Beyond Believing

An Inspiring Story to Awaken the Heart

Fiction - Chick Lit
200 Pages
Reviewed on 02/19/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

d.d. marx is an author, blogger and inspired writer for the chick-lit genre. She is a Second City graduate, hopeless romantic, amazingly proud Aunt, a forever friend and life lover.

d.d. marx came barreling into this world with the “gift of gab”. Her parents quickly identified a pattern forming when each teacher conference contained the words “she’s a little too social”. d.d.’s biggest life concern was identifying which boy she’d be chasing at recess rather than mastering math problems. She parlayed this gift into creating play dates on the playground. If friendship were a business, she would be a millionaire. She prides her life on maintaining friends from every walk of life in every corner of the country. This is the fuel that fills her tank.

Graduating with a Communication degree from the University of Dayton, she attempted to break into the world of Public Relations but was instead side-tracked with a J.O.B. At the strong encouragement of her friends and family, who dubbed her a “funny story teller”, she stretched her comfort zone by entering the Second City program in Chicago where her itch for entertainment was finally scratched. Determined to share her story and create a legacy, she decided to combine these talents and become a writer. She returned to her alma-mater to immerse herself in a 3-day writing course where this dream finally came to life. Asked to imagine if she was a super-hero, her task was to dig-deep to describe her special powers. Based on the real-life tragedy of one of her best friends, that answer came without hesitation. All she’s ever wanted was the power to visit with him one last time. This is the inspiration that catapulted her into her debut project titled, the Beyond Series. She dove into a world imagining that he never left.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessyca Garcia for Readers' Favorite

Beyond Believing: An Inspiring Story to Awaken the Heart by D.D. Marx follows the life of two people, Olivia Henry and Finn McDaniels. Both characters face the loss of a loved one. Olivia loses her best friend Dan, and Finn loses his wife. Unbeknownst to them, these losses are connected and put them on the path to each other.

At first I thought that Beyond Believing was going to be a book about finding love. It is actually a book about friendship and love. Marx’s characters are very likeable. The friends that Olivia has are truly amazing. They stick together and are always there for each other through the years. I wish I had just one friend like that. The death of Olivia's best friend Dan was heartbreaking, but knowing he still gave her signs, like playing Small Town on the radio, was refreshing. It made me wish that I would receive signs from my lost loved ones. I liked that Marx’s characters have very different personalities. Olivia has a sense of humor that shines through even the darkest moments in the book. Finn is more serious but has a heart of gold. It was almost as if someone else was writing Finn’s character because his personality was so different. The way that Finn and Olivia finally meet is hilarious. I was glad that this was not the type of story where they are constantly missing each other. The way they met was natural, almost like it is in life.

Marx says that Beyond Believing is a “love letter to friendship”, and that is exactly what it is. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read romance and anyone who has ever lost a loved one. I will now begin looking for any signs from my lost loved ones to know that they are still here with me. Personally, I am coming back as a butterfly.

Jack Magnus

Beyond Believing is a contemporary fiction novel written by D.D. Marx. It follows the lives of Olivia Henry and Finn McDaniels as they come of age and become adults. Olivia was in the fifth grade when her parents announced that the family was moving from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, to Chicago. Olivia and her older sister, Jane, had to face changing schools in the middle of the school year, but even more upsetting for Olivia was the prospect of losing the friends she had grown up with. Finn grew up in Fife, Scotland, a small town on the coast. He and his best friend, Mac, were closer than brothers and, when they turned 15, became caddies for the golf courses in the area. One night, when they were out on a course hunting for lost golf balls, the nightwatchman noticed them and started to chase them. Finn got away, but when he finally got home he heard that Mac had fallen off a cliff and was reportedly in a coma.

D.D. Marx's new adult fiction novel, Beyond Believing, is such a comfortable book to sit down and read. Marx's characters speak plainly and oh so eloquently about their lives, their friends and their dreams for the future that I found myself easily immersed in their worlds. Sometimes having a story alternately told by two or more speakers can confuse or distract the reader, but I found that not to be the case with Beyond Believing. I loved the coming of age stories of both Olivia and Finn, and especially enjoyed the different locales in which the story is set. Beyond Believing's author blends two compelling coming of age stories in a witty, new adult contemporary novel, and she does so in a most enjoyable and entertaining way. It's most highly recommended.

Kelly Santana

Beyond Believing: An Inspiring Story to Awaken the Heart by D.D. Marx is the first book from The Beyond Series. Olivia is a loving, free-spirited woman and, as she likes to describe herself, a friendship addict. Her journey is shared with loyal friends she met as a pre-teen when her family moved to Chicago. Life is fun until the day Olivia is caught off guard with terrible news: her best friend and “almost brother” Dan has died in a car accident. Olivia’s world shatters. Life goes on, full of ups and downs, but Olivia is never afraid to start over. She becomes professionally successful and even relocates a few times. Nonetheless, she feels a void in her personal life that cries out to be filled. Always seeking inspirational advice from Dan, Olivia decides to take a step further in her career and move on with a project dear to her heart, one that would positively impact millions of people. Things do not end up the way she foresees. Deceived, Olivia seeks shelter with her cousin Garret. As she is trying to process things and is searching for meaning, her life takes another turn. Olivia cannot imagine that the answers she longed for are closer than she expected.

Beyond Believing: An Inspiring Story to Awaken the Heart by D.D. Marx is a delightful story of friendship, love and resilience. As the first book of the trilogy, it left me wanting to read more. Admittedly, the plot development got me hooked; the witty dialogues, the parallel stories, and the situational descriptions provided momentum and set the tone for the surprises. The characters were fun and full of flair. I loved the story of their friendships and how the characters stuck to each other even when they were apart. Also, the twists and turns of the main characters’ lives showed a great lesson on resilience and belief. This book demonstrates that, even if faced with challenges in life, we can always hope for a better tomorrow. I recommend this book for those searching for meaning and looking for a fresh start.

Patricia Day

Beyond Believing by D.D. Marx is a prime example of the saying, “There’s no such thing as coincidence.” Olivia struggled with many challenges in her young life, well into adulthood. Her close and trusted friend, Dan, always helped her move on in life, and she always overcame each challenge. He kept her on track. In Dan, she found a special friendship. He was her confidante. Her knight-in-shining-armour. So when he dies, she is immediately adrift in an ocean of despair and loneliness. Much like a ship without a rudder, she wanders through life, trying to find her destiny.

When she accepts a fantastic new work opportunity away from home, she quickly discovers that trusting her gut feeling requires her absolute attention. Nothing and no one, it appears, is what they seem. With advice from close friends, and the kinship of her favorite cousin, Garrett, Olivia finds herself thrust into a situation that she would, at one time, have avoided at all costs, never wanting to attract attention to herself. Her decision to expose corruption and bad business practices puts her slap-bang into the public limelight, and she soon realizes her career is in jeopardy.

I love a good story and always attempt to anticipate the end; reading between the lines, I did not like what I 'saw,' and it is easy to relate to her inner turmoil. The characters become very real, very quickly, and as I read each chapter I wanted to put things right for her. I was experiencing all the ups and downs of Olivia’s life. The conclusion makes for a resounding sign of relief. An excellent read.