She was born in 1975 in Merced, California, the older of two children to Ralph Donald, a professor of mass communications at SIUE, and Patrice Stribling, a classical pianist. Donald attended Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, Maryland and then Westview High School in Martin, Tennessee, graduating in 1993. She next attended the University of Memphis, initially studying theater, and then transferred to the University of Tennessee at Martin to study journalism.
Her first novel, Nocturnal Urges, was published in 2004, launching the three-book series. Since then, she has published several novels and novellas in electronic and print, as well as a number of short story publications in various magazines. She has won the Darrell Award for horror and science fiction three times and has been a finalist for other awards, including the Prism Award from Romance Writers of America. She regularly appears at horror- and science fiction-themed conventions such as Archon, Dragoncon, Midsouthcon and Hypericon. In 2009, her novella titled "The Cold Ones" (Sam's Dot Publishing) sold out its first print run in 48 hours. The protagonist of this novella was named after fellow author Sara M. Harvey.
She has one son, born in 1999. Currently divorced, she works at the Belleville News-Democrat newspaper in Illinois.. She has won multiple journalism awards, including the Southern Illinois Editorial Association award for education journalism. She is vice president of the St. Louis Society of Professional Journalists and a member of the national ethics commission. Her uncle, Michael Stribling, is an award-winning New Age musician.