The Poison and the Cure

Hillary Sterling must pay for selfishly and remorselessly breaking up with my brother. To get revenge, I'm enlisting the help of our high school's resident mysterious bad boy to seduce her and break her heart. She'll never see it coming.

I'm a nobody at school—the weird girl who wears plaid shirts and screws up grading curves. But in conspiring with Stephen Harva, I invite trouble into my previously uneventful world. He's the most selfish and malicious person I've ever met, and he is determined to bring me down to his level and unlock my secret desires. He will lie, cheat, and even resort to blackmail to get what he wants. It's my fault. I made the choice to play with fire, and I got burned. What started as an elaborate revenge fantasy is quickly spiraling out of control, but Stephen is a human hurricane. I can't stop him.

And…I'm not totally sure I want to.

Novel Theme Song

willow - Taylor Swift

Author Commentary

I had so much fun writing this book! Stephen and Erika are two of my favorite characters I've ever created. I've been wanting to write a book about blackmail for a long time, but it took me a while to work out the logistics. I knew I didn't want the blackmail to involve sexy photos or videos because, hello, done to death. And it makes me sad when people are ashamed of their sexuality. But it needed to be something bad enough to give Stephen leverage he could hold over Erika for several months. The Poison and the Cure became one of those magical novels where the story was begging to be told. When I sat down to write it, it all burst out of me at once, and I was just the conduit getting the story from my brain into words.

This book started out as a nugget of an idea, and that idea was Erika's imagined scenario when she and Stephen are in New York, about the snake who bites someone and everyone rushes to their aid, then the snake bites someone else who was attracting it, and everyone dismisses it. Erika not only went looking for trouble, but she pounded on its door and dragged it into her life, kicking and screaming. Obviously, that doesn't make what Stephen did okay. We're not into victim blaming around here. But he took advantage of Erika because he could, and that's why you should never trust a guy who won't do his fair share of your ninth grade astronomy project!