James Bond

is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, drinks bourbon, and drives a Bentley Continental GT.

James Who?!

Meet the new James Bond, courtesy of American author Jeffery Deaver's new Bond novel, Carte Blanche, due Tuesday.

Deaver, 61, tells USA Today he has reinvented Ian Fleming's MI6 officer - escorting him, as it were, out of the 1960s and into the 2010s - with the blessing of the Fleming estate.

"I wanted to reintroduce the literary Bond," Deaver says. "He's an enduring character: He's the knight errant . . . the stranger who goes out on a quest to slay a dragon."

Don't fret. The most important aspect of the Bond mythos endures: the constant flow of what, in an unenlightened time, we might once have called hot babes. The new book features three especially babe-a-licious ones: Ophelia Maidenstone, Felicity Willing, and Bheka Jordaan. No film option has yet been announced.

Only pro athletes need apply

Wonder if

Hayden Panettiere

, 21, has a thing for big, tall, beefy athlete dudes. Seems the

Heroes

star, who has left Ukrainian boxer

Wladimir Klitschko

after two years, is having her rebound by dating . . . the New York Jets.

Well, two of 'em. So far. Gossipers have seen the diminutive beauty hanging out with quarterback Mark Sanchez and wide receiver Scotty McKnight - during the same week!

No comment from Hayden's rep.

Love? Love is a battlefield

Speaking of NFL players, New England Patriot guy

Bret Lockett

says he wasn't lying when he told In Touch Weekly he had a sexual dalliance with

Kim Kardashian

, even though she's engaged to marry another athlete, the New Jersey Nets'

Kris Humphries

. Kim has threatened to sue the mag for defamation. "This is 100 percent true," Bret tells the Boston Herald. "She knows she's messed up by trying to deny anything." Bret claims he has proof of the spent passion, including text messages.

Passion - and spending - of a different kind seem to be on Kim's and Kris' minds. E!News reports they're signing a prenup to protect their respective piles o' dough. Kim is worth $35 mil, while Kris has a paltry $8 mil.

Jon Cryer: I love the guy

Jon Cryer

- he's the

Two and a Half Men

star who still has a job - told

David Letterman

Wednesday night he was as shocked and surprised as the rest of us by

Charlie Sheen

's

Twilight Zone

-ish transformation from actor to one-man freak show.

"This has never happened before," Cryer said. "It wasn't like, 'Back in 1963 everybody remembers when Fred MacMurray went bat . . . and started talking about Freemason ninjas and stuff. . . . So nobody was prepared for this." Cryer says he still loves Sheen even though the ninja has insulted him. "He called you a troll or something," Letterman reminded him.

"Yes," said Cryer. "As friends do."

Will she give back the diamond, too?

"SHE SAID YES," a triumphant

Jason Mraz

tweeted from the rooftops last year on Christmas Eve when

Tristan Prettyman

agreed to marry him. Now she's saying,

No! Way No! No Way!

Mraz, 33, tells the Daily Beast he has lost his princess because - like his artistic forebears Søren Kierkegaard and Franz Kafka - he sacrificed his girl in the name of art.

"My greatest mistake right now is, I've been clinging to my art," he says. "In that, I have victory for my art and a great loss for my heart." Mraz's art is So Very Important it may be worth the loss. At least he seems to think so.

"I want my music and my mission to stand for healing," he tells the Beast. "When I sit down to write a song, I really want the message of healing to thrive and transcend all ages."

Tidbits 'n' pieces

Sirius XM will devote this entire weekend to

Trey Parker

and

Matt Stone

's delightfully non-scandalous Broadway musical

The Book of Mormon

, with a program of interviews and soundtrack excerpts. . . .

Ja Rule

, 35, reported to authorities in New York Wednesday night to begin serving his two-year sentence on gun charges. . . . Monaco's

Prince Albert

, 52, and

Charlene Wittstock

, 32, who plan to wed next summer, will honeymoon by the Indian Ocean at the exclusive Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga, South Africa, says People mag.

Chris Colfer: Gleeful on paper too

Golden Globe-winning

Glee

star

Chris Colfer

is taking a page from that great literary stylist

Snooki

by signing a two-book deal with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

The Hollywood Reporter says Colfer, 21, will write two fairy-tale-infused children's books. The first, The Land of Stories, is due next summer. Colfer says the stories have been bouncing around in his head since he was 10.

PopEater.com says Colfer has also been tapped to write a pilot for the Disney Channel.

More acts at the Folk Festival

The 50th annual Philadelphia Folk Festival has added a slew of new acts, including

the Levon Helm Band

,

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue

,

Gregory Alan Isakov

,

Terrance Simien

,

Jessica Lea Mayfield

, and Philly warblers

Jim Boggia

and

Suzie Brown

. The four-day fest, which boasts

Arlo Guthrie

and other big headliners, will be held Aug. 18 to 21 at the Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township (near Schwenksville). Info: 1-800-556-3655 or

» READ MORE: www.folkfest.org

.

This article contains information from Inquirer wire services and websites. Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.