by (@shalapitcher)

Is Fifty Shades Of Grey Helping The Australian Women’s Swim Team?

australia olympic swim team

“You know that best-selling book everyone loves? I haven’t read it,” says a female cyclist in Citibank’s “Dedication” ad airing during the Olympics. Except, wrong. According to Australia’s Herald Sun (via the Daily Mail), the Aussie ladies’ swim team has been making time in their schedule for that book everyone loves, Fifty Shades of Grey.

“Most of the swimming girls are reading Fifty Shades of Grey. We’re all talking about it,” said Alicia Coutts, who so far has a gold for the 4x100m freestyle relay, silvers for the 4×200 freestyle relay and the 200m IM, and a bronze for the 100m butterfly. She said her manager recommended the E.J. James book to her, and now she and her teammates use it to relax.
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by (@shalapitcher)

Beautiful Creatures Co-Star Camille Balsamo Promises Cast “Fits Their Characters To A T”

While Twilight and The Hunger Games were sweeping up all kinds of surfboards at last night’s Teen Choice Awards, there was at least actress in the audience wondering if she’ll be getting up on that stage next year as part of another great young-adult-novel-turned-movie franchise. Well, we’re assuming as much. When we caught up with Beautiful Creatures co-star Camille Balsamo she was super excited about the movie, which they just finished shooting in New Orleans. Based on Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl‘s four book series, it’s about a boy named Ethan whose life in his boring, Civil War-obsessed town is turned upside down when he meets a mysterious girl named Lena — and he quite literally can’t get her out of his head. She and her family are Casters, people who wield all sorts of magical powers, and not necessarily for good. So will fans of the engrossing books be satisfied with the movie?

“I think they’ll especially love the casting,” Balsamo, who plays Katherine Duchannes, told VH1. “I read the book and I think that the casting is perfect. I think everybody fits their characters to a T and I think they won’t be disappointed.”

Camille pretty much nailed exactly why Beautiful Creatures has a shot at taking their place next to Twilight, Harry Potter and Hunger Games in our hearts. “I think that so many teenagers can relate to what Lena and Ethan are going through, and even though I’m not a teenager anymore, I still could feel what they were feeling, and I think that’s an incredible thing that the book has to offer.”
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by (@shalapitcher)

Outlander To Be Adapted For TV By Battlestar Galactica Producer

Kate Winslet and James McAvoy, our casting choices for Outlander

We interrupt your regularly scheduled Hunger Games casting speculation and Comic-Con reports for another bit of fangirling: Deadline reports that Sony is closing a deal to turn one of my all-time favorite time-traveling romance book series, Diana Gabaldon‘s Outlander, into a TV show. And it will be Battlestar Galactica exec producer Ron Moore at the helm, so you know it will be epic.

“Big fan of @Writer_DG’s Outlander books for many years, excited for the opportunity to do a FAITHFUL interpretation!” Moore tweeted this afternoon. That’s the kind of statement a fan can get behind!

Let me take a step back and tell the uninitiated why this is so exciting: Outlander is about an English nurse named Claire Randall who takes a vacation with her husband in Scotland shortly after World War II. While out exploring on her own (OK, following some suspicious ladies doing a Wiccan ritual), she accidentally steps into a portal and winds up in the Scotland of 1743, when a number of Highland tribes are plotting a rebellion against the English king. Claire’s outspoken modern ways and her medical knowledge get her in a number of touchy situations, but fortunately a young Highlander named Jamie Fraser keeps coming to her rescue. Unfortunately, she finds out that Jamie’s mortal enemy, an English soldier named Jack Randall, happens to be her 1945 husband’s ancestor. The story weaves magic, medical drama, historical fiction and humor into a very engrossing (if long) package. Also, two selling points: sexy men in kilts and awesome witch conspiracies.

Without spoiling the series for you (READ IT NOW), I would just like to suggest my own fantasy casting ideas: My favorite swoonworthy Scot James McAvoy as Jamie (hey, he can die his hair red easily enough!), and Kate Winslet as Claire (again, her look’s different from the book, but she’s got Claire’s spirit, and she’s hilarious when she’s playing super frustrated with men and their manly ways). Though I doubt these two would do regular TV, maybe they’d be up for a shorter, HBO-style series. What do you think, Outlander fans?

[Photos: Getty Images, Dell Books]

by (@shalapitcher)

Your Next Katniss Or Aria Stark? Defiance Introduces A New Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Heroine

The number of ladies we saw at Comic-Con dressed as Brave‘s Merida should tell you something about how much everyone loves a defiant girl who can wield a weapon and look good doing it. Come August, we might all fall in love with a brand-new such heroine in C.J. Redwine‘s novel Defiance. We have the exclusive trailer premiere above, to reel you in.

Defiance by C.J. Redwine

Rachel Adams lives in a post-apocalyptic village of Baalboden where women have to be accompanied by male protectors at all times, and everyone lives in fear of their leader, Commander Chase, as well as the giant monster that dwells outside the town’s walls. When her father, Baalboden’s best courier, goes missing, she’s placed in the custody of his apprentice, Logan. That makes things pretty awkward, since she professed her love to him a couple of years back. But since both of them have a shared mission, to find Rachel’s father, they’re willing to put aside any weird tension and embark on a seriously dangerous journey. The mood is a little bit Game of Thrones-y fantasy, a little bit Hunger Games dystopia and a little something else we can’t put into a box yet. We’re too busy racing through the pages to find out what’s next.

by (@shalapitcher)

Princess Diaries Author Meg Cabot’s Size 12 Heroine Fights Abusive Stalkers With Pop-Star Finesse

Meg Cabot's newest novel Size 12 and Ready to Rock

It’s funny how we still refer to Meg Cabot as “author of the Princess Diaries,” even though she’s written tons of great books since then for both young adults and grown-ups. We still think of Anne Hathaway as Princess Mia, too, so it figures. But many of her characters share that same indomitable spirit in a quirky package, though their stories differ drastically. Take Heather Wells, the plus-size former teen pop star-turned-assistant-director of a college dorm/crime solver at the center of Size 12 and Ready to Rock, the fourth in a five-part series. She’s the kind of character you want to follow into a protest rally as much as sit at home and watch chick flicks with. And it turns out she has a lot in common with Meg herself.

“When I started writing [the Size 12 books] that’s the size I was, and I was having a lot of problems finding cute clothes in my size, which I actually think at the time was bigger than 12, but um, there’s a lot of stores that don’t go up past 14, um, particularly the bigger designers – the ones that make the really cute clothes,” Cabot told VH1 Celebrity on the phone from Florida this week. “So I wanted to write about a heroine who, you know, has the same problems that I did ’cause I just found that I couldn’t find books like that but [whose heroines] also still have romances and sex and don’t need to lose weight to find guys, because I never had that problem, you know. I always got guys.”

Not that body issues are really the point of the story here. Instead, it’s about how Heather manages to adjust to life after losing her fame and her boyfriend, and winds up solving murder mysteries in the process.

“I actually did work at the dorms in NYU for 10 years, so a lot of the stories are based on real things that happened, although no one actually got murdered — the murder part I just make up,” Cabot told us, explaining how in her job, she witnessed quite a few students getting involved in abusive relationships. “When I worked in a dorm and girls would occasionally come in and be beat up, and I’d be like, ‘Oh my god, did you get mugged?!’ and then of course, no. And they said, ‘No, it was my fault. I shouldn’t have …”
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by (@shalapitcher)

Embrace Your Not-So-Angelic Fictional Boyfriends Of The Week — And Who Should Play Them On TV

Dave Franco and Ezra Miller, our casting choices for a TV show based on "Embrace"

Angels have been a big trend in young adult fiction for a couple of years now, and while I’ve read my fair share of novels about Nephilim and demon fighters and fallen Seraphim and all the rest, I have to admit this isn’t a topic that naturally draws me in. Often angel-themed books have to spend a lot of time explaining their mythology — which is far from standard Judeo-Christian beliefs — before you can get to know the characters. While Fictional Boyfriends I’m about to introduce you to are steeped in their own world too, something about them will draw you in immediately. No joke, I read this book in a single afternoon without coming up for air.

Who: Lincoln and Phoenix

From: Embrace, by Jessica Shirvington

What’s Their Story? Violet Eden met Lincoln a few years ago in a self-defense class and immediately started crushing on him, but the older boy has kept their relationship strictly platonic as he’s taken her on as his private kickboxing/running/rock-climbing student. It turns out, he’s actually something called a Grigori, a half-angel/half-human guardian charged with sending rogue angels on earth back to their own realm. And Violet’s the half-angel destined to be his partner … if she chooses to “Embrace” the Grigori life too.

Violet sensed something strange about Phoenix when they met on the dance floor on her 17th birthday, and the way he tracked her down certainly is creepy. It turns out he’s actually one of the aforementioned rogue angels living on earth. He swears to Violet that he’s got not evil intentions and just really wants to live like a human … and enjoy Vi’s intimate company.

Why We Love Them: Lincoln didn’t have to find Violet and train her before her 17th birthday, but he wanted to. And it turns out he’s been keeping things firmly in the friends zone because to be more to each other would be dangerous. That kind of protective instinct and self control is admirable, and super frustrating. But when he whispers, “Did you ever think we would be anything other than unbelievable?” our knees give way as much as Vi’s. Phoenix, on the other hand, doesn’t play hard to get. He’s got the allure of the completely smitten bad-boy, which Violet can’t resist. Especially since she’s all but given up on Lincoln. Sometimes, the challenge of taming someone so dangerous is an aphrodisiac on its own.

Where Will This Love Go Next? Book two of the series, Entice, is due out in the states on September 15. I’ve heard rumors that the book is being considered for an American TV series, which sounds awesome: It would mean so many opportunities to see Lincoln and Violet as an angel-fighting, humanity-saving team. Plus I can see big potential with Vi’s best friend Steph if she had some screen time. As for fantasy casting, I’m dreaming big for Lincoln, who’s described as having sun-streaked brown hair and a tan: Dave Franco. I can certainly picture a girl crushing on that grin of his. And for black-haired, dark-eyed Phoenix, I’d love to see Perks of Being a Wallflower‘s Ezra Miller in the role — he looks dangerous and heart-melting all at once. It’s hard to imagine either of these up-and-comers going to TV at the moment, but I can dream, can’t I?

Have you read Embrace? Share your casting ideas with us in the comments below! And don’t forget to read about our past Fictional Boyfriends!

[Photos: Getty Images, Sourcebooks]


Kendall And Kylie Jenner Get Their Suzanne Collins On, Announce Sci-Fi Novel Series

It seems Kendall and Kylie Jenner are out to prove they’re more than just pretty faces with their latest endeavor: a sci-fi novel series! Though their newfound literary prowess may set them apart from their Kardashian sisters, this undertaking follows the release of mother and manager Kris Jenner’s memoir All Things Kardashian in 2011. If you’ve been Keeping Up With the Kardashians, you’ll know that Kris’ book has sparked some controversy within her famous brood. Maybe the latest family drama explains why the Jenner pair is sticking to fiction.

In an interview with E! News, Kendall and Kylie detail their literary, um, method. Their debut novel, intended for the young-adult reader, is set 200 years in the future and will involve two sisters — shocker! Fans of successful YA series like Twilight, Harry Potter, and The Hunger Games, they are hoping their book will draw in a similar following. With such lofty goals, it’s a good thing they’ll have some professional help from writer Maya Sloane and publisher Simon & Schuster (the same as their mom!) Kylie assured E! that we will get to feast our eyes on this creation soon, saying, “I think we will definitely get it done with how fast [the process] is going.”
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by (@shalapitcher)

Golden Lily‘s Adrian Ivashkov And Timepiece‘s Kaleb Ballard: Your Fictional Boyfriends Of The Week

Last week, I introduced our Fictional Boyfriend feature, a thinly veiled excuse for me to gush about the boys who’ve been leaping from the pages of the latest hot YA reads and may very well make it to the big screen soon. This week, I couldn’t choose between two boys stealing my heart, particularly due to the fact that both books just came out on Tuesday, and the fact that they both have quite a bit in common.

Who: Adrian Ivashkov and Kaleb Ballard

From: Adrian’s from Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series and its Bloodlines spinoff, most recently The Golden Lily. Kaleb’s from Myra McEntire’s Hourglass and its sequel, Timepiece.

What’s Their Story? Adrian is the playboy college dropout son of an aristocratic family. Also, his family happens to be Moroi, a race of vampires (that are born, not made). We first met him when he started hanging around the titular Vampire Academy boarding school and eventually started dating half-vampire Rose Hathaway. We all knew her true love was her mentor, Dimitri, but he was a pretty interesting diversion. Now he’s hanging around another boarding school (and for some reason this is not creepy), as he helps protect and hide the Moroi queen’s younger sister. That’s how he befriends Sydney Sage, a member of the Alchemists, a society of humans dedicated to keeping vampires’ existence a secret from the world. All this sounds very complicated when summed up in a single paragraph, but don’t worry, it’s a mythology that’s easily absorbed in the books.
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by (@shalapitcher)

Fifty Shades Of Bret Easton Ellis: Should We Take American Psycho Author’s Fantasy Casting Seriously?

Logan Marshall-Green, Ian Somerhalder and Alex Pettyfer

Everyone in and out of Hollywood has been hate-reading, love-reading, fantasy casting, parodying and talking non-stop about Fifty Shades of Grey for months now, but we’re still pretty surprised about who has turned out to be the biggest fan of them all: best-selling author Bret Easton Ellis. Since last week the American Psycho scribe has been tweeting about how much he wants to adapt the Twilight-fanfic-inspired BDSM trilogy for the big screen. He’s contacted his agent and everything. Nor does this seem to be a fleeting obsession: Last night, when he could have been tweeting about his real decision to cast Lindsay Lohan opposite porn star James Deen in his movie The Canyons, he was armchair casting Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele instead. His ideas weren’t groundbreaking, but now we’re starting to wonder if they’ll really start gaining traction.

“Rereading Fifty Shades of Grey: it’s hard for me to think of Ian Somerhalder as Christian G. because I’ve known him personally for so long,” he wrote of the Vampire Diaries star, who co-starred in the movie based on Ellis’ The Rules of Attraction. But he added later:

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by (@shalapitcher)

White Cat’s Cassel Sharpe: Meet Our Fictional Boyfriend Of The Week

Michael Steger, Tristan Wilds and Blair Redford are our fantasy casting choices for the Curse Worker series
Here’s the #1 reason why I think people of all ages read young adult novels these days: No love feels as dramatic and earth-shattering as your first one. And though I’m pretty relieved to have left that first disastrous romance in my past, through fiction I can recapture that feeling anytime I want to. All summer long, here on VH1 Celebrity, I’m going to introduce you to my favorite new fictional boyfriends — the bad boys, the torn heroes, the sensitive types, the vampires, the demon slayers, what have you — and, naturally, the novels in which they’re waiting to seduce you on a hot, lazy beach day. First up is a boy I’ve been swooning over since last spring.

Who: Cassel Sharpe

From: White Cat, Red Glove and Black Heart, the Curse Workers trilogy by Holly Black

What’s His Story?
Unlike most of the boys I plan on covering here, Cassel is actually the main protagonist of the trilogy. We first meet him when he wakes up from sleepwalking on the roof of his boarding school dorm, and that happens to be one of the safest places we’ll ever see him. In Cassel’s world, a portion of the population has a genetic ability to work magic on others by touching them — these so-called “Curse Workers” can give people luck, erase their memories, make them fall in love, kill them, influence their dreams or, in extremely rare cases, transform them into something else entirely. Many Workers belong to mob-like crime families, like the one led by Cassel’s best friend Lila’s father. Cassel comes from a long line of con artists, and while he can work a con with the best of them, he thinks the Worker gene skipped him. He also thinks he killed Lila three years ago, though he has no memory of how.
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