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Thursday, April 13, 2023

The Love that Binds Us by Phoenix Blackwood - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hey, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Phoenix Blackwood and his new book, “The Love that Binds 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 Love that Binds Us

by Phoenix Blackwood


GENRE:  LGBTQIA+ Coming of Age



From the outside, Alex has a perfect life. She has a partner who loves her, gets good grades in school, excels at most sports, and has a big heart. From the inside, Alex’s life is anything but perfect. She hasn’t spoken to her father in years. She’s hiding the fact that her once-best-friend now-romantic-partner Theo is trans and nonbinary from her homophobic mother. Bullies are harassing her and Theo at school, taunting and shoving. It’s all becoming too much for Alex to bear.

Things take a surprising turn when Alex’s mother discovers her relationship with Theo. After Alex is thrown out of her house and taken in by Theo’s foster family, Alex can live honestly. For a while, things start to feel manageable. Alex finds a new group of friends. She navigates what “family” means beyond her mother and sister. She even considers forgiving her mother’s past mistakes. But forgiveness requires honesty. Secrets Alex’s mother has been keeping are surfacing, trying to bind Alex to misery. As Alex learns the full truth of her mother’s past mistakes, she will need the love of her chosen family and friends to gently bind her life into a shape that keeps her whole.



I sat on my bed and pulled Theo down to my level, kissing them on the forehead. They sat down with me and kissed me on the lips until they were leaning over me and my hands were wrapped around the back of their neck, pulling them closer. They were so soft, always so tender. I focused all my attention on the kiss, so much so that I didn’t hear the small squeak of my door opening. Theo pulled away suddenly, jarring me and forcing me to look in the direction of their gaze.

Leah had opened the door. She stood there with her mouth open, her face frozen in wonder and confusion. She’d known Theo since we’d become friends, I bet she had never imagined finding us kissing when she opened my door.

Theo and I looked at each other in horror. The secret was out, how were we going to get her to keep quiet? We should’ve been more careful. We’d gotten too comfortable.

I signed for Leah to come sit between us on the bed. My face got hot as she sat and tears brimmed in my eyes. My mom could never, ever find out - Leah knowing was so dangerous.  She looked up at me with wide eyes and signed, “Boyfriend?”

Theo must’ve seen the panic rising up in me, because they took over. They gently rested one hand on her shoulder to get her attention and then explained, “We love each other. I’m not a boy, but I’m still her partner. I’m like a boyfriend, just minus the boy part.”

Walking through the threshold of Theo’s house was like a weight lifting off my shoulders, all the tension of home and school falling away. This was what home was supposed to feel like. I flopped down on the couch and Theo joined me a couple minutes later with two mugs of tea, handing me one. I leaned into them as they wrapped an arm around my shoulders after turning the television on to the latest show we’d been binging. This felt so safe, so calm. A feeling I rarely got in my own home. Always on edge, an internal dissonance telling me that I wasn’t good enough. Here, I was everything I was supposed to be.

We watched television until Seth–Theo’s brother–made his way down the stairs and started rummaging through the kitchen to start dinner. The house was quickly filled with smells that made my mouth water - meat searing in a pan, vegetables being chopped, pasta water boiling. I sat in the scents until I couldn’t take it any longer and my stomach growled, causing me to get up and make my way into the kitchen.

Seth shot me a sly smile. “Probably another ten minutes.”

I pouted, staring at the food and willing it to cook faster.



My Favorite Scene in This Book…

My favorite scene in The Love that Binds Us comes early on, and it’s a heartbreaking one (I’m always a sucker for things that put emotions in overdrive). It’s a scene where Alex, our main character, is wounded and Theo, MC of The Secrets that Kill Us and Alex’s love interest, tends to her. Alex is hurt badly by someone, I won’t say who because spoilers, and runs to the safety of Theo’s house. She’s welcomed in by Theo’s adoptive mother, Monica, who happens to be a doctor and quickly notices Alex’s wounds. A short excerpt of what follows:

“Theo silently guided me up the stairs and into the bathroom. They ran the bathtub with warm water and put in the bubble bath that they knew I loved. I was still crying, I didn’t know if I would ever stop. Theo wasn’t talking–-to be fair, they didn’t normally talk much, but this was a different kind of silence. This was stiff, they were holding something back. It made me anxious, not knowing what they were thinking…

…Then, so quietly I almost missed it, ‘I never wanted you to know what this felt like.’”

This scene brings back the demons of Theo’s past for them, and they become the protector that they always wish they’d had. They feel immense remorse for not being able to stop this from happening in the first place, and carry a sense of guilt.

Theo’s love for Alex has a healing nature, and their heart breaks with hers as they carefully and gently tend to her wounds. They’re reminded of all the times they were in Alex’s position as a young child, and thus know exactly what she needs in the moment. A gentle touch, a loving gesture, someone to hold her as the physical and emotional pain touches her soul.

This is my favorite scene because it shows how deeply Theo cares for Alex, and gives Theo an opportunity to symbolically be there for their younger self. It’s an awful situation, but because Alex has Theo to turn to, it’s not as bad as it could’ve been. It’s a scene of pure love in the wake of a tragedy, and it shows how healing that love can be.



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 Blackwood 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.