Release Day for Hickville Crossroads (Hickville High Series, #4) by Mary Karlik and Meet the Author

A Scot in Texas. You bet there’s trouble brewing. And read the Author’s interview!!!

Hickville Crossroads (Hickville High Series, #4) by Mary Karlik releases today in the Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult genre.

Frasier Anderson is one of the hottest teenage actors in the UK, but he’s virtually unknown in the US. Now he’s landed the leading role in a big-budget Hollywood film that could make him an international star. 

So how do you prepare a Scot for a role as a Texas high school student? Give him a fake name, a fake accent, and embed him in a Texas high school. He only has to follow three rules:

No drama. No girls. And no telling who he really is.

Jenna Wiley is smart, funny, and has a few no-drama, no-dating rules of her own. Her friendship with new kid Ethan Smith is perfect and might even lead to something more. Except for a few things that don’t add up. Like his mom being afraid to have company. Or their house, which is more staged than lived in. Or his sister, whom nobody talks about.

It all comes to a boil when Frasier’s biggest secrets hit the tabloids and the paparazzi swarm Hillside with Jenna in their sights.

Can Frasier convince Jenna that shy, goofy Ethan Smith is closer to real than the image the tabloids have created?

And can she ever forgive him for breaking the most important rule of all? Because for Jenna, when it comes to love and science, the truth is all that matters.


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AUTHOR BIO:Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna’s home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn’t find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore. 

You can find her Texas roots in her indie published, YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as “100% solid storytelling,” and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a “lovely story about growing up.”

She digs deep into her Scottish roots – there is magic there, she just knows it – for her YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series published by Ink Monster Publishing LLC. Her first book, Magic Harvest, debuted in September of 2018. It reached #1 in 3 categories of YA Fantasy on Amazon. Magic Heist, the second in the series has been described as “a fun twisty read which will never let you guess what will happen next.”

Mary recently moved from the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she was a certified professional ski instructor to Texas. She loves visiting Scotland where she is currently earning a degree in Gaelic Language Studies at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye—part of the University of Highlands and Islands system. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse. 

Mary is an active member of Romance Writers of America and serves on a national committee of RWA. She formerly served on the board of the Young Adult Romance Writers of America. She is an active member of the Dallas Area Romance Authors and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA’s national convention. 

Hi Mary, and thank you for being here today.

Is the idea for this book coming from that real life experience?

That is exactly where it came from. A friend of mine’s husband was one of the producers for that movie. He’d told me the story and I knew I had to tell my version.

What is the thing you like the most and the least about Scottish folklore, country, and life?

 I spend a lot of time on the Isle of Skye. Many of the folk stories involve giants. For example, the two mountain ranges in Skye, the Black Cullin (Na Beanntan Dubha) and the Red Cullin (Na Beanntan Dearga), were created from two giants hurling boulders at each other.

But I love the fairy stories. In Dun Vegan castle on Skye, there is a framed tattered fairy flag. The story is that it was gifted to the laird of the MacLeod family. There are a couple of variations of why the flag was given to the Macleod’s, but the flag can be used three times to save the clan. It’s been used twice. Apparently, Fiona MacLeod wrote to Churchill and offered to stand on the white shores of dover and wave the flag at Hitler. Churchill politely declined. They still have one use left. 

I’m a little unusual in that I am an American who is a Gaelic speaker. I spend part of each summer in Scotland. I love the culture of the Gales. They are hardworking, generous people. One of my favorite things about the culture is a cèilidh. In Gaelic it means to visit. People would gather in someone’s home and sing and tell stories. Now days they are in pubs.  In a traditional cèilidh, someone will break out in a Gaelic song. If people know it, they’ll sing along—at least the refrain. Then everybody goes on with their chatting. Next, a fiddle or a pennywhistle or even pipes may be played. A formal cèilidh is a dance and I love the dances. A Scottish comedian called Danny Bhoy says, “if you don’t’ know what you’re doing, get out, cause if you don’t, you’re gonna get hurt.” That is a bit of an exaggeration but it’s kind of true. Most of the songs are reels and are really fast. There is lots of spinning and switching partners.

I don’t think I have a least favorite thing about the culture or people. I probably like least the way they are often depicted in popular culture. At least in the Gaelic culture, the men aren’t a bunch of Jamie Frasier’s. They’re kind and shy and honestly baffled by all of the attention Outlander has brought. Tourism has skyrocketed since the series has aired. It’s very popular there as well. They tell me they weren’t really taught the history of Culloden in school. In the highlands and especially the western isles, they are keenly aware of the clearances and are still affected by it. They are under populated. There is a strong sense of “highland hospitality.” If you are in need of shelter or food, they will take care of you. They are also extremely humble and self-deprecating. One of my friends explained it like this, “If you’ve been told you’re shite for hundreds of years, and your people were murdered or sold as slaves because of their language and culture, it’s hard to get past.”

One thing I love about highland culture is the respect they have for the land and each other. I attend Sàbhal Mor Ostaig, a Gaelic University on Skye, each summer. I don’t see people taking selfies at every turn. Even the young kids. At a concert nobody is videoing or taking pictures. It’s considered rude. At the table, there are no mobile phones out. I love that. It’s made me stop and think before taking pictures.

Maybe the most unpleasant thing about the country is the rain. But rain is why it’s such a beautiful country and it is why the whiskey is so good. The Gaelic word for whiskey is uisge-beatha which literally means water of life. There is a saying that there is no bad weather in Scotland just the wrong clothes—or something like that.

I could go on and on about this country and people. I was thrilled to share a little bit of Scottish culture in Hickville Crossroads. If you would like more about Scotland, look for my new contemporary series set in Scotland. In this series, my American heroines will find their happily ever after while traveling through the country. I think the first book is scheduled to release early in 2021. Thank you for having me and allowing me talk about Scotland.

Author links:

This post is part of a tour. You can find the schedule here (

Giveaway:Tour-wide giveaway (INT)

  • The Anderson tartan (her Scottish character is Anderson), a $25 Amazon gift card + 2x ebook copies of Hickville Crossroads


Xpresso Book Tours


      • We lived in Norwich for almost 6 years before moving to the US. We hit Edinburgh every time we could, which was mostly in winter. The places I loved are more linked to the memories that go with them. The first time we went there was for Hogmanay in 2011. Sleeping in a hotel that night would cost us too much (both me and my husband were students back then) so we ended up parking the can on the shore overlooking Forth Bridge and spending the night in the car, an old, orange, very tired Matiz. And our Westie, Mac, in the back seat. And there’s this little Loch an hour or so north east, don’t know the name, that I swear had something different. People have the good spirited hardness of someone used to living in that weather, and I never met a stranger up there.


  1. It’s my happy place. I love spending time in Queensferry, Edinburgh, Ptilochry. I spend most of my time in southern Skye. Slète.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The sheer beauty of that country is ridiculous. To me, only Ireland keeps up. The difference is that Scotland hit you like a fist in the stomach and takes your breath away. Ireland lures you in, all gentle curves and bright pastel colors. God I love those places.


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