Behind The Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): SNEAK PREVIEW OF THE DIAMOND TIARA


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

SNEAK PREVIEW: THE DIAMOND TIARA

In Part Five of The Diamond Collection, Diamonds N’ Roses, I included a Sneak Preview of my sixth novel, The Diamond Tiara. So, how did this Sneak Preview come about? During the editing process of Diamonds N’ Roses, my editor felt there were some questions that were left unanswered in the book. So, to prevent any cliffhangers, I decided to add on a chapter from the next book in the series.

But what happened after that? Well, I took a break from the series, obtained a master’s degree from Queens University, and when I did start back writing, I decided to go in a different direction with the book. As a writer, that happens sometimes. You can write something, get a better idea, and scrap everything you’ve had before. Let’s just call it a plot twist.

Behind The Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Twenty-Two


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: GRAND PIANO

Chapter 22 is the last chapter of Diamonds N’ Roses and this chapter is what I believe readers were waiting on because it contains the wedding. This chapter also shows the path I’m trying to take with Jay. In Book Three: The Ace of Diamonds, he stopped being a drug dealer, and in this book, specifically this chapter, he gets baptized. These changes came about because as the writer, I’m changing. I’m maturing. While selling drugs and killing people brings drama, it also brings prison and death. Well, I can tell you now, that’s not where Jay is going. So, it was time to show that with him taking this step.

Moving on to the wedding…

There were things I intentionally included. For example, I always wanted Silvas to marry them and the whole ordeal with their minister was just to add a little more drama to the book. Also, I thought it was important for King to verbally give his blessing considering the dynamics of his relationship with Jay. In terms of Carmen and Jay’s vows, I had them say the things I felt they needed to say to each other. A lot of it had to do with the journey because these two went on one. In the end, though, they tied the knot, jumped the broom; they became one.

Behind The Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Twenty-One


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: SANDCASTLES

In Chapter 21, the night after the bachelor party, both Carmen and Jay’s heads are still spinning. They don’t know whether they’re coming or going in terms of their relationship. Yes, Carmen called the wedding off, but she’s still battling between being with Jay and not being with him. This represents what we all go through in relationships. You want to leave because of the bad times, but the memories of the good times makes you want to stay.

This whole dilemma is the reason Carmen has verbally called the wedding off but hasn’t taken the necessary steps to really stop it. For example, when Jay goes to Puerto Rico, all the wedding vendors are still preparing for a wedding they don’t know has been called off. And no one is telling them to stop. That’s like the first hint I give that this wedding is going to happen. Then, you read the last paragraph and you see it is.

Behind the Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Twenty


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER TWENTY: DON’T HURT YOURSELF

In Chapter Twenty, Jay confronts Kane at his condo because he (Kane) told Carmen the truth about Casa de Sangre. Now, of course, Jay has to do it the Jay way, which is why I have him break in Kane’s condo, pull out a gun, and put it to his head. He even pistol whips him. As a writer, I’ve learned you have to stay true to the character. It wouldn’t be Jay Santiago if I just had him knock on the door, and say, “Hey, can we talk?”

But what is true to Jay’s character aside from violence and aggression? The love he has for his children. This is why when Kristian, Kane’s daughter, and Jay’s soon-to-be stepdaughter, starts screaming in her sleep, it shifts his whole mindset. Jay remembers how he felt when he heard his own daughter screaming when he was getting attacked by Blu. (this is a reference to a scene in Book Three: The Ace of Diamonds). It affects him so much that not only does he leave without causing anymore harm, he also apologizes – twice. I say all this to say, two things can be true of a character and people, in general. They can be lovable and violent, but the reader has to be taken on the journey to understand how both can be true.

Behind the Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Nineteen


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER NINETEEN: BED OF LIES

A common question I think most writers get is, is any parts of your book based off your real life? I always answer yes, but my writing is so convoluted with fiction you wouldn’t know what actually happened to me and what didn’t.

In Chapter 19, after Carmen reveals she knows the truth about Casa de Sangre and is about to call off the wedding, Jay demands for her to tell him what he needs to do to make it right. That is a repetitive demand I’ve received from a person whenever he messed up. “Tell me what I need to do to make it right.” In this scene, Carmen’s response was, “Die.” Yes, that is harsh, and I wanted it to be, because I wanted her response to match the hurt she was feeling.

 In this same scene, Carmen also learns that Jay almost slept with a stripper. She tells him that the slight indiscretion made her question her worth. Now let’s dive deeper. Growing up, I was always taught that a woman with good morals and values is what a man wants as a wife. But as I got older, I started looking around, and seeing that some of the women who were the most promiscuous and the shadiest were the ones getting the men. I even went to one of my relatives and was like, I feel tricked, because obviously that stuff doesn’t matter when it comes to getting a man. (Well, it does matter to some.)

So, I have Carmen basically tell Jay that. She says what I wanted to say to a particular person – “you got me questioning my worth because I do this, I do this, I do this, but someone who isn’t on my level could so easily get you. I’m feeling like I’m not good enough.” Now, what I realized from that situation is that, it’s not that I’m not good enough, he’s not good enough. Carmen even tells that to Jay. You know the saying: You will never be right for the wrong person? The good I do does not matter if it’s for the wrong person. They don’t care because they don’t care about me. However, it will matter to the right person.

Back to the novel, though. In this chapter, Carmen’s hurt is talking. Yes, Jay has made some mistakes, but so has Carmen. And the mistakes don’t stop in this book. Unlike my situation, this is fiction, and I can control it.

If you haven’t read this book, and you’re following the Behind the Book series, well, you’ll have to stay tuned for the next three entries to see what happens between these two.

Behind the Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Eighteen


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: TRINI DEM GIRLS

Chapter Eighteen kicks off at Jay’s bachelor party, which takes place at his club, Sapphire. To give a brief refresher, Sapphire was a part of Jay’s inheritance and was previously owned by his father. It was a gentleman’s club, but Jay turned it into a hip-hop club. However, for his bachelor party, King has turned it into a whole strip joint, which angers Jay. King is able to calm him down, and he even refers to Jay as Pops in this scene. I did that on purpose to show readers that King is coming around and their relationship is improving.

In this same scene, Jay has a weak moment and he almost cheats on Carmen. And I say almost because the girl turned him down. Now I inserted this part for a couple of reasons, but the first being that there really hasn’t been like another woman in Jay’s life other than Carmen since book one. Infidelity has always been Carmen’s thorn. So, in this chapter, I decided to play around with it being Jay’s. And next week, when I discuss Chapter 19, we’ll see how that goes.

Behind the Book: Diamonds N’ Roses (Chapter Seventeen – Part Two)


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN (PART TWO): SHANGHAI

I was getting ready to dive into Chapter Eighteen, when I saw there was more to discuss in Chapter Seventeen. In the last video, I talked about how Carmen learned the truth about Casa de Sangre. Well, that wasn’t the only tea spilled. In this same chapter, Jay learns his mother’s suicide wasn’t a suicide. It was a murder. I realized this was something I desperately needed to talk about.

For one, when I started writing the series, Jay’s mother, Lady, did commit suicide. However, when I got to Book Five, introduced the storyline of Eleise, I saw an opportunity to shake things up even further. Like, what if Carmen’s mother actually killed Jay’s mother? That’s a lot to swallow. Then, I decided to stir the pot some more. Because what does Jay do when he finds out? He kills Carmen’s mother. Now, that had to happen, because that is true to Jay’s character. It wouldn’t be in his nature to find his mother’s killer and let them walk free. That’s not Jay Santiago. Jay Santiago did what Jay Santiago would’ve done. He gave her a brutal death. Or did he?

Behind the Book: Diamonds N’ Roses (Chapter Seventeen)


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: SHANGHAI

 In Chapter Seventeen, the truth about Casa de Sangre is revealed to Carmen by her ex-husband Kane. So, what is the truth? The truth is that the house was previously owned by Carmen’s fiancé, Jay. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Well, it is, considering, she purchased the home not knowing he was the owner. Imaging buying a home, paying millions for it, not knowing your money went to the person you’re about to marry.

In this chapter, I write, “Kane had placed a boulder on her chest,” the boulder of course being the truth about Casa de Sangre, “and the weight of it was choking the life out of her. Not a boulder, she thought. It’s a bullet. Carmen peered at Kane as she suddenly remembered the nightmare, she had over a year ago.”

When writing Chapter Seventeen, I drew a comparison between Kane dropping this news on Carmen and the nightmare she had at the start of the novel. In the nightmare, Kane sees her and Jay in an intimate moment, and shoots them dead. Now, in this present scene, Carmen realizes what the dream actually meant, and so did I. It wasn’t about violence, it was about releasing something unexpected, powerful, and lifechanging. While it wasn’t an actual bullet, it was a mighty big secret.  

Behind the Book: Diamonds N’ Roses (Chapter Sixteen)


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: FORWARD

I always tell people that writing the book is the fun part. The opening scene of Chapter Sixteen reminds me why. In this scene, Carmen is trying on a potential wedding dress. She isn’t sold on it, and that is reflective of what I was going through as the author. Every time I saw a dress I liked, I would bookmark it, but then I would find something better or I would have second thoughts.

Now, why is this a big deal? Because description is a very big part of a story. In order to describe Carmen’s wedding dress, I would need to have a dress in mind to describe. I wanted to be able to share with readers what it looked like and how it felt. Since finding the perfect dress was a dilemma I was going through, I decided to make it Carmen’s dilemma as well.

Behind The Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Fifteen


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: SORRY

In Chapter Fourteen, Jay learns about his sister, Eleise, a product of a brief affair between his father and his fiancée’s mother. When we get to Chapter Fifteen, Jay meets his sister for the first time. Jay describes her as a dead ringer for Paula Patton. Did I choose Paula Patton on purpose? Yes, because in a perfect world, these books will become a TV show on STARZ and Paula Patton will play the role of Eleise Santiago.

Their conversation could’ve gone in a number of directions, but I decided to let them have a negative interaction. I chose this route because Jay wants to protect Carmen from this news as he fears it will end their engagement. His anger, his negative attitude, the cold shoulder he gives Eleise better supports him wanting to keep Eleise a secret than him welcoming her with open arms.

While I haven’t yet explored a relationship between these two characters (Jay and Eleise), I do hope to showcase it in a future book.

Behind the Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Fourteen


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: LEMONADE

Chapter Fourteen is called Lemonade because something stronger than tea was spilled. Here’s the backstory – Jay headed to San Juan, Puerto Rico, his birthplace, as Carmen needed space due to the miscarriage.

When he gets home, he finds evidence that someone other than his butler, Silvas, has been there. That person ends up being a new character by the name of Eleise Santiago, who is, drum roll, Jay’s sister. However, she’s not only Jay’s sister, she’s also Carmen’s sister as Eleise is the result of a brief affair between Jay’s father and Carmen’s mother.

Did I do this on purpose? Yes. It’s just one more thing to make the reader question if this wedding is going to happen and this thing is a big one. While Carmen and Jay do not have any biological relation, come December 25th, she may be marrying her sister’s brother.  

Behind the Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Thirteen


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: WIN AGAIN

TRIGGER WARNING: PREGNANCY-RELATED ISSUES

Aside from Casa de Sangre and the issue with conflict diamonds, the biggest brick on Jay’s shoulder is his criminal trial. The threat to his freedom was a conflict I wanted to resolve prior to the wedding. However, before I got readers there, I inserted another interruption.

Unfortunately, that interruption comes in the form of a miscarriage. This is Carmen’s second miscarriage in the series. I made the decision for the pregnancy to result in a miscarriage for several reasons. First, the announcement of the pregnancy had already played its role in the book. It was Christmas Day and what better gift to give your significant other than the announcement of new life? Two, throwing wrenches in the story keeps readers on their toes or at least in my opinion. Next, where I wanted to take the story, I didn’t need Carmen to be pregnant because then the storyline would become her trying to balance a new baby, wedding…it would be too much. Also, I felt that if the pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage, I could use it as something that could either bring her and Jay together or pull them further apart. If it pulled them further apart, it would leave readers guessing once again if this wedding was going to happen.

What did happen, though, which was revealed at the end of this chapter is that Jay was acquitted of all charges. So, what does this mean? Well, it means that if the wedding doesn’t happen, it won’t be because Jay is in prison.

Blurb Blitz Virtual Book Tour: Diamonds N’ Roses


Diamonds N’ Roses is going on tour! Check out all of the tour stops!

Remember to VISIT, LIKE, COMMENT, SHARE & ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

August 29: The Key Of Love
August 30: Long and Short Reviews
August 30: FUONLYKNEW
August 31: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’
August 31: Locks, Hooks and Books
September 1: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
September 2: All the Ups and Downs
September 5: Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
September 6: Fabulous and Brunette
September 7: Sandra’s Book Club
September 8: Westveil Publishing
September 9: Joanne Guidoccio
September 9: Wendi zwaduk – romance to make your heart race

#RazzleDazzle

Behind the Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Twelve


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER TWELVE: ANACONDA

I am so excited to talk about this chapter because it involves one of my favorite characters, Cesar. Cesar was introduced in Book Three: The Ace of Diamonds, and in each book, his role seems to get bigger. Hopefully, in his scenes, you can see how loyal Cesar is to Jay and the Santiago family as a whole.

In this chapter, Cesar has returned from Africa where he was doing some digging on Jay’s business partner. Now, this chapter is very important because this is the seasoning for the meat, you’re going to get in Book 6: The Diamond Tiara. I titled this chapter Anaconda because that’s what Jay’s business partner. He’s a snake, figuratively, of course, and he’s one of the biggest ones.

Also, I never wanted Jay to be a character who showed fear. He’s supposed to be able to take down anything and anybody. However, I did feel it was time to show some vulnerability. The vulnerability does come, then it disappears when Jay remembers a conversation he had with his mother. Over time, it comes back, specifically, in his conversation with Grendel. What also comes back? The one thing that should be his first priority: his wedding. Yes, there’s a lot going on, but I’m always going to circle back to the wedding.  

Behind the Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Eleven


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER ELEVEN: BUY A HEART

In Chapter 11, we are finally at King and Coco’s wedding. The chapter begins with the wedding party getting dressed. To be more specific, Jay is helping Malachi put on his cufflinks. Malachi does not have any biological relation to Jay but will be his stepson by marriage once he and Carmen tie the knot. So, why of all people is Jay helping Malachi? I could’ve easily put Kane as he is Malachi’s adopted father. Well, I wanted to show that over time, these two have formed a bond.

I also wanted to show that King and Jay had addressed and healed from their issues, which is why there is the scene in the church’s walkway. Then, what happens? Their conversation is interrupted by Gully, who announces there is a visitor. Yes, it is the return of Cesar. He enters into the book to complete an assignment for Jay. Jay is sending him to Sierra Leone to put eyes on his African business partner.

Once the assignment is given, Jay is ushered right back into the church for his eldest son’s wedding. The processional begins with Ed Sheeran’s, “Thinking Out Loud,” which is a song I heard for the first time at my sorority sister’s wedding. So, yes, that’s how this song made it into the book.

King’s wedding is an emotional time for Carmen because she remembers when her son was a troubled adolescent. She refers to him as her angel with broken wings, which is a phrase I got from a tweet singer Chris Brown’s mother, Joyce Hawkins, made about him.

Behind The Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Ten


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER TEN: FOUR DOOR AVENTADOR  

Although my book is set in a fictional city, it is still set in New York.

While there is mention of weather in the series, there has never been a snowstorm. Well, this chapter was the perfect place to put one.

For one, it’s Christmas Day, so why not have a white Christmas?

Two, Jay is trying to have a private conversation away from Carmen. And what screams private more than a person having a conversation on a balcony where there are remnants of a recent blizzard?

And of course, Carmen knows something up. However, since it’s Christmas, she doesn’t call him out. Jay does wear his thoughts on his face, so Carmen tries to get the truth out of him. Since it is Christmas Day, the conversation gets interrupted.

Speaking of Christmas, Jay gifts Carmen the blueprint for a brand-new mansion. Now this gift ties back to the previous chapter and shows how Jay is making strides in getting away from Casa de Sangre.

In this same chapter are two major announcements – one, Kane and Monifah are now married. I remember a reader once told me, when she read that part, she thought, well, everyone is getting married except Carmen and Jay (remember, King and Coco are getting married, too). Carmen also announces her pregnancy, and I placed that news here on purpose because I thought it was the perfect Christmas gift−new life. She also gifts Jay a Lambo, hence the name of the chapter.

While scoping out the Lambo, Carmen and Jay take a little walk down memory lane to the first time they met. Since they are getting married in this book, I thought it would be good to flashback to the beginning. Plus, you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.

Behind The Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Eight


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER EIGHT: I LIED

They were divorced way before they received copies of the decree.  – Pg. 40

This line isn’t a literal statement as there is no way you can actually be divorced until its finalized. This line represents how Carmen felt her marriage to Kane was over way before any paperwork was filed, signed, etc. There was already a disconnect. However, Kane doesn’t necessarily share the same feelings. Hence, the first reason why this chapter is called I Lied. Kane only pretended to accept the fate of their marriage.

It is kind of weird for me to read this exchange between Carmen and Kane in Chapter 8, although I wrote it, because of what occurs in Books Six and Seven. If you have not read those books, the dynamic between these two characters is totally different.

This chapter is also called I Lied because it is discovered later in the chapter that Jay lied to Carmen about Casa de Sangre. Now Casa de Sangre is Jay’s childhood home. Casa de Sangre is Spanish for the House of Blood. The estate got its name because of all the murders that took place there during Jay’s childhood. While Jay didn’t actually lie about the estate being his childhood home, he omitted the information. Just like he omitted the information that he was the actual owner.

Will Carmen find out? Well, if you read the book, you know. If you haven’t, you gotta read the book to find out. 

Behind the Book (Diamonds N’ Roses): Chapter Seven


Behind the Book is a series in which I give you a behind the scenes look at one of the latest installments of The Diamond Collection. For this round, I will be focusing on Diamonds N’ Roses: Part Five of The Diamond Collection.

Diamonds N’ Roses was released on December 25, 2016 and is available at the following online retailers: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million.

Other Available Titles in The Diamond Collection: Diamonds in the Rough, Diamonds are Forever, The Ace of Diamonds, Black Diamonds, The Diamond Tiara (Part Six) and Dirty Red Diamonds (Part Seven).

CHAPTER SEVEN: DADDY LESSONS

In the last entry of Behind the Book, I discussed how Carmen wanted King to mend his relationship with his father, Jay. The purpose of that conversation was to plant a seed in King’s mind.

When Chapter Seven rolls around, Jay has invited King to breakfast to try and fix their relationship. I did this on purpose to show the seed being watered. Both Carmen and Jay are on the same wavelength when it comes to their son. I chose the diner as the place to hold this conversation because of its significance to the series (this is the site where Carmen and Jay first met).

In this scene, King shares that his pain stems from his jealousy towards Jay’s relationship with his younger brother, Rakim. I planted this on purpose as a prelude to a future book. In Book 9 (tentatively titled: Diamond Princess), there is a storyline where King and Rakim, who are now both adults, are on the warpath. Their constant arguments, fights, and battles have a major effect on the rest of the family and even leads to a murder. After finishing Book Seven, I do not know if I will keep this as a storyline as it no longer fits the series.

In this scene, King also shares his original idea of having Kane serve as his best man. In response, Jay says, “I know all about the role Kane played in your life…I will never take away what he’s done for you. He was your father when I couldn’t be. What I will attack is his character. There’s nothing authentic about him. He’s like a bootleg…”

The, “he’s like a bootleg,” line came from a conversation I had with a former friend. He was sharing a conversation he had with his mother about an older woman who was like a mother to him. His mother told him, jokingly, “she’s not the real thing, she’s a bootleg.” I was writing this scene at the time and told him I was going to use it, which is how it made it into the book.

In conclusion, I wanted this scene to take place because I wanted King and Jay to be in a healthy place before Carmen and Jay tied the knot. I thought it was important to their love story that they were both on a good page with their firstborn.