The Diamond Tiara By Vogue

Crystal is in the mouth of the beautiful woman with a red lips

Ask anyone how New York-born fashion designer, Carmen Santiago (née Davenport), rose to fame and the first reference you’ll get is her multi-million dollar fashion empire, Flame, Inc. The second reference you’ll get is the fashionista’s high-profiled relationship with business mogul, Jay Santiago.
What many don’t reference is the driving force behind Carmen’s success, Flame’s Vice President, Tiara Washington. A Brookstone native, she’s had the reins of the company since its infancy. With a career in fashion that spans more than two decades, fashion greats describe Washington as Flame’s backbone.
As the fashion brand continues to stay on everyone’s lips, so does its major player, Carmen Santiago. After her lavish wedding in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carmen is whisked away to sunny St. Lucia. The first three days are pure bliss until one phone call sets off a nonstop cycle of drama, scandal, deception, and lies.


The clock hadn’t even struck seven-thirty, yet the city of East Brookstone was bustling. While the area was not as populous as Manhattan, the current atmosphere showed something different. Crowds of people filled the downtown area. The majority was on foot; whereas others hailed cabs or utilized other forms of public transportation. The subdivisions had far less traffic, but that didn’t mean it was any less hectic inside the homes. School may have been out due to the holiday break, yet it was business as usual for parents and child-less adults who were chasing a dollar.
The Washington household was no different. Located in one of the wealthiest gated communities in the city, the mansion was a far cry from Tiara and Malik’s humble beginnings. Their home, a property that had graced the pages of Architectural Digest, was well over ten thousand square feet and filled with only designer décor. That morning, they moved circles around each other, both working on different things, but with the same goal—to get out the house. Malik had their four-year-old daughter, Robin, on his hip while his free hand worked on the morning coffee. Tiara, on the other hand, was packing Robin’s day bag and ignoring her cell phone, which had been beeping every few seconds.
“Can you get that?” Malik urged. The noise had become an annoyance.
“Not if I want to get out this house on time,” Tiara shot back. Her phone beeped again, which was all Malik needed to leave the Keurig alone. He headed to the other side of the kitchen and picked up her phone. Tiara saw him out the corner of her eye, yet she didn’t stop what she was doing. They made an agreement there wouldn’t be any secrets in their house. He was free to check any device she owned and vice versa.
“This will definitely get you out the house,” Malik told her.
He held the phone at eye level. Numerous notifications were on the screen, mostly texts and emails. There were also two missed calls. “Why is Monifah at the gate?” he asked.
That question made Tiara drop Robin’s bag. Monifah Harris, now Monifah Kane, was a mutual friend she shared with her longtime gal pal, Carmen Santiago, back in their high school and college days. Monifah left town shortly after the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Rakim (who just so happened to be Malik’s twin brother) and popped back up as the new girlfriend (but now wife) of Carmen’s ex-husband, Michael Kane, who simply went by Kane. Most people expected Tiara and Malik to be close to Monifah due to her connection to Rakim. However, they never spoke.
Tiara pulled her phone from Malik’s hands to read the messages. Monifah was in the area and wanted to see if she was available to chat. “I don’t trust that woman,” Tiara admitted, throwing the phone on the kitchen’s island. “It’s too early to be coming over to someone’s house. It’s not even eight o’clock.” Tiara went back to Robin’s bag, double checking to make sure she hadn’t missed anything. “What does she want to talk about?”
Malik pulled the bag from Tiara’s grasp. “You’ll have to tell her the gate code to see.”
“No, you just want to know,” Tiara joked. She picked up her phone and texted the code. “Look at you. You ain’t even dressed.” Tiara glanced at her phone again, checking the time. “I have to deal with her, you deal with that.” Tiara pointed at Robin’s hair. “You’ve mastered the bun.”
Malik kissed Robin’s cheek. “Tell Mama she ain’t got nuthin’ to worry about. Daddy is going to have you lookin’ good.”
“He better,” Tiara said, leaving the kitchen. Once she reached the foyer, she peeked out a window to see if Monifah was there. A car was pulling in her driveway. Although she wasn’t prepared to deal with her, she stepped outside. The energy between them was awkward for several reasons, which boiled down to one—Carmen.
And from the looks of things, it ain’t gonna get better, Tiara thought.
Her mouth dropped open as Monifah stepped out her car. She hadn’t seen her in a few weeks, but her former friend had blossomed into a pregnant woman overnight. “Wow,” Tiara mouthed, walking towards her. “This is so unexpected.”
Monifah had a large grin on her face as if she came to gloat. “The cat is out the bag,” she shrieked. She did a Kenya Moore-inspired twirl so Tiara could see all sides of her bump.
“You and Kane are having a baby?”
Monifah stopped mid-twirl. “Who else would I be having a baby with?”
Tiara shrugged her shoulders. “No, it’s just that I’ve been friends with Kane for years and I know he’s…” Tiara didn’t finish. It wasn’t her place to tell Kane’s business although a large part of
her assumed he told Monifah he was infertile. “He and Carmen used in vitro to have Kristian, so—” Tiara was interrupted.
“And he did the same for me,” Monifah snapped. “Why would I be any different?”
“No, no, that’s not what I’m saying. I just…” Tiara had backed herself in a corner.
“I came over because this is all new to me.” Monifah took a few steps closer to Tiara to close the gap. “I’ve been gone so many years. This is my hometown, and I don’t have any friends. I thought this was a good time for us to reconnect. You’re a mother, I’m about to be a mother. I thought you could be someone I could go to for advice.”
Tiara tried not to show her emotions on her face. Monifah wasn’t on Carmen’s hit list, but she didn’t know how Carmen would feel if she got chummy with her ex-husband’s new wife.
“Silence,” Monifah muttered. “I guess that’s my answer.”
“No, no, it’s just…” Tiara tried to back herself out a corner again. “Come on, Monifah. We haven’t talked in like twenty-something years. You walked back in our lives in the least way we expected.”
“You can’t be my friend because you’re friends with Carmen?”
Tiara gave her a reminder. “You married her ex-husband.”
“And she fucked your boyfriend.”
Tiara was taken aback. What Monifah was saying was true, but she hadn’t thought about Carmen’s bad deeds in a long time. To her, it was all water under the bridge.
“Carlos Rodriguez,” Monifah stated with a smile. “Puerto Rican drug dealin’ bad ass, the underboss of the Santiago cartel, former best friend of Jay Santiago, and the man behind Carmen Davenport who helped her get her coins up to start one of the biggest fashion companies in America, Flame.” Monifah described him as if she were reading a character bio for a reality show. “What do you get from being her lapdog? I bet she has you taking care of her fifty billion kids while she’s on her honeymoon fuckin’ underneath an island sunset.”
“I’m actually about to drop my daughter off at her house so her maid can watch her.”
Monifah came back with, “I bet you have to pay her to do it.”
Tiara sucked her teeth. She did pay Fiona. The woman deserved to get paid. She cooked, cleaned, and watched after three children five days a week and sometimes the weekend, if needed. “Okay, you’re pregnant, you hate Carmen, what else?”
“Damn,” Monifah muttered as if she hadn’t started the Carmen-hate train. “We used to be close, Tee. Yes, you were always closer to Carmen, but we were like sisters, too.”
The memories flooded back quicker than Tiara wanted. The three of them were like sisters. People even mistook them to be when they would see them together. With their deep rich ebony complexions, similar physiques, and hairstyles, they were the same aesthetic.
“Maybe we can try to get back there,” Monifah suggested.
Tiara shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t want to be in the middle of you and Carmen.”
Monifah looked away. “You will always be loyal to her. For what, though? I don’t get it. That woman is evil. Didn’t you see what she put Kane through?”
Tiara had heard enough. She knew Carmen wasn’t a saint. Yes, her friend had done some downright dirty and disgusting things, but it was years ago. Her friend learned from her mistakes, matured, and was focused on being the best wife and mother she could be. Monifah couldn’t see it because she hadn’t witnessed Carmen’s growth. All she saw was the Carmen of the past.
“I need to go,” Tiara announced, a hint the conversation was over. “Hopefully, you’ll find what you’re looking for even if it’s not here.”
“I hope you find what you’re looking for, too.”
Tiara raised her brow, unsure of what Monifah was getting at. It was on the tip of her tongue to probe her, but Monifah was walking to her car. She hadn’t left though, which meant the opportunity was still there. “What is that supposed to mean?” Tiara asked, following behind her. “What is it that you think I’m looking for?”
Monifah didn’t respond as she opened her car door. She got inside and for a split-second Tiara thought she was going to leave her guessing. She thought it even more when she heard the doors lock. Then, the driver side window rolled down.
“A hand to pull you out the rabbit hole,” Monifah replied.
Tiara became even more quizzical. She didn’t ask for another explanation as it would prolong Monifah from getting off her property. Still, her mind wondered. Monifah believed she wanted to be out Carmen’s shadow. Yet, Tiara never thought she was there. Other people did.
But was she?
Truth be told, Tiara had given her life to Flame, a company she barely owned any part of. If anything were to happen to her, Robin would only inherit five percent, although she served as Vice President for over twenty years of her life. That is a problem, Tiara thought. She was the one who made Flame what it was. Carmen only provided the financial backing and designs. She built the business while Carmen was locked up and handed it off to her once she was released. At the time, Tiara thought she was doing the right thing because Carmen owned Flame. However, a fair percentage of the
company should’ve been given to her. Instead, Carmen sold twenty percent to her and three other execs.
The conversation with Monifah created dialogue in her head that only existed in spurts. The thoughts also never created any action. With Carmen temporarily away from the business, she could start putting together a proposal for a greater percentage of ownership. She didn’t know how her friend would feel about it. Therefore, she made a mental note to discuss it with Malik. He wasn’t one to hide his opinion no matter how much it hurt. He also would tell her if she was letting Monifah get in her head.
“No one is even out here.”
Tiara heard Malik behind her. “She just left. I’m gonna check the mail.”
“Cool,” Malik replied.
Once he closed the door, Tiara made her way to the mailbox. She looked up the street for any sign of Monifah’s car, but her ex-friend was gone. Tiara told herself the conversation they shared should be as well or at least for the time being.

Author Bio

Born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, Vogue’s journey through the world of creative writing first began in middle school with poetry and songwriting. However, it was her discovery of prose that opened the door to a world of endless possibilities.
A graduate of Winthrop University (Rock Hill, S.C.), possessing a bachelor’s degree in social work, Vogue, first birthed the idea of The Diamond Collection in the halls of her alma mater. In 2003, she put pen to paper and thus was created, Diamonds in The Rough, part one of The Diamond Collection series.
By 2010, Vogue had written drafts of the entire ten book series and in June of 2010, Diamonds in The Rough, was published. Soon followed by Diamonds Are Forever in October of 2010, The Ace of Diamonds in February of 2013, and Black Diamonds on July 4, 2015, Vogue joined a league of other writers, determined to make her mark in the literary world.
Vogue released the fifth book in the series, Diamonds N’ Roses, on December 25, 2016. She took a hiatus to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from Queens University in Charlotte, NC, but released parts six and seven of the Diamond Collection series, The Diamond Tiara and Dirty Red Diamonds, on June 7, 2022.
When she isn’t writing, Vogue enjoys cooking, blogging about food (Instagram: Miss Black Foodie), attending concerts, festivals, and traveling.

Author Bio

  1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? I’ve always been an avid reader and when I saw how reading provided a way of escape, I figured writing could as well. I started writing novellas in high school and fell in love with creating my own stories and characters. Writing gave me the opportunity to write the stories I wanted to read.
  2. How many books have you written? I’ve written seven books, which are currently in print. All seven are a part of The Diamond Collection series: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds Are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, Diamonds N’ Roses, The Diamond Tiara, and Dirty Red Diamonds.
  3. Where do you get your ideas for your books? Everywhere is the most accurate answer. To keep the series fresh, I’m always keeping my eyes and ears open. There are instances where I’ve drawn from personal experiences and those of others. I’ve even revisited previous books in the series to see where I can bring back a forgotten character or create a plot twist.
  4. What do you think makes a good story? Strong character development and an unexpected plot twist are two of the main ingredients for a good story. The best characters are perfectly imperfect, but as the story progresses, they should always show some growth or change. Plot twists can aid a story as it leaves readers intrigued and reminiscing about the events, which led to the big reveal.
  5. What inspired you to write The Diamond Tiara? The Diamond Collection series contains a longstanding friendship between two characters, Carmen Santiago, and Tiara Washington. Readers have often shared with me how they felt Tiara did not get the proper recognition she deserved for the contributions she made to Carmen’s fashion company, Flame. The sixth book was the perfect time for a deeper exploration of the friendship because the overall plot of the book focused on jealousy, disloyalty, and insecurity.
  6. At what point do you think someone should call themselves a writer? A writer is born the moment their pen first hits the page or at the first keystroke.
  7. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Aside from writing, blogging about food is my passion. I run an Instagram page called Miss Black Foodie where I post recipes, cooking videos, review restaurants, food trucks, and other food vendors. I also enjoy going to the movies, listening to music, browsing social media, attending concerts, festivals, and traveling.

Contact The Author

Purchase Links for The Diamond Tiara
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Email Address:[email protected]

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