I knew a lot of people who swore by its health benefits, and certainly knew I’d be guaranteed to have an hour off from worrying.  But over the years, spinning had become almost cult like with its many variations, such as Soul Cycle, Trap Cycle and how could I forget the one that claimed it felt more like working out in a nightclub? Beyond even that, the thing I disliked most about spin was the way my butt felt during the class. Everyone always said that eventually your butt gets used to the feeling of the bike, but when I’d tried it before…nah.

Regardless, there I was, putting on my spin sneakers on the wood-grain floors, marveling at the rotation of women coming in and out of the doors, looking like the exact models you might expect to see in spin class ads: blond hair tied in either a loose high ponytail or twirled in an up-do that took thirty minutes to do, but seemed effortless; Lululemon workout gear, S’well water bottles and enough sweat that they glistened, but not so much where they were actually drenched. I glanced up to see if Rebecca looked as nervous as I felt. 

“Are you sure we’re ready for this?” I asked, trying to give us one last shot at running away. 

“Ha, yes, I’m sure.” She paused. “I mean, kind of sure.” 

I could sense her hesitation. Maybe she, too, was worried that we weren’t really the duo that fit in with the rest of the spin-bots before us? Even if we did have some things in common with them. 

“You know our butts are going to be on fire afterward, right?” I asked, anxiously making sure the pink Velcro on my turquoise-and-white sneakers was fully snapped closed so that the shoes didn’t become a death trap for me on the bike pedals. 

“Yeah, I know.” Rebecca’s once assured voice had been replaced with a nervous chuckle, and I remembered exactly why we were friends. Neither of us felt entirely comfortable where we were, but we were going to try it together. “But we’ve tried other things before, and it worked out. I’m sure this will be fine. Remember when we did Zumba this summer for a couple months? That was fun!” 

“Zumba was fun—wait, why did we stop going there again?”

“Umm, great question,” she said, walking over to the water fountain to fill her own S’well water bottle.  “Honestly, I think it’s because we just didn’t make the time for it. Who wants to go to Zumba when there’s happy hours, right?” 

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.

Q&A With the Author

What is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Americone Dream by Ben & Jerry’s with Homemade Vanilla by Blue Bell as a super close second

First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.

I was BIG into Goosebumps as a kid. But in terms of books where I can still remember the plot and everything, it’s Accidental Diva hands down. I wanted to BE Billie.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

Well, I start with the main idea that I want to tell in the book. It might be anywhere from 3-5 sentences. And then I come up with the main characters. I write out their personalities, their backgrounds, their quirks, their physical characteristics, etc. And then I figure out what ride these characters are going to go on to get from Point A in my main idea to Point B. For the past 2 books, that’s been me writing out a full 4-5 page synopsis and using that to generate a plot outline of the book.

Describe your writing space.

I don’t really have a dedicated space. I just bought a new desk, so that may become my writing space -- that’s a white tabletop desk with gold legs. It has a few books on either side of it, a couple pens, my first book I wrote in 2nd grade, a ring light (because #CovidLife), a laptop raiser, and an external monitor. I find, at least for now, that I get a lot of my writing done just in bed or on my couch though, maybe because it doesn’t feel so formal. 

Author Website





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. -

NOTE:  Here is the link to subscribe to receive books specifically from Harlequin Special Edition --

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/ gift card.


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  1. We can all put our best foot forward after reading The Shoe Diaries by Darby Baham!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot)com

  2. Thanks for participating in the blog tour!

  3. I'm originally from upstate NY and my favorite ice cream is chocolate peanut butter cup that can be found at Stewarts shops. I'm not sure if they have those in NYC though! I'm in Kansas now and they unfortunately aren't around here. But if you like chocolate and peanut butter you should give it a try if you come across a Stewarts!

    1. Thanks for the tip! I'll be on the lookout.

  4. I do like and appreciate beautiful shoes. Sounds like fun.

  5. I enjoyed the excerpt and The Shoe Diaries sounds like a great book for me to read and I like the cover! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a fantastic weekend!

  6. Thanks for the great excerpt! It sounds like a fun read. Great cover!

  7. I must admit that I must be an atypical female, since I do not have a closet full of shoes. This may, of course, be a side affect of the fact that I really don't like to shop. Must have missed out on that gene!

    1. Definitely not atypical! My mom is also not someone who likes to shop and so she doesn't have a closet full of shoes either. But really, the shoes in the book mostly represent anything that you have in your home that you can easily tell someone your life story by walking them through them. So, that might be anything from art to books, home goods, purses, etc. It definitely doesn't have to be shoes or fashion-related... that's just what works for me lol


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