Fat Chance

Three ladies vow to get skinny by any means necessary.

Sarah Strohmeyer isn't fat. But some of her fans are. They were the inspiration behind the author's new novel, The Cinderella Pact, a fictional look at three women who set out to shed pounds and become new gals. Strohemeyer was at a book-signing a couple of years ago and ran into someone she barely recognized. The woman had lost more than 100 pounds. "That was the first time I seriously thought about this gastric-bypass stuff," recalls Strohmeyer, a former Plain Dealer writer who now lives in Vermont. "It's literally changing lives."

The Cinderella Pact updates the famous fairytale for a generation of Weight Watchers, complete with a modern-day message: Girls don't need a prince to make them happy. "A lot of women feel that things have passed them by," says Strohmeyer. "But it's never to late to be what you want to be." Naturally, the transformations lead to other problems. Strohmeyer — who's penned five books in the popular mystery series about private-eye Bubbles Yablonski — knows her way around chick-lit. In the end, everybody learns something about herself and rides into the sunset looking fabulous! "It's not just about appearances," she says. "It's about having confidence."
Thu., June 29, 7 p.m.