Mary Barmeyer O'Brien was born and raised in Missoula, Montana, and received her B.A. from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. She is the author of three previous books about pioneers on the overland trails: Toward the Setting Sun: Pioneer Girls Traveling the Overland Trails and Heart of the Trail: The Stories of Eight Wagon Train Women, and Into the Wertn Winds: Pioneer Boys Traveling the Overland Trails. She has also written a biography for young readers called Jeannette Rankin: Bright Star in the Big Sky, and her magazine articles for both children and adults have appeared in many national magazines. Mary works from her home in Polson, Montana. She and her husband, Dan, a high school biology teacher, have two daughters and a son.