I love the holidays more than you can possibly imagine. Right now, I am sitting here next to a tree, dressed as an elf, eating mistletoe.

Now, I realize that while the holidays are excellent in every possible way, it can sometimes be difficult to get all of the right gifts purchased in time. I am here to help you. Here are seven reasons why my newest book, The Name of the Star, is the answer to all of your problems.

1. The holidays and VICTORIAN ENGLAND go together. A Christmas Carol, the fog and the snow around the buildings, urchins running through the streets with tin heads, carol gangs fighting each other to the death in the East End, Queen Victoria going amongst her subjects to give out cheese and live mice … that’s how it was, my friends. I did a lot of research for this book, so I would know. Nothing is more Victorian than Jack the Ripper, and The Name of the Star is full of him.

2. Books are easy to wrap. I’ve just been doing a lot of wrapping and this is totally true. In fact, I’ve been wrapping a lot of slightly oversized boxes where you have to cut out a special panel to go on the bottom. You know what I mean? Because the wrapping paper roll is too narrow to handle your box? That’s the worst. The Name of the Star practically wraps itself. I designed it that way.

3. People like to get thrillers, mysteries, and ghost stories for the holidays. It must have something to do with being cooped up inside, but it’s true. December is the time when The Shining starts to make a whole lot of sense. It’s best to have an outlet to channel these impulses, and The Name of the Star is perfect for the task. It has murders, ghosts, all kinds of good stuff. If The Name of the Star keeps just one person from going for the chainsaw, I’ve done my job.

4. Books are the gift that give … twice. Okay, if you’re not reading the books you buy for people before you wrap them, you are missing a trick. What you want to do is take the dust jacket off. That’s key. So you get the book, you read it, you put the jacket back on and wrap it up (see point #2) and you are SET. You’re welcome.

5. The Name of the Star is a great way to send a message. Like I said, The Name of the Star is full of murders and stuff like that. So if there’s someone in your life who has to try a little harder next year … you can use the book as a way of getting this message across. What you want to do is read it and highlight the parts with the murders. If you want to be extra creepy, you can add notes like “this could be you” or just “lol!” Trust me, if you do this, you’re going to see people stepping up their game in 2012.

6. The Name of the Star is a great gift for someone you don’t know very well. Do you have a Secret Santa gift to buy? Some random person in your school or office need a gift? Some random teenager, relative, aunt or uncle? The Name of the Star is perfect. Why is it perfect? I have no idea, but I feel very deeply about this. Look, it’s better than a cheese log, okay? At least it looks like you made an effort.

7. It’s not just a book, it’s a bonding exercise. Holiday shopping is hard, so here is a trick you can use: buy 5-10 copies of The Name of the Star and give them to your friends. Say you are starting a NEW THING where you want to spend more time with the people you care about and you wanted to give them a book you’d read and enjoyed so you can discuss it and bond over it. Instant book club! Plus, you are totally done shopping now and the book is easy to wrap (see point #2). This idea is golden and if you use it on another book or author I will be hurt.

In case you are UNCERTAIN (though why you would be, I have no idea) you can read the FIRST 80 PAGES OF THE BOOK FOR FREE. Read it on-screen. Download it. Do what you want. Go nuts.


Okay, now you are ready, I am sure. To make this EASY for you, here are all the links you need to get your copies RIGHT NOW. 


I always recommend going to YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSELLER! But you can also go to Barnes and Noble, Books Inc., Powell’s, or Amazon. Or anywhere. Just anywhere. Well, as long as that anywhere sells books. If for some terrible reason they do not have the book, just make a low, whining noise until they get you all the copies you require.


The book is readily available at Waterstone’s (where a few SIGNED COPIES are still available), W.H. Smith, Tesco, Amazon UK, and anywhere that books are SOLD. 


You can obtain the book at Chapters and Amazon Canada! (With the usual caveat about anywhere books are sold, which especially means YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE.)


The Name of the Star will be coming out in MANY COUNTRIES, including: France, Germany, Italy, Israel, The Netherlands, Korea, Croatia … AND OTHERS. The release dates in these countries have not been announced. If you want copies NOW, I recommend ordering through The Book Depository, which ships FREE, WORLDWIDE. 


Would you like a copy of The Name of the Star for your ELECTRONIC BOOK MACHINE? Then you shall have it! You can order it on Kindle and Nook or wherever else you order your ebooks. (For iPad, just go to the iTunes store. It’s there.)

I am certain you are now convinced. To make things easier for you, here are the links you need to purchase the book

There you go. Your holiday shopping is now solved. You’re welcome!
I’ll be back with MORE HOLIDAY TIPS this month. Until then, I jingle in your general direction.



“A gorgeously written, chilling, atmospheric thriller. The streets of London have never been so sinister or so romantic.”

- Cassandra Clare, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Infernal Devices and The Moral Instruments series

 “An unputdownable thrill ride that will leave you gasping, laughing, and dreaming of London.”

- Ally Carter, New York Times bestselling author of the Gallagher Girls series and Heist Society

 “This book made me want to give up everything, move to London, and fight ghosts.”

- Holly Black, New York Times bestselling author of The Curse Workers series

“Johnson fearlessly takes readers from what seems like a cool innocent-abroad-with-iPod story to supernatural thriller. The tension ramps up exquisitely among cups of tea, library visits and the London Underground. The explosive ending is genuinely terrifying but never loses the wit, verve and humor that Rory carries with her throughout.”

-Kirkus Reviews 

“Readers looking for nonstop fun, action, and a little gore have come to the right place.”

-Publishers Weekly

“Johnson uses a deft hand, applying the right amount of romance and teen snarkiness to relieve the story’s building tension. Departing from her previous works, she turns paranormal on its head, mocking vampires and werewolves while creating ghosts that are both realistic and creepy.  A real page-turner.”

-School Library Journal

“Johnson proves again that she has the perfect brisk pitch for YA literature.”


“There’s a Doctor Who-ish quality to the book—in both its technology and tone—that feels completely intentional and appealingly fresh to the YA genre, but Johnson’s biggest achievement is in having written a book that will appeal to fans of her earlier work, but also please SF/F readers.”

- Locus Magazine