Maria Elena Sandovici was born in Bucharest, a city she loves and can never stay away from too long. Hoping for international adventures, she left Romania to attend college in the United States. Dogs with Bagels is her first novel. It is loosely inspired by her own detours as a young foreign woman trying to navigate the financial and emotional pitfalls of Manhattan. Today, she continues to travel and to weave fictionalized accounts of her experiences into her writing. She is also an artist, and author of the daily watercolor blog Have Watercolors Will Travel.