Nina Romano

Johanna Lawshea

Nina Romano earned an MA from Adelphi University and an MFA in creative writing from Florida International University. She is the author of four poetry collections: Cooking Lessons; Coffeehouse Meditations; She Wouldn’t Sing at My Wedding; and Faraway Confections; and a short-story collection The Other Side of the Gates. Her latest novel is set in China in the late 1800’s. The Secret Language of Women (Turner) tells the story of star-crossed lovers, Zhou Bin Lian, a Eurasian healer, and Giacomo Scimenti, an Italian sailor, driven apart by the Boxer Rebellion. When Lian is seventeen years old, she accompanies her father to tend the Italian ambassador, at the Summer Palace of Empress Dowager, where she meets and falls in love with Giacomo. Through voyage and adventure, their love intensifies, but soon is severed by Lian’s dutiful promise as the wife to another. Rebelling against the life forced upon her, Lian empowers herself to act out against the injustice and becomes the master of her own destiny. But her quest for freedom comes at a costly price: The life of someone close to her.