Welcome to Hickville High
by Mary Karlik
WELCOME TO HICKVILLE HIGH by Mary Karlik is a sweet, sassy, and deeply emotional YA romance about starting over, rediscovering what really matters, and learning how love conquers all – no matter who you are or where you live. You’ll be drawn in by the plucky heroine and charming hero in this upside down Cinderella story. When you go from riches to rags, finding what truly matters becomes all the more special.
Join Mary Karlik and the Killion Group as we celebrate the release of Welcome to Hickville High with this 17 stop Book Blast from October 19th to 23rd. Included in this book blast is exclusive content, guest posts from Mary, an interview, a spotlight of the book, and a giveaway. One GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Follow the tour to these participating blogs for new content each day:
Title: Welcome to Hickville High
Author: Mary Karlik
Series: Hickville High
Genre: YA Romance
Release Date: October 15th 2015
Publisher: Indie Published
Print Length: 292 pages
Format: Paperback and Digital
Senior Kelsey Quinn loses it all when her dad relocates the family to Hillside Texas, population Hick. She’ll do whatever it takes to return to the good life, even if it’s just for one night of dancing at a gala with the boyfriend she left behind. She trades her designer dresses for an apron to work as a dishwasher in a redneck diner. But she doesn’t plan on six feet of pure Texan, Austin McCoy entering her life. He teaches her to love the farm life she’s been forced into, but will he convince her that it’s the farm boy that goes with that life that she really wants?
Emily and Lizzie laughed about Stephen Hartwell totaling his BMW just one month after he got it. Katie filled her in on the latest shopping trip and showed off her three-hundred-dollar Cole Hahn sandals. Kelsey nudged her scuffed Kate Spade heels under the coffee table and laughed in all the appropriate places. But after having been away from that life, it seemed outrageous that they’d laugh over crashing a car. She’d been working her ass off to pay for her wreck. She couldn’t blame them, though; she’d been just like them—probably worse.
When the conversation lulled, Kelsey look at her friends and said, “It’s so good to be back. I’ve missed you guys so much.”
Zoe said, “Welcome back to the simple life.”
They all laughed and Kelsey added, “I’m going to soak in every bit, before I have to return to Hickville.”
Lizzie smiled. “Speaking of Hickville—we have a surprise for you.” She looked around the room. “Girls, I think it’s time.”
Zoe pointed to Kelsey. “Don’t move. I’ll be right back.”
She ran upstairs and came back with a large purple gift bag. She set it in front of Kelsey and said, “This is an homage to your life in Texas.”
Katie reached into the bag, pulled out a hot pink cowboy hat with a tiara glued to the crown, and placed it on Kelsey’s head. Next, she handed her an oversized T-shirt with a picture of the front of a diner painted on it. Early Bird Café was painted in the window and above the picture was printed Trailer Trash Palace. The girls laughed wildly and insisted she wear it. She pulled it over her blouse and tried not to feel guilty for making fun of the café. The next item was a sash with the words Trailer Trash Queen spelled out in sparkly silver letters.
She laughed with them and told them about T-bone and Sandy. Only she didn’t explain how T-bone always made her a hot lunch, or how Sandy worked extra shifts so Jenny could spend more time with her kids. Instead, she mimicked Sandy’s drawn-out twang and the way T-bone scrunched his face when he was chopping vegetables.
“Oh, and you guys have got to hear about Homecoming. They wear these ridiculous mums, they’re huge. Like, they cover the whole chest.”
Guest Post with Author, Mary Karlik
Blog on Music
Like Pavlov’s dogs, I believe our creativity can be triggered by stimulus. For me that’s music. I couldn’t imagine writing without it. But I don’t write listening to random songs. I make a playlist to reflect the personality of each story.
While writing my Hickville Series, I listened to country music. I love country music. A country song is a complete story in about four minutes—talk about flash fiction. In four minutes those songs can make us laugh, cry, remember the good times and bad, they make us feel romance, and the pain of a love lost—sometimes in the same verse. And nothing says small town Texas like twin fiddles and a steel guitar. But it’s more than that.
If I’m having difficulty expressing the mood of a scene, I’ll play music to reflect that mood. Sometimes I’ll play songs that express aspects of my character’s personality. Taylor Swift was on a continuous loop while I wrote parts of Horseplay. (Releasing March 1)
Music also helps me plug into emotions. If I’m in a dance around the house kind of mood, it’s hard to write a gut wrenching tear jerking scene. The right song can take me there.
In the beginning of Welcome To Hickville High, Kelsey is an angry girl. I looked for music with an attitude. Miranda Lambert, Casey Musgrave, and Little Big Town have some great attitude songs. When Kelsey’s family stumbles upon the Early Bird Café, she scoffs at the high school sports newspaper clippings plastered on the walls. When I wrote that scene I listened to Everybody Dies Famous in a Small Town. Later, when she learns to love the town, I listened to Kenny Chesney’s The Boys of Fall. That song is probably the best example of a smalls town’s passion for Friday night lights I’ve heard. You can feel small town pride in the picture he paints. I listened to it when I wrote football scenes too. If I had to name a theme song for Welcome To Hickville High, it would be You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift. I love the idea of the best friend becoming the boyfriend. Spoilers.
I probably spend way too much time researching the perfect music. But when I get it right, it’s fantastic. My current work in in progress is a paranormal romance. My heroine is a fairy, so of course, I had to have the perfect Celtic music. In the beginning I listened to Scottish folk songs but as I grew to know my characters and the story, I had to find a little different sound. I knew I’d found the perfect music when I heard it in my head one night before sleep. That night I dreamt I was in the story. I walked in that world and I talked with my characters. It was awesome!
About Mary Karlik:
Following a career as a nursing instructor, award-winning author, Mary Karlik earned an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. A native Texan, Mary loves horses, dogs, cats, country music, and small town diners. Although she has recently relocated in northern New Mexico, her heart remains in the Lone Star state.
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