Q&A with Romina Russell, Author of ZODIAC—Plus Giveaway

Romina Russell’s debut, ZODIAC, which has one amazing cover, just hit shelves earlier this week. And we’re thrilled to have her here with us, talking about books and ZODIAC! Did we mention there’s a giveaway, too? There is.


At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.

Add ZODIAC to Goodreads

IceyBooks: Hi Romina! Thanks for stopping by. Can you tell us a little bit about your debut, ZODIAC?

Romina Russell: ZODIAC is the first in a YA SF-meets-Fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs. It stars Rho, the young Guardian of House Cancer, who must unite the Houses before a great evil of legend returns to destroy them.

IceyBooks: Many novels are inspired by a single question. Was there one that sparked ZODIAC?

Romina Russell: I’ve always been fascinated by Space. As a teen, I used to lie in bed for hours trying to fathom infinity—typical Virgo, I had to be in control of everything, so I had to understand what it meant for something to be “ever expanding.” I would love to explore actual Space, but to my mathematician mother and scientist father’s dismay, I’m an English major. So in writing ZODIAC, I feel like I’m finally getting to go somewhere I’ve always longed to explore.

IceyBooks: ZODIAC has a pretty striking cover; what were your initial thoughts when it arrived in your inbox?

Romina Russell: DJKNFJSNFAJNFUAHFHAINDJKLANHUIEFALEHCAUOWEYFYGHENDFJAUEH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Have to give props to her excellency, the goddess Vanessa Han at Razorbill, for inspiring that reaction.)

IceyBooks: How many novels did you write before ZODIAC won you an agent?

Romina Russell: Five.

IceyBooks: What are your three current YA favorites?

Romina Russell: There are tons, but here are three recent series I’m loving: Winter Falls by Nicole Maggi (another December debut), Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, and Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan.

About the Author

Romina Russell (aka Romina Garber) is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. When she’s not working on ZODIAC, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.

Find Romina on Twitter | Website | Goodreads

And now for the giveaway! Thanks to our friends at Penguin, we’ve got one copy of ZODIAC for a lucky US reader. Just fill out the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.



  1. Reply

    Brittany T

    December 13, 2014

    I have heard such great things about this book! I had a chance to read it but couldn’t fit it in before i had to pass it on and am now kicking myself!!

  2. Reply

    meena h

    December 13, 2014

    Can’t wait to read this book!

  3. Reply


    December 13, 2014

    Awesome interview, ladies! I’ve been looking forward to Zodiac – it has all the elements I love in books and I can’t wait to finally read it :) I love the premise and you are absolutely right, the cover is a stunner!
    Thanks for the great post and the chance to win a copy!

  4. Reply

    Reem K

    December 13, 2014

    Very interesting interview. When I was young, I used to read a lot about astrology and zodiac signs. I am most interested in Celtic moon signs at the moment and purchased a book about it recently. Being a Virgo myself, my Celtic lunar sign would be the Ivy and my Celtic animal the swan.

  5. Reply

    Carina Olsen

    December 13, 2014

    Amazing review Hafsah. <3 Thank you all for sharing. I adore this cover. It looks all kinds of awesome :D I'm curious about this book too. Might have to buy it one day :D

  6. Reply


    December 13, 2014

    This is one of the books I’m really looking forward to reading. It sounds so interesting, and I’m so glad there’s another book about space out in the world! (Plus, the cover is gorgeous.)

  7. Reply

    susan beamon

    December 13, 2014

    This one sounds like my kind of book.

  8. Reply


    December 13, 2014

    Thanks for the giveaway<#

  9. Reply


    December 13, 2014

    Awesome Q & A and I just love love the cover! This book looks and sounds fantastic thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  10. Reply

    Dana @ The Nerdy Journalist

    December 13, 2014

    That is one GORGEOUS cover!
    I’m looking forward to reading Zodiac. I’ve always found the zodiac signs really intriguing. I’m a Taurus.

  11. Reply

    Erin @ The Hardcover Lover

    December 13, 2014

    I love love love this book! I’m so glad that I had the chance to read an advance copy of it, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!

  12. Reply


    December 13, 2014

    Thank you so much hosting such an amazing giveaway! I’ve been dying to read Zodiac, so my fingers are definitely crossed for this. Good luck to everyone who has entered!

  13. Reply


    December 13, 2014

    THIS BOOK SOUNDS SO AWESOME OMG. Would LOVE to win it!!!! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  14. Reply

    Giaochau N.

    December 14, 2014

    I can’t wait to read Zodiac!!! The book sounds AMAZING!!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  15. Reply


    December 14, 2014

    Nice interview

  16. Reply

    Arya D.

    December 15, 2014

    How have I not heard of this story before it sounds absolutely amazing!

  17. Reply


    December 15, 2014

    I’ve been hearing tons of positive feedback for this book, and I’m even more excited now that it’s been released! The premise is super intriguing; I’d pounce on this book if it arrived in the mail! Thanks for the giveaway :D

  18. Reply


    December 16, 2014

    Congrats on the book!

  19. Reply


    December 16, 2014

    Comment love! <3

  20. Reply


    December 16, 2014

    A book I cannot wait to read!

  21. Reply


    December 23, 2014

    This book sounds amazingggggggggg. I strong case of grabby hands is occurring! :D

  22. Reply


    December 25, 2014

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. Reply

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    December 26, 2014

    Zodiac sounds so, so good! I have heard such good things about it, the premise sounds so unique, and I cannot wait to read it! Thanks for the chance :)

  24. Reply

    KayCee K.

    December 27, 2014

    Zodiac sounds like an amazing read. I was so hoping I was going to get it for Christmas but I didn’t but not giving up I’m going to read this book here soon! This books sounds super unique and like a page turner! I just can’t wait until I get to read it and share all about it!

  25. Reply

    Emma A

    December 27, 2014

    The cover is so beautiful! I cannot wait to read this! Thank you!