The Awakening: Book One of the Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld by Shakir Rashaan Review & Interview

the awakening




An erotically charged journey inside Atlanta’s African-American Fetish/BDSM community. The first in the series revolves around an African-American dominant couple, Ramesses and Neferterri, and their submissives, told in a conversational style.

“What goes on in the Palace, stays in the Palace…”

Life seems well within the “Nubian Underworld” of the ATL, as Ramesses, his wife Neferterri, and their submissives are at the center of what can only be described as “paradise” by those who have seen the debauchery within. Amenhotep, Ramesses’ mentor, is on the verge of bringing in his newest slave to reside with him at the Palace, and the entire community has been invited to witness the decadence of the grounds and the libidinous nature of the guests in attendance.

Unfortunately, life is not always a bed of roses… sometimes the thorns must be felt.

All hell breaks loose when Ramesses and Neferterri begin losing their submissives for a variety of reasons, and Amenhotep gets caught up in a sting operation that makes the local news and threatens to blow the lid off of the Atlanta Fetish community that thrives on the anonymity that is enjoyed by all. Despite it all, everyone in the circle is there for one another, no matter the consequences.

The Awakening: Book One of the Chronicles of the Nubian Underworld is a journey inside Atlanta’s African-American Fetish/BDSM community, and the ties that bind the principle players of this exciting new series. With its twists and turns and surprises along the way, it is sure to become an “awakening” for any who dare to journey to the “Dark side.”

Whew, The Awakening takes you deep into the world of BDSM and its inner circle. Mercedes and Kane are spouses who go by the Egyptian names Ramesses and Neferterri in the evening. At times, this did distract me but I completely understood the need for alternative names.
As one can tell from the synopsis, The Awakening is full of erotica but surprisingly, it was also full of much more. Rashaan was sure to have some substance is this book and we are able to get some insight into the daily lives of people that are involved in the Fetish/BDSM community and they could be your next door neighbor, your child’s teacher, or just about anyone else. I did not feel any type of connection with the characters and that is why I didn’t rate this book higher. The book did not have any errors and it was a quick read. If you are looking for a book that could possibly take you into the unknown and need a break from mainstream erotica, then this is the one for you!!!
DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of The Awakening in exchange for an honest review.

1. Set the mood for us…when you’re writing, you have to…

When I’m writing, I have to have absolute quiet. Since the characters are busy vying for my attention, I need the quietness to sort out the noise and figure out who’s speaking to me and what they’re trying to say.

I also have to have caffeine (usually Coca-Cola), some candy (LifeSavers or Goobers usually does the trick), and a soundtrack to work with, depending on the scene I’m writing or the setting I’m in the midst of.

2. What has been the most surprising and upsetting part of your literary journey?

The most surprising part of my literary journey has been the acceptance of the type of erotica that I bring to the table. Because I don’t write in the mainstream, there’s always the trepidation that people won’t “get” what I’m portraying and how I am portraying it.

The most upsetting part of my literary journey…I can’t say that I’ve had one yet. Sure, there are the rejection letters I’ve received in the past from both publishers and agents alike that swore that my subject matter and style might not make it in the literary world (those same agents are hitting me up now in the wake of the Fifty Shades phenomenon), so I guess I can count that as my most upsetting part of my journey. But all that has done is make me stronger.

3. When you’re not writing, what authors do you enjoy reading? What are you currently reading?

When am I not writing? LOL!

 Okay, all jokes aside, I am an avid reader, and there are a variety of fellow authors I’ve read and I am currently reading. My favorites are James Patterson, Lisa Renee Jones, Eric Jerome Dickey, N’Tyse, Anna J, Cairo, K’Wan, and a host of others.

 Right now, I’m engrossed in N’Tyse’s Twisted Vows of Seduction after having finished Cole Riley’s Little White Lies.

4. If you had to write your life story, what would the title be? How does that title portray your story?

The title of my life story would be “Of Dominion and Temperance” because that has been my life in a nutshell: understanding my dominion over the ones who kneel at my and my Beloved’s feet, and the temperance that comes with holding that type of power without the need or the seduction to abuse that power. It also transcends my world of Domination and submission and can be applied to how I deal with friends, family, our children, etc. when we’re not indulging in the proclivities that the D/s lifestyle has to offer.

5. What are three things readers might be surprised to learn about you?

Three things readers might be surprised to learn about me are that I suffer from arachnophobia (fear of spiders) and acrophobia (fear of heights), I was an award-winning photographer at one time in my life, and that I used to be a professional bodyguard.

6. Why do you think your writing matters?

My writing matters. The type of material that are in my novels cover subjects that the African-American community does not like to discuss when it comes to sex and sexuality. I believe with each book I write, I have the ability to educate and titillate at the same time, and to me, that is why my writing matters. If I can have my books relate to people in a collegiate human sexuality class when it comes to discussing BDSM and D/s relationships, not to mention the polyamory content within my novels, I believe I will have done a great deal of good, and I am proud of that potential.

7. What can your fans look forward to next?

I have a variety of things coming down the pipeline, both from Shakir and from my other pen name, Curtis Alexander Hamilton.

From me, you can expect to see the second book in the Nubian Underworld series, Legacy, set for release on June 10, 2014. That book is already available for pre-order in all the major bookstores (Amazon, B&N, Books-a-Million, etc.), with the third book in the series, Tempest, set for release in December of next year.

From Curtis, I’m currently in negotiations with an agent and with the hopes of working a major book deal under that name. I have a couple of indie projects currently out under him, The Devil’s All-American and All I Want…Is You. Under that pen name, I’m creating new material, including some paranormal romance and some young adult fiction works that I think will translate well, but that’s set for 2014. With some luck and preparation, you should be hearing big things from Curtis in the near future.

8. Thank you again for allowing me to interview you on Tiffany Talks Books. Are there any last words for those who are reading this interview?

It’s been a pleasure sitting down with you, Tiffany. I appreciate you taking the time with me. My last words stem from something my grandfather told me when I was younger:

“If you find something that you love to do, you’ll never have to work again.”

I honestly believe I have found what I love, my life’s passion, and I plan to ride it until the wheels fall off!



  1. Thank you so much Tiffany! I hope your audience is able to embrace my series…

  2. This series is a must have! Can’t wait

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