Huge congrats to author Candace Robinson on her latest release, Lyrics & Curses! Perfect for readers who love those 80s vibes!
Lyrics & Curses (Cursed Hearts Duology)
Stranger Things meets Pretty in Pink
Lark Espinoza could get lost in her music—and she’s not so sure anyone in her family would even care to find her. Her trendy, party-loving twin sister and her mother-come-lately Beth, who’s suddenly sworn off men and onto homemaking, don’t understand her love of cassette tapes, her loathing of the pop scene, or her standoffish personality. For outcast Lark, nothing feels as much like a real home as working at Bubble’s Oddities store and trying to attract the attention of the cute guy who works at the Vinyl shop next door—the same one she traded lyrical notes with in class.
Auden Ellis silences the incessant questions in his own head with a steady stream of beats. Despite the unconditional love of his aunt-turned-mother, he can’t quit thinking about the loss of his parents—or the possibility he might end up afflicted with his father’s issues. Despite his connection with lyric-loving Lark, Auden keeps her at arm’s length because letting her in might mean giving her a peek into something dangerous.
When two strangers arrive in town, one carrying a mysterious, dark object and the other playing an eerie flute tune, Lark and Auden find that their painful pasts have enmeshed them in a cursed future. Now, they must come to terms with their budding attraction while helping each other challenge the reflection they see in the mirror. If they fail, they’ll be trapped for eternity in a place beyond reality.
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To Lark: Lyrics from “Under Pressure” – Queen, David Bowie
“Just One Kiss” pulsed through Lark’s headphones as she hopped onto her bike and headed to work. A motorcycle would’ve been ideal, but her old-fashioned, rusty bicycle worked just as well. She preferred the term rustic.
Halfway out of the trailer park, she slammed on the brake pedal and plopped her feet to the cement to keep from tipping. Her mop of curly brown hair swung forward as she reached into her large jacket pocket to pull out her second-hand store Walkman. She pressed the stop button, bringing the band’s chanting to an end.
“Sorry, boys, this won’t do it for me today.”
Lark shifted her backpack, and her cluster of tapes clacked. She performed a mystery grab and quickly exchanged The Cure for The Pretenders.
“Brass in Pocket” drifted through her ears. The singer, Chrissie, knew just how to get Lark in a focused mood. And focused was what she needed today since she was going to impress a boy named Auden by wearing something outside of her baggy comfort zone. Besides that, today was her best friend Imani’s last day at work.
Maybe “Under Pressure” would’ve been a better song choice.
She pedaled her way through the scorching heat to the store—beads of perspiration gathered on her forehead and hands, more so from nervousness than the temperature. It might’ve only been the end of June, but in Texas, the sun’s rays liked to go ahead and start frying people a little early. Lucky for Lark, she didn’t get hot so easily.
Her bike wheels vibrated over the uneven parking lot as she pulled up to the gray-and-white painted strip mall. A large black sign with the name Bubble’s Oddities scrawled across, along with a picture of a skull and bubbles, loomed from in between the other stores. The owner, Jimbo, had originally named the store Oddities when he’d opened it a few years ago, but had thought adding the name Bubble’s to the title would draw more people in.
He was right.
Lark supposed people were attracted to the idea of happy, soapy spheres floating majestically through the air as opposed to having zilch—she sure was.
She pressed the brakes once she made it beneath the overhang. With a hard push on the rusty kickstand, she glanced up at her shop’s window, catching sight of the Help Wanted sign. The glass was black on the outside, yet clear on the inside. No one could peer in, but whenever she was inside the store, she could see all. A lot of people did interesting things when they thought no one was looking.
Lark stepped off the bike and slid her hands in the pockets of her heavy black jacket. The single piece of cloth was her security blanket, and she felt naked without the thing—whether the world was hot or not, she’d be seen wearing it.
Biting her lip, she avoided glancing at the music store for the time being because she wasn’t ready to face a certain boy just yet. Her heart pumped a little harder. “Calm down, you troublesome heart,” she whispered.
Before she could head inside Bubble’s, something caught her eye from the right. She slowly turned her head in the direction of the laundromat, just past the music store where Auden worked. Her stupid heart accelerating even faster as she thought it could be him. Instead, her brows lowered a fraction when her eyes focused on a man wearing all black—a pork pie fedora hat, ski mask, trench coat, and gloves.
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About the Author
Candace Robinson spends her days consumed by words. When she’s not writing stories, she Googles all things nostalgic. Her life consists of avoiding migraines, admiring Bonsai trees, and living with her husband and daughter in Texas—where it can be forty degrees one day and eighty the next.