www.seattleepi.comNew Moon would have been a lot different — and a lot less evil — if it weren’t for Stephenie Meyer’s mom.

The Twilight mastermind told Oprah Winfrey Friday that she originally had a more mellow ending to the second book in the vampire saga that “was pretty much all in Bella’s head.” But when Meyer showed her mom, Candy, the manuscript, she thought something was missing.

“She said, ‘Stephenie, maybe a little bit more action in the end,'” Meyer said. “So I introduced the Volturi earlier [than I had planned] because of my mom.”

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WHO DOES THE HOTTEST MAG COVER? How much fun is a trip to the newsstand right now? New Moon stars are everywhere!

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner grace at least seven magazine covers, and then there’s that adorable Teen Vogue with Dakota Fanning and sizzling Maxim with Ashley Greene. It’s enough to have any fanggirl doing backflips (as if the dwindling countdown isn’t doing that already).

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www.examiner.comTwilight newbie and recently crowned Homecoming Queen, Dakota Fanning, 15, will appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this week.  The teenage sweetheart-turned-evil-Volturi will talk to Ellen on Monday’s show (November 16). That’s the same day of Twilight: New Moon‘s Hollywood premiere.

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TAKE A VIRTUAL TOUR OF FORKS Twilight fans don’t have to travel to Washington State to experience all the places significant to Edward, Bella and Jacob in the Twilight and New Moon sagas. From the comfort of your own home, you can take a virtual tour of Forks, Washington — the center of all the Twilight action — with the new virtual tour and interactive map launched by MSN.

Working with Bing maps, MSN was able to create an exclusive interactive experience for Twilight fans. Users can view either photos or videos of each highlighted location. MSN has also created special video segments narrated by Twilight actors, Jamie Campbell Bower and Alex Meraz.

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CHECK OUT THE JACOB BARBIE! And the love triangle is complete! Back in August, Bella and Edward from the Twilight saga were immortalized as Barbie dolls. Now, fans will be able to add Jacob to their collection.

The new doll, modeled after Taylor Lautner’s boy-turned-werewolf character, Jacob, features cut-off denim shorts, a mysterious gaze, and the super toned abs that have gained attention onscreen and off.

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HUGE CROWDS TURN OUT FOR TWILIGHT STARS Never underestimate the love the Beehive State has for the Twilight phenomenon. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that Utah’s passion for LDS author Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling, gothic romance tales may rival that shared between the two lead characters, Bella Swan and Edward Cullen.

How else could you explain so many “Twi-hards” braving a cold, snowy fall storm just to get a glimpse of two of the stars from the newest movie spawned by Meyer’s Twilight saga, “New Moon.”

Stranger still, the stars who were at Fashion Place mall in Murray for a signing appearance weren’t Robert Pattinson (Edward), Kristen Stewart (Bella) or even Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black). They were actually — gasp! — two of the villains in the new movie.

Actors Jamie Campbell Bower and Edi Gathegi, who play villainous vampires Caius and Laurent, respectively, were in town to sign memorabilia and greet their adoring fans.

As Bower observed, “people keep thinking that eventually this Twilight madness will die down, but it just keeps going and going and getting bigger and bigger.”

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ASHLEY GREENE KICKS ASS, LITERALLY In this month’s edition of lads mag Maxim, Twilight starlet Ashley Greene stars in a revealing pictorial, and also comes clean about how she managed to get her body in cracking shape for her turn in New Moon.

Diet? Nah. Jogging? Not quite.

Greene, who plays Alice Cullen in the Twilight Saga, hits the bags at a mixed-martial-arts gym.

“I get to fight in Eclipse,” she said. “My trainer is teaching me MMA right now. So. Cool.”

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BREAKING DAWN MAY NOT GET MADE AFTER ALL? In a recent interview with Blast and other reporters, “Twilight” star Kellan Lutz revealed that there are no current plans to film the final chapter in the “Twilight” saga, “Breaking Dawn.”

The first three films have been made, but Lutz expressed the fear that if “New Moon” doesn’t get enough love from the fans, “Breaking Dawn” might never get made, leaving the saga permanently unfinished.

“We aren’t filming it,” Lutz said when asked about the progress on “Breaking Dawn.”

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TOWN OF FORKS TEMPTS SUMMIT WITH A COPYRIGHT, BUT SUMMIT WON’T BITE Forks, a tiny town of 3,000 nestled in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, has been christened by the people who live in this rainswept region the “logging capital of the world.” But a town best known for its timber and trout fishing has in recent years become famous for something beside its gloomy weather — vampires.

Forks recently made national news when it was announced that plans were under way for a “Twilight”-themed restaurant in the heart of downtown with the working name of Volterra, presumably a reference to the Italian city where a coven of vampires in the second book reside.

“It’s been a wonderful thing,” said Marcia Bingham, director of the Forks Chamber of Commerce. “There were all these empty storefronts that are filling up with ‘Twilight’ stores. Tourism has taken off here, and when the next movie opens we’re expecting it to get inflated again.”

But for Summit Entertainment, the studio  that produces the “Twilight” movies, the town of Forks presents a challenge. The company does not want to be seen as cracking down on a town that has been hard-hit by the economic downturn. And it does not want to alienate fans by suing those who feed their passion for “Twilight.”

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WILL MEYER BITE INTO ANOTHER TWI BOOK? When pressed about the possibility of a fifth “Twilight” book, Meyer gave a lengthy, yet vague answer.

“I can’t answer it. The way I write, it’s what makes me happy. Like, I can’t write when people are looking over my shoulder,” Meyer said.

She also admitted to some vampire fatigue. “I am a little burned out on vampires right now,” she said. “I think I need a little break. I might go spend some time with my aliens. I might do something completely different. I’ve got to cleanse the palate. I may come back to it. I did envision it as a longer series. But I wrapped ‘Breaking Dawn’ in a way that I felt satisfied with, so if that moment didn’t come, I’d be OK.”

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TWILIGHT INSPIRES 7TH GRADERS PASSION FOR READING & THE SUPERNATURAL Twelve-year-old Sarah Shipley-Powell hated to read – until a vampire came into her life.

It wasn’t simply that the Bearden Middle School student disliked reading. She wasn’t very good at it. She got tutoring to help and made average grades. But reading was a tedious, dull and often slow task.

Then last year she picked up the paperback book “Twilight,” by Stephenie Meyer. By the time the heroine Bella discovers the boy she loves is a vampire, Sarah had discovered something too.

She was reading. And enjoying it.

One year and one month later, Sarah hasn’t stopped reading. The seventh-grader has read more than 75 books, several more than once. Her bedroom bookcase holds her much-thumbed “Twilight” paperback and 62 other novels about vampires, werewolves and the supernatural.

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So, what do you think of todays Twilight Saga news?