Maria Elizabeth Romana is a second-generation Italian-American with a background in mathematics, business, and research. In other words, she's a straight-up geek...with a side of pasta. By day, she's all numbers, but at night, she transforms into Word Woman, writing about the same kinds of people and places and events that colored her make-believe world as a child. Maria prefers characters who are smart, sensitive, and strong-willed, but like you and me, not without flaws. As far as she's concerned, there's nothing more annoying than a heroine who's too stupid to live, but one who's Barbie-doll perfect is even worse. Maria likes to give her characters some cool mysteries to solve, crises to encounter, and folks to fall in love with, and she tries to do it all with a dash of humor.