She Writes Press Tour



Wednesday, June 22 at 7PM

BookPeople and She Writes Press Present 


featuring authors

Garine B. Isassi - Start with the Backbeat

Nicole Waggoner - Center Ring

Carrie Highley - Blue Apple Switchback

Moderated by

Jo Ivester - The Outskirts of Hope




She Writes Press is an independent publishing company founded to serve members of, the largest global community of women writers online, and women writers everywhere. She Writes Press is both mission-driven and community-oriented aiming to serve writers who wish to maintain greater ownership and control of their projects while still getting the highest quality editorial help possible for their work. In 2014, and She Writes Press became part of SparkPoint Studio, LLC , creating a powerful combination that no other hybrid publisher brings to the table, including a strong editorial vision; traditional distribution; two award-winning hybrid imprints (She Writes Press and SparkPress) and an in-house marketing and publicity team through its  publicity division, BookSparks, which has become a leader in traditional and innovative book PR, marketing, content strategy, branding, platform building and social media for authors and publishers. In 2015, the She Writes Press imprint signed its 100th author. The SparkPoint Studio family is a mission-driven, female-run company with a strong vision, passion, and work ethic. Visit,,,, and


 It is the spring of 1989 in New York City. Jill Dodge, a post-punk rocker from Texas, finally gets her big promotion at Mega Big Records and is thrust into the mix of mostly middle-class employees who are supposed to find a gritty, urban Rapper – and fast – before the “Gangsta” trend passes right by them. The diverse group of coworkers fluctuates between alliances and rivalries, tripping over the stereotypes of race, class, and musical genre. They work to promote their current musical acts and do their best to develop a Rap artist who may not be what they expected. There are original lyrics set within the text as songs performed by the label’s artists. This story examines nuances of class, race, and culture in America, which are sometimes ridiculously serious.


Garinè is a former singer/songwriter who grew up with one foot in Texas and the other in New Jersey. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, 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.


 Norah Merrit, a dedicated obstetrician known for her bedside manner and service to Doctors Without Borders, walks into girls’ night out with a confession to make―and what she has to say shakes the group to its core. In the aftermath of Norah’s revelation, each of the women she calls her sister-friends―photojournalist Camille, stay-at-home mom Leila, publicist Ellison, and designer Kate―are left questioning the roads they haven’t taken, and revisiting the vastly different choices they’ve made in life and love. Told in alternating points of view between the five friends, Center Ring is a story about modern women finding balance through action, relationships, and growth in the midst of challenges and change.


Nicole Waggoner is author of the Circus of Women series. Book one, Center Ring, debuts in Spring 2016. In addition, Nicole is a decorated teacher with 12 years’ experience teaching upper level English and Literary Criticism courses. She is proud to call her husband and children her biggest fans. The other loves of her life include green tea, great conversation over vino, all things theater, skipping the gym, women’s health, and a fanatical commitment to live her belief that love is a verb to be paid forward.


Carrie Highley was always a tomboy―and by the time she turned sixteen, she was wishing she were dancing with the girls instead of the boys at cotillion dances. In her early thirties, while living in West Virginia, she discovered a passion for road biking, finally stopped sequestering her deep feelings for women, and began an ill-fated love affair with a female cycling friend. Then, at thirty-six, she found herself skidding into Asheville, North Carolina, holding on tight to the coattails of her doctor husband and spending her time as a stay-at-home mother of two boys. Moving to North Carolina was Highley’s attempt to reembrace heterosexual married life after her tumultuous time in West Virginia. But in Asheville, she met Charlie, a fellow cyclist twenty-three years her senior, who became her mentor, friend, and father all rolled into one―and as they grew closer, she started unloading her fears into Charlie’s inbox. With Charlie’s support, Highley finally got the courage to do what she’d been waiting her whole life to do: go down the mountain with her hands off the brakes.


Carrie Highley grew up in the piedmont of North Carolina before moving to the mountains and completing her bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. After moving up and down the east coast for fifteen years, she has settled down with her partner in Asheville, NC. She is an active member of The Writers Workshop of Asheville, Blue Ridge Bicycle Club, and Adventure Cycling Association. Blue Apple Switchback is her first book.


In 1967, when Jo Ivester was ten years old, her father transplanted his young family from a suburb of Boston to a small town in the heart of the Mississippi cotton fields, where he became the medical director of a clinic that served the poor population for miles around. But ultimately it was not Ivester’s father but her mother―a stay-at-home mother of four who became a high school English teacher when the family moved to the South―who made the most enduring mark on the town. In The Outskirts of Hope, Ivester uses journals left by her mother, as well as writings of her own, to paint a vivid, moving, and inspiring portrait of her family’s experiences living and working in an all-black town during the height of the civil rights movement.


Jo Ivester spent two years of her childhood living in a trailer in Mound Bayou, where she was the only white student at her junior high. She finished high school in Florida before attending Reed, MIT, and Stanford in preparation for a career in transportation and manufacturing.  Following the birth of her fourth child, she became a teacher. She and her husband teach each January at MIT and travel extensively, splitting their time between Texas, Colorado, and Singapore.

If you cannot attend the event and would like to order a signed copy of the book, add the book to your cart and put SIGNED COPY in the comments field at checkout. We ship all over the world!

Thank you for supporting She Writes Press, Garine B. Isassi, Nicole Waggoner, Carrie Highley, Jo Ivester, and your local independent bookstore!  
Event date: 
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
603 N. Lamar
Austin, TX 78703
Start with the Backbeat: A Musical Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631520419
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: She Writes Press - April 5th, 2016

Center Ring (Circus of Women Trilogy #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631520341
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: She Writes Press - April 26th, 2016

Blue Apple Switchback: A Memoir Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631520372
Availability: Usually Ships in 2-5 Days
Published: She Writes Press - June 7th, 2016

The Outskirts of Hope: A Memoir of the 1960s Deep South Cover Image
ISBN: 9781631529641
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: She Writes Press - April 7th, 2015

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