Stitch Trilogy Movie/TV Dream Cast

With every book release, there’s one question I’m always *guaranteed* to be asked: Who would play your characters in the movie/TV version?

I’ve taken a stab at answering this question before, but I’d like to revisit my past selections and see if we can make any improvements – plus, we need to add casting for a couple new characters who will be joining us in Stuck!

Alessa – Emmy Rossum

Where you know her from: Shameless (TV series), The Phantom of the Opera (Movie, 2004)

Why I chose her in 2013: She’s young and fresh, and she’s got Alessa’s long brown hair, height, and down-to-earth “real girl” sensibility.  The only thing Emmy doesn’t have are Alessa’s striking green eyes – but that’s what color contacts and Photoshop are for, right?

2018 Verdict: Keep her!  I’ve been keeping my eyes out for the past 5 years and I still haven’t found another actress that fits better than Emmy.


Isaac – Alex Pettyfer

Where you know him from: Magic Mike (Movie, 2012), I Am Number Four (Movie, 2011)

Why I chose him in 2013: The eyes, the hair, the body… I challenge you to name one way this guy is NOT a perfect fit for Isaac.  Trust me, once you watch this clip of Alex taking off his shirt on the Ellen show, you won’t want to argue.  Plus, he’s got that classic look that can fit in anywhere from 1917 to 2114, which is exactly what Isaac needs to do.

2018 Verdict: I considered changing this one as I’m not as big a fan of his more recent grizzled look for Isaac, but after sifting through a few more 2018 photos that are more in line with the “Isaac aesthetic,” let’s stick with it!


Janie – Willa Holland

Where you know her from: Arrow (TV series), Legion (Movie, 2010)

Why I chose her in 2013: Sharp, cute, and spunky with just enough edge, Willa would be perfect to play Alessa’s sidekick and closest confidant, Janie.  As long as she’s willing to trade her long locks for Janie’s messy bob, she’s got the part!

2018 Verdict: Well, as there’s no more question about her willingness to don a bob, I’d say she’s got the part!


Joe – Robbie Amell

Where you know him from: The Tomorrow People (TV series), The Duff (Movie, 2015)

Why I chose him in 2013: With his all-American (okay, Canadian) good looks and that mischievous, swaggering twinkle in his eye, Robbie would be the ideal big brother to Alex Pettyfer’s Isaac.

2018 Verdict: Unfortunately under layers of monstrous “Stuck” makeup we won’t be able to really appreciate that face anymore, but hey, there’s always flashbacks.  He’s got the job!


Lizzie – Katheryn Winnick

Where you know her from: Vikings (TV series), Killers (Movie, 2010)

Why I chose her in 2013: Can you say “blonde bombshell?”  Katheryn has that classic hourglass shape and gorgeous glow that makes men drool – and look at that hair!!  But what I love most about her is that she’s not just a doe-eyed fantasy – when she’s determined (see here), she looks fierce.  Like Lizzie, this girl is more than just a pretty face.

2018 Verdict: Ummm, yes.  I’d say my previous assessment was pretty accurate – I don’t want to mess with her, do you?


Nikhil – Prateik Babbar

Where you know him from: Bollywood movies Mumbai Diaries (2010), Issaq (2013)

Why I chose him in 2013: Do I really need to explain?  Just go run a Google search for: prateik babbar shirtless and you’ll understand why Alessa was so taken with him in Stitch.

2018 Verdict: The fact that he’s apparently started going by just Prateik gives me pause… not to mention some other bad boy behavior that wouldn’t exactly square with Nikhil’s persona.  That being said, I still think he’s the best fit for the role.  However, we’ve definitely got Rushi Kota of Grey’s Anatomy fame on backup…


The Developer – Hayden Christensen

Where you know him from: Star Wars Episodes II & III (Movies, 2002 & 2005)

Why I chose him in 2013: Okay, I’ll admit it – I’m one of the few people who fell in love with Hayden Christensen in his role as Anakin Skywalker, mediocre acting notwithstanding.  But think about it – as the Developer, his awkward acting style would actually be a plus!  Pop some nerd glasses on this face, grow out a greasy mop of hair, and drop a few more pounds to match the Developer’s lanky frame, and I’m sure Hayden’s experience slaughtering innocent child padawans would help him tap into the Developer’s inner evil like an old pro.

2018 Verdict: Given the Developer’s evolution of growing increasingly unhinged over the course of Book 3 and the sociopathic gleam in Hayden’s eyes here, I still think he would be great in this role.  He’s in!


Deion – Kendrick Sampson

Where you know him from: How to Get Away with Murder (TV series), Vampire Diaries (TV series)

Why I chose him in 2013: N/A – he’s new to Book 3!

2018 Verdict: Here’s a fun bit of trivia. Deion is actually the first character I created who was based on an actual actor!  I first saw Kendrick as Jesse, an ill-fated student on handful of episodes of the Vampire Diaries (Season 5).  I immediately knew his disarming charm and cool, confident demeanor would make him the perfect guide for reintroducing readers to Paragon, this time from an average citizen’s perspective – and, also, eventually, the perfect, balanced match for one of our spirited heroines who’s been feeling a bit neglected from a romantic standpoint (wink wink!).


Alex – Alex Landi

Where you know him from: Grey’s Anatomy (TV series), Broken Land (Movie, upcoming 2018)

Why I chose him in 2013: N/A again – he’s also new to Book 3

2018 Verdict: Deion’s best friend makes his debut shirtless, so while I hate to be shallow, umm… look at this photo!  Alex (the actor) has definitely got Alex (the character’s) chiseled features and physique down to a science… all the better for catching the eye of one of our remaining partner-less heroines (but you’ll have to read the book to see who!).

So, what do you think, Stitch fans?  Do these actors fit pretty well with the characters you pictured in your head?  If this crew wasn’t available, who else would you cast in their place?  Let me know in the comments!

PS – Don’t miss these other fun guest posts from the Stuck Tour!
– Style in Dystopia: 3 Ways to Style a Jumpsuit
– Quiz: Where Do You Rank in Paragon Society? (Citizen, Rebel, Ruling Class, Engineer, or Stuck)
– A Tale of Three Book Covers (How the Stitch, Shudder, & Stuck Covers Were Designed)
– A Playlist of Music to Go With Stuck

“Absolutely LOVE LOVED this book” – Review, Tour Highlights (“Crushing on Characters” & Vile Villainy” Continued) + Giveaway

Second-to-last day of the Shudder Tour!  We’re rounding this out today with more highlights about your favorite characters and the villains you love to hate, plus an awesome review!  And of course two more chances to enter the grand finale giveaway!

Green Mountain CoupleHead to My Devotional Thoughts for “Crushing on (Main) Characters, Continued” highlights, then swing by Green Mountain Couple for a fab review (“I absolutely LOVE LOVED this book. It was one of those books that I picked up and didn’t want to set back down even after it was finished.”) and more highlights (“Vile Villainy, Continued”).

Huge thanks to Ruth and Kayla for hosting!


Weekend Recap: “Family & Relationships in a Dying World” + Tour Highlights, Grand Finale Giveaway & Reviews Galore!

Whew!  SO MUCH excitement over the weekend!  Okay, I’m doing to do my best to keep it short and recap all the goodness you might have missed in the past 3 days.

First, from Friday:

Imagine the world ended tomorrow.

You have no more career, no school, no obligations. Money is meaningless. All the material possessions you’ve accumulated are useless, except what you can carry on your back. There’s no electricity to power your iPad, no gas to run your car, no fuel to heat your home – besides whatever you can find to burn, that is.

So what *do* you have left? When all the entrapments of daily life are tossed overboard and you’re fighting just to hold a claim over the basic necessities of survival, what exactly is left to live *for?*

Ask any of the characters from the Stitch Trilogy, and they’ll tell you the same thing: their loved ones. <continue reading>

Then on Saturday we kicked off the Grand Finale Highlight Tour hosted by Prism Tours!  Before we get to these stops, let me first fill you in on the HUGE GIVEAWAY going on at all these stops to cap off the tour.  Prizes up for grabs include:

* Signed print copy of Stitch & Shudder for you and two friends (USA only)
* Signed (via Authorgraph) e-book copies of Stitch & Shudder for you and two friends (Int’l)
* Signed Stitch Shudder bookmarks + e-book copies of Stitch & Shudder (Int’l)
* $10 Amazon Gift Card (Int’l)
* $5 Amazon Gift Card (Int’l)

And you can enter at ANY of the stops on the Prism tour over the next two weeks!  (See full schedule here.)

Okay, now that you’ve got the details on that, here’s a recap of the awesome stops you might have missed on Saturday and Sunday:

  • At The Reading Diaries, “Shudder Mysteries” highlights plus a great 5-star review: “Shudder is filled with surprises around every corner, keeping me guessing till the very end. … The author has done a brilliant job creating a world filled with action, romance, monsters, and fantastic characters. The characters are easy to connect with and you can’t help cheering them on as the book progresses.  Shudder is a fast paced novel that I was able to read in one evening unable to put it down till the last page.”
  • At The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl, highlights featuring quotes from “Raving Fans”
  • At Rose & Beps, highlights about “Crushing on (Side) Characters”
  • At Chapter Break, “Vile Villainy” highlights plus an AWESOME 5-star review: “I know, I gave this book 5 stars. What? Yea, it’s just that awesome. It is one of the best dystopias I’ve read in a few years (seriously, since Hunger Games and Divergent, which are my favorites in this genre). It has everything and all types of feels – betrayal, survival, despair, rage, vengeance, love, you name it. I devoured this book in a couple of sittings. Where the first book was just good, this sequel was wonderful.”
  • At The Wonderings of One Person, “Cliffhanger Ending” highlights and another amazing review: “Shudder by Samantha Durante is a deeply touching and sensational story of discovery and freedom laden with heavy doubts and uncomfortable choices. I was swept away into this amazing world. I was taken in by its vivid detail and tangible emotions. My heart was stolen from the start. The tender and enduring love of Issac and Alessa combined with the dark intentions of a post-apocalyptic world propelled the story onto my top books of 2013 list and made me love it!”
  • At Mortal Moments, tour highlights featuring quotes about “Crushing on (Main) Characters” (aka Isaac Love Fest 2013, haha).

Okay, I think we’ve covered it!  Remember you can enter the giveaway at any (or preferably ALL) of these stops!  And keep your eye out for another post going up later today about today’s stops…  Thanks!!

BAD GUY WEEK –> INSPIRATION WEEK: “Inspiration for the Engineers” + Review & Giveaway

Up In The BibliosphereBig thanks to Kelsy of Up In The Bibliosphere for hosting the Shudder Blog Tour as we transition from BAD GUY WEEK to INSPIRATION WEEK with a guest post on what inspired the Engineers!  Check it out:

The antagonists for the Stitch Trilogy – Paragon’s elusive leaders, the Engineers – were born out of one question: what if smart people with little empathy or ability to connect with other people were in charge?

Believe it or not, this question actually arose out of a repeated argument I had with an ex-boyfriend from college. <continue reading>

Intrigued?  Swing by Up In The Bibliosphere for the rest, and also don’t miss the e-book giveaway and Kelsy’s 5-star review!

Oh my gosh, guys. after reading Stitch I thought things couldn’t get any more intense. I am so happy to be wrong! Shudder takes us even further into Durante’s terrifying dystopian world as Alessa faces her greatest challenge yet; surviving in a wasteland while being prey to a pack of superhumans.

My favorite thing about Shudder is how seamlessly it picks up from the events of Stitch. There is no lost momentum in this sequel, and many kudos to Samantha for not succumbing to the “second book slump”. With the stakes raised higher than ever, Shudder left me begging for more.<continue reading>

Tune in almost every day this week for more posts about real-life inspirations for various aspects of Shudder, along with a bunch more reviews and giveaways!

BAD GUY WEEK Excerpt + Review & Giveaway

Booking It With Hayley GHead over to Booking It With Hayley G today as we continue BAD GUY WEEK with another Engineers excerpt, plus an excellent review AND an e-book giveaway!  Here’s a sneak peek of everything Hayley’s got for you today:


The Draftsman met her eyes earnestly.  “Listen, Phoenix.  I know Paragon is not the best place ever created.  But if you were the person you remind me of – if you were my granddaughter – I’d tell you to look at it from this perspective: we’re alive, right?  We’re fed, we’re clothed, and we’re not at war any longer.  Our planet is slowly recovering, and someday we’ll even be able to leave this compound again.  We’ll be able to really start over.”

He stroked his beard for a moment before leaning in toward her, his voice barely above a whisper.  “I’ll admit I had more than a few reservations when the Developer first approached me, Phoenix.  But the plans were already in motion, whether I got on board or not.  Perhaps I’m a coward,” he admitted, shame coloring his features, “but I quickly realized that I was better off with them than against them.” <continue reading>


People, you have to read this series, it’s so addictive. Shudder continues Alessa and Issac’s journey in escaping the dramatic claws of Paragon, and trying to find their way together in the “real world”. … We see a lot of depth and growth with Alessa in this second installment… [and] It was great to have, once again, a few chapters dedicated to Issac’s narrative. I love this man almost as much as Alessa does … though, and he did give me quite a scare. … Tons of action and adventure to be had in this sequel, much more than its predecessor. I thought the major plot twist of Stitch was bad, but the ending of Shudder was killer! Seriously Samantha?! Come on, what are you trying to do to us with that cliffhanger? haha … If you enjoy great and unique combination of Romance, Dystopian and Sci-fi in your YA, you’ve got to give Durante’s Stitch trilogy a try. <continue reading>

Thanks so much to Hayley for hosting!!

BAD GUY WEEK continues: “A Profile of Evil: the Engineers” + Reviews, Excerpt & Giveaway

Crys Book ReviewsBAD GUY WEEK continues today on the Shudder Blog Tour with a bevy of great new content and two fabulous 5-star reviews!  First, swing by Crys Book Reviews for the guest post “A Profile of Evil: the Engineers,” which includes a handy cheat sheet to help you keep track of all the Stitch Trilogy baddies – check it out:

The Developer
Role: Architect behind the entire Paragon scheme and de facto leader of the Engineers
Skills/Experience: Talented software programmer/hacker, world’s youngest billionaire after launching an online social media outlet that eventually grew to include almost every individual on the planet
Appearance: Your classic computer nerd – lanky, greasy hair, glasses, t-shirt, whiny voice
Defining Traits: Intelligent, arrogant, impatient, brusque
Classic Quote: “Zombie apocalypse. The people eat that garbage up.” <continue reading>

Also don’t miss Crystal’s awesome 5-star review of Shudder!

Wow, this book just blew my mind. I just finished reading it and the last page of the book was amazing and horrible all at the same time. <continue reading>

And finally, head over to Fundinmental for another great 5-star review (including a great discussion of real-life bad guys), an e-book giveaway, and excerpt!

He wasn’t a large man, but there was something intimidating about him, something dark.  He was middle-aged, neat, not unattractive exactly, but there was something about his face that pushed her gaze away instead of drawing it towards him.  His eyes, maybe.  His eyes seemed to drink all the light from the room, flat and cold as they bored into her.  Something about those eyes made her shudder inwardly. <continue reading>

Thanks so much to Crystal and Sherry for hosting today!!  More coming in BAD GUY WEEK later this week.

It’s BAD GUY WEEK – “The Nature of Evil” + Giveaway & Interview

Word SpelunkingVery excited today to kick off BAD GUY WEEK on the Shudder Blog Tour!  (Okay, okay, it’s only Tues/Wed/Sat, but how many days of badness can you really stand?)  I’m thrilled to share a new guest post at Word Spelunking about “The Nature of Evil” and how that relates to the characterization of the Engineers in Stitch/Shudder.  Here’s a sneak peek:

Everyone loves to hate the classic evil villain. “Muahaha, I’m going to take over the world!” he cackles – maniacally, of course – and we shudder and seethe while waiting for the hero to come along and save the day.  It’s so straightforward, so black and white: this is evil, and this is good.  We know who to root for, and there’s no conflict about the villain’s motives. He’s just plain evil – he knows it, we know it, and everyone is okay with that state of affairs.  It’s just that simple.

But in real life, no one believes themselves to be a monster.  Even the people who commit the most heinous crimes – rape, murder, genocide, slavery, abuse of children or animals – in the vast majority of cases do not inflict suffering without any qualms or misgivings.  Even those who perpetrate evil have a sense of right and wrong, or at least a sense of what society at large considers right and wrong.  So they find some way to justify their horrible acts, whether it’s reasoning that it’s somehow for the victim’s own good, or that it’s somehow deserved, or that the victim is somehow lesser – not a “real” person, not someone anyone will miss, not human.

The fact of the matter is that the battle between good and evil rages within all of us every day.  There’s no person on earth who can argue that they’ve never committed an act that can somehow be interpreted as “evil,” depending on who’s laying out the judgment. <continue reading>

And there’s also a new e-book giveaway while you’re there!  And for our second stop today, we have a super fun author interview at Passionate Book Divas!

Thanks so much to Aeicha and Alana for hosting!!  And check back every day this week for more bad guy themed festivities.  :-)