Phyllis Entis

Award-winning mystery writer and food safety microbiologist

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It’s Gotcha Day!

The Entis family is celebrating an anniversary.

One year ago today, Shalom, our Australian Cobberdog, crept out of her travel crate and into our hearts.

We had done this before, and we knew the drill. We drove from Carmel-by-the-Sea to Los Angeles the day before Shalom’s scheduled arrival, and spent the night in Culver City at the home of our cousin. The following morning, the three of us waited with impatience for The Phone Call.

At last, around 10:00, we received the call. Shalom would be ready for us by noon.

Of course, we chose to arrive more than an hour ahead of time. “Just in case she’s ready early,” we told ourselves. We turned into the Qantas Cargo terminal parking lot shortly after 10:30, Cousin Alice a few seconds behind. And cooled our heels until nearly noon.

Shalom was worth the wait. After a few seconds hesitation, she allowed me to lure her out of the crate and nestled calmly in my arms.




A farewell romp in the grass with one of her fellow travelers, a pause for a potty break, and we were set to drive home.



The return trip was long. Five-and-a-half hours at the best of times, it stretched to more than six hours, as we stopped on several occasions to allow Shalom to potty and have a drink of water. Eventually, we arrived home in Carmel-by-the-Sea to a lovely surprise. A special Welcome Home ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’ stuffed squeaky toy for Shalom, courtesy of our neighbors.



Exhausted by the trip, all three of us went to bed early. The night passed uneventfully, except for the inevitable potty breaks. The next morning, we were all smiles as Shalom prepared to meet her public.



And now a year has passed, and our 9.5-pound puppy suddenly is a fully grown 41-pound adolescent. She has learned to climb stairs, and recently discovered that she can jump onto our bed with a single, graceful leap.







In addition to receiving the latest news about Damien Dickens Mysteries, subscribers to my monthly letter, Damien Dickens News, can share in some of Shalom’s antics and adventures. If you wish to add your name to the email distribution list, just follow this live link and complete the short sign-up procedure.

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New Release and Another On The Way

If I’ve seemed somewhat distracted lately and have been out of touch, please forgive me. I’ve been busy with two projects that I hope you will enjoy.

I have just released a Kindle compilation of the first three books in the Damien Dickens Mysteries series. If you haven’t yet begun to follow the adventures of Damien and Millie, here’s your chance to do so.

Damien Dickens Mysteries: Books 1, 2 & 3 is available right now for pre-order from Amazon at a special pre-release price of just $3.99. Order now to lock in the special price and receive the download automatically on March 30. Or, if you are a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can take advantage of the ‘free’ download beginning on the official March 30th release date. Don’t procrastinate. The list price will increase to $5.49 on April 1st.



The second project, still in production, is the audio edition of The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper. Click on the audiobook cover to hear a sample of the new voice of Damien Dickens, and watch for more news about the release of my third audiobook in early March.


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Introducing Amy Reade

One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a novelist is the chance to connect with other writers in similar genres. During the next several months, I’ll be introducing you to some of my fellow novelists. This month, I would like you to meet Amy M. Reade, a fellow member of Mystery Authors International.

USA Today bestselling author Amy M. Reade is a recovering lawyer living in southern New Jersey. The House on Candlewick Lane is the first of The Malice Novels, Amy’s gothic suspense series set in the United Kingdom. The second book in the series, Highland Peril, will be released in the fall of 2017. She is currently at work on the third book. Amy is also the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and House of Hanging Jade, all standalones. She loves reading, cooking, and traveling.

Today, Amy is celebrating the release of her new book, The House on Candlewick Lane. She was kind enough to share with me some background to the evolution of her latest novel.

“I came up with the idea for this book while on vacation in Scotland,” Amy told me. “The country is so different from my little corner of the world. The lochs, the mountains, the villages and the sea are never far from one’s imagination in such a rugged and beautiful place, and the capital, Edinburgh, is a wondrous city where the cosmopolitan culture of today is closely connected to the regal, artistic, and intellectual heritage of yesterday. 

“One thing that always fascinates me is that we can never really know what goes on behind someone else’s closed doors. Every family has something, whether it be a secret, an embarrassing circumstance, or an entire façade, that they don’t share with the rest of the world. It could be a financial problem, a marital issue, a drug habit—anything. In The House on Candlewick Lane I wanted to explore one family’s secret (or secrets), hidden behind the walls of an old house that fits in with its stony, cold landscape at the outskirts of a small Scottish village.

“Having done an internship at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children many years ago, I have always been under the strong sway of the topic of familial abduction. In addition to the excitement of uncovering family secrets, The House on Candlewick Lane touches on the issue of non-custodial parental abduction in a way that sees justice served while addressing the custodial parent’s frustration and anguish.”

Here is a short teaser from The House on Candlewick Lane.

I must have fallen asleep, because I sat up with a start, not remembering where I was. But after a second it all came back to me in a rush of fear and indignation. I was sitting on the twin bed. It was hot. My hair stuck to the back of my neck and my forehead. Gray light forced its way into the room through the small window that overlooked the fields behind the house on Candlewick Lane. The rain was still falling, smearing the glass. I wondered where Neill was. I knew pounding on the door would be no use, but I had to do something. I had to try. My fists bore the bruises from my earlier futile attempts to be heard. There was nothing to do but wait to be released from this tower prison. Someone had to let me go.

They couldn’t keep me here forever.

You can connect with Amy via her website or on social media.

The House on Candlewick Lane

by Amy M. Reade

It is every parent’s worst nightmare. Greer Dobbins’ daughter has been kidnapped-and spirited across the Atlantic to a hiding place in Scotland. Greer will do anything to find her, but the streets of Edinburgh hide a thousand secrets-including some she’d rather not face. Art historian Dr. Greer Dobbins thought her ex-husband, Neill, had his gambling addiction under control. But in fact he was spiraling deeper and deeper into debt. When a group of shady lenders threatens to harm the divorced couple’s five-year-old daughter if he doesn’t pay up, a desperate Neill abducts the girl and flees to his native Scotland. Though the trail seems cold, Greer refuses to give up and embarks on a frantic search through the medieval alleys of Edinburgh-a city as beguiling as it is dangerous. But as the nightmare thickens with cryptic messages and a mysterious attack, Greer herself will become a target, along with everyone she holds dear.

Available on Amazon.

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Coming Soon: The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper on Audio

There is a new man in my life. His name is Harry Dyson, and he is the voice of Damien Dickens.

Harry took one look at the picture of Quintzy on the cover of The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper and decided that he wanted to be part of Damien’s world. He has immersed himself in all three books, absorbing the nuances of the characters, and has begun to record The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper. As of today, the Prologue and first eight chapters are complete.

tclc-audio-cover-final-jpegHarry and I are targeting a completion date of February 28th for the audiobook, with an anticipated release early in March on Audible, Amazon and iTunes. While you’re waiting, why not check out the book’s trainer on Youtube, or download the ebook from your favorite on-line retailer.