Have you ever had a really big idea, one that is so monumental and game changing, you can’t get it out of your head? Then, the more you think about it, the bigger it becomes?
For me, the idea stemmed from the 2016 United States Presidential election. Stick with me here...I promise not to get political.
No matter who you voted for, there’s no denying the shock that reverberated through the country. I couldn’t avoid the news if I tried. Because of this, I came up with a book idea I just couldn’t shake. I wanted to write a book that reflected the current world we live in. However, I didn’t want it to be opinionated or in-your-face-politics. God knows, we have enough of that and fiction should be an escape from reality.
After months of toying with how I wanted to write it, I finally began to put words on paper. Cadence was supposed to be just one book, but I felt I wasn’t doing justice to the characters backstory. They needed more of a foundation. As a result, Cadence became two books - Cadence Untouched and Cadence Defined.
Untouched is a prequel to Defined. It takes place seventeen years ago, which made it a lot of fun for me to write. I was able to dive into trends from the late 90’s, and it brought me back to when I was in my late teens and early twenties. However, as fun as it was to write, it also came with challenges. New adult is way out of my comfort zone.
After I finished Untouched and moved on to Defined, I had to research non-profit organizations due to Cadence's profession. On my quest for information, I learned about real life organizations that operate similar to the one Cadence founded in Defined. I was incredibly inspired by their good work and found myself asking, what can I do to help?
Then my birthday happened.
For my birthday, my sixteen-year-old daughter decided to give me a gift that keeps on giving. She invested in a $25 Kiva loan in my name. This loan provided women in developing countries a chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. As the women repaid the loan, the money was then recycled for someone else to use. The money is still being reused to this day.
I was completely in awe over my daughters gift. Inspired by her compassion and generosity, my brain literally exploded with ideas.
If you notice, on the covers of Cadence Untouched and Cadence Defined, The Dahlia Project is written at the top. Whenever you see this, it means a portion of the proceeds will go to fund various non-profit organizations. To read more about the organizations The Dahlia Project will give to, please see the column on the right of this page.
But wait...there's more! In Defined, Cadence wrote and illustrated the children’s book, And I Smile. I decided to bring that to life too, published under the pseudonym of Marie Christy so an unsuspecting young mind doesn't accidentally pick up one of my romance novels! A portion of the proceeds from And I Smile will go Room to Read, a global organization devoted to promoting literacy and girl's education.
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.
THE DAHLIA PROJECT WILL DONATE TO
Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. 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 HERE.
Room To Read
Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, they develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond. You can read more about Room To Read by clicking HERE.
*All proceeds from And I Smile will go to Room To Read in $100 intervals.
*A portion of the proceeds from all other books included in The Dahlia Project will be distributed to various Kiva loans monthly.
New Adult Contemporary Romance
A loan of $1,300 helps to continue studying towards getting her bachelor's degree.
Guliko, whose three loan requests have already been raised on Kiva, is very grateful for each lender's participation in her success. The financial support was the main problem in Guliko's life, and without this support she will never get an appropriate education.
Guliko is a second-year student at Georgian Technical University, in the faculty of Chemical Technologies and Metallurgy. According to her lecturers’ recommendations, Guliko is a very hardworking young woman who will get ahead. She is requesting a student loan in order to pay her tuition fees. After graduation, Guliko hopes to be employed in her profession and succeed in life.
This loan is special because:
It allows low-income students to pursue education and find jobs before repaying.
A loan of $750 helps to build a bathroom for the family.
Phory is 48 years old. She is a widowed mother living with her daughter. She has three children and two children are students. She is a farmer and her daughter is a garment worker. She is making a net income of around USD 13.00 per day. She and her beloved family reside in Prey Veng Province of Cambodia.
Due to a shortage of finances, she is now asking for this loan to build a bathroom for her family. She hopes that this loan will to help her to get a new bathroom to make her family comfortable. In the future she wants to make a small business and build her house.
Phory send thanks beforehand to all lenders for their support.
This loan is special because:
It helps prevent the spread of disease by providing access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities.
FOLLOW THE PROGRESS!
Proceeds Marked for Kiva Loans
Proceeds Marked for Room To Read
BOOKS THAT ARE A PART OF THE DAHLIA PROJECT
Who You Have Helped So Far
By supporting The Dahlia Project, you've helped make the lives of these people a little better - thank you!
Be sure to check back for regular updates!
A loan of $1,700 helps to purchase sanitary products for bathroom which will enable better housing conditions.
Hamide is 36 years old, married and has four children. She has a positive character and tries hard to provide her family with decent living conditions.
In order to do so, she has decided to request a Kiva loan which will be used to purchase sanitary products for the bathroom which will enable better housing conditions.
As such, she is thankful to all of the Kiva lenders for their support!
This loan is special because:
It supports the social and economic well being of low-income families.