Being the target of a mafia hit, narrowly escaping an abusive cult, and battling breast cancer has caused Kendra Petty to wonder, “How much can one person take?” More, life replied. Much more.

“[Petty’s real-life account] of attempted murder is so dizzyingly intricate that it feels straight out of a Hollywood movie.” –Kirkus

Here is a story of survival unlike any you’ve ever heard: Kendra Petty began life by enduring years of childhood abuse, culminating in a stunning breakout from a cult led by her own parents that nearly consumed her. She married a physically and emotionally abusive woman with a hidden drug habit. She successfully climbed the corporate ladder–only to discover she worked for an organized crime family. And after being diagnosed with breast cancer, she finally realized that the changes she needed to make could only be achieved by exploding the life she had deliberately created. But when her attempts put her in the crosshairs of organized crime, it would take every survival tactic she’d learned (and more) to avoid ending up dead. And that’s just the beginning. 

Far from your typical “misery memoir,” here is a harrowing page-turner that is both an inspirational story of resilience, grit, and perseverance, as well as a jaw-dropping thriller that proves that some lives really are stranger than fiction. 

“A thoroughly riveting and often enlightening true story of proliferating hardships.” 

– Kirkus Reviews

“I Can’t Believe I’m Not Dead:
Escaping Abuse, a Cult, Attempted Murder and Other Insanities”

Kendra Petty | March 7, 2022 | O’Leary Publishing | Memoir
Paperback, 978-1952491504, $19.99 | Hardcover, 978-1952491559, $24.99

Kendra Petty is a woman who has succeeded in an all-male industry, becoming an executive vice president at two firms. Kendra is a dynamic public speaker, powerful negotiator and dealmaker. She loves bouldering and scrambling in the mountains of California, Nevada and Arizona. A boater for many years, Kendra also loves fast cars and traveling. “I Can’t Believe I’m Not Dead” is her debut memoir. For more about Kendra, visit

In an interview, Kendra Petty can discuss:

  • What steps she’s taken to heal from childhood abuse, dealing with a mentally ill parent, and religious trauma–and why it’s an ongoing journey
  • How she came to suspect that she worked for an organized crime family, who appear to have wanted her dead for knowing too much, and how she survived 
  • Unique encouragement towards resilience and perseverance for those facing life-changing illness, difficult/toxic relationships, and death
  • Her professional success as she climbed the corporate ladder, despite her personal struggles
  • How to deal with a toxic business environment that’s eroding your mental and emotional well-being–and how to evaluate and act on big choices regarding what to do about it
  • Why her story, though quite unique, will inspire people who face interpersonal challenges of all kinds

Download press kit and photos