The Battle of the Brains
The Misadventures of Maggie Moore #2
Publication Date: April 29, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humor
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Maggie Moore is leaving small-town south Georgia behind to embrace adulthood on her own in big-city Atlanta.
Finding inspiration in the unique people she’s met covering obscure sporting events, Maggie decides it’s time to fill her life with adventure – just as soon as she figures out how to cut ties with good ol’ Murphy, and his pesky laws, once and for all.
Naturally, the universe has different plans.
Before she even sets out to cover her next big story, Maggie is bombarded with old wounds and new insecurities, forcing her to choose between the reality in front of her and the promise of a dream just out of reach.
Channeling the hard-fought lessons of her Dad, Maggie struggles against the seemingly insurmountable force that is her troublesome partner, learning the hard way that things are never as easy as you think they’ll be.
This Book Contains: 1- Novella, 1-Short Story, and 1-Full-length novel!
Maggie Moore has been put on notice: Find a new place to live and a life for that matter.
Spurred on by her mom’s ultimatum, Maggie sets out to fulfill her dream of Life & Style Stardom, a la Martha Stewart. After a colossal failure on her first assignment, which has nothing to do with crafting or curtains by the by, she finds herself fighting to save her career.
Far from home, and struggling with the aftermath of a family death, Maggie’s already hard fought lifelong battle with Murphy, and his pride-stealing Laws, kicks into high gear. Her enigmatic world-renowned photo journalist currently sporting a chip-the-size-of-Mount-Rainier on his shoulder might have something to do with it.
Determined to succeed despite numerous bumps along the way, Maggie throws herself – quite literally – into the heart of her assignments as she travels across the country, unlocking the oddities of various obscure sporting events and surviving the World’s Most Difficult Partnership along the way.
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Guest Post: Gender Roles in Fiction
Thanks to the author for sharing her thoughts in this special guest post with us!
My love of self-assured, self-possessed, and fully assertive female characters stems from a young age. While most girls spent their free time swooning over an animated prince sweeping in to save the day, I was pouring myself into Nancy Drew novels.
Thusly, I blame Nancy for my unrealistic literary expectations when it comes to heroines.
You see, Nancy taught me a few things. Through her misadventures, I learned that female characters didn’t always have to wait for a prince to magically appear to save the day. In fact, heroines can and should save themselves. Nancy taught me to be strong, to be curious, and to push against the world even when the world tried to tell me I was nothing more than a girl.
Unfortunately, those life lessons have skewed my literary expectations. While I think it is perfectly fine (even enjoyable at times) for a man to rescue the damsel in distress, I find myself unable to relate to fully relate to the damsel.
I want to be the hero, the one swooping in to save my own day.
I believe that women should be able to save themselves, that there shouldn’t be some magical formula that needs to be followed where the girl is in trouble so naturally a man should save her. In my ideal universe, fictional characters (regardless of gender) should be able to face their problems head on.
Some time, and I’m not really sure when, the literary world went through a transition. Maybe it was intentional, maybe it wasn’t, but at some point the idea that female characters are incapable of taking care of themselves became the norm. Now, I think back to Jane Eyre or Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice, those were women that stood on their own two feet. They only let a man into their lives when it was of their choosing. They didn’t fawn all over themselves, nor did they succumb to womanly hysterics. Much like Nancy, they were the masters of their own fates. Even if that fate would’ve left them alone and destitute. At what point did authors look to those stories and say, “nope”?
Again, maybe I was just molded early on with unrealistic expectations, but those expectations have weaseled their way into every aspect of my life. Most significantly in my relationship with my daughter. I hope to teach her that it is not only okay for her to be strong, but necessary. That she can and should be her own advocate and freely and openly assert her independence and voice.
My daughter coalesced with ghosts of literary characters past shape the way I write today. They whisper in my subconscious, reminding me of what I ultimately set out to do in my writing. I want to write someone’s Nancy Drew, or Jane Eyre. I want someone to look back someday and say that Izzy or Maggie helped them to know it is okay to be your own advocate. That it is perfectly acceptable to fight for what you want and what you need even when the world tells you otherwise.
I long for a day when literary heroines rage against the confines of their preassigned roles, where the norm becomes EVERY character fighting for themselves and one another. Where there isn’t a pigeonhole stereotype for characters. Maybe the damsel saves the day, maybe the hero just helps her, maybe there isn’t a hero at all….. the possibilities are endless, and I think the time of exploration is upon us.
In the ever evolving world of literature, the new trend seems to be swinging in a more favorable direction where the heroine doesn’t depend solely upon the hero to rescue her. If she isn’t kicking ass and taking names all on her own, then they are working as a team. And that, that is a formula I can get behind. It’s far more realistic and relatable to see a couple fighting through things together than having one person drag the other along while simultaneously trying to save the day. (That must be exhausting!)
Ultimately, and this is what really matters, read what you love. If you are in a place that you’d love to fall into a story where the heroine is being swept away and rescued, then read that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the hero saves heroine formula. I just believe that there are so many more possibilities out there, and I can’t wait to see them all unfold.
I just can’t help but love Maggie Moore- although truth be told we have more than red hair in common. I have such bad depth perception that I too and permanently on the wrong side of gravity. And walls, and steps… you get the picture. Michelle Graves writes her stories in such a way that you don’t just tear up with laughter, you snort out your soda and fall off the couch because of it. And while the mood is often light, their is real emotional depth to the characters and the story. So much heartache has shaped Maggie and John that they are an explosive team, and maybe at some point we do expect them to come together, maybe in more ways than one. I love a girl who can think outside of her life with a man, while at the same time enjoy the company of them. The Battle of the Brains is the second full length novel in the Maggie Moore series, so it’s definitely best to have read the previous installments for the full picture, however, I would absolutely say it can be enjoyed on its own or as a starting point. There’s no giant cliffhanger in any of them, only a natural stopping point, leaving things open for the future. And isn’t that what life is really about? Not necessarily having everything end, finitely?
About Michelle Graves
Michelle Graves is a self-proclaimed nomad, moving every two to three years with her husband the Army man, her beautiful daughter, and a fat tailless cat named Torri. When she is not writing away trying to purge her mind of yapping characters she can be found entertaining her daughter, attempting to craft (whilst trying not to injure herself with the glue gun), baking yummy treats, or reading. She admits to having a restless spirit and forces her family to go out on adventures whenever possible. They lovingly play along.
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