Author: Mary Karlik
Title: Hickville Crossroads
Series: Hickville High Series #4
Publication Date: May 4th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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.
Frasier’s 1st impression of Jenna
I should not have flirted
with her. The girl in Chemistry—Jenna. It was a total reflex to connect
gazes. I didn’t mean anything by it. So, maybe I wanted to see if she’d
blush. She blushed. And then I got sucked in.
But I liked the way her brown hair framed her face. She was pretty. Not over-done make- up pretty. Just natural. And she seemed shy and curious—which made me curious.
And then she did this thing. She twirled her hair. It was crazy. Up and down. Faster and faster. Obviously, a nervous habit, but it was kind of cute too. Until I embarrassed her by mentioning it. Opps. I wasn’t sure if I should apologize or ignore it.
I had settled on apologize when Mrs. Sanchez called my name from the register. I wasn’t used to my fake name and she had to call it twice which made everybody laugh. My faced heated and I reminded myself I was playing a roll. Except these kids weren’t actors and their reactions were real.
She called Jenna Wiley. The pretty lass twirling her hair answered and I decided I wanted to know her. I was the new boy in school. I needed somebody to show me around. Right? So, I asked her to help me get to the rest of my classes. I knew I was treading on thin ice. Mr. Bledsoe
had lectured me on girls. Dave and Michael had lectured me on girls. My dad had lectured me on girls.
No girls. No dating. It was a non-negotiable edict—especially after Cara Gentry burned me a few months ago. The fact that she’d ripped my heart out wasn’t their concern. The social media storm that followed was. I had to give her credit though—she was creative with her lies.
It was nice to be a normal lad, in a normal school, asking a normal girl to help me out. She didn’t know who I was and by the time she found out, I’d be long gone.
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.