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Big, Cheesy News Update!

March 15, 2024 by in category Writing tagged as , , ,

I’m so excited to announce that my second children’s book, Mac and Cheese in Outer Space is coming soon! 

I will be working again with Winda Mulyasari, who helped my mac and cheese world come to life back in 2020 when I published Mac and Cheese, Please, Please, Please

Winda is super talented and I’m excited to watch her take my wild ideas and turn them into beautiful illustrations. My mac and cheese heart is bursting with excitement. 

I’m also feeling very fortunate that I get to have my very first official author reading on Monday! Pictures to come!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful St. Paddy’s Day!
Peace, love, and Mac and Cheese,

Mac and Cheese in Space – Coming Soon!

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Drōmfrangil RABT Book Blitz and Giveaway

July 29, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Rabt Book Tours tagged as , , , , ,




YA Fantasy



Date Published: 08-10-2021

Publisher: Cinnabar Moth



Though he doesn’t know it, Marcus Talent is special. Unfortunately for Marcus, he discovers this unexpectedly when he wakes up in an unfamiliar forest, has his prosthetic arm eaten by a horrifying monster, and then wakes up in his own bed, terrified and bleeding.


Marcus’s dad, Deacon, has answers. He heals Marcus’s new injuries, promising to answer all of Marcus’s questions about what happened the next day after school. But when Marcus gets home, he finds his dad missing and a ransom note appears out of a screaming hole in the sky. The only demand: travel again to get him back.


Helped by his human friends, Marcus sets out to find his dad in a world filled with creatures he couldn’t have imagined. Some of them are friendly. Some of them want to murder him. Or each other. They’re not picky. And everyone seems to know of his famous father, who has been hiding a lot more than an entire other world.



About the Author



Cynthia McDonald is the author of Life is a Terminal Illness and Drōmfrangil (Autumn 2021 from Cinnabar Moth Publishing) as well as a childhood memoir, two American history books, and the “I See Your Hearts” blog.


Cynthia was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1972. She spent her early adulthood raising two sons with her husband and then, after returning to college, enjoyed a fulfilling career as a Respiratory Therapist and a Respiratory Supervisor. This included several years of volunteer work on the Wisconsin state respiratory board, which concluded with a term as the President of the board.


She started writing in her forties, after the diagnosis of a low-grade cancerous brain tumor forced her to stop working outside of her home. Cynthia has also lived with disability throughout her adult life, as advancing degenerative disk disease and multiple surgeries have caused her to live with chronic pain and made it difficult for her to remain involved in activities outside of her home.


She and her husband recently moved to Oregon to be closer to her oldest son and his family, including her beloved grandson, whose toddler years are adding a lot of delight to her life! Her two German Shorthairs are also a big part of her family, as dogs always have been.



Contact Links








Publisher Links






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Once Upon the Longest Night

October 30, 2018 by in category Spotlight tagged as , , ,

Once Upon the Longest Night


Once Upon the Longest Night

Published by Once Upon Anthologies, an imprint of Ink House Books

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Romance

Participating Authors:

Release Date:

12.21.18, the longest night of the year.

Buy now!

Back cover copy:

The longest night. A vampire’s delight.

The winter solstice, a time of birth and rebirth, life and death, waning light and rising darkness. A time when those who flee the sun and crave the taste of blood find their greatest solace.

But one never knows what the longest night might hold.

Once Upon the Longest Night, a collection of adult paranormal romances, features nine novelettes of lovers and their battles against one of the greatest legends of our time: the vampire. A 15th-century seaman and the love of his life come face to face with a vengeful manjasang. In ancient Rome, a hunted priestess captured by a loyal centurion offers her aid to the enemy. With the help of a handsome Royal courier, a reluctant Romanian princess braves the curse flowing within her noble blood. Danger awaits when a vampire in the far reaches of North Dakota must endure the lethal cold to protect the woman she loves. And in a future New York, a broken general returns home for the Longest Night Ball where he meets a young male witch who might change his life forever.

This anthology combines vampire mythos and affairs of the heart with the sacred symbolism and magic of the winter season.

Sit back and let us tell you a tale. Welcome to the Longest Night.

Story Excerpt:



Linda Robertson

Bucharest was to be our last stop. Long days and longer nights were spent laying in my cabin’s narrow bed, alone. My body longed to reconvene with my lover, but his company and his conversation were missed as much as his touch. The only consolation was knowing how close Petru was. A thin wall separated us, but in his mind, so did his low birth.

I laid with my hand on that paneling, differentiating the sounds inside the adjacent cabin from the rhythmic rumble of the train. It did not take long to put aside those mechanical sounds and focus on Petru’s breathing. I distinguished his easily from Tarel’s; he slept beside me for over a year.

The train’s forlorn whistle sounded into the night, wailing for me as I suffered my longings alone, isolated and silent. I imagined how much worse it was going to get. When we arrived at Lupenegra, Petru would be much farther away than this.

Eventually, he would find another to make him smile.

That brought me to my feet.

I paced furiously, resenting the very concept of status that he had embraced. My lying mother had done this to him. The evidence was in his mannerisms, his downcast eyes and his rigid stance.

Then I stopped, remembering the snow in Budapest Station. She’s worked so hard to keep the world as she needs it to be, that she doesn’t see or care how ugly everything around her has become.

Adherence to that status concept may have been her myopic restriction, but it did not have to be mine. I was educated. I did not want to be her, and so I would not be. I would make things different. She was not here to demand obedience. She could enforce nothing.

A new plan formed.

We arrived in Bucharest mid-morning,and boarded a carriage that would convey us the rest of the way. Only a few hours remained in our journey. As Petru held the door for me to board the carriage, snow began to fall.

And I could not help smiling. I twirled in that snow and laughed like a little girl.

Tarel, preparing to climb up with the coachman,saw me and stopped. “The solstice is a favorable time to return, is it not, voivodela?”

Due to the rigors of travelling and feeding,I had lost track of days. Considering it, I cheerfully said, “It is. I’ll be home for the longest night of the year.” I put one foot upon the step and rose, but did not climb inside the carriage. Halted there, my smile was replaced with a sober expression. “Tarel?”

“My lady?”

Using a voice full of authority, I said, “Neither you nor Petru will speak to the others of what you know of me. Do you understand?”

Tarel nodded.

I glanced down at Petru. He also nodded. His eyes remained so downcast that I could not even see that wildflower color. Or maybe his eyes were shut.

He had shouldered much during our trip, not the least of which was managing the aftermath of my feeding. Soon, that would end.

“Mulțumesc, Petru. For everything.” I closed my parasol and climbed in.

In all, our journey had taken more than three weeks,but thus it was, that the afternoon of December 21st, a Sunday and the solstice, I arrived home.

The road approaching Castle Lupenegra ran along side the mountain. A blanket of white covered the land, and the bare trees stuck up out of the snow like thousands of pikes guarding the fortress. In the wind, they shook as if menacing us, and the snow they shrugged off made an eerie haze around them. But a moment later, unburdened of snow, the branches of those firs, more verdant than I remembered, bounced as if waving to welcoming me home.

As we made the last turn the snowfall increased, but could not obscure Lupenegra’s gate, slowly opening.

My chest seized and all my thoughts skipped back to that midsummer morning when I pounded my fists at that gate trying to open it.

I shut my eyes and breathed, slow and purposeful. My hands had curled into fists and my spine had stiffened. Mindful, I opened my hands and relaxed my muscles as I released a long sigh. My body gave a jerk when the gates clanged shut behind us.

​There was no escape for me now.

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Story Summaries:

Memories of Stone by Elizabeth Vaughan: Ercula is weary, tired of fleeing, considered a monster by the Romans. But the Solstice is sacred to her goddess and she will worship at the forgotten shrine, whatever the risk.

The centurion who captures her has other plans.  @eavwriter

The Lobster Trick by Dan Stout: Jacqueline doesn’t mind her job as an overnight security guard. After all, what’s the worst that could happen at a blood bank? But when an armed group invades the building, Jacqueline is forced into action to save a handsome lab tech… and discovers that his shy smile might hide a shocking secret. @DanStout

Blooded by Linda Robertson: Miriana Jorgeta rejoiced when her distant and cruel mother, the Queen, sent her away from Romania to attend a girl’s school in England. For years, she lived a life so perfect she almost forgot about the duties of her heritage. But curses rarely remain hidden, and soon, with the help of her mother’s royal courier, Miriana must face the truth about what really lurks in her blood. @AuthorLinda

His Last Battle by Sara Dobie Bauer: Suffering from PTSD, vampire general Devlin Frost returns home from the war on Lycans and attends the historic Longest Night Ball. Here, royal witch Elijah Crow must choose three immortal suitors to compete for his love and power. When Devlin is shockingly chosen as one of the three, his immediate attraction to the young witch coaxes him into entering the fray, but this battle is for more than Elijah’s love. The broken general might also win back his ruined heart and bruised soul—if he survives the night.  @saradobie

Silver Heart by Charissa Weaks: 15th Century Italy. After a decade at sea and with an inheritance in hand, Cristiano Del Valle returns to his childhood home of Venezia in search of a new beginning. What he finds on the longest night is an ancient enemy who not only threatens the life he’s long desired but the love he thought he’d lost. @CharissaWeaks

Her Blood to Bind by Alice Black: To escape the vampire who made her, a former dominatrix takes a job in Costa Rica as an English tutor to the children of a wealthy widower. What she discovers is that her new employer is just as dangerous as her pursuer…and twice as tempting. @AliceBlackBooks

Walk with Me by Jodi Henry: After a century of killing her own kind, Arianna Guerri retired to a place no other vampire dare go. In the deadly cold of North Dakota, she built a life for herself, and fell, secretly, in love with her best and only friend. When someone burns the small town,

Arianna must face the mistakes of her past—and her feelings—if she hopes to survive the longest night. @_JL_Henry

Love on the Longest Night by Sybil Ward: Neenah and Robert are searching for true love in the same place for drastically different reasons. Can they find love together on the longest night when they’re trapped by the century’s worst blizzard and one of them is a 300-year-old vampire? @SybilWard

One Night In December by Melinda S. Collins: NYC artist, Micah Price, never believed in vampires or immortality. But after a year of researching Daniel Savoy, her family’s enigmatic annual houseguest and the only man she’s ever loved, the options surrounding the truth of his past are slim at best. When a bloody Daniel arrives on Micah’s doorstep, she refuses to leave any stone of the mystery unturned. But accepting that vampires exist is the least of her worries. Because sometimes it’s not the monsters we should fear. It’s what hunts them. @MelindaSCollins


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