Barbara Merritt Deese grew up in Anoka, a small river town north of the Twin Cities. Living in a family of voracious readers, some of her fondest memories are the evenings they all sat around the table after dinner, taking turns reading such classics as Twain and Kipling. Although she planned to go into the foreign service after college (Augustana College, S.D. and Schiller College in Heidelberg, Germany), her life took the first of many unexpected turns when she became one of the first federal air marshals (and one of only 33 women) in the U.S.
Other unexpected turns (widowhood at 25 and a diagnosis of breast cancer) allowed her to experience the remarkable power of friendship and prayer, and she discovered there is a vast and dedicated sisterhood of women who might be leading ordinary lives, but with extraordinary character.
She has a strong belief in always having a creative project going. A man of the cloth once told her, “When you are creating something, you are your most god-like.” She spends her god-like time writing fiction, and on other creative ventures such as making jewelry, designing and crafting stained glass and assorted crafts.
She lives in Minnesota with her husband.
Murder at Spirit Falls, published by North Star Press in 2012, is the first in a series of No Ordinary Women mysteries. The book began as a collaboration between Barbara Deese and Dorothy Olson, friends since college, and members of a book club full of extraordinary women.
Dorothy Olson honed her investigational skills during a twenty-nine year career as a federal investigator. She has also spent years pursuing her passion of animal rescue and spay/neuter efforts. Dorothy lives in Minnesota with her husband and their menagerie of rescued companion animals.