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alison sweeney

Really Good Read: The Star Attraction by Alison Sweeney (Plus Q+A with ‘The Biggest Loser’ Host!)

Written on May 23, 2013 at 1:58 pm , by

Dive into the world of working in Hollywood. (Photo courtesy of Hyperion Books)

Ever wonder what goes on behind-the-scenes in Hollywood, where celebs strut their stuff and their publicists work tirelessly to make sure they look good? If so, then we recommend picking up The Star Attraction by Alison Sweeney. Available now, the first fiction novel from the host of The Biggest Loser takes us into the world of Sophie Atwater, one of the best publicists in Los Angeles. She loves her boyfriend, Jacob, her job and the thrill of working with the stars. But when hottie actor Billy Fox (think Ryan Gosling-level here, ladies) becomes a client, Sophie’s life quickly spirals out of control as sparks fly and she starts to fall for a client for the first time.

We breezed through this story in a few days, making it a great choice for devouring while lounging poolside or at the beach. Just don’t forget the sunscreen because you might get sucked into the story and lose all track of time. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

And if you want to know what compelled Sweeney to pen her first piece of fiction, we’ve got you covered there, too. We sat down with the actress and author to find out whether the scenes she created come from experience, and if we can expect a sequel sometime soon.

What made you want to dive into fiction writing?

I love to read. I gobble books up left, right and sideways. But I also love telling stories. And being apart of Days of Our Lives for 20 years has given me a million stories to tell. I’m so grateful for that. But you know, sometimes it doesn’t go the way I would want it to go as a fan. I wanted to write something that had the ending that I wanted it to have. It was so fun to get sucked into this girl’s life and tell her story.

You’ve said you read all of the time. Who are some of your favorite authors?

Well, my favorite author alive today is Jodi Picoult.

We love her! Did you read her new book, The Storyteller?
[Editor's note: Check out our thoughts on The Storyteller, another one of our Really Good Reads, here.]

Yes, it was amazing! I did this book club on Twitter and Facebook and we read it right when it came out. It was amazing. She’s so inspiring and I just love her controversial topics. She’s amazing.

OK, back to your book. Sophie seems like she’s at a very different point in her life than where you are. Did you relate to her at all, or did you pull from your own experiences when creating her character?

Oh yeah, there’s a lot of her that’s in me, and vice versa. I think that her story is so interesting to me because she is growing and learning and finding herself, and that’s such a great thing for people to see and relate to. And the steamy, fun, romantic stuff – all the red carpet gossip – it’s all stuff I’ve seen in Hollywood, been a part of or witnessed, so it was fun to pull the curtain back a little bit.

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Stay Fit (and Sane) All Holiday Season with Alison Sweeney

Written on December 1, 2011 at 12:05 pm , by

Alison Sweeney (with her adorable kids) knows how to balance fun and fashion! (Photo by Andrew Southam)

She has two kids, two jobs, one lofty fitness goal and a crazy holiday schedule ahead…how does Alison Sweeney do it? The host of The Biggest Loser and star of Days of Our Lives, who is currently training for the L.A. Marathon in March has a few tricks to keep her life organized, manageable and healthy all at the same time. We recently spoke with Sweeney to snag some secrets and learn more about her relationship with Bob, Jillian, and this season’s two new trainers, Dolvett Quince and Anna Kournikova.

How do you stay fit during the holidays?

It’s really important to find a workout that you can do with no excuses. [See below for Sweeney's at-home exercise routine!] And I keep track of my nutrition. With so many treats around, it’s really easy to just pop brownies without thinking about it! You may not even be hungry. I also eat before going to parties so I’m less tempted when I get there and am satisfied with a smaller amount of the treats.

Do you and your family have any seasonal traditions?

We shop for gifts and pick out a tree together. When I was young, my parents always took me skiing in the winter, which was really festive since I grew up in L.A. It was so fun and exhausting—you’re basically burning calories all day long! Now, when I’m skiing with my family, I take a picture at the top of the mountain and email it to my dad. I thank him daily for instilling this love of activity at an early age.

So you mentioned that you shop and travel—as a busy working mom of two, how do you stay connected and keep track of your to-buy lists and events this month?

There are so many distractions during the holidays, so I try to use technology to keep my family together. I use my Windows phone, which syncs with my computer, to keep track of my calendar and get photos texted to me. It’s really family-oriented and you don’t need a manual to understand it!

To learn about Sweeney’s 2012 resolutions and get the scoop about the future of The Biggest Loser, keep reading.

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Help Your Pet Get Fit with Tips from Alison Sweeney

Written on May 11, 2011 at 2:23 pm , by

Alison with Winky

Alison with Winky

As the host of The Biggest Loser, Alison Sweeney’s life revolves around fitness. So when her vet told her that her pup Winky was overweight, she immediately took action. “My whole family’s health is important to me, so I knew I needed to do something,” Alison said.

According to a recent study, more than half of pet cats and dogs in the U.S. are overweight. The main culprits? Lack of exercise and overfeeding. To get Winky back on track, Alison and her son Ben scheduled walks and set up a diet. It only made perfect sense for her to team up with Hill’s Science Diet’s Million Pound Pledge, a national initiative to get pets fitter and lose a combined million pounds.

Here’s what you can do to jumpstart your buddy’s fitness:

  • Make walks or physical activity a priority. Put it on your schedule and find ways to make it fun and challenging so you can get a workout out of it, too.
  • Avoid letting your pet get scraps from your meals. It might only seem like tiny morsels, but your puppy snacking on “a cube of cheese would be the equivalent of us eating about two cheeseburgers,” says Alison.
Alison Sweeney at the Science Diet Million Pound Pledge launch

Photo by Donald Bowers/WireImage for Hill's Pet Nutrition

Do you have fun ways to get fit with your pet? Share ‘em with us!