Meet Author Jen McConnel

Love is Blind…or is it? By Jen McConnel

If “love looks not with the eye, but with the mind,” according to Shakespeare, then why are we often told that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”? What role do the five senses, especially sight, play in our romantic relationships and fantasies?

Most of us have probably had the experience of going on a “blind” date, either as a set-up by friends or with someone we met over the Internet, but even in those situations, we usually had at least glimpsed a picture of our date. What would it be like to fall in love without ever seeing your partner? Sure, movies like Sleepless in Seattle give us an idea of what it’s like to fall in love at first sound, but at least Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks eventually got to gaze into each other’s eyes and whisper sweet nothings in person. Do you think their story would have still been so swoony if they’d never laid eyes on each other?

There’s a reason we talk about sensual scenes in romance, whether fictional or real; romance demands the engagement of the senses, all five of them. The silky touch of your partner’s skin; that distinctive scent that is theirs alone; the sound of the voice you know so well; the taste of that first, breathless kiss; and, of course, the emotion that shows in their eyes when they gaze at you: when we’re talking heart-racing romance, we want to experience all these sensations.

But one of the oldest love stories in the Western world is built around a couple who weren’t supposed to use one crucial sense: sight. Written down nearly 2,000 years ago, the myth of Cupid and Psyche presents the ultimate in sensual sacrifice: if Psyche was willing to take her lover, sight unseen, and to never try to see him, she would live a life of pleasures and passion. But, Cupid warned, if she broke her vow and looked at him, she’d live a life bereft of love forever. Of course, if the god of loves asks you to close your eyes when he kisses you, you say yes, but here’s the kicker; Psyche didn’t have the first clue who her lover was, and, you guessed it, she couldn’t keep her eyes shut for long. 

Still, despite his threat, their story isn’t one of tragedy, but one of love that overcomes ungodly hurdles, which is probably why it’s survived not only as the classical myth but as the seeds of fairy tales like “Beauty and the Beast” and “East of the Sun, West of the Moon”. Despite ultimately finding a HEA, Psyche’s betrayal damaged their relationship, and the couple didn’t move beyond it without A LOT of suffering for both of them. For an ancient myth, their story is surprisingly realistic when it comes to love and betrayal!

If you were given a choice, would you be able to sacrifice the sensory experience of sight, sound, taste, touch, or smell if it meant you would have a romance straight out of a fairy tale? Or, like Psyche, would you choose to risk a real relationship, scars and all?

About the Author

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. 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.  Her fiction titles include DAUGHTER OF CHAOS (YA), THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY (NA), and the recently released BEAUTIFUL CURSE. 

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Connect With Jen

                                          Out now from Swoon Romance.

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

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Apryl Baker


  1. Thank you so much for letting me participate in the blog fest! <3