Michelle lives in a desolate land with a dark wizard, a unicorn, and a feline overlord. Despite certain stereotypes you may be familiar with, the dark wizard is not holding her captive, nor does the unicorn require virgin riders. The feline overlord, however, may well be evil.

She holds dual BAs in English and Philosophy, which has gotten her about as far as you would expect it to in life. Despite all evidence to the contrary, she's still desperately holding out hope that in an alternate reality she's a sword-wielding princess.

Guardian of Chaos by Michelle Manus

Welcome to Earth Between. The inhabitants are magical, the fugitives dashing, and the new Guardian is having a seriously strange life.

It's easy to feel forgettable. Nyx literally is, and the condition seems to be getting worse.

Homeless, alone, and with no memory of her past, she's at the end of her rope when she stumbles into Earth Between. Here, a Waystation connects the planet to the rest of the inhabited universe, and magic and intergalactic travel are just the order of the day.

Becoming the Station's Guardian seems too good to be true. It means a home and stability, surrounded by people who can actually remember she exists. But when an illegal traveler slips into Earth Between, she's given an ultimatum: apprehend him or lose Guardianship of the Station.

Nyx will do whatever it takes to keep her new life, even if it means following the fugitive to one of the universe's most dangerous planets. But that action has life-altering consequences, thrusting her into the middle of a conflict that started centuries before her birth.

Nyx is about to come face to face with the powers of the universe—and discover that being seen is even harder than being forgotten.


I fell in love with Nyx, the titular Guardian, from the very start of Michelle's book. Quickly, Nyx becomes a reluctant investigator and then finds herself organizing a heist/rescue mission, all while learning about magic and dimensional travel. It's a blast from beginning to end. – Margaret Curelas



  • "I love the world that Nyx Fortuna is thrust into... Fans of Ilona Andrews and her InnKeeper Chronicles will enjoy this one."

    – Caffeinated Reviewer
  • "Nyx is relatable and so much fun to read. I appreciated her wit, her drive, and her passion, and think readers will love those qualities about her too."

    – Judge, 9th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published E-Book Awards
  • "I loved this book so much....I'm diving into book two NOW! What are you waiting for?"

    – Melissa of My World...in words and pages



The air smelled of damp and a trace of moss, and a little of the smoky scent from chimneys that always made Nyx feel like true winter had come. The farther she walked, the less apparent the city became, until eventually she could no longer see it when she looked over her shoulder.

The world had given way entirely to the ancient forest.

The lane ended at a two-story cabin. It had a well-maintained, green-shingled roof and a covered porch area complete with wooden bench swing. In front of the building sat a small stone fountain in the shape of a griffin. Water gurgled from the griffin's beak, pooling at its feet in a shallow basin.

Hanging from the porch roof on two black-linked chains was a wooden sign etched with the words, "Between the Lines Bookstore and Coffee." In smaller letters underneath were the words, "We do not discriminate based on species, planet of origin, or amorous orientation."

Well, at least the place has a sense of humor.

Nyx rose on her tiptoes and then rolled back onto her feet, completing the see-sawing action several times. Though freezing, she found herself unable to go inside. Now that she was here, in front of the building, the weight of the ancient forest pressing comfortingly upon her, the entire affair was too strange: the trees, the cold, the snug-looking cabin bookstore.

She was stressed. She was, no doubt, having some sort of psychotic break.

Maybe I already had one. Maybe that time I passed out at the station in Mesa I just snapped and right now I'm sitting in a padded cell in a straitjacket. Did they still put people in straitjackets?

In the event that hadn't yet happened, she needed to avoid it. She should go home—for the remaining two days she had a home—and rest. When she woke up in the morning she would laugh at this memory.

She turned to leave and caught her reflection in one of the cabin windows as she did. She stopped, staring at the image in the window, feeling a bit like Dorian Gray looking at his painting and discovering minute differences in what he saw before him and what he remembered.

Her black hair, too fine and flyaway to be truly manageable even at the best of times, hung dull and lifeless, brushing the tops of her shoulders in a discarded style that suggested she had ceased caring how it looked, even to herself. Her silver-gray eyes were as dull as her hair, matched only perhaps by her olive skin's apparent disinterest in perking up her features. Pinched lips suggested she hadn't smiled in quite some time. Worse than all of it, though, was the defeated slump of her posture, the drooping shoulders.

She pulled a spare shirt from her backpack and wetted it from her water bottle, using the makeshift washcloth to clean the remaining bits of blood from her face. She brushed her hair back from her eyes, smoothing it as best she could. Then she straightened her shoulders, walked up the four porch steps, and opened the cabin door.

Inside, the air was pleasantly warm, and she spotted a small fireplace in the corner, crackling sleepily. To her left stood a spotless, stainless steel bar, atop which sat a sleek manual espresso machine exactly like the one at the coffee shop she'd worked at in undergrad. No one appeared to be manning the bar.


No one answered her tentative call, either, so she stepped into the room that adjoined the coffee bar, looking for any signs of another person. Bookshelves, arranged in serpentine formations, filled the room. The books were mostly science fiction and fantasy, though she found smaller sections on mystery, science, mythology, outdoor survival, and the occult.

They were all sections she read, and a brief perusal of the books showed she had either read them, wanted to read them at some point, or currently found them interesting. Nyx began to have a very bad feeling. The feeling intensified when she walked up to the fireplace at the end of the room and found a cozy gray papasan chair nestled nearby.

She had always wanted a cozy papasan chair, in gray. She loved fireplaces, and books, and coffee. Furthermore, she loved cabins and woods and the onset of winter. She loved absolutely everything about this place, right down to the color scheme and choice of wall décor.

It would be easy, so easy, to stay. To simply curl up in that papasan chair with a book and a latte and read until her problems were distant memories.

Unfortunately, she had read enough books to know this desire was not a good thing. Either she really had crossed into some otherworld and had walked into a space specifically designed to lure her in, or this was all a figment of her imagination.

The sensible explanation was that she'd passed out and wandered into a pleasant place in her own mind where her life was finally peaceful and comfortable and filled with all the things she'd always wanted. Maybe her body had sustained enough physical damage she'd slipped into a coma, and this place was her brain's response.

If she was in a coma, the idea of her body slowly rotting away in some hospital over the years until she finally died, well, that wasn't how she wanted to go. And if she was inside someone's carefully designed trap, well, that wasn't how she wanted to go either.

Both scenarios pointed to one solution: leave.

She took a careful, deliberate step away from the fireplace. Then another, and another. Instead of getting easier, moving became more difficult with each step, as if the room had a physical hold on her. Ten steps later, she'd broken out in a sweat and her breath was coming in harsh pulls.

She paused to rest and that was when she heard it: a low, deep thrumming that traveled into her bones and set her heart to beating in time with it. If she'd thought it difficult to leave the library, not responding to the call of that noise was impossible.

Her feet answered almost of their own accord, taking her out of the library and into a short hallway. The noise grew deeper, stronger, drawing her down the hall, through another doorway and into an odd, hexagon-shaped room. The walls mimicked the forest scenery outside, and set into the center of the room were six silver posts, each four feet in height. Floating atop each post was an orb that wasn't quite black, but something more galaxy-like.

Each post formed the corner of a smaller hexagon set into the center of the room, the floor between them shining with the same galaxy-like material as the orbs. It was there, in the epicenter of the hexagon, that the thrumming issued from. It pulsed in her ears, in time with her heartbeat, a crescendo of noise that pulled her inexorably forward, until she found herself crouched at the edge of the invisible line between two posts.

Her hand reached out involuntarily, brushing the strange, cosmic material of the floor. Liquid coolness spilled through her, an infinite expansion beginning in her chest and moving outward, as if the entire world was unfurling inside her.

In that instant of connection, she knew that this was no fever-dream brought on by a coma. This wasn't insanity. What it was sang in her veins, her blood, her bones, as if she was made for it and it for her: portal. She hovered over a portal, and the song it sang promised it could take her to a thousand different worlds.