Main Character Monday Interview with O.D. Billings Giveaway

Interview with O.D. BillingsWelcome back to another Main Character Monday. Today’s goest is O.D. Billings from Hope Takes the Reins by Jenny Carlisle. Readers read all the way through today’s post to find out how you can win a copy of Hope Takes the Reins (US entrants only). O.D. why don’t you start us off by telling us a little about yourself.

Where do I start? I’m the middle of three sons. I live in a small town in the Arkansas River Valley called Crossroads. If you’ve ever been to the Caldwell Family Rodeo there, you will have seen me doing pretty well at tying down calves, with the help of my really terrific horse, Buck.

Tell me something about you that readers may find surprising?

I gave bull-riding a try, but even though most people think it’s the most exciting and glamorous event, I prefer tie-down. It takes more than just hanging on for eight seconds. There is a real science to capturing those slippery little critters, and I love the way the cowboy and the horse work together.

So, no bull-riding for you then. But I love that tie-down showcases a skill cowboys really need. Next question. What is your favorite book of the Old Testament?

Probably Exodus. Moses was a really great leader. He brought the Israelites out of slavery, even though at times they fought him, and complained when God was literally dropping food out of the sky. I kind of think it’s unfair that he didn’t get to the promised land though. Was it really fair that God kept him out just for one mess-up?

I see your point on that, and at times it doesn’t seem fair. But it does give us a good picture of how holiness isn’t holiness unless it’s sinless. And it reminds us of our need for a Savior who is holy. Speaking of the hard stuff, is there a book of the Bible you have trouble getting through?

Any of the books with the repetitious details about sacrifices, building the temple, the “begats”. Details are not my thing at all.

Those begats are hard for a lot of us! Excluding Jesus, who is the one person from the Bible you would like to meet?

The Apostle Paul. Without spoilers from Ms. Jenny’s story, he has become really important to me.

Paul definitely has an inspiring story. I’m interested to learn how it has spoken to you. Jesus had twelve disciples. Which one are you most like?

Definitely Peter. His heart is in the right place, but he often thinks he knows best, and pushes ahead without thinking of consequences.

Sounds like a lot of us, doesn’t it? Jesus says we are to be His light in the world. What does this mean to you?

Setting a good example for those who are watching. I am for sure still working on this.

If you could leave readers with one message, what would it be?

Don’t give up. God is on your side and will help you if you will just let him be in control.

That is a great message we all need to remember. Now, I’d like to ask some fun questions, just to give readers a little better sense of who you are. If you could have a superpower, what one would you choose?

The ability to swoop down at just the right time, like Superman, to rescue someone from making a big mistake or getting hurt.

If offered the opportunity, would you choose to travel in space?

I don’t think so. Being weightless and floating around like that doesn’t appeal. I would rather have my feet firmly planted or be sitting on a horse with all four hooves on the ground.

I think I have to side with you on that one! A horse over a space shuttle any day of the week. Now for some rapid fire questions.

Dark or Milk Chocolate? Is there a  difference? All chocolate is good.

Roses or Daisies? Daisies. Because you’re more likely to see a field full of them. Also, my best friend Hope loves them, too.

Salad or Soup? Soup, if chili counts.

If you were to describe Jenny Carlisle with three words, how would you do it?

Ms. Jenny? She’s persistent, imaginative, and motherly. I think she and my mom would really hit it off.

I want to thank O.D. for his time today and Jenny Carlisle for letting him come over for a visit on this Main Character Monday with O.D. Billings. Keep reading to find out more about Jenny and Hope Takes the Reins. And if you have any questions for Jenny or O.D., just drop them in the comments below. Everyone (US entrants only) who leaves a question will be entered into the drawing  to win a copy of Hope Takes the Reins. The drawing will take place and the winner will be announced Monday, March 28, 2022.


O.D. Billings has problems beyond the awkward name that led him to use only initials years ago. Now that his war hero older brother has returned, their dad thinks he can turn over managing their truck dealership and start to prepare for retirement. But the hometown hero is not ready for new responsibility, and O.D. saddles up to make things right, while keeping an eye on his younger brother, who is set on being the greatest bull-rider Crossroads, Arkansas has ever seen.

Nineteen years old is very young to take on the business end of a family rodeo, but Hope Caldwell feels she has no choice after cancer takes away her mom. She is used to helping behind the scenes as her dad handles the announcing, sister Faith excels at barrel racing, and brother Junior entertains the crowd as a rodeo clown.

On the family’s first night back after the funeral, an overdressed stranger seems to be conspiring with Hope’s uncle to make a huge change to the only life she’s known since before she could braid her own pig-tails.

Will these two long-time neighbors finally realize that they don’t have to shoulder their burdens alone? Will teaming up to help each other be the right path, or will they continue to stumble over their own cowboy boots on the way to finding God’s direction for their lives?


Jenny has been writing stories since she learned to hold a pencil. She retired from a career in Human Resources for the State of Arkansas. She was a long-time columnist for Ouachita Life magazine, and two collections of her inspirational articles have been self-published. Jenny is also past president of American Christian Fiction Writers – Arkansas Chapter and past president of Saline County Preservation, Inc.  Her first fiction project, “When Hope Takes the Reins” released from Scrivenings Press in March of 2022. She and her husband, James live in Benton, Arkansas where they worship with a service oriented congregation of the Church of Christ. They are the parents of three married children and eight grandchildren. She enjoys substituting a few days of the week in middle school, junior high and high school classrooms.


Jenny McLeod Carlisle | Facebook

Jenny McLeod Carlisle | Facebook (author page)

Jenny McLeod Carlisle – Seeking, Waiting, Walking (

Jenny Carlisle (@jennycarlisle3) / Twitter


And don’t forget, leave a question for Jenny or O.D. to be entered into the drawing that takes place on March 28, 2022! And come back again for another Main Character Monday interview.

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    The Conversation

  1. Jenny Carlisle says:

    Thanks so much for having O.D. On your blog today! I hope your readers will want to read about the journey he takes with Hope as their lives take all sorts of twists and turns.

  2. Cheryl McCann says:

    Where is crossroads , Arkansas, in relation to Little Rock?

  3. Jenny Carlisle says:

    Hi Cheryl, Jenny here. Crossroads is a fictional town. There are some unincorporated places with that name, but no official town. I picture it being located South of the Arkansas River, along Interstate 40 to the West of Little Rock. It is probably somewhere between Russellville and Fort Smith.
    My imagination always goes into overdrive when we are in this area. The beautiful mountains overlook beautiful valleys as the river just rambles through. Can you tell I love my home state?