Please welcome Author Susie Black to my blog

Named Best US Author of the Year by N. N. Lights Book Heaven, award-winning cozy mystery author Susie Black was born in the Big Apple but now calls sunny Southern California home. Like the protagonist in her Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, Susie is a successful apparel sales executive. Susie began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk. Now she’s telling all the stories from her garment industry experiences in humorous mysteries.

She reads, writes, and speaks Spanish, albeit with an accent that sounds like Mildred from Michigan went on a Mexican vacation and is trying to fit in with the locals. Since life without pizza and ice cream as her core food groups wouldn’t be worth living, she’s a dedicated walker to keep her girlish figure. A voracious reader, she’s also an avid stamp collector. Susie lives with a highly intelligent man and has one incredibly brainy but smart-aleck adult son who inexplicably blames his sarcasm on an inherited genetic defect.

Before we find out about Susie’s latest novel, our lovely author is sharing her wealth of experience from being in the rag trade – and it’s all about choosing the right swimwear. Trust me I was thrilled to read this, my selection of swimwear has been pretty poor over the years. Now I know why. 


Need A Swimsuit?

By Susie Black
Hello. I am Susie Black. Before I became a cozy mystery author, I was a successful sales and marketing executive in the
ladies’ swimwear industry. When I first got into the swim biz, my smart-alec Nana gave me a coffee mug that said,
“Things could be worse. We could be trying on swimsuits.”
No kidding, Nana.
Whether you’re planning a Caribbean cruise or a day at the beach, the very thought of trying on a swimsuit can be
intimidating enough that you won’t venture out of the dressing room, let alone show up wearing one at the pool. But
if you know what kind of swimsuit style looks best on your body type, selecting one doesn’t have to be traumatic.
Believe it or not, it can be a fun experience. Now, stop rolling your eyes. I can see you. Hey, come on, admit it; other
than drowning or a painful sunburn, who has a bad time in a swimsuit?
With the right style, you can camouflage a flaw or accentuate a strength. It’s all in the art of illusion. Whether you
want to conceal cellulite, hide back fat, or provide enough support for the girls, trust me, there’s a suit with the best fit
for you. Want to show off? Need to slim down? No worries. You just have to know which style you choose is the right
Still not buying what I’m selling? Ok, then let me prove it to you:
The first step in choosing the best swimsuit that flatters you the most is to determine which body type is yours. It is
also helpful to know your bust, hip, and waist measurements, bra cup size, and torso length.
There are others, but most women’s figures fall into one of four body types:
1. APPLE SHAPE: Your waist is wider than your hips and equal to or nearly as wide as your bust.
2. HOURGLASS SHAPE: Your bust and hips are about the same size width, but your waist is
3. PEAR SHAPE: Your hips are significantly wider than your waist and bust.
4. STRAIGHT SHAPE: You are thin all around, with no significant difference between your hips
and bust.
Very few women are the same size top and bottom. Fortunately, swimwear designers have come up with a solution.
Separates have revolutionized the options available for every body type. You can mix and match silhouettes, sizes,
colors, solids, and prints to meet both your fit needs as well as quench the thirst of your imagination.
The right fitting style is the key to finding the best suit for yourself. Like all the other clothes in your wardrobe, a
swimsuit that is too small or too big can ruin your look.
Tips on how to select the right cut:
A one-piece suit willhide a thick waist. Choose one with shirred panels, details, dark or solid colors. High-cut bikini
bottoms will make your leg look longer. If you are short, have bigger thighs, or are long in the torso, a high-cut bikini
bottom is an excellent option.Halter and triangle tops draw attention to the bust. Bandeau tops will make the bust
seem wider. If you are a pear shape and want to imitate an hourglass shape, choose a bandeau top with ruffles or a
halter with a busy detail.

Broad Shoulders: There are a few things you can do to balance out your body when you’ve got a set of broad shoulders. Opt for a solid-colored suit with printed panels along the side. This will help create the look of an hourglass figure andevens out a boxy upper body. Look for an asymmetrical neckline, which will draw the eye up
and away, instead of straight across.

If you have a large bust: For busty gals, before you do anything, get a bra fitting with a foundations specialist and try cup-sized separates. For the girls with big girls, regrettably, triangle bras and string bikinis are not your friends. Triangle bras don’t offer enough support for your girls. The string bikini bottoms draw your eye up to your big boobs and you look even more out of proportion than you already might be. Swimsuit tops that come in
sizes S, M, and L won’t get you where you want to go either. Cup sizes and underwires will give you the support you need so your boobs stay where they belong and won’t be all over the place after you dive into the water. Opt for a fuller cut brief. Thicker straps and double-stitched bands will give you the most flattering results. To minimize a large
bust, look for a straight across cut at the top of your swimsuit with wide-set straps. Try a bikini top with a thick chest band for extra support. Multiple straps on a swimsuit top add twice the support. Try a full-cut or a sports top.


Animal Attraction: A small animal print plays down the chest size.

Red is slimming and gives the illusion of your boobies appearing smaller.

If you have a small bust:
Finding a suit that flatters your bust can be a challenge. For smaller-busted gals, head to the separates section of the swimwear department where you can mix and match tops and bottoms. Swimsuit silhouettes with lift and support will create a flattering look and a comfortable fit. Try bikini tops with an underwire, adjustable shoulder straps, or
built-in cups to add shape and support. Halter tops are also a great way to show a sexy slip of cleavage. A suit with padding, a push-up bra or a bra with a twist gives you a little something extra and a believable cleavage. The best bet for a gal with a smaller bust is to go for a top with embellishments or ruffles to give the illusion of a larger chest. Avoid
a pancake bandeau top or a twist-tie front.

Waist: High-cut one-piece swimsuits and embellished bottoms are the perfect way to enhance your waistline.  Add a subtler silhouette to your body for a more balanced curve. Mitered one-pieces and princess seaming provide definition while smoothing the contour created by your suit. Lengthening your waistline has a slenderizing effect and can make for an overall leaner-looking body. Monokini cut-outs are also a great way to lengthen and enhance this area.

Tummy issues: Hiding a tummy is much easier than you think. Peplums are perfect for a day
at the beach. A full piece with ruching can also help to conceal your stomach. Surplice wrap and color block one- piece suits camouflage a thick waist. Choosing any one-piece style with a plunging neckline will help to keep the focus upwards, rather than on your mid-section. Choose a swimsuit that accentuates your legs while giving you more coverage in the bustier and tummy area. One-piece tummy trimming suits smooth and flatten the stomach to make you appear leaner. Features such as ruching (gathering) or panel designs on the sides slim the appearance of the waist. Print designs down the middle of the body elongate the torso. Choose swim dresses, one-piece suits, and colorful sarongs that draw the eye downward. Avoid bikini sets and low-rise bottoms.

SHORT TORSO: The trick to elongating a short torso is adding length and lifting the bustline. Low-rise bottoms make your torso appear longer and halter straps draw attention to your neck and shoulders, making people skim over your short mid-section.

To de-emphasize your hips, go with skirted styles that offer more coverage or sexy tops to draw attention away from the hips.

Low-rise bikini bottoms expose and highlight the hips. Embellishments at the waist or patterned bottoms with solid tops are also a great way to draw attention to this area.

Flat tush: While some of us would kill for a flat as a pancake derriere, having one is not a benefit when
wearing a swimsuit that hangs in the back. If the suit sags in the tush, you might look like you’ve got a load in your
pants. This is another time when frills and ruching come in handy, as they give the illusion of a bigger behind. Opt for bottoms in bright colors and loud prints to try and distract from a flatter tush. Also, showing a little cheek is preferable to full-coverage bottoms.

Big Butt: If you’ve got an ample backside, string bikinis and high-cut swimsuits can be
uncomfortable and reveal what you’d rather not share with the rest of the world. Get a suit with enough fabric in that area so you’re not constantly tugging for more coverage or picking a wedgie. Avoid thongs, Brazilian, and other skimpy-cut styles. Look for designs with full-cut solid bottoms and printed tops that draw the eye up away from your not-so-tiny-tush and balance out your big booty.

Create a long and feminine line and show off your legs with high-waist bikini bottoms that can also lengthen the leg
while offering more support through the tummy. Or try scoop front bottoms or bottoms with thinner sides to show
more skin and dramatize the line of your legs.

Short Legs: If you want to elongate shorter legs, go for suits with high cuts in the leg. Since you
are showing more skin, it will make your gams appear longer. And if you’re really brave, go for a thong for optimal lengthening potential.

Full Thighs: To flatter a fuller thigh, opt for bottoms with a little bit more coverage. Bottoms with a skirt can help to conceal part of your upper thighs.

Compact, Athletic Body: If you’ve got a boyish straight up and down figure with few, if any angles,
the goal is to give the illusion of more curves. This is easily accomplished with a top with cups, padding, and gathering,
and by picking girlie prints, ruffles, and bright colors. Don’t go for straight-across bandeaus, boy-cut briefs, or shapeless full-pieces, as this will only enhance your athletic figure. Push-up or padded tops accentuate your chest.
Choose bottoms with belts, flirty skirts, and ruffles to give the appearance of a larger bottom. Avoid tie-side bottoms and sliding triangle tops. If you can’t even buy a single girlish curve, choose swimsuit sets that enhance both your top
and bottom. Tops with ruffles, horizontal lines, and asymmetrical designs create a larger bust.


Love Handles: Fighting the bulge is easier than you think. A high-waisted bottom works wonders –just
make sure it extends above your belly button to avoid a muffin top.
Back Fat: The last thing you want is a suit with thin straps that will dig into your skin and make those unsightly flesh folds even more pronounced. So, reach for designs with thicker straps and high backs to smooth any lumps and bumps.

Big Hips, Skinny Legs: The key with this body figure combo is balancing out your
shoulders and hips. And since you’ve got plenty of hips, pick a suit that gives the illusion of a longer neckline. Off-the-shoulder numbers will do the trick.

Cellulite: It doesn’t matter if you’re slender, plump, curvy, straight up and down, short, or tall — cellulite doesn’t care. And simply trying to cover it with those tiny skirted suits isn’t going to work. Look for swim dresses and tankinis with longer hemlines, but in eye-catching colors, beautiful prints, and details that still pack plenty of sass.

Try fun printed monokinis. They are slimming and show off your legs. Monokinis with a deep plunge front shows off your girls, yet gives you an elongated feel. A mitered suit emphasizes curves and creates a feminine line.

Here’s the perfect solution. Go for a tankini. This is a two-piece suit that looks like a one-piece. FYI: a one-piece swimsuit is also known as a maillot (pronounced Mio.).

To highlight a feature you like, choose a style with a bright color or pattern.
To conceal a feature you don’t like, choose a style with a solid color. Dark colors hide more than bright colors. To add volume to your bust or hips, choose a style with ruffles or hardware details. A petite small print like a ditzy floral makes you look smaller.

Chevron prints show a flattering side to your body and keep the eyes moving.

Vertical and angled stripes have a slenderizing effect. Horizontal stripes tend to make you look shorter
and wider. So, unless you’re tall and on the slim side, horizontal stripes are probably not the best option.
Scars and stretch marks: Consider a cropped top if your scars are located on your chest,
upper back, or shoulders. And suits with mesh insets allow for full coverage while still showing a bit of
skin. Tankinis and one-piece styles work great to hide those stretch marks.

Pregnant: Since you don’t want anything too tight around your midsection, it’s best to look for tankinis since they provide ample wiggle room, sun protection, and easy access to your growing belly.

Burn Easily: Sun-sensitive ladies have it tough. You want to catch some rays, but you don’t want to look or feel like a boiled lobster after a day at the beach. Beyond having a coverup, your swimsuit can also provide some protection. Consider the rash guard. The long-sleeved tops aren’t just for surfers anymore.

A woman with a less than perfect figure still wants to look her best in a swimsuit. Remember when I said swimwear was the art of illusion? It is especially true for the plus-sized woman. Most plus-sized women are smaller on top and
bigger on the bottom. The trick to de-emphasizing what’s big is to draw the eye up. Whether you’re wearing a one or a two-piece style, the best way to draw the eye up is to wear a print top and a solid bottom.
Most flattering plus-sized one-piece silhouettes:
Swimdresses, sarong-front tank suits, V-neck, or lattice front tank suits.

Most flattering plus-sized two-piece silhouettes:
Tops: Blouson tankini top, V-neck tankini top. Choose bright-colored print tops. Monotone prints work well too.
Florals work great for plus-sized gals as well as some geometrics, ethnic, and animal prints.

Bottoms: swim short, swim bike short, shirred high-waisted brief, side-slit swim skirt. Choose
dark-colored solid bottoms. Basics: Black, Brown, Gray, and Navy. Fashion colors: Eggplant and olive.

Now that you know how to find the best swimsuit for your body type, you can shed that cover-up and strut your stuff
instead of hiding in the dressing room.
Please complete the short survey and send your answers to me at my E-mail address below:
1. What is your age?
2. Which body type are you?
3. Do you prefer a one-piece or a two-piece swimsuit style?
4. If you prefer a two-piece style, do you prefer to buy your suit as a set or as separates?
5. What is your number one fit problem?
6. Were you able to solve your fit issue with the information I provided?
7. If yes, what swimsuit style did you choose?
8. If no, what issue do you have that I didn’t cover?
9. How important is the price when you are considering the purchase of a swimsuit?
When you send me your survey answers, I’d also love to hear how you look in your new swimsuit. What can I say?
I’m a sucker for happy endings. You can E-mail me at: [email protected] now that you have the perfect style, if you want the inside scoop on how your new swimsuit really got from the designer’s imagination
to the rack at the store, grab a copy of my humorous cozy mystery, Death by Sample Size, available at Amazon,
Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads. Get ready to laugh out loud as I take you on a rollicking adventure ride through the
Los Angeles apparel industry.
Looking for me? You can find me at:
Book Bub
Good luck and happy swimsuit hunting. See you at the beach!
Susie Black, author of The Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series.

THANKS SUSIE! Now we need to find out about your wonderful new novel. 


“To tell you the truth, the problem is, I kinda like Dad’s offer.” I squirmed in my chair. “But I don’t wanna make a mistake. I will screw my life up if I make the wrong choice. I’m trying to imagine myself doing the job Dad does. The adventuresome part of me says it’s cool. No school, no exams, no tedious papers to compose. I’d be experiencing life instead of reading about it. And getting paid to do it. But the realistic part of me says, are you nuts? Schlepping those heavy garment bags all over the place? And what kind of a life would I have traveling all the time? I don’t trust myself to make the right decision, and I’m driving myself crazy. I want someone else to decide, and tell me which way to go.”

Nana looked over her glasses and clucked her tongue. “Well, too bad, kiddo. Life doesn’t work that way. Let me tell you something. And the sooner you learn it, the easier your life will be. Man plans, and God laughs.”

I looked at Nana like she’d spoken in Sanskrit. “Meaning?”

Nana answered in the same indulgent tone she used when I was a toddler. “It means plan all you want, but most of the time, your plans don’t mean a hill of beans. To use your vernacular, shit happens. You’re going along singing a song, confident life is a well-planned party. But the truth is, the road to life from birth to death isn’t paved in a straight line. It’s paved with hills and valleys, U-turns, and unexpected curves. And trust me. Nothing usually works out the way you think it will. To really live life and not merely exist taking up space, you must love a good mystery, love a good adventure, and love a good challenge. Kiddo, nothing in life is as constant as change. Keep your head on a swivel, and explore all your options. Look behind you for a sense of history, to the sides for a sense of proportion, and most important, remember God screwed our heads on facing forward for a reason. To look ahead to the future. To make good decisions, you can’t be afraid to make a mistake. You will learn more from your failures than from your successes. Regret is the worst human emotion because it is the one we can usually do nothing about. Always be yourself, don’t live your life for someone else, or in terms of someone else. Trust your gut, and believe in yourself.”

When she finished, I asked, “So, what should I do?” 

Nana waved that gnarled index finger at me again and smiled. “Nice try, kiddo. It’s not important what I think. It’s only important what you think. So?”

In a moment of clarity, I looked Nana in the eye and made my decision.


Thank you so much for sharing this excerpt Susie! I already love the book as you know – guys, once you’ve read more about Susie head on over to Goodreads and check out my review… you won’t be disappointed

Now, our lovely Susie Black has a secret to share with us – Susie isn’t her real name. Here we begin to unpick why Susie chose her pseudonym:


Once I’d decided to write under a pen name, the search for the perfect pseudonym began. What type of pen name to choose? Something flamboyant, perhaps a clever play on words; an unforgettable name that everyone would remember.

I daydreamed of being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on a TV special after my debut novel Death by Sample Size became the Oprah Book Club’s all-time best seller. Then my daydream quickly became a nightmare. Oprah introduced me to millions of fans….as I stood backstage waiting for my name to be called and waited and waited until Oprah’s producer whacked me on the head with a clipboard, asked if I didn’t know my name when I heard it, and shoved me onto the stage. Yikes. There was a disaster waiting to happen.


Now what? To paraphrase Dirty Harry, a girl’s gotta know her limitations. The most important criterion for the pen name wasn’t finding something tricky; it was choosing one I’d remember to answer to. Since I write cozy mysteries, here are two clues: The first name is a version of my real middle name. This one is a gimme. Surname is the translation from another language to English of my real last name. Let’s see how alert you are. Can you guess my real name? Write me at: [email protected]

What I love about Susie, is she isn’t afraid to share those important little details that makes you think about the person behind the novels. 

 Ten Moments That Changed My Life


  1. Receiving my driver’s license. The independence it gave me shaped my approach to life to one of self-reliance and confidence.
  2. Not getting a job as a reporter for a major newspaper right after college graduation.
  3. Answering the phone call from my apparel sales rep dad asking me to come to Atlanta and take over a trade show when he was called away to deal with a family emergency. This one phone call changed everything in my entire life.
  4. My first road trip post moving to Atlanta and traveling the southern states after accepting the sales rep position my dad offered me.
  5. The first entry I made to my daily journal. The journal entries chronicling my sales rep experiences would someday be the foundation of leveraging a career into a writing gig.
  6. Accepting a blind date with my future husband that had been set up by a mutual friend.
  7. My wedding day was six months after my husband and I went out on our blind date.
  8. When the doctor put my newborn son into my arms for the first time.
  9. Taking my son to his college dorm. I cried tears of joy mixed with anguish realizing my reward for doing a wonderful job of raising him was that he would not be living under my roof again.
  10. Seeing my debut cozy mystery novel Death by Sample Size posted on Amazon.

Some of these shares I can really relate to, Susie, especially when you touched on your son leaving home.  I found it really hard when my children moved on in the world. But it means we’ve done the right thing by them and they are flying!

Thank you so much for being with us today, Susie…

But that’s not all folks. If you’d like to find out more about Susie please find her links below. Plus, we would love it if you would like to leave a comment below, all things writerly of course 🙂 – Amazon, Kindle, Kobo – and every good bookstore. 

Comments (10)

  • Susie Black

    Lynn, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this utterly marvelous blog post and the opportunity to introduce myself and my newest release to your followers. Susie Black

    • manager

      You are more than welcome, its been great working with you and I look forward to doing more...

  • Halle Kenton

    I LOVED this blog. Susie's advice on the right swimsuit for your body type--I get the lobster reference!-- and the excerpt from "Rag Lady" made me want to go online, order a swimsuit, AND the book. (Thank you, Amazon ;0) Susie, is there a body type called "old"? Thanks, L.B., for posting this. And, finally, Susie, isn't it funny how certain moments in our early life transform and affect our later years in significant ways?

    • Susie Black

      Halle, You made my day! I am thrilled that you enjoyed the excerpt from my book and found the fit suggestions helpful. As to an "old" body type...not specifically. As we age our bodies do change and we have to adjust to those changes. Elasticity is not what it was when we were young and parts of us do sometimes start to droop. If for example, your girls need some support now that they didn't when you were younger, a style with an underwire or a padded bra will do wonders for your look. The best advice I can give is if you have a swimwear store in your area or where you go on holiday, let the clerk measure you if you don't have your measurements already and let her suggest silhouettes that best fit your body. If you do end up getting my book, I'd love to have your evaluation. And finally, yes, you are right... I am proof positive that there are moments or people who change your life in very significant ways. Thank you again for reading and commenting on our blog post. Susie Black

  • Marla

    Great post, thanks for all the swimwear advice as well as a delightful excerpt!

    • Susie Black

      Hello Marla, Thank you for reading and commenting on my post. I am so glad you enjoyed the excerpt and found the swimwear advice helpful too. Susie Black

  • Babs Mountjoy

    Some really great information here!! thanks!

    • Susie Black

      Hello dear friend! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my post. Glad you found the information helpful. Susie Black

  • Maria Imbalzano

    Love hearing about your background, Susie. Also love your covers. Best of luck with your new release.

    • Susie Black

      Hi Maria, Thanks so much for your comments on our post. It is always special to receive accolades from an author colleague. Those book covers of mine have taken a life of their own. I have had a number of readers tell me they were so intrigued by the book cover they bought the book to see what could possibly be inside! I appreciate your good wishes for my new release. This book in particular is quite close to my heart. Susie.

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