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.
Dumping my bag in the half-painted kitchen, I pulled out my cell phone. Elaina had been really cold to me at lunch, and we didn’t have any classes together; maybe I should text her to see if she wanted to come over. I stared at the phone for a moment, considering, but then I shook my head. She’s probably just having a bad first day. Trying not to think about her, I rummaged through the fridge, hoping I could find something with either copious amounts of chocolate or salt, but all I came up with was an apple. I sat down at the kitchen table and sighed before biting into the red skin.
“Mya, is that you?” Mom called from upstairs, and I swallowed the bite of apple.
“Yeah.” I sort of hoped she wouldn’t come down. I didn’t really want to re-hash the awful day, but I heard her soft steps on the stairs.
She came around the corner and looked at me expectantly. “Well, how was it?”
I sighed. “Okay, I guess. Elaina and I had a fight.”
I took another bite of my apple. “I’m not sure,” I lied. I didn’t want to tell Mom that we’d fought about my looks. It seemed like a ridiculous reason to argue, and I hoped Elaina would get over whatever was bothering her by tomorrow.
Mom squinted at me. “What did you do to your face?”
I stopped chewing. “What do you mean?” I reached for my cell phone to check my reflection in the screen, but Mom’s next words stopped me.
“You look different. Fake, somehow. Are you wearing new makeup?”
I shook my head. “You know I hate wearing makeup.”
Mom cocked her head to one side. “Still, something’s different about you.”
I slumped into my seat. Desperate to change the subject, I gestured at the kitchen. “Are we out of paint?”
She nodded, but her eyes studied my face for a moment before shifting to look at the half-finished walls. “Yes. I was
going to run out and get some more, but—“ She cleared her throat. “I guess I got distracted upstairs.”
“I can get it.”
“Don’t you have homework?”
I shrugged. “It’s not a far walk.”
Mom hesitated, glancing at the door, but then she nodded. “Okay.” She leaned forward and kissed my forehead. “Thank you.”
I hopped up and tossed my apple core in the compost bin on the counter. “Another gallon?”
She nodded, and then she pulled me into a tight hug.
Confused, I looked up at her. “You okay?”
“Yes.” Mom pulled away and pursed her lips. “Are you sure you don’t want to wash off whatever’s on your face first?”
I sighed, exasperated. “I told you, Mom, it’s just me.”
She laughed, but it sounded forced. “No one looks that good when they’re sixteen, sweetie.”
A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. When she isn’t crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga.
Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.