Mercedes Lackey's novella, Moontide opens the anthology Winter Moon from Harlequin's Luna line. Moira is called home to the stormy land of her father, Lord Ferson of Highclere Sea-Keep. Moira feels certain her father wants to marry her off for political alliances. She also suspects her father and some of his cohorts are plotting treason against the King. Moira finds an ally and love from a most unexpected source. With her dazzling descriptions, it is easy to see why Mercedes Lackey is one of the favorites of fans of the fantasy genre. I have often overlooked this genre myself, but writing of this caliber will make me go back for more than a second glance in the near future.
Tanith Lee explores The Heart of the Moon as well as the heart of heroine Clirando, whose name came to the author in a dream. Clirando is betrayed in the worst possible way by someone who was her sister-friend. After their duel, Araitha curses Clirando and leaves for her banishment. Clirando feels guilty, despite all her anger, when she finds out the ship Araintha was on was shipwrecked and all aboard are assumed dead. Clirando must live with her guilt along with the curse of being sleepless and having a hollow life. Clirando is sent on a mission with six other of her band of women warriors to Moon Isle. She is not sure if this trip is a reward for her skills or penance. Lore has it that the island has supernatural powers. When Clirando meets Zemetrios on Moon Isle, she realizes she is not the only one struggling with guilt over the past. Will the magic of the Isle work for or against the pair? Tanith Lee is another respected mistress of the fantasy genre. This novella gives a small glimpse into her huge talent.
Author C. E. Murphy calls Banshee Cries Book 1.5 of the Walker papers. Book One, Urban Shaman , was published in June 2005 and Book Two, Thunderbird Falls , will be out in May 2006. Banshee Cries stands well on its own as a novella and is quite different from the other two offerings in this anthology since it is set in modern time. Joanne Walker "marches to a different drummer" not only with her career choices, but in having to deal with her mystical gift. She has to come to terms with her conflicted past to be able to live with the present. C.E. Murphy may not be as well known as the other two authors, but her storytelling skills make her a rising star.