By day, first-time author Nicoleté Austin uses the left side of the brain as a STEM and health care expert; but at night, she burns the midnight oil, using the right side as an author, unleashing her creative side in the new romance novel, “Last Stop … Dupont Circle” (self published; on sale January 30, 2018; ISBN: 978-1-974-19281-6; $16.99 paperback and $9.99 Kindle/US). “Last Stop … Dupont Circle” is available on Amazon.com.
Ripped from real life experiences of Austin’s life, with a little sugarcoating afforded by her imagination and the latitude of fiction writing, “Last Stop … Dupont Circle” is a quick read of a first love lost and re-ignited again. Is love ever as good as the first time? Well, when it comes to the matters of the heart, there’s never a simple answer.
Austin’s main character, Chas – a thirtysomething, college educated, and upwardly-mobile Black professional -- walked away from her first love and her life in Europe. Now, she’s back in Potomac, Maryland to pick up the pieces and reclaim her life. With the help of family and friends, Chas re-discovers the person she truly is and what she wants out of life. Black love finds her again … by two different, but equally charming men. It’s complicated.
The affluent town of Potomac, Maryland also serves as a supporting character in Austin’s “Last Stop … Dupont Circle.” Readers familiar with the DMV area (the District/Maryland/Virginia) will recognize various neighborhoods and locales, like Georgetown, Friendship Heights and Prince George’s County, in the book. The reader is thrust into Black high-society life where no one is “scratching and surviving,” but instead, living the good life and thriving. “I wanted to show a different slice of life that captured affluent African Americans in a societal norm that used class as an entry point and backdrop for storytelling,” said Austin, 32. “I thought it was important to explore this idea of ‘Black love,’ which remains elusive for some African American women of a certain education level and socio-economic background,” she added.
Book Synopsis | “Last Stop … Dupont Circle”
Chas had no idea the day she left Europe would be the day her world would change forever. She was walking away from her college sweetheart, a man she had known for more than 10 years, but no longer wanting to take a back seat to his career and wait for him to finally reciprocate her love. Instead, she returned to her old stomping grounds – that is, Potomac, Maryland – to re-define and rebuild under the watchful and loving eyes of family and friends. But her attempts to get over her first love will lead to a disastrous misstep and trigger some unresolved feelings of betrayal and mistrust as well as challenge her moral compass. One broken heart. Two men. Love is calling for Chas. Will she answer?
ABOUT NICOLETÉ AUSTIN
Nicoleté Austin -- the pen name for Shambrekia Wise -- 32, is a native of Texarkana, Texas. While in school, she excelled at STEM subjects – that is, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, which provided the foundation for a career in the healthcare field and spark her entrepreneurial interests in the tech world.
In 2004, Austin became the first person from her city to be named to the Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMSP), a highly-competitive scholars program, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She used her scholarship to complete her undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville and a master’s degree in public health at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. During her educational journey, Austin was active as a GMSP ambassador and mentor as well as a community volunteer in Knoxville’s public school systems.
??Upon graduation in 2010, Austin accepted a position with the United States Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC. She served as a project officer under the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (OCIIO) for Region VI where Austin and her team were charged with implementing the reforms and requirements of the historic Affordable Care Act – that is, “Obamacare” -- signed into law by President Barack Obama. After an incredibly, exciting year, Austin worked in several positions with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) — namely as a project officer and contracting officer representative for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) of Region V, respectively. Currently, she’s back in Texas, continuing her work with CMS as a managed care specialist for Region VI.
Austin recently wrapped up a pre-accelerator program, called DivInc., which focuses on the diversity of women and people of color in entrepreneurship in the tech industry. Austin is launching a startup of her own, targeting STEM recruitment and workforce development for under-represented potential job candidates, bridging the gap of matching highly-qualified STEM college students with possible employers of high-tech jobs.
Austin is based in Austin, Texas, and the mother of a precocious, 4-year-old little girl. And although she switches the use of the left- and right-side of her brain for work, she relies heavily on both sides, simultaneously, for motherhood -- her greatest joy!
With Nicoleté Austin (the author):
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With Shambrekia Wise (the STEM and health care specialist):