Garine is former singer/songwriter who grew up with one foot in Texas and the other in New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Communications. She is a lover of music, chocolate and altruistic sarcasm; a writer of post-punk humor; and the illustrious founder of Helicopter Moms Anonymous. She is proud of her Armenian-American heritage, but tired of explaining it. She currently lives in Maryland, where she works full-time in Marketing Communications, sings in a gospel choir, is the Workshops Chair for the Gaithersburg Book Festival, over-volunteers for a variety of community organizations, writes when everyone else is asleep, and lives with her husband, three kids, a cat, a dog, and a gecko . . . It’s the gecko that sent her over the edge. Read her blog “Hi!” from the ‘burbs at her website garineTHEwriter.com. Like her on facebook; follow her on twitter @garineisassi, friend her on goodreads, and look for her anywhere else where authors might lurk.
It is the spring of 1989 in New York City when Jill Dodge, a post-punk rocker from Texas, finally gets her big promotion at Mega Big Records. She is thrust into a race to find a gritty, urban rapper before the “Gangsta” trend passes their label by. As Jill and her mostly middle-class coworkers search for the next big rap star, they fluctuate between alliances and rivalries, tripping over the stereotypes of race, class, and musical genre. They work to promote their current roster of acts as well as the new rap artist they sign to a contract. It turns out, he may not be what they expected. Full of original lyrics and wit, Start With the Backbeat is a compelling examination of the nuances of class, race, and culture in America―which are sometimes ridiculously serious.
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