Puttin’ On Our Party Shoes!

Even before I attended the Romance Writers of America conference in San Francisco last week, I’d decided to do a blog on women’s high-fashion shoes.  I thought I’d start out giving a little history on nineteenth century styles, touch on design and fabrics and how the shoe has evolved during the century. 

I started researching.  Dabbled with a few ideas.  Found a picture or two.  And then I thought . . . nah.

Let’s go right for the bling!

And what better place to do that than where 2,200 women are gathered?  Twenty-two hundred women who WRITE, and every writer knows how solitary sitting in front of that computer can be, week after week.  Month after month.  Toiling over manuscripts and emails and blogs just like this one–all by our lonesome.

RWA’s national conference is one place where we authors come out en masse, strut our stuff, show our professionalism.  Our successes. 

Our shoes.

After much shopping and planning and travel, aspiring writers arrive to blend with industry professionals.  Published authors meet with their editors and agents.   Newbie authors rub elbows with nationally known bestselling authors.  During the conference, we learn.  We network.

And we party!

One such party is the esteemed Rita awards ceremony and reception.  Another is the gala event Harlequin throws for its authors, and every year, the party is incredible.  Cocktails, fine food, and music.  Everyone comes dressed for the occasion, and it’s something to see.

Including the shoes.  Here’s a few I’ll share with you!


Aren’t these yummy?

Stacey Kayne is wearing the black pair at the top.

Going clockwise, Gail Ranstrom, a Harlequin Historical author.

Rounding out the circle is Charlene Sands, Pam Crooks and Kate Bridges.


These tootsies belong to Nora Roberts.  

She’d been dancing shoeless, but I happened to catch her just as she was putting them back on again before she left.


Aren’t these pretty?  The ties are unusual!  Margaret Marbury, one of the Harlequin editors, wore them.  Except I didn’t know that’s who she was, and we had a giggle over it.  She’s gorgeous–tall, blond and willowy.

I just love this one!  Michelle Buonfiglio is a romance columnist for Lifetime Television’s myLifetime.com.


This strappy little number was worn by Michelle’s good friend, Amy Fosseen, who was happy to oblige me, too! 


Bet you weren’t expecting these, eh?

Scott Eagan, with Greyhaus Literary Agency, and his wife, Nikki, who writes as

Bronwyn Scott for Harlequin Historicals.

Scott’s kilt is an Irish Ancient Galway Tartan from where the Eagan family comes from.


Julianne McLean, currently writing for Avon and a former Harlequin author, posed on the dance floor for me.  Her shoes reminded me of the ones our Barbie dolls used to wear.  Red polish and all.

Walmart, $19.99.  (And yes, she told me I could tell you that!)

I could have snapped pictures of pedicured toes, nail polish that ranged from bright pink to bold black, and shoes with rhinestones and stiletto heels all night long.  Even now, I’m drooling over the memories of all those gorgeous shoes.

So how about you?  Are you a shoe hound?  Do you have a closet full, all kinds?  Or are you a one pair of Nikes kind of gal?  (Or guy.)

How much are you willing to spend for that perfect pair of shoes to accessorize the perfect dress?  Are you a bargain hunter?

Let’s talk shoes, girls!

I’ll let you in on a secret.  Remember my shoe in the top pic?  The one with the black polka-dot bow?  $9.99 on clearance.  Best ten bucks I’ve spent in a long time!  Hee!

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Pam has written 30 romances, most of them historical westerns, but her newest releases are contemporary sweet romances featuring the Blackstone Ranch series published by Tule Publishing. Stay up on the latest at www.pamcrooks.com

55 thoughts on “Puttin’ On Our Party Shoes!”

  1. Oh Pam, I am a shoe-hound. But unlike Carrie Bradshaw I definitely am a bargain hunter. It was such great fun seeing you photograph Nora! I am so happy to be the first commenter today. Why am I up so late? Well, I had a cinnamon roll and coffee at the county fair tonight (make that last night 🙂 ) while they set off the fireworks and they didn’t have decaf LOL. Hubby took me to see TRACE ADKINS who performed tonight. Oh my. Yum-MO.

    This is a fabulous post and I loved meeting you in person in SF, Pam. I better sign off now or the caffein will have me going on and on and on and on….

  2. Awesome shoes ladies, not only that how about those professional looking feet, love the toenail polishes! Mine do Not look like these go around barefooted to much. I use to have to wear high heels working with the public in them every day and now my feet are paying for them so i do the low heels. I missed my high heels…oh, I meant i missed the extra 3 inches in height it gave me LoL.

  3. Loved these, Pam! (And especially your black toenail polish, Stacey!).
    People actually danced in these shoes?? Owie!!! If I’d been there you could have photographed my unglamorous feet in “sensible” pumps with 2 inch heels. I’m with Nora, take ’em off! (but what gorgeous shoes!) And Margaret Marbury is a goddess–she was my editor years ago and I was lucky enough to spend time with her. Such a neat lady! Dang but I wish I’d been there!

  4. Shoaholic here. I sorted mine out before I left for San Francisco and managed to only pack five pairs instead of the usual seven or eight. lol.

    Love the pictures. Fun and gorgeous.

  5. Hi Pam, it was so fun meeting you–Amy Fosseen here, what a party! I’m a bargain hunter as well and my shoes were deeply discounted and surprisingly not that tortuous–even while dancing.

    I probably would have taken them off to dance, but with all those straps it was just easier to keep them on.

  6. Tanya, oh, my, you WERE up early! Or late. And I loved being able to finally meet you in SF. But I have NO pictures of you. How can that be? Yeesh!

    Trace Adkins? You lucky girl!!

  7. Hi, Lori! When I was growing up, my dad *always* made me where shoes, so I rarely go bare-footed. He mellowed over the years, and now my sisters go bare-foot alot. I think the feet get wider without shoes . . . and my feet are short and stubby enough as it is!

  8. Elizabeth, I would’ve *loved* it if you could’ve been there with us. I know you were being good and working toward your deadline–which I should’ve been doing. Eek!

    Men would never get excited about their shoes like we women do. My husband just shook his head over how many pair I brought. One pair would’ve been good for him. One pair that he would wear to *everthing*.

  9. Hey, Michele, loved meeting you in San Fran and visiting with you in the taxi!

    Hmm. Well, you had better restraint than I did in the number of shoes you brought. I had five pair of black shoes alone–and wore every pair, too!

    Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to let us know when your Grooms anthology is out!

  10. Amy!!!! I’m so glad you remembered to stop by and visit us here at Petticoats & Pistols. Your shoes were very unique–that’s why I had to snap a picture! Afterward, I had to wonder how you managed all those straps. I assume one buckle to put them on?

    Thank you for being here!!

  11. I am sooooo not a shoe hound. Shoes are the first thing I lose when I get home and last thing to put on before I leave the house. Heels? Nope, not for me. I’m even dreading having to look for new shoes for work (‘athletic’ shoes that won’t slip on wet floors).

    I don’t understand the fascination with shoes, but maybe I just haven’t met the right pair yet. 😉

    If it weren’t for my purple birks…

  12. Love the pics! I adore shoes, but I have a firm rule. When a new pair comes into my closet, an old pair must leave. It has really helped me cut back on shoe purchases. I used to shop for shoes in Tulsa when I visted because they have a DSW, but a couple of years ago we got our very own in my city. Big temptation, and the first year it was here, I already had way too many pair. I’ve learned to be more selective.

    I saw a woman on Rachel Ray a couple weeks ago who had every closet in her house filed with shoes, even her teenage son’s! Now that’s just rude. She had shoes from 1989. Okay, so I’m not nearly that bad.

    I’ve been following one of the gals who does a shoe report every year. Check out this RWA Shoe Review Blog – she’s been posting ever since last week. My favorite – the foot with all the bandaids!

    And on my blog today I talked about the high heel marathon in Moscow. There’s a US eqivalent, but the shoes aren’t as glamorous. http://cherylstjohn.blogspot.com/
    Believe it or not, these women don’t just dance, they SPRINT for the finish line!

    I’m off to the zoo today, and I will be wearing my trusty Nikes with my orthodic inserts, you can be certain.

  13. I saw that woman on Rachel Ray! She had to get rid of a pair of shoes for every new one Rachel offered. It seemed like torture to her!

    Women have always been fascinated by shoes. A very well-selling author once told me that books with shoes on the covers are big sellers. She did a 3 book series about them! The covers were great!

    Little did I know, Pam – you would do a Shoe Blog. I choose to leave my sexy tall heels at home, in favor of more comfortable ones for RWA. The pics were great. I know you had a blast taking those shoe pictures! My friend said she brought 7 pairs, I’d only brought four. It’d be fun to know who had brought the most pairs to RWA, or any function for that matter!

    Happy Blogging Day!

  14. Cheryl, I’ve always thought you had an eye for fashion, especially in your jewelry.

    I didn’t realize anyone else but Barbara Vey was blogging about shoes, but that elvesamongus one had some incredible shots!!

    I wouldn’t be able to walk across the room in some of them. And one could feed a family for a week for what some of those shoes would cost, eh?

    You’ve got a gorgeous day for the zoo! Enjoy!

  15. Charlene, your shoes were so pretty. Very feminine and just right for the party. And I think you should definitely include your wedding shoes in a blog–because we women love shoes!

    Loved hanging with you last week! Hugs!

  16. Loved this post, Pam. Love the shoes and don’t their feet look pretty. It reminds me that I need to paint my toenails again. : )

    Loved the pictures and loved all the talk. Must admit I’m more of a clothes hound than a shoe hound, but I certainly love shoe shopping. : )

  17. Great post! I liked seeing all the manicured toes. I wonder what toe polish says about people? I wear hooker red on my toes year round. I think the color I’m wearing now is called “I’m Not Really A Waitress”.

    I love the clearance rooms at DSW and Von Maur. That’s *wear* I do most of my shopping 😉

  18. Pam,

    Loved the blog! What I found most striking is that even when we have the opportunity to go wild and crazy when we dress up, we still tend to lean toward basic black for our shoes. Albeit, they’re gussied up black, but a majority were still your basic black!

    LOL. I suppose only I would notice something so analytical! I obviously do not put a lot of emphisis on shoes…..

  19. Hi Pam,
    Those shoes (& toenails) are great! Not easy to walk in the heels though. Reminds me of my daughter’s christening, we had asked my brother to take a couple of photos (he is a photographer). The font never came into it, all we got was everyone’s feet!
    Best wishes

  20. Well, first of all, Pam, we only have your word on it that those are Nora’s feet, now don’t we.

    And secondly, you neglected to include the picture of the police jumping on you and dragging you out of the building for exhibiting stalker-ish behavior.

    But beyond that…I love, love, love shoes. HOWEVER, I only love PERFECT shoes. So here’s my motto, I will spend a lot for a perfect pair of shoes (I suspect my definition of ‘a lot’ is slightly lower than Nora’s) but when I’m shopping (my feet hurt when I’m shopping so it’s a good reminder to be PICKY) I look at shoes and think, “Okay, I’ve already got a pair of shoes that will work but aren’t perfect, so unless I find the perfect pair, I’ll just stick with the ones I have.”

    That controls a lot of inpulse shopping.

    I also have a small closet in my old country farm house. That closet is MERCILESS about me adding to it, so I try not to. I fail, but I try not to.

  21. And I love the toenails.

    When I see a pedicure place on almost every corner and all the painted toenails, I always think things aren’t too bad in America, despite the gloom and doom talk.

    Professionally painted toenails would be the first thing to go in tough economic times, right?

  22. AND I heard a really super interesting story about why all the pedicurists and manicurists are Vietnamese. I don’t know if it’s true, but it was really, really interesting.

    I’m not going to tell you what it was because it doesn’t exactly ring true. But still, it’s interesting, you’ll have to trust me. 🙂

  23. AND I had a pedicure this spring (I’ve had about three in my life) and the lady who did it have really enormous breasts. And she kept pulling my foot not AGAINST her breasts but way too close so, like, my toes were kind of brushing against her.

    I couldn’t relax. And I forbade my husband to ever have a pedicure.

    He said, “No problem.”

  24. Mary, did the mani-pedi story have anything to do with actress Tippi Hedren?

    Oh pedicures are my guilty little pleasure. I just read there’s a new technique going on where little miniature fish (carps) eat the dead skin from the feet. Ick. Newspaper had a pic.

    Good morning again, Pam. 🙂

  25. Are we talking parahnah here, Tanya?(where DOES the H go?) Mini-fish? Yikes, how long would THAT take.

    And Scott I’m sorry about the large breasted Vietnamese woman story.

    Excuse me.

  26. Sherri, I laughed out loud when you said you wear “hooker red” all year–I too ama firm believer in red, at least for my own toenails. Mine’s called ‘Vodka & Caviar’–don’t you love names of polish that give you the essence of the color rather than the color itself? Love ‘I’m Not Really a Waitress.’

    Pam–your comment about the ‘one buckle to put them on’ reminded me of The Lord of the Rings…one buckle to bind them all…yes just the one, but my foot had to become a contortionist to wind its way through the straps.

  27. Kay, so great to see you here! Yes, the toes were pretty–and I saw almost NO panty hose on those toes. Most everyone was bare-legged.

    I remember when going without nylons would have been scandalous!

  28. Renee!! So nice to see you here. Thanks for stopping by!

    Yes, black was definitely the predominant color, but in all styles and bling.

    It’s so classic. Never goes out of style and so very elegant.

    As you are my, dear! You have great taste!

  29. Mary, not sure the pedicures would be the first to go. I have friends who get them in the winter, then go home and put on thick socks to cover them up.

    I love pedicures, but I must admit, they’re a real treat. I save them for special occasions.

    My finger nails, tho, are a different story. It seems once you get started with acrylics, you have to keep going back and going back.

    They’re my one vice. Honest!

  30. Scott! I’m glad you stopped by. I hope Nikki finds a minute to see the picture of the two of you together. 🙂

    And just ignore Mary, okay? She’s our resident chatterbox.

    But we love her to death!

  31. Tanya, I SAW that about the fish eating the dead skin. Now is that nasty or what? No way would I put my foot into a pan of fluttering, hungry fish. Shudder!

    Amy! Glad to know there was only one buckle on that shoe. It looks much more complicated than that. LOL.

  32. Pam,

    I love heels – if they’re on someone else. I can’t wear them now because of health problems. But I think heels and manicured toenails are so sexy. Before I developed a problem with my balance I used to wear heels to work in the insurance office all the time.

    But, I really wasn’t a huge shoe person even back then. I’ve only had about a dozen pairs at any given time and I don’t spend a lot of money on them.

    My vice is purses. I love purses, all shapes and sizes. But again, I’m very frugal with my money. I look for bargains.

    Thanks for the pix of all the pretty shoes and toes in SF! I enjoyed seeing what some people wore. Don’t know what your dresses looked like but the shoes were great, ladies!!

  33. Thanks for sharing the photos of all of the shoes. I would be curious to know what kinds of shoes those ladies wear when they are writing their books. And do all of you that write westerns own a pair of cowboy boots?
    I love shoes and purses and try to co-ordinate them with what I wear. I have alot of shoes and not a pair of Nikes or athletic shoes in the bunch. Because of the shape of my foot, those kinds of shoes hurt my feet.
    Sounds like you all had a good time at the convention.

  34. Hi, Pam,

    Love the shoe photos! I’m not that great a shoe
    person, or purses either! I used to wear 3″ heels
    for all dress occasions, nowadays age and balance
    limit me to a very low heel! But I enjoy seeing
    others in their fabulous shoes, and if they were
    a bargain – Yay!!!

    Pat Cochran

  35. Hey, Pam, great pics! That night was so much fun! Your shoe blog is entertaining, but so were you in going out to get the photos. You got bolder as the night wore on–I think the wine helped, lol!

    I’m surprised to see how many black shoes there were. And ‘hooker-red’ toe polish, mine included. My shoes were actually borrowed from my daughter. She recently bought them, and I loved the little rhinestones on the straps. I went shoe shopping just before national but couldn’t find a thing that I loved as much as hers!

    What a fun blog!

  36. Those are fabulous fun photos, Pam! I love seeing everyone’s glam shoes! A good pair will dress everything up, right quick! It’s a shame I don’t enjoy shopping more–it’d be almost worth it to own some of these cute shoes!

  37. Wow those shoes and the nail polish I am with Sherri the color “Im not really a waitress is my favorite I wear it all the time. I wished I could wear the high heels though I can’t I have terrible feet.

  38. Joye, you won a book over on my blog a LONG time ago- ayear or more – and you never claimed it. If you send me your address, I still have the book: SaintJohn@aol.com

    ooooh Linda, don’t get me started on purses! I LURV purses and bags!

    I don’t know, Mary, there are other things I might give up before my pedicures…not chocolate, of course.

    And Joye, I write wearing pretty flippies. They’re turquoise today.

  39. Not Really a Waitress is an Orly or OPI color, right? I love that one, too. Don’t know why, but I usually find a color I love all summer and stick with it – some shade of bright pink – Dutch Tulips or a berry – and then come winter I switch off between red and burgundy/brown–ish.

  40. Hi, Stacey and Linda! Thanks for stopping by–and Linda, we’ve got to get you to a conference sometime soon!

    Great idea about the purses. Now that’s a great blog topic, too!

  41. Kate,

    Now don’t make me out to be a lush. LOL. I didn’t even get my second glass finished. The wine helped get me onto the dance floor, I’ll admit . . . but the ladies all loved having their shoes photographed. They were delighted to be asked.

    Your daughter already has great taste, and you’re so lucky you two can share!

  42. Joye, I used to own a pair of cowboy boots, but my sister took them over. I usually write in flip-flops, too, tho I only own 2 pair.

    Pat, I love a bargain, too. Especially when it comes to fancy shoes. They only get worn a few times.

  43. Great pics of the shoes!
    I love looking at the shoes, but I’m a tennis shoe in the winter and a pair of sandals in the summer person.

  44. Hi, Esri! What a nice surprise to see you here!

    I’d love to know how many pair Nora owns–she’s got great legs, doesn’t she? And for as much as she writes, I’m surprised she’s not as big as a house. But she looks great!

  45. Shoes…Love them but right now the only thing I can wear are Birkenstocks. Have seen some pretty fancy ones on TV.
    Now purses…I have dozens and always on the lookout for something new.

  46. Husbands do love shoes! I love when my wife wears those strappy heels, I’ll buy her new pairs all day long. She’s the best!

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