by Karleen Staible

ASIN: B017C13I8U

Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Literature & Fiction, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Romance, Romance/Contemporary

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Book Description


Emily Fenner, an aspirant Broadway star, hopes to find all of her dreams in the big city and flashing lights. With beauty, talent, and an irrepressible desire to succeed, Emily is in the perfect position to take hold of the career she’s always wanted—until stirring emotions both from and toward her manager complicate everything.

Lost in the fame, secrets, lies, and lust of New York City’s high-end theater scene, Emily struggles to keep it all together.

Pearl is the debut edgy romance from Karleen Staible, full of twists and turns, suspense, betrayal and heartbreak.

Sample Chapter


Derrick couldn’t sleep. All he heard were her cries for help, and all he saw were the flashing red lights of the police cars and ambulance. Every time he closed his eyes, the visions were of drug paraphernalia and empty vodka bottles strewn around the motel room. He wanted it all out of his head. Quietly, he went into the bathroom and grabbed the vanity—throwing his head up and back. Was this his fault? He should have taken better care of her. Yes, this was all his doing.

By six a.m. he was out the door on the way to the hospital. Reception told him she was still in the ER. The place was eerily quiet—so different from the noise and chaos of the medical staff and police presence the night before.

Walking down the Emergency Room corridor to her bed, he was surprised to see Mark sitting in a wheelchair in the hall—dazed. His right arm was handcuffed to the chair; his left wrist wrapped with a clean, white bandage. A policeman stood close by, his clasped hands in front of him hanging down below his waist. A holstered gun, Taser, and club were attached to his belt, at the ready.

Derrick turned and looked into the draped bay where Emily was sleeping—finally calm after her violent night. When he saw Blake sitting next to the bed, holding her hand, Derrick suddenly realized Emily’s left wrist was handcuffed to the bed. He turned to a cop standing just outside the curtain.

“Why is she cuffed?” he asked the officer.

“I can’t say.” The policeman didn’t move.

Derrick walked to the bed. “What’s going on, Blake? Why is Em handcuffed?”

“As soon as she’s well enough they’re going to arrest her for drug possession, selling illegal substances, and maybe even child endangerment.”

“What the hell? They can’t make any of that stick. Mark was the drug pusher who facilitated her. God damn it, he’s the one, not her!”

He turned toward the cop. “She’s not a criminal. You can’t arrest her—she just needs help.” He was obviously angry.

“Derrick,” Blake said in his always-quiet voice. “If she goes to prison, she’ll die.”

“She is not going to prison!” Derrick grabbed his cell phone.

Blake rubbed his fingers across his lips over and over. “I don’t know. Repeated drug possession charges, especially for pregnant women, are pretty serious offenses. She could be sentenced to some significant time.”

A nurse walked into the bay, and Derrick stopped tapping letters into his phone. He barked out the words, “Why is Emily still in the ER?”

“She has no insurance or counsel. We are waiting for a bed to open up in one of the secured wards.”

Derrick took in a deep breath. “I’m calling my lawyer. Put her in a nice room; I’ll take care of her bill.”

“I’m sorry, sir, you’ll have to talk to her doctor about that. Would you like me to call Dr. Garrison and have her come down and talk to you?”

“Yes, immediately!”

“I will, now I must attend to the patient. You two gentlemen can sit in the waiting room.”

Derrick and Blake walked in silence down the hall. Derrick was furiously typing a message to Sully, his attorney.

They are going to charge Emily. You need to get to the hospital ER right now before they start questioning her.

He sent the message and stuck the phone back in his shirt pocket.

The two men sat down.

“Don’t worry, Blake. I’ll take care of this mess, just like I’ve taken care of all her messes.”

“I don’t know how you do it. She makes everyone look like a fool so easily.” Blake turned and looked directly at him. “I’m in love with her. I mean, I really love and care for her. But she…” he sighed. “I don’t know. Why do I stick around?”

“Because you do love her,” Derrick said shortly. He was reading the message he had received from Sully. “Just like you, I love her and need to take care of her. My lawyer is on his way. He’s the best.”

“How did you meet Emily?” Blake asked. “She told me she’s from the Midwest.”

Derrick settled back in the chair. “Waukee, Iowa. It’s a small town outside of Des Moines. Her parents lived in an upper-middle-class community there. My college roommate and frat brother also lived there with his family.

“I’d been working in New York City for eighteen years. I got my big break and produced a winning play on Broadway. In the process, I realized I was damn good at finding and nurturing talent.

“My buddy invited me to spend the holidays with him and his family. He probably had done it right: landed a sales position at a pharmaceutical company, married his college sweetheart, and started a family. While I was beating the bushes in the big city trying to find a good-paying job, he was living a comfortable life in suburbia with his loving wife and two great kids. At that point, his daughter was a senior in high school, his son a freshman.

“I went for about ten days—winter break. They had their Christmas play, and his daughter was in the choir.”

“Let me guess, Emily was the female lead.”

“Yep, and she was tremendous. I mean, she was so good. I kept telling myself she was just a kid. How could a kid from a small town out in the middle of nowhere have such great talent? I was blown away.

“The afterparty was at Emily’s house; I met her parents. I told them they should let me take her to New York after she graduated. I could make her into a big Broadway star. Of course, as you would expect, they both said no. Her mother’s comment, absolutely not, if I recall. Come to find out, my friend and Emily’s dad were good friends, and we saw her family a lot over those ten days. I gave her dad my business card and told him I would be back at the end of the school year to talk to them.”

Blake broke his stare from across the room to look at him. “Obviously you convinced them to let her come to New York City.”

“Yes, but it took some fast talking and the promise of money up front. Emily and her mom Gloria moved into Emily’s apartment the end of June. Tom, her dad, stayed for a month, and then went back to Iowa. Gloria liked all the glamor. It took no time at all for Emily to get on as a dancer in a new production. I was constantly looking for the perfect part for Em. At the end of the summer, Gloria went back to Waukee. She made me promise on my life that I would take care of her little girl.

“Emily was a natural, fitting right in to the celebrity scene. All was well until November when her play was canceled.”


Excerpted from "Pearl" by Karleen Staible. Copyright © 2015 by Karleen Staible. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Karleen Staible

Karleen Staible

My name is Karleen Staible. I am a child of the 50s and 60s, 1950s that is; I’m not coming to you from the future—Sci-fi is not my genre, I write contemporary woman with some romance in the mix. Life was very simple in those days; no child proof anything, never locked our doors and my dad left the keys in the car so he could quickly respond to a fire with the Arvada Volunteer Fire Department. We moved to Arvada, Colorado after he graduated from Colorado State University on the GI bill. We lived on a dead-end dirt street with seven houses. We played outside as long as our parents allowed us, and objected when we heard the call to go home at night. In the open fields, we played baseball or hide and go seek throughout the neighborhood. And yes, we did drink out of the garden hose. I lived in that same house from the age of two until twenty when I married my husband, Fred. We didn’t stay in the Denver area for very long after he graduated from college. He worked in the oil and gas business as an engineer. A few years after we married he got involved with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and we were off to Algeria. And there started our Expat lives. We lived and traveled all over the world, met many interesting people and made friends that became family. I learned to use the computer on one of our assignments overseas. I’m fascinated with the many things you can do on a computer. I am constantly learning new programs and techniques. I especially like doing special digital art, from video editing to designing my own book covers. I can honestly say I’m in need of nothing. I have had a terrific life, have two wonderful kids and great in-law kids that are happy and successful in their careers. Our two granddaughters are definitely the light of our lives. It has been a fabulous life. My stories reflect situations and people I have met along the way. The characters are personalities of those people I have encountered, and the places are cities or towns I have found interesting. My childhood upbringing and my heroes are also written into my stories. Each story has a social message; how women or people in general can empower themselves to deal with difficult situations. My goal is not to make millions of dollars, or make my name famous; I just want to write books that everyone will enjoy reading, and want to read more.

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