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Thursday, April 7, 2022

The Secrets that Kill Us by Phoenix Blackwood - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Phoenix Blackwood and his new book, “The Secrets that Kill Us,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on his Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $10 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Phoenix and to increase your chances of winning!!

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you all lots of good luck in this fabulous giveaway!!

The Secrets that Kill Us

by Phoenix Blackwood


GENRE:  Contemporary Fiction / LGBTQIA+



At sixteen, Liz had already trudged through hell and back. Having bounced from one foster home to another most of her life, she finally finds herself in a stable home. But stability poses its own challenges after a life of unsteady fooling, and Liz grapples to find a way to be still. Her past still plagues her in this new world. Everything feels wrong, she is at odds with her own body and mind, and struggling to survive.

Liz finds an unlikely friend in Alex, a girl who may not share Liz’s troubled past but strives to understand, even though it means becoming a pariah at school. With Alex’s help, Liz searches for the strength to confront her demons, and the two see each other through addictions, transitions, and the dangerous consequences of coping.

Unable to let herself trust and love, even in this new space with new support, Liz’s trauma begins to drag her under. Some secrets kill, and some truths fight to stay hidden. Unearthing them all will require Liz to trust others despite a lifetime of learning just how dangerous that is.



Fluorescent lights flickered overhead, making me squint even more than usual to try and see everything going on around me. The air smelled of overripe fruit; just looking at the tables in the crowded classroom made me feel sticky. Trying to ignore the stares of students as I walked by them, I made my way to the back corner of the class and sat down. I started squirming in my seat due to the texture on the desk’s surface – it was like someone had spilled a cup of fruit juice and let it dry there. A few kids looked back at me and snickered. I was the new kid again, and fifth grade in this school would probably be just as ruthless, if not more so, than in the others.



Falling in Love with the Main Characters

I didn’t set out for Liz to be a conventionally “likable” character. She’s not popular, she’s not a straight A student, she’s not even nice to everyone she meets. The characters that really get me, that make me want to keep reading and not put that book down are the messy, imperfect, chaotic characters that seem to be stumbling their way through life, trying desperately to keep their heads above water. To me, these characters are the most authentic and relatable. If you can see yourself in a character, you’re more invested in them and want to see them through to the end.

Liz is all of these things. Her relationships are messy, she’s kind but can lash out unexpectedly, and fiercely protective and loyal. Once you’re in her circle (which is a very small one) she’ll never let anyone lay a hand on you. She’s quick to push people away, not wanting to show the “imperfect” or as she feels “weak” parts of herself to anyone, lest it put her in a vulnerable position. She guards her secrets from everyone. At school, she struggles to keep up in a system that isn’t designed for her, and gets regarded as a “lazy” or “difficult” student by most teachers. Her history brings its own chaos into her life and mind, which shows through in a lot of her intrusive thoughts. Even the person she’s closest with doesn’t know most of her secrets, which causes some tension in the relationship on Liz’s end as she battles with her thoughts and feelings.

Throughout the book, she struggles with her queer identity, having been previously punished for expressing her interest in girls. While she’s completely accepting of others’ queerness, her own is where she’s intolerant. She has an immense amount of internalized homophobia and instead lets everyone assume she’s straight, even though she’d never be caught dead with a boy. She attempts to look the part, keeping her hair long even though she hates it, wearing clothes that she tolerates rather than likes. She’s as closeted as closeted gets, and her feelings start to betray her and she’s met with an immense amount of inner turmoil because of it.

Liz’s character is like so many people I’ve seen growing up, myself included. I struggled immensely with my own queer identity, and wished that there was someone to show me the way through it. This, in a sense, is how Liz’s character was created. She’s a mess, but a beautiful one that people can relate to, and that’s what will make people love her.



Born and raised in New England, Phoenix has always been a creative – whether it’s painting or writing. From a very young age, Phoenix has envisioned and created characters, writing them into existence and exploring them through visual arts. Having graduated to first-time short story author, Phoenix is embarking on a journey towards novel writing as they finally bring characters they’ve known for years into the world. Phoenix is neurodiverse and intersex and hopes to bring more representation to both topics with their writing. They believe in creating relatable characters that people can find themselves in and empathize with.









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Phoenix will be awarding a $10 Amazon OR Barnes and Noble Gift Card (Winner’s Choice!!!) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those fabulous community outreach projects and awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Phoenix ~ Good morning!! Welcome to FAB!! It is so great to have you here!! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour!! :)

    P.S. ~ Your furbaby is soooo adorable!! :)

  2. I like the cover and think the book sound good.