A divorcée determined to get the body she wants. A sadistic health spa promising miracles. Selling your soul never looked so fabulous!

Marilyn is ready to drop the weight and stop looking like a “before” photo. So when her good-for-nothing husband kicks the bucket during divorce proceedings, she thinks the perfect place to blow his dough is at a secluded New Zealand health retreat. But more frightening than no-carb dieting and bikinis is the sinister force on the other side of the high fences with dark cravings of its own…

When the masochistic exercises and stomach-turning shakes fail to shift the pounds, she decides to take more drastic measures. She signs up for an exclusive new add-on package that’ll transform her physique in ways she never imagined—even in her wildest nightmares.

Will Marilyn drop the weight, or succumb to the shadowy power that hungers for much more than her extra curves?

DietVale is a laugh-out-loud comedic horror novel. If you like cringe-worthy creepiness, snarky heroes, and moments both sublime and terrifying, then you’ll love this spine-tingling tale.

DietVale will be out early 2020, allowing you to binge on a rice cake of terror!

Chapter 1

Dammit, I can already see my epitaph. There’ll be no ‘quietly in her sleep’ chiselled into the slab of marble sitting above my head; ‘death by Spandex’ would be listed as the cause. Heavens to Betsy, I’ve owned wet suits that were less depilatory in their treatment of my lady bits.

     Lying back on the super king that dominates the bedroom, I fight to get my breathing under control, but the iron grip of my foundation garment combined with the dread I’m feeling about the visit to David’s lawyer that afternoon make it impossible.

    My breathing gets worse to the point I’m in danger of blacking out. Come on you stupid tart, get a grip. This pep talk plus a few measured breaths have the black spots fading back to wherever they’d come from. Feeling as calm as I’m likely to, I attempt to get up to continue searching for an outfit that has me looking less like an over-stuffed black pudding.

     I can’t do it.

     I’m stuck amid my earlier wardrobe malfunctions like a cast sheep.

     Flailing my legs and arms around, I try rolling onto my side but my torso is a solid block of Lycra-constricted fat and bone, mammary glands and useless ovaries.

     The tears that have been my constant companion in recent months spill over and roll off down my cheeks and I give into the temptation to wallow for a moment. Maybe if my ovaries hadn’t shown themselves to be purely decorative, things would be different.

     Smacking my stomach hard in frustration does sweet FA to change my situation, only resulting in a booming sound echoing around the bedroom. Damn it, I’m bloated again. God I hate my body. Disgusting is the best way to describe it. I can understand David not wanting a bar of me if I find myself too gross to successfully masturbate.

     My hand snakes down between my legs and I rip open the domes that are hanging on for grim death and exhale with a sigh of pleasure. Any relief on my part is taken care of when the front crotch panel snakes up and over my tummy in a desperate attempt to regain its un-stretched state.

     Without anything to hold it in, my stomach wobbles out of control leaving me looking like I’m a couple of months pregnant from the spare tyre of undergarment around my waist, and down.

     “For god’s sake.”

     Slamming my hands down on the bed, I lift my hips clear of the mattress. The back part of the crotch disappears under me at a rate of knots. Thank heaven I didn’t opt for the g-version. My haemorrhoids would have been shredded by now.

     On the bright side, I’m able to bend enough to get into a sitting position and then, after a breather, to clamber to my feet.

     A morbid sense of self-hatred has me looking in the floor-to-ceiling mirror that sits at the end of the walk-in wardrobe. Even from this distance it’s not pretty. I might have been okay with my old prescription but these new contacts do nothing to protect my fragile ego.

     I’ve given up thinking back on how I looked when I’d first caught David’s eye. There isn’t a diet I haven’t tried in an effort to relive my glory days but all it took was the merest of lip curls from my husband of 20 years and there wasn’t a chocolate bar that didn’t have my name on it. Each fall from the WW Wagon took an ever greater toll on my psyche, requiring more chocolate, or carbs, or fat, to heal it. More and more often, it took a combination of all three to restore any sense of peace.

     Turning side-on to the mirror I give in to my absolute self-loathing and let my gut hang out. If it wasn’t so sad, the result would be funny, but it does give me an idea of what might fit.

     Marching across the bedroom and into the wardrobe, I continue down to the very back. Avoiding my reflection, I concentrate on rummaging through the clothes hanging on David’s side. Not that many of his clothes remain, with him having removed himself to the guest suite over the garage.

     He hadn’t been happy about this but there was no way I was moving out. The divorce had been his idea. Not that he’d been in a hurry to follow through, taking his own sweet time until the call yesterday telling me I needed to be at his lawyers at one thirty today, sharp. I’d given a moment’s thought to telling him the time wasn’t convenient, but hadn’t had the guts to go through with it.

     Taking a dark blue dress down off a hanger I hold it in front of me and turn back towards the mirror. “Perfect.” If I look pregnant, I may as well wear maternity. Sure it’s dated but at least I won’t need to wear the elasticated torture device a moment longer.

     Not that getting out of it is an easy task with the muscles in my arms being no match for the boa constrictor-like properties of the body suit. In the end it takes hacking at it with the kitchen scissors to free myself.

   

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