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Blog Tour and Giveaway: Who We Are: S.Q. Williams



Who We Are (FireNine#2)
Shanora Williams writing as S.Q. Williams
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“I thought I had gone through something much worse. I thought the abuse and pain from my mom and step-dad was bad, but this? This heartache? This pain? This depression? This gut-wrenching, heartbreaking moment? This knotted up feeling in my gut, the tightness in my throat, the ache in my chest? It was slowly but surely killing me.”

Eight months.

That’s how long it’s been since Eliza last saw Gage and they both feel as if they don’t deserve one another’s forgiveness. He screwed up. She walked away without looking back. They’ll try and make up all the time they’ve lost with one another, that is until they’re facing the choices of either going their separate ways, or hanging on and fighting for dear life.

The fights will be endless. They heartache will be real. The demons will return, and they won’t back down without a fight.

There are some who will do anything to keep true love apart, and those same people will dig deep into their demonic ways until Eliza and Gage are literally no more.

Can Eliza and Gage overcome it all? Will they be able to face the true demons that are seeking to destroy them? Or will they just forget about everything they’ve worked so hard for and go their separate ways?

Sometimes you have to go through struggles in order to reach an ultimate point of peace… but will their struggle be worth it?

Who He Is (Fire Nine #1): 
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Eliza Smith has never been the one to seek a relationship. She’s never dated a guy in her life, never even hugged a man (outside of her father/manager of the hot and popular rock band, FireNine) but when she decides to spend her summer on tour with FireNine, it all changes. Eliza really gets to meet Gage Grendel - her former crush from high school and the lead singer of FireNine - and witness sides to him to which she’ll begin to truly despise.

She’ll ignore him, she’ll dislike his ways, she’ll do anything to try and stay away from him until Gage finally gets her to slip up and give in. She agrees on a casual fling with Gage, but soon they’ll both see how the fling will blur into something they can’t control and when it’s finally time for Eliza to go and accomplish her own dreams, she’ll know there’s more she took from Gage than she ever thought possible.

Who We Are Trailer



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Excerpt


As soon as I arrived at my temporary apartment, I dropped my keys on the counter, blared some Laura Welsh on the stereo, and then trudged for the shower. The water was soothing. I didn’t want to step out of the steam, especially as I was bombarded with memories.
Gage and me on the FireNine tour bus. Gage kissing me, licking me, soiling me with his fervent kisses. I quivered, running a finger across my lips, remembering the kiss we shared when he stayed the night at Ben’s a few days ago. The passion I felt, the power. It was so much, yet I couldn’t get enough. My lips were still tingling from it… from how much I missed it. How much I missed him.
Soon, the water chilled against my skin and I shut it off, ran a towel over my damp hair, and grabbed an extra towel to wrap around my wet skin. I brushed my teeth, cleared my face with handful of cool water, and then headed for my bedroom.
Laura Welsh sang about hollow drums and it was like she spoke to me—like she reminded me of how much I actually missed Gage. How hollow and empty I felt without him while I was in school and even now. In school it was worse. Every little thing reminded me of him. Every couple that walked by hand in hand reminded me of him. All the girls who were smiling up at their boyfriends lovingly, clinging to their sides, holding them like they never wanted to let go… it all reminded me of him. I couldn’t stand it… but I missed it. I rolled my eyes, trying to rid my mind of him, but it was nearly impossible.
Even as I changed into a pair of running shorts and a tank top and dropped the towel from my hair, I still thought about him. Even as I poured myself a bowl of cereal and ate it to the heartfelt music, I still thought about him. Even as I lounged flat on my back on the sofa, my hand on my forehead, staring at the dots on the ceiling, I still thought about him.
About his eyes, his full, pink lips that always sent a bolt of electricity coursing through me whenever connected with mine. His hard, rippled body, the perfect sleeve of ink on his forearms, broad chest, ribs, and even his back.
The ceiling seemed to spin above me as the music filled me, and then I felt the rims of my eyes pricking, begging for the pooling tears to be shed. I couldn’t believe it. I missed everything about him. I fucking missed him. Entirely too much.
There was a knock on the door and I perked up, back stiff, staring ahead. They knocked again and I swiped at my tears, confused. Who could be at my door this late? I cautiously made my way to the entrance, my heart pounding, my steps soft, making sure I didn’t cross any weak spots to make the floor creak.
I took a peek out of the peephole and made out a tousled mess of silky, dark-brown hair and broad shoulders. His head was ducked down, hiding his face, but I knew exactly who it was and I stifled a gasp.
My mind then went into gear. Should I let him in? Should I shoo him away? Should I blast him and beg him to just leave me alone?
In the end, I knew I couldn’t do any of those, no matter how upset I may have been with him. I did love him, after all.
I cracked open the door and he jerked away from the doorframe, taking a quick step back, his hazel eyes meeting mine. “Gage?”
“Eliza,” he whispered. His eyes were tired, restless. His lips were strained, as if he wanted to say something else, but then they relaxed and he ran a hand through his hair.
“Why are you here?” I asked, opening the door wider. He pressed the palm of his hand on the door and stepped past me, his heavy cologne filling my lungs. It mixed with the light, airy scent of water, as if he’d purposely walked in the drizzle. I could imagine him pacing back and forth in front of the apartment building, debating on whether he should come up or not. “Better yet,” I said, “how did you know where this apartment was?” I locked the door before looking at him.
“Frank told me,” he sighed out. “Look… I can’t do this,” he said, running another rigid hand through his hair. A few pieces fell onto his forehead, proving he would need a haircut in maybe three days tops. His eyes saddened and filled with guilt and I narrowed mine, tilting my head.
“Do what?” I asked, stepping up.
“This… I can’t be angry anymore. I can’t act like I don’t fucking care. I want—” His sentence broke and his gaze lowered to the floor. Good thing the music was playing, filling the silence, because I wasn’t sure of what to say, but I knew what he was getting at. “I wasn’t supposed to come here. I wasn’t supposed to see you. I was supposed to fight myself from getting close to you again—for your sake—but… I can’t. I can’t fight it. It’s so fucking hard to stay away from you, Eliza.”
4 to 4.5


I learned that our pasts and our difficulties are what makes us who we are. Our heartache, suffering, and pain. 

Gage Freakin' Grendel. Oh Man. This man has more mood swings than a PMsing woman. We meet back up with him eight months after Eliza ripped his heart out and left him to follow her own dreams. He is angry...pissed actually. But he is still drawn to her and is hurt and does not want to still want her. But he does. I could not be mad at him though as I could see his defense mechanisms. 

"I want her to know tonight how bad she f***ked me over--how hurt I was when I watched her leave. Not only did she break my heart, but she took the pieces with her."

As they find themselves spending some time together, they have a hard time resisting each other and their feelings and chemistry are still there. And eventually the sweet, loving Gage begins to reemerge. Unfortunately so are the problems that caused their split in the first place. 

Gage and Eliza have a complicated relationship and lives. Gage is confused, conflicted, and sometimes clueless.  Even though there are glimpses of his previous asshole-ness, for the most part he is genuine and has deep feelings. His decisions are based on trying to do the right thing, but usually they do not turn out that way, There are so many forces bearing down on him that he struggles with what he wants versus what he feels he needs to do for others. The only woman who really ever knew all of him or had his heart is Eliza. But sometimes love is not enough and sacrifices have to be made. Gage's past will not leave them alone. Every time he gets close to a little happiness, skeletons emerge to ruin it for him. And his lifestyle with the band is still something that gets in the way of him being stable.  

Eliza has found her inner strength, confidence, and has matured. She is following her dreams and meeting her goals. But there are still some demons from her past that have potential to ruin  all she has worked for. But she knows what she wants and is not afraid to fight for it.

My love was stronger than my hate, depression, and hurt.

They find themselves in difficult heartbreaking situations over the course of this book. There are misunderstandings, miscommunication, pain, lies, twists and turns. This couple seriously has problems with communication and being on the same page at the same time. Their story involves trying to cope, trying to move on, and trying to hold on. It is not quick, it is not easy, and it is not without pain. But all along it is a growth process. They have a strong connection, feelings and passion. And they have the support of their friends and the band. This is not just about the couple, but it is also about the bonds of friendship and family. This group stands together and fights for each other now(versus fighting with each other like they did more of in the last book).

"You're mine, Eliza, and that'll never change, no matter what kind s**t we go through."

I loved getting to see more of the guys from the band especially Roy. Yes, we get to know the elusive Roy more in this book. He is so interesting, has a mysterious past, and I really liked him.  I am looking forward to his book that will be next in the series. And we also got glimpses into Montana and Deed's upcoming stories and relationships. Montana is so fun and easy going and I liked his story line  that was introduced.  And Deed has really  grown on me since the first book.

This book was hearrtbreaking, dramatic, and romantic. At various times I was angry, frustrated, happy, swooning, and sad. It spans a period of time so it was not a fast and easy resolution to everything. So it was more realistically paced out based on their life situations. The characters grew on me more in this book and I am much more invested in their stories. I was left satisfied with this book when I finished it and did not want to pull my hair out or pm Shanora in shouty caps when I was done. So that is a good thing! It was a fitting conclusion to Eliza and Gage's story, even though I know we will see them more in future installments in the FireNine series.

Thanks to Shanora Williams for providing me with an arc copy in exchange for an honest review. I was a beta reader for this book. Quotes are from arc copy and subject to change. 



Shanora Williams was born and raised in Matthews, North Carolina. She's the author of the New Adult series, OBTAINED and the Best Selling New Adult novel, Hard to Resist. Her upcoming mature New-Adult/Adult novel, Who He Is, will be released in July of 2013.

When she's not writing, she's happily reading or watching cartoons like the big kid she is. She has a wonderful family that you will hear her brag and talk about all of the time. Whenever she just wants to get away from the words for a while, she'll spend some time with her loved ones, eat gummy bears, or drown in Coca-Cola and anything else caffeinated.
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