Must Read

Denise Alicea

This blog was created by Denise in September 2008 to blog about writing, book reviews, and technology. Slowly, but surely this blog expanded to what it has become now, a central for book reviews of all kinds interviews, contests, and of course promotional venue for authors, etc


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




Excerpt One:




February 13, 2016 


“With this ring, I thee wed, and with it, I bestow upon thee the treasures of my mind, heart and hands…” 


Staring at my friends from my seat, I noticed more than just their words as they recited their vows. I saw their hands clasped together throughout the ceremony, and the smiles they wore even through their tears; the way they focused on each other like no one else was present even while a hundred and fifty of us stared at them with glee. But most important, I saw the love that was undeniable between the two of them. Strange, but I was all at once happy and sad, amazed and hurt. In them I saw hope for a future. Here were two people who’d found love and decided that nothing else was more important than their union. Yet, standing less than two feet away from them, I also saw the man I’d hoped would be my future—and it hurt me to my core to know that we would never have this same moment. 


Every few minutes I caught myself peeking over at him during the ceremony, hoping he would turn to me, and we would have some kind of knowing thought between us. That we would have a brief second where no words were necessary, and through our eyes, we’d say, “I know it didn’t work for us, but I still love you.” I craved that moment more than anything I’d ever wanted before, wishing with all my might he would just look over. Just glance at me…and smile. 


That look never happened. 


Do you have any tattoos? Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?

Yes! I have 8 tattoos; my middle sister calls them baby tattoos because they are all relatively small lol. My first one I got in college on a trip to Miami, and it’s a Taurus symbol on the front of my hip bone. (2) I also have a heart with the letter M inside on my right foot. In 2007, I met a man who made me forget all of my trust issues and fall for him, and 2 months later he was killed for his car. That tattoo is a reminder of him but even more so a reminder to me to always trust love one more time. (3) I have a fleur de lis, the date of Hurricane Katrina, and Psalm 23 on my back. (4) I have an Adinkra symbol for “through faith and trust in God” on the back of my neck, and that works together with (5) a Nigerian word for “the best is yet to come.” Nkiruka was a name given to me by one of the students I taught when I worked at a teen program after grad school. (6) I have Est. 1983 on the right side of my upper body. (7) I have the Japanese symbol for destined/destiny on the inside of my left wrist. (8) I have the words “trust God always” written on the outside of my right lower arm. I want to get at least 2 more, but I know how much they are going to hurt based on placement, so I haven’t done it yet — the words “dance like nobody’s watching” on the inside of my left foot and Hebrew words for grace and mercy on the back of my ankles.

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?

In some ways, yes. I still live in the same apartment I got when I moved to NY 5+ years ago. I still have a lot of the same clothes and shoes. I still like the same man I did then too. But in so many ways, it’s much different. Two years ago, I didn’t have my book deal with Harlequin, for one. But also, I’m a more forgiving, gracious and grateful person now. My relationship with my dad is so much better because I’ve stopped expecting him to be perfect to be in my life. I’ve seen a lot of death (I think we all have), and I’ve also witnessed so many loved ones get married and have kids. And all of that has changed me in ways I’m still figuring out even at this moment. 

How long have you been writing?

Honestly, for as long as I can remember. I’ve always known that I wanted to be a writer. I would sit next to my dad at the keyboard while he would write songs and I’d write poems. I even have an old binder full of poems I wrote starting from when I was about 6 years old. I also have a book that my 2nd grade class “published” that was aptly titled God’s Family because I was very Catholic at the time and going to a Catholic school. 

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

This is not something that you do because it’s easy. It’s not easy. But if it’s in your bones to do it, then do it, and know that while you will have many reasons that come up to convince you to quit, your job is to never let those reasons win. Keep writing. Keep pouring your heart out on the pages, and then edit it. Trying to get it perfect from the start, though, will cause you to stop, and that’s the one thing that you cannot do. 

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

The Shoe Diaries is absolutely about one woman’s journey to trusting herself again, and in that trusting, finding the courage to love again. But just as important to the story is her friendships with her close friends who challenge her, encourage her, and love her through the journey as well. They are by her side through it all, just as my closest friends are in my life.




AUTHOR Bio and Links:


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








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. –

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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thanks for hosting!


Thanks for sharing, Denise!!

Athena Graeme

Killing me! Just the thought of having to spend time around someone I can’t have … ugh! This sounds torturous … which means I can’t wait to read it!


Haha, I knowwww, right?! I hope you enjoy the rest of the book, Athena! I think you’ll like how it ultimately ends 🙂


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x