Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Book Blitz: Beautiful Curse by Jen McConnel

Beautiful Curse
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Release Date: December 2014
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Sixteen-year-old Mya Jones is cursed.

She is, hands down, the most beautiful creature on earth. But beauty can wound, and Mya finds herself reviled and shunned by her peers. If there is even a chance that she could start over, Mya longs to take it, no matter the risks.

So when the strange Mr. Merk offers her a new life away from home, Mya is hesitant but hopeful. Only she didn't count on the mysterious Ross, or her feelings for him.

BEAUTIFUL CURSE is a contemporary retelling of the myth of Psyche and Cupid.

Beautiful Curse
by Jen McConnel

After checking my hair one more time in the small purple mirror, I slammed my locker, excited. For whatever reason, I looked really good, better than I’d hoped; my blond hair was smooth and perfect, and I hadn’t even taken the time to straighten it that morning. It wasn’t just my hair; my skin glowed like a girl in a magazine, and I had the ridiculous feeling I’d been airbrushed. It was a little weird, since I hadn’t done anything that morning that I hadn’t done a million times before, but I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth. If the universe wanted me to be gorgeous for the first day of junior year, who was I to complain? My stomach flopped around as I scanned the hall, looking for Elaina. She’d been visiting her grandparents in Montana all summer, but even though I hadn’t seen her for two months, I needed her beside me. If the face in the mirror was any indication, junior year was going to be our best year ever, and I couldn’t wait to see Elaina. Energy rippled around me, and finally I spotted a familiar brown ponytail through the crowd.
“Elaina!” I stood on my toes and waved, trying not to care that the people near me whipped their heads around to stare. I smiled at my best friend. Let them stare; we were upperclassmen now.
Elaina elbowed her way through the crowd, grinning, but her smile faded by the time she got to me. I gave her a quick hug, but she pulled back, studying me closely. “What did you do to your face?”
I reached for my cheek. “Is there something on it?” Hurriedly, I turned to open my locker and check the mirror again, but Elaina put her hand on my arm.
“Stop fooling around. Seriously, what did you do?”
I ran my tongue over my teeth, hoping I didn’t have any food stuck in them. “What do you mean?”
She squinted at me. “Mya, you look like a frickin super model. What gives?”
I flushed. I’d been excited when I woke up and realized how good I looked, but something in Elaina’s tone made me uncomfortable. I forced a laugh. “I know, right? It’s so weird. It’s like magic or something.”
Elaina raised her eyebrow. “Did you have work done or something?”
“What? No!” I looked around and lowered my voice. “You know I’d never do anything like that.”
 “Makeup, then. What brand are you using?”
I shook my head. “Seriously, I didn’t do anything. It’s like my face finally decided to behave.” I smoothed my long blond hair out of habit, and Elaina’s eyes followed my fingers.
“And your hair. You look way too good for the first day of school!” Her words were light, but her smile looked a little strained. “If you don’t want to share your secret with me, that’s fine.” She turned abruptly, but I hurried after her, hurt.
“There is no secret! I’m just having a really, really good hair day, I guess.”
Before she could reply, the warning bell rang, and I glanced at my schedule, my stomach suddenly tight with anxiety.
“I’ve got Farkner for homeroom, and then Calc.”
Elaina nodded. “I’ll see you at lunch.” Her tone was distant, and I bit my lip, trying to figure out what was going on.
She slipped into the crowd before I could say anything else, and I stared after her for a moment before I turned and began pushing my way through the students to the math room.

Someone bumped me from behind, and my books went sailing to the floor. So much for this being a good day.

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).

She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and a proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.

A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. She's a graduate of Western Michigan University, and she also earned her MS in Library Science at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. 

When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.

Follow Jen on Twitter @Jen_McConnel, and visit www.jenmcconnel.com to learn more.

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