Winter Moon

Winter Moon - Tanith Lee, Mercedes Lackey, C. E. Murphy "Moontide" by Mercedes Lackey
This is my first Lackey story even though I've got her Diana Tregarde mysteries waiting here on Mt. TBR that I haven't read yet. In this novella, Lackey takes us to the land of her Five Hundred Kingdoms and tells the story of a sea keep's daughter who's been sent off to fostering for most of her young adult life. While there, she was trained as an assassin and one of the "Gray Ladies". Her skills come in handy when she returns home to find her father entertaining a pirate from a rival land, to whom he wants to use Moira as a bargaining chip. But Moira's got other plans...

"The Heart of the Moon" by Tanith Lee
I really enjoyed this story. It portrays a tough heroine, a warrior, who is sent off to by the priestesses of Amnos to the magickal island of Moon Isle, where she must work through some of the things from her past. While on her "journey", she meets a strange man whom she feels an instant attraction to. But can she trust him, or is he just another man like Thestus, who would only betray her? And what else will she learn about herself in the process?

"Banshee Cries" by C. E. Murphy
"Banshee Cries" is set in the same place as Murphy's The Walker Papers series and takes place between Urban Shaman (book 1) and Thunderbird Falls (book 2).

This was the best of the bunch. I read the first book of the Walker Papers, Urban Shaman, back at the end of 2005, so I'd forgotten much about the characters. Fortunately, this story provides a lot of reminders that jump started my memory. Also, whereas the Urban Shaman kind of dwindled action-wise after awhile as Joanne struggled with her new powers, there wasn't much time for dilly-dallying in this short story format. Joanne still wishes she didn't possess her Shamanic skills, but she's beginning to get a handle on them nonetheless. This story gives us a lot more information about Joanne's mother, who passed away in the last book, and it's with the help of her dead mom that she's able to defeat the Banshee, the Harbinger of Death, that has returned to try to complete something it couldn't 30 years ago!