About The Dahlia Project

Have you ever had a really big idea, one that is so monumental and game changing, that you can’t get it out of your head? And then, the more you think about it, the bigger it becomes? 

Last August, I came up with a book idea that I just couldn’t shake. After months of toying with how I wanted to write this book, I finally began to put words on paper. The story is about young love that is tragically ripped apart, before finding each other again later in life. This story is the Cadence duet (Cadence Untouched and Cadence Defined).

As I was writing Cadence,  I had to research immigration laws and the DACA program due to Cadence's profession. You see, in the book, Cadence is the founder of a non-profit organization that works with immigrants who want to become legal citizens of the United States. The primary source of funding for her organization comes from a children’s book that she wrote and illustrated.  On my quest for information, I learned about real life organizations that operate similar to the one that Cadence founded.  I was incredibly inspired by their good work and found myself asking, what can I do to help?

And birthday happened. For my birthday this past March, my sixteen-year-old daughter decided to give me a gift that keeps on giving. She did a $25 Kiva loan in my name in order to provide women in developing countries a chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. I was completely in awe over my daughters gift. Inspired by her compassion and generosity, my brain literally exploded with ideas. This is how The Dahlia Project was born. 

Each book in The Dahlia Project will embrace diverse characters and current day world issues. In addition, 10% of the proceeds will go to fund various non-profit organizations. To read about these organizations, please see the column on the left hand side of this page. 

But wait...there's more to The Dahlia Project. Do you remember the children’s book I mentioned? The one that Cadence relies on to fund her non-profit organization? Well…yeah. I wrote that too. The title is And I Smile, with diversity being the primary message. However, you won't find it under the Dakota Willink name. I will be publishing it under the pseudonym of Marie Christy so that an unsuspecting young mind doesn't accidentally pick up one of my romance novels! 

I’m so incredibly excited about The Dahlia Project! Never in my life have I felt so determined to get something right. I want to make a difference, and to make this matter in a very real sense.  I hope you’ll follow the journey I take with it! To stay up to date on its progress, subscribe to my newsletter by clicking
HERE. You can also stay in the know by texting DAKOTA to 77948.

Contemporary Romance




Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. We celebrate and support people looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. 
By lending as little as $25 on Kiva, anyone can help a borrower start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential. For some, it’s a matter of survival, for others it’s the fuel for a life-long ambition.
100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes to funding loans. Kiva covers costs primarily through optional donations, as well as through support from grants and sponsors. To learn more, click

​​The Young Center

The Young Center is an organization that is dedicated to helping young immigrant children. They are a champion for the rights and best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children, making sure that wherever they land, whether here in the U.S. or in their home country, they are safe. You can read more about the Young Center by clicking HERE.

The NOW Foundation

The NOW Foundation focuses on a broad range of women’s rights issues, including economic justice, pay equity, racial discrimination, women’s health and body image, women with disabilities, reproductive rights and justice, family law, term paper help, marriage and family formation rights of same-sex couples, representation of women in the media, and global feminist issues. You can read more about The NOW Foundation by clicking HERE.

New Adult Contemporary Romance

Children's Book