What’s New and Free Wednesday?

I realize it’s been a while since this blog has posted one of the Wednesday info blasts for new and free. It’s not from lack of trying, but rather from an extraordinarily challenging year that has seemed to derail my writing projects with a kind of focused consistency of a toddler walking through a shop filled with crystal. I’ll switch things up a little and start with What’s Free.  For anyone who hasn’t read the summer Organized Mystery short story “Organized for Labor Day Foul Play,” that was available for a short time in ebook, and later as a quick fun giveaway here on my blog, it’s available free again right now on Wattpad at  https://www.wattpad.com/story/118778329-organized-for-labor-day-foul-play?   You will have to be signed up to Wattpad, but membership is free and the story read is free. I’ll only have it available there a few more weeks, so don’t miss it. Read more…

Map Your Mysteries

Christine Gentes was nice enough to interview me for her Map Your Mysteries blog. If you haven’t yet checked out her blog, it’s becoming one of my new favorite binge reads. She ties books and authors to the geographic locations they place their titles and characters. I’ve had a lot of fun going down the list in the right sidebar to read more about author friends and titles based on where the works fit on the map. Have a minute? Check it out 🙂   Map Your Mysteries interview

March Books, News, and Giveaway!

Happy Spring, Everyone! And with spring comes new events and fun news for readers–at least that’s what happens in my house 🙂 It’s been a busy month, and time to announce all the great news. First Up, Here’s a Terrific Contest to Enter—but it Ends Soon! If you’re one of my newsletter subscribers or follow my author page on Facebook, then you already know my publisher, Henery Press, has begun a new giveaway program they are running with me and more than 30 other authors. But I wanted to talk about it now so everyone else knows too. Entering means you’ll received the authors’ newsletters, but you can unsubscribe later if you aren’t interested in all the authors—there will be an unsubscribe link at the end of any newsletter you receive. Tomorrow is the deadline for entry, and there are 6 reading related prizes offered—1 Grand Prize, 1 First Prize, Read more…

For a Little Christmas Fun

Because we’re all so rushed right now, I’m reprising an interview Kate McKenzie did a few years ago about the McKenzie Family Christmases and some of the things she does to stay sane during a very busy time of the year. Remember, until Christmas you can find a full Organized Mysteries Christmas story on the Short Stories page of this website–just look for Short Stories on the black bar under the banner above. Interview on Christmas Tips & Organizing with Kate McKenzie Interviewer: Hello, I’m here today with organization expert Kate McKenzie. Welcome, Kate. Kate: Thank you. It’s nice to be here. Interviewer: The holiday season is coming up. I always get excited about spending the time with family and curling up with a few good books. What is your favorite thing about the holidays? Kate: Being able to share the time with family and friends. Before Keith and I Read more…

Staying Ahead Sunday–Winter Hacks Edition

The weather has changed around my house the last week or so, and we’re now donning sweatshirts and sweaters. Which means I’ve started incorporating some of my favorite cold weather hacks into daily life. Despite the meme I used at the left, these aren’t Organizing tips per se, but rather ways to minimize your frustration with cold weather. Still, done regularly, they can save you time and money.   First up, is one I have to credit to my lovely daughter since she’s the one who first started using this hack in our house. On cold nights we all love the feeling of crawling into a warm bed with sheets right out of the dryer, right? One night, right after my daughter said she was taking a quick shower before bed, I walked by her room and heard the sound of a humming motor. When I stepped in to take Read more…

Thrifty Thursday!

Happy December, everyone! And with the new month comes a new blogging idea. With all the rushing we do this time of year to find time and gifts for all of our friends and family events, I thought posting about some Christmas hacks I use to save my sanity might help others out there. Let’s call this the Food Edition, since that seems to be the theme today. I’ll have more seasonal (non-food) hacks coming on future Thursdays, so check back. This first thing is super easy, but it’s something I do all the time because practically every get-together over the holidays requires those grab and go type of snacking items we always put onto relish trays. I do something like this. I’ve also used small snack crackers at the bottom stacked to look like gifts, too. The best thing about this kind of design is that it’s always easy Read more…

Let’s End July with an Organized Halloween Sneak Peek

Yes, believe it or not, July 2016 has less than half-a-day left. Where has so much of the year gone? While I don’t normally like to hurry time–as I seem to be crunched by it most days–I am looking forward to the cool temps of fall. To that end, I’m currently editing/proofing stories for a Halloween anthology to be released a few weeks before the trick or treat holiday. More on that in the coming weeks. And I’m handing out treats today in the form of a sneak peek of my story included in the anthology “Organized for Trick or Trap.” Hope everyone likes it 🙂 Organized for Trick or Trap Excerpt Kate McKenzie looked out the windows of her cheery cherry-patterned kitchen curtains and watched lace-like snowflakes drift down lazily on the other side of the pane. Definitely going to be a white Halloween, she thought. Something she was Read more…

Such Little Things Can Make Me So Happy

I’ve been trying (fruitlessly, for months) to get a particular Amazon service tied into my website. Now, I love computers, don’t get me wrong, and I love geeking out on all the new bells and whistles everyone makes available. But as a one-woman business I don’t have the luxury of sitting around and reading the masses of detail sent every day to help me “market” my business–if I want to get any writing done that is. What goes through quickly gets read and used. What makes me sigh in frustration gets set aside for when I have more time (you know what that means). So, when everyone kept talking about how authors could access the Amazon samples, tying early chapters of our books back to our websites so readers simply clicked from my webpage to start reading the first few chapters before they bought, I thought, “How cool!” Especially when I saw Read more…

The Organized Mysteries Series

I’ve just sent off an Organized Mysteries short story for a summer anthology project (more about that later), and I’m spending the next couple of weeks finishing up another full length Organized novel (again, more info coming soon). All that organized writing got me thinking about early interviews I did that talked about the series. I’m reposting one of those interviews today, conducted by Mason at Thoughts in Progress. If you’ve already read it, I apologize for the repeat, but when I reread it this morning it was a nice reminder that planning out a series well ahead of time truly has helped me keep all my writing on-track. Interview – April 9, 2014 (Thoughts in Progress–Interview Organized for Murder) Mason – How did you come to write a mystery featuring a protagonist who is an organization expert? Ritter: I was at an author signing once, before I started writing ORGANIZED Read more…

Quick Organizing Tips to Gain Minutes Each Day

It seems like everyone I know is looking for ways to save time right now. Between regular tasks, upcoming spring schedules, the chore of getting everything together to complete our taxes (I know, bad word, I’m sorry), opening the garden or freshening the landscape, and just general spring cleaning because we’re finally able to leave the house without having to brave the cold every day — there’s a lot to do at the moment. I quipped this morning I might farm out some of my tasks to the dog. And while she’d likely try to do her best, I think I’ll leave that as a joke between us. While we can’t actually create time, we can save it and use the extra minutes each day in efficient ways to seem to do more things without giving up sleep or fun. Find 3 to 5 minutes every time you’re in the Read more…