Excerpt: What Doesn’t Kill You by Donna Huston Murray

About the Book:


Awarded HONORABLE MENTION, 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. 
Lauren Beck’s friends, phone, home, credit and credibility are gone, severed with surgical precision by an enemy intent on framing her for murder. Is it one of the insureds she was hired to investigate? The fellow employee she upstaged? Does the daughter of her landlady and dear friend, Corinne Wilder, hate her even more than she thought? Whoever targeted her should beware. A former cop and cancer survivor knows how to fight for her life.

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Featured in Dec/Jan 2017 Issue: 2016 Best Indie Book Competition Winners

Chapter 1 (Excerpt)

I’ve sidled up to my honorary uncles Norman and Tom, two of my dad’s dearest friends.

“Nice homily,” Norman remarks. 

I open my mouth, but Nina is storming toward me, fists clenched, face aflame. “You,” she shouts, “you’ve got a nerve.” The room goes silent. Faces gape and stare. “I can’t believe you’re here, you you you MURDERER!” Hands covering her face, she crumbles into the arms of her despised ex-husband.

The uncles and I have backed up so far we’re literally against the cement-block wall. The whole room is holding its breath.

“Nina, really.” I pat the air. “You’re upset. You don’t know what you’re saying.”

“The hell I don’t.” The whites of her eyes are so exposed she looks rabid. “You’re going to jail for a long, long time, Lauren Beck…”

Many of the onlookers are friends of my family. Others know the Beck name from my dad’s real estate dealings, or maybe I arrested somebody’s husband or son for something or other back when I was on the job.

Nobody here will forget me now. Never mind that I’m innocent; I’ve just become the OJ Simpson of Landis, Pennsylvania.

Pointing toward the door, Nina’s “GET OUT!” lands on me like spit.

Norman steps forward, but I halt him with my arm. “She’s just upset,” I tell the old bulldog. “I’ll be okay.”

But I won’t. My dad’s friend knows it, and I know it; but he backs off anyhow. What other choice does he have?

The annex door clunks shut behind me. 

An unmarked car sits at the curb. Wearing softened designer jeans, a tweed sport coat, and no particular expression, Scarp Poletta opens the passenger door more like a gentleman than a homicide cop.

When we’re eye to eye, I finally ask. “Is this our first date, or are you here to arrest me?” 

“This book could easily sit on the shelf with traditionally published novels and beat them hands down.” Judge, Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards

Available at Amazon, BN, iBooks, and Kobo.

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