Friday, October 20, 2006

Spotlighting: Together For Good by Melanie Dobson

As the vice president of Nulte PR, Abby Wagner has managed to bury her pain by immersing herself in work. However, her life soon begins to unravel when she is assigned a new public relations campaign for Heartsong Adoptions, the firm that had torn her family apart 20 years ago. Before long, she finds her job on the line as past anguish resurfaces.

When Abby’s daughter Jessica decides to spend the summer on Orcas Island, the childhood playground she had once enjoyed with her father, Abby finally returns to the family cottage she has avoided since the day her son had been stolen from her life.

While on the island, Abby reunites with her childhood friend Damian De Lucia, who runs a tour boat business on Puget Sound. Prompted by Damian’s concern about the dwindling number of orca’s returning to the Sound each year, Abby embarks on a PR campaign to help publicize their plight.

As Abby works through her past, she discovers the God really does work all things out for the good of those who love him.

Together for Good is a beautifully written story of God’s love and redemption for us all. In the midst of our pain, we often fail to see any good in the situation and are blinded to the overall picture God has painted regarding our lives. In her debut novel, Melanie Dobson has illustrated Romans 8:28 with tenderness and very real characters.

Set in the beautiful Puget Sound, Melanie successfully weaves two storylines into a well crafted novel which highlights both the pain and joy of adoption and the effects of pollution on wildlife.

Whether you have been touched by adoption or not, you don’t want to miss this novel with its heart-warming characters and beautiful scenery.

Five Questions With Melanie Dobson

As well as writing, you also run a publicity firm, Dobson Media. How do you juggle these two jobs with your role as wife and mom?

I took a hiatus from Dobson Media when I signed the contract for my second novel, though I still do a few publicity projects on the side. Until we had kids, I had no idea how challenging it would be to balance work with taking care of our home and spending quality time with my family. I seem to have no problem throwing things up into the air, but I don't always catch them when I should (I'm talking about housework here, not children...). I've been blessed with an amazing husband who is a true teammate when it comes to parenting, but our house usually looks like a tornado came through (actually two tornadoes--a two- and three-year-old named Kiki and Karly). Cooking is, well, something I did before we adopted our girls, and I no longer have time for those long, hot baths I used to love. I've learned to prioritize which often means stopping to watch a worm inch across the patio instead of working on my next chapter. I delve into writing the instant the girls are tucked into bed.

Together for Good is a poignant novel surrounding adoption. As a mother of two successfully adopted daughters, what was your inspiration behind this story?

We adopted our first daughter, Karly, three years ago. We were going through the process with some close friends who were adopting a boy, but before their birthmother relinquished her rights, she showed up at their front door and said she'd changed her mind and wanted her baby back. Our friends were devastated when they had to "return" the boy they'd come to love as their son, yet they clung to their faith in God through the whole process. Together for Good is the result of my own search to discover how God could use a heart wrenching situation like this for good.

You manage to bring Orcas Island to life in Together for Good. Have you lived there yourself, or did you have to do a lot of research for the setting?

I love Orcas Island! A few years ago, Jon surprised me by taking me there for my birthday, and we discovered a serene getaway where we could rest and hike and enjoy God's creation. For me, writing about the rugged terrain and peaceful waterways in the Puget Sound was the next best thing to living there.

What is the one thing you would like readers to discover when they read Together for Good?

Even when we don't understand what is happening, God has a plan for every man and woman who loves him.

What do readers have to look forward to in the future from Melanie Dobson?

Novel #2 comes out next year. This one is called Going for Broke, and it's about a woman who is trapped in a gambling addiction. I'm currently working on my third novel as well which is tentatively titled The Black Cloister (May 2008). I'd initially wanted to write something fun for my next project since my first two novels drained me emotionally, but God placed a story in my heart about a woman who was born into an abusive religious cult. It's hardly the light book I'd been hoping to write, but the story has been pouring out me and I pray it will offer hope and healing to people who've been abused by "spiritual" leaders.

For more information about Melanie Dobson, check out her Web sites: and

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