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Stephany Tullis

Small town charm, larger than life characters


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July 18, 2019

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Is Dr. Jared J. Johnson Hiding From the Truth?

November 6, 2017


Welcome to the Open Book Blog Hop. This week my fellow authors and I are chatting with one of our characters. For me, developing my characters is the most interesting part of writing my books. 


I can't wait for to see how Dr. Jared J. Johnson, the main character in my upcoming release, Missing Home feels about his role in the book. To allow him freedom to fully express his thoughts, I asked Rachel Blakely, the Editor of the Chandler County Chronicles, to interview him for me. Let's listen in. 

RB: Hey Dr. Johnson. How are you? Thank you for agreeing to interview with me. Ms. Tullis wanted you to feel free to express your honest opinion so she asked me to chat with you about your role in her upcoming book. Missing Home, isn't it. By the way is this the first time you've appeared in one of Ms. Tullis' books?






JJJ: Thank you for interviewing me, Ms. Blakely. I must say I’m glad that Ms. Tullis allowed you to chat with me. I'm not sure I would feel comfortable talking with her directly about my role in her new book. And yes, it's entitled, Missing Home and its the first time that I've been featured in one of her books. By the way, you can call me Jay.






RB: Sure Jay. Please call me Rachel. Although, are you the new minister at Chandler County First Baptist Church. Normally, I would call you Reverend but if you insist, I'll call you Jay. (Rachel smiles). Also, I like to be upfront with people when I interview them so I need to ask, isn't Ms. Johnson your grandmother? She's a good friend of mine.


JJJ:  See this is a prime example of why I'm somewhat frustrated with Ms. Tullis. She's put me in the middle of a big mess here in Chandlerville and I already have enough problems as her book begins. On top of it, since you say you know my grandmother, you must know she wants me to pastor that church. My grandmother and that Tullis---oh excuse me Rachel--but they both know that I don't want to pastor a church. My specialty is physiological profiling. Further, and please don't take this personally, but I don't want to live in Chandlerville. It's too small and that's why I've only returned to visit since I went away to college. (Jared shifts in his chair and then crosses his long legs).


RB: (Rachel checks her notes). I was wondering what brought you back to Chandlerville. You've been living in Atlanta right and um, excuse me, but Ms. Johnson had us all believing she'd be heading to your wedding soon. A big one, according to her. Me and my friend Kimmy have been sharing some Pinterest images with her to get a sense of what kind of dress she wants to wear. 


JJJ:  (Jared shifts again in his chair but this time leans forward with his elbows resting on his knees with his head down). Rachel, this is off the record. The wedding is off. And please don't tell my grandmother. I haven't told her yet. I don't know how to tell her and truthfully, I'm hoping Ms. Tullis will allow another character to break the news.


RB:  O-M-G, Jay. Your grandmother is going to be crushed. Wow! Gosh, I hope she doesn't choose me to break the news. Or Kimmy. Oh, Lord, not Kimmy. Kimmy and your grandmother are very close. If you don't mind me asking, what happened? Why did your fiancee break up with you?


JJJ:  (JJJ shook his head). Would you believe I walked out on her? Don't ask me what happened. Ask Ms. Tullis...I was at the pinnacle of my career expecting big funding to support the last phase of a five year grant with the feds and next thing I know, I'm in this book reading a letter from the head of the funding source telling me my project won't receive funding for the next cycle.  


RB:  Wow! Sorry to hear that. And what did your fiancee say? 


JJJ: Tullis, in her infinite wisdom,  decided it might be best for me to return to my roots--here-- to--Chandlerville. When you get a chance, maybe you can ask her what she's thinking because I've been miserable since I arrived. And I don't know what my fiancee will say. I haven't spoken to her.


RB:  I think she must have something good in store for you, though. She loves to keep her readers guessing--that's probably what she's doing. She's one of those authors who like happy endings so I don't think you have to worry to0 much. I guess...(Rachel frowns).


JJJ: Well, what does that mean if you don't mind me asking? I don't like surprises and so far, I've got women who either despise or love me and men who think I'm after their women. And let's not forget about those who think I'm unfit to be a pastor---not that I want to be anybody's pastor. Ughhh....sorry Rachel. I hate to unload all this on you.


RB: Well, Stephany did catch me off guard in her first Chandler County book--the one called Missing Pieces. She's got me in this off again on again relationship with Jairo Aquino? Have you met Blue yet? 


JJJ: Oh, yeah. I met him in Cassie's cafe...he is quite a character. Sorry, nothing personal there. (Jared smiles).


RB:  By the way, I'm putting on my investigative reporter hat for this next question. What do you know about the fire at the church?


JJJ:  Don't go there, Rachel. Is that why Tullis had you interview me? Is she trying to set me up?


RB: No, no. Not at all. I'm above board. You can trust me but if I were you, I'd be careful. For a new guy--excuse me, for a minister and someone who has deep roots here, you have a lot of enemies. I probably shouldn't tell you that but like I said I try to be up front.


JJJ: I may have to get out of Dodge if you know what I mean. Can you think of a way for me to get Stephany, as you call her, to let me down easy.


RB: (Rachel laughs). You're asking the wrong person, Jay. Talk to Blue. She seems to always let him off the hook. Is she upset with you about something?


JJJGosh, I don't know. But you think I should talk to Blue?


RB: You might. If anyone in town can get you out of this mess you say you're in, he'd probably be able to help you out. He's got tricks...and trust me I should know. Good luck to you Jay. Nice chatting with you.


JJJ: Nice chatting with you. Rachel. I'll keep you informed. You do the same. Ciao!

Missing Home

 A Story of Love, Trust & Honor



Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense/Christian Romance


A 21st century battle between good and evil.



When Dr. Jared Johnson's research project collapses, so does he. He tosses the funding rejection letter in his office wastebasket and his plans to marry the love of his life out the window. The last thing he wants to do is return to his home town, Chandlerville, Kentucky. An unexpected call from his grandmother, a lifelong resident of the small town, convinces him that all things indeed happen for a reason and perhaps this is the right time to reestablish his roots and start anew. When he arrives--single, with no intent to marry, he's shocked to learn that the town has unanimously approved his pastoral appointment to the newly refurbished 100-year-old Baptist church. Despite his divinity training, Jared never intended to pastor a church—not when his specialty is psychological profiling. As fate would have it, the evil spirits that begin to permeate the town and its good-hearted citizens shortly after his arrival challenge his technical skills, experience and community relationships. To complicate matters, a local angel finds herself in the eye of the storm causing Jared to re-evaluate his past and question his future.



Thank you for stopping by this week. I hope you enjoyed Rachel's interview with Dr. Jared J. of my favorite characters, despite what he thinks. Don't forget to visit the other Open Book Blog authors and feel free to join us. See you next time. Would love to have your comments. 

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