When Olivia gets news of her best friend Dan’s fatal car accident, her entire life is upended. Shattered with grief and struggling to find any meaning or purpose to life, she trudges along with a gaping void in her heart. Finally, when her frustration reaches its peak, Olivia decides to trust Dan’s eternal friendship. That trust allows him to break through to her from the beyond, and Dan guides Olivia through the twists and turns of her life into something new and entirely unexpected.
When Olivia exposes a gigantic internal scandal at work, her career implodes. With no job and no one to turn to, she escapes to Palm Springs for the sympathy and care of her beloved cousin, Garrett. He isn’t quite the comfort Olivia hoped for, but on that journey, meets someone who fills the void in her heart. She’s never experienced such a deep love. It heals her soul and rekindles her spirit - and just may have been the design of her dearly departed friend all along.
Beyond Believing is a sweet, funny and romantic story that touches the heart, serves up delicious twists and turns, and shows the reader that there’s no such thing as “coincidence.” Author D.D Marx regards this book as her love letter to friendship.
D.D. Marx is a contemporary romantic fiction writer and blogger, as well as a lover of all things social. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton, as well as the Second City program in Chicago, where she currently resides. A proud aunt and self-described hopeless romantic, Marx has always had a knack for humorous and engaging storytelling. Her pen name is a dedication to her beloved friend Dan, who continues to guide and inspire her in her daily life.
Beyond Believing: An Inspiring Story to Awaken the Heart 4.7 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I love the first book Beyond Believing of the series. I cannot imagine the next book and the third book. I am looking forward to read the entire series. I am sure it is as beautiful as the first book.
I loved this book. It is hard to put it down. It is a beautiful story of friendship, tragedy and second chances. My best book read for 2015. I loved how teen-age life about the group of Olivia and Dan. They even continue their friendship until the moved out from the city and have careers each of them. True friendship rarely happens and when it does it last a lifetime.
This book is very inspiring. I lost count how many times I need to catch my breath. I am blown away how amazing the story is. D.D Marx did a fantastic job on her debut book. I am a new fan. I highly recommend this book if you love romance and second chances. This book will melt your heart too.
More than 1 year ago
The debut installment of author D.D. Marx’s Beyond series promises a story of how a woman’s friend’s death turns her world upside down, she finds corruption in the company for which she works, and finds solace in her cousin’s residence. The writer dedicates her book to individuals named Maddie, Ryan, and Danny, not to mention beloved friends and family that inspired the author to achieve her dreams, along with her mentor. In the prologue, protagonist and first-person narrator Olivia “Hank” Henry acknowledges her addiction to friendship, her family having lived across America, she and her sister attending separate schools, and talks about various friends, love at first sight, and experiences with alcohol.
The first main chapter opens with Olivia’s invitation to a Cougar concert alongside the news of her paternal grandmother’s death. The second chapter introduces the novel’s secondary narrator, Finn McDaniels, a self-described “foodie” in regards to his love for cooking, born in Fife, Scotland on December 16, 1969, and who describes experiences such as a friend falling from a cliff yet surviving, not to mention a love from whom he eventually stopped receiving letters. Both narrators describes the high and low points of their lives, with certain circumstances altering their life experiences, and their paths ultimately crossing.
Overall, this is an excellent start to the Beyond Trilogy that remains fresh throughout with its constant alternation of first-person narrators. The author admits after the main text that she too can be overly-social, and that real-life tragedies inspired some of the book events, with two sequels continuing the story, Beyond Love and Beyond Forever, forthcoming, their predecessor being highly-recommended reading in the end.
More than 1 year ago
This was the first book that I have read by this author and it was enjoyable. It is a story about love and friendship. The character development was very good as the author created some strong characters who could be someone you know. This is one of those books that you could not put down as you did not want to stop reading about your friends. There are some sad parts to this book as well but they have to be there to tell the story. But do not fret there is also some humor to this story. I think this would be a good quick beach read. A bit of trivia about this book is that it was written in memory of the author’s best friend Dan and she calls this book a “love letter to friendship”. If you like romance or chick-lit then you will enjoy this book. This book is a part of a trilogy so I can’t wait to read the next book to see what happens.
More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Patricia Day for Readers' Favorite
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.
More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kelly Santana for Readers' Favorite
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.
More than 1 year ago
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.