Gone Writing

Phyllis Entis

Author Spotlignt

Today, the Gone Writing spotlight is shining on my new release, courtesy of Vicki Mejia-Gewe of FanGirlNation

TGDC audiobook final cover

The Gold Dragon Caper, audiobook edition

Phyllis Entis is the author of the Damien Dickens Mysteries series, which includes The Green Pearl Caper, The White Russian Caper, The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper and The Gold Dragon Caper. Her debut novel, The Green Pearl Caper, was a Library Journal SELF-e Selection. Phyllis is a free-lance writer and retired food safety microbiologist with degrees from McGill University and the University of Toronto. In 2007, ASM Press published her non-fiction book, Food Safety: Old Habits, New Perspectives.

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Announcing a new arrival

The Gold Dragon Roars

The Dragon has been soaring, and now it’s roaring.

Less than five months after its release in paperback and ebook formats, The Gold Dragon Caper is now available in an audiobook edition.

I was thrilled to collaborate once again with Tom Lennon, the original voice of Damien Dickens, in the production of the fourth audiobook in the Damien Dickens Mysteries series. This is the third time Tom and I have worked together, and I enjoyed renewing our collaboration.

And, speaking of collaboration, a tip of the hat to my talented cousin, Hilary Quint, for her assistance in the design of the audiobook cover.

TGDC audiobook final cover

Hear Here!

No need to do a double-take. The heading is not a misprint. You can HEAR a sample of the audiobook HERE. Just turn up the sound, and click on the link.

Free Audiobook

Not yet an Audible subscriber? Then, I’ve got a deal for you.

Sign up for a FREE 30-day trial subscription with Audible and download your copy of The Gold Dragon Caper audiobook absolutely free. If you choose not to continue your subscription at the end of the 30-day trial, you get to keep your copy of The Gold Dragon Caper anyway. No strings attached.


This update wouldn’t be complete without a current picture of Shalom. Here she is, in one of her favorite poses, as she looks out the window to watch the street. She has taken to jumping right over the back of the sofa when she spots someone or something of interest outside.



My Not-so-Secret Garden

IMG_1190I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to plant something and watch it grow.

As a child, I planted potatoes. The crop was small, and the new potatoes were kid-sized, but I was delighted with the outcome. My parents were more concerned about the apparent ‘invasion’ of potato bugs that coincided with my first experiment in food production.

img706I suspect that I gravitated toward microbiology as a career due to my predilection for growing things. Bacteria grow quickly, are easier to plant, and can be played with any month of the year – a big advantage in a four-season climate. I spent the better part of forty years growing bacteria, yeasts and molds in the lab.

After retiring from the lab bench in 2001, I returned to more conventional gardening.


I look upon my writing as a form of gardening, too. I take a seed (the idea), prepare the soil with fertilizer and amendments (the plot line and main characters), plant (write the first draft), and mulch the bed (edit). Then I add some TLC in the form of a cover, a blurb and advertising, and watch my project bear fruit (sales and reviews).

As with any other form of gardening, there can be successes, near misses and (gasp!) failures. But the true gardener is intrepid. Dead wood must be discarded, failing plants pruned, and hungry ones fertilized. Thus, I have ventured into both fiction and non-fiction, novels and blogs, news summaries and opinion pieces. When a field ceases to be fruitful, I let it lie fallow for a while and dig in a different garden.

I have high hopes for my new garden. There will be strawberries and blueberries, Santa Rosa plums and Meyer lemons. Hibiscus and bird of paradise will add a semi-tropical flavor, and bougainvillea will line the fence. I look forward to sharing the fruits of my labors with you in the coming months and years.


The Gold Dragon Caper wins coveted 5-star award


JB Richards started my weekend in the best possible way with her review of The Gold Dragon Caper. Follow the “Read more…” link to read her complete review.

A Can’t Miss, 5-Star Read All The Way!

Excitement and danger run high in Phyllis Entis’ masterpiece detective novel, “The Gold Dragon Caper: A Damien Dickens Mystery”, as Detectives Millie and Damien Dickens’ contend with not just one but a series of interconnected cases—including kidnapping, blackmail, and a gold heist—all seemingly tied to their vengeance-seeking arch-nemesis and blast-from-the-past, Real Estate Mogul, Derek Turpin.

Read more…

The Gold Dragon Caper is available on Kindle Unlimited, via Amazon’s 1-click download, and in paperback.

Audiobook edition coming soon!


My Jeopardy Challenge

For the last couple of years, I’ve been taking the on-line Jeopardy! Challenge, hoping to get a chance to try out for the show and fulfill this item on my bucket list. Each time, I am reminded of how little I know (or can remember within the 15-second time limit).

fullsizeoutput_1584The last on-line test was held some three months ago. I had already put the outcome out of my mind when I found an email in my Inbox with the header, “Jeopardy! Contestant Audition in San Francisco on July 11th at 2pm.”

My first reaction was to suspect a hoax – not such an outlandish thought in this era of scams, hacks and phishing. But it was the real thing.

On Tuesday, July 10th, my husband and I loaded our luggage and our Australian Cobberdog into the car for the drive to San Francisco. We booked into The Lodge at the Presidio, a brand, spanking new dog-friendly inn located in what is described as an Urban National Park. Our room looked out on the Golden Gate Bridge.

The next day, I boarded a free PresidiGo shuttle bus, which dropped me a brisk five-minute walk from the audition venue in downtown San Francisco. I had time to kill, and spent most of it strolling up and down Market Street, soaking in the city’s sights, traffic and noise. Quite a change from tranquil Carmel-by-the-Sea! I used the rest of the time to fortify myself with brain food – a Ghirardelli Hot Fudge Sundae – in advance of the audition.

Upon arriving at the audition venue, I found myself to be one of about 40 hopeful candidates. After the Jeopardy! team took attendance and photographed each one of us, they divided us into two groups of 20 and shepherded us into separate conference rooms, where we were greeted (via a video presentation) by Alex Trebek.

The first phase of the audition was the most nerve-wracking, consisting of a 50-item quiz. Each clue was flashed onto a screen at the front of the room, and we had eight – count ’em, EIGHT – seconds to scribble down each answer. At least we didn’t have to phrase them in the form of a question.

The other part of the audition consisted of a series of mock Jeopardy! games. We were invited to the front of the room in groups of three. We each were given a signalling device and told to ‘ring in’ just as if we were on TV. After we survived the answer-and-question experience, we were each given a couple of minutes to talk about ourselves.

The entire audition lasted more than two hours. It has taken me two days to decompress.

You are probably wondering how I did. Whether I made the cut. The short answer is that I can’t tell you, because I don’t know. I won’t find out whether I made it into the final contestant pool until (unless) I get “THE CALL” – the phone call inviting me to appear on the show.

On the plus side, I walked away with some minor swag – a Jeopardy! ballpoint pen and a set of Jeopardy! ear buds – and a fun story to share with family and friends.




Bruno signs for Book #5

Fans of the Damien Dickens Mysteries will be relieved to learn that Bruno Caravaggio has agreed to appear in Book 5 of the series.
While not a title character, Bruno has been a stalwart supporting player, coming to the aid of Damien and Millie in each of their first four adventures.
Terms of the contract have not been disclosed; however, it is rumored that Bruno insisted his role in Book 5 must be more than simply a cameo appearance. “I have much more to offer than being a bit player,” he explained. “I refuse to be shunted into a minor role.”
When asked what he thought about Damien and Millie’s move to the West Coast, Bruno replied, “Suits me. I always wanted to learn how to surf.”
Stay tuned for more breaking news about the next installment in the Damien Dickens Mysteries.


Room for one more – project, that is

I thought my plate was full. I was wrong.

I found a tiny empty spot and decided to do something with it.

As those of you who follow me know, I am a split personality writer. Part of my time is spent concocting mysteries; the balance goes to covering food safety issues for my eFoodAlert blog and for Food Safety News, an on-line news outlet.

More than a decade ago, I wrote – and ASM Press published – a textbook, Food Safety: Old Habits, New Perspectives. To my great delight, that book is still in active use today.

Last week, I had an epiphany.

Why not write a companion book on pet food safety issues?

Version 2

As ‘Momsy’ to an Australian Cobberdog, I know first-hand the angst involved in deciding what to feed our furry family members. Kibble or canned? Cooked or raw? Do-it-yourself or rely on a commercial source?

I have already started jotting down some ideas. If there is anything you would like to see included in this book, please drop a comment or email me.

As for the mystery side of my personality, fear not. I shan’t abandon Damien and Millie. There is a fifth Damien Dickens Mystery in my future.

Now, if I can just figure out what to make for dinner…