TREADMILL & What I #AmReading – The Curious Adventures of Smith and Skarry by Penny Blake

Treadmill Goals/Tracking

  • Get on the treadmill (or equivalent exercise) daily
  • Pace is fine at 30 min/mile, although I may up it on occasion
  • Time range between 30 minutes and 1 hour per day
  • Distance 1-2 miles per day
  • Read the chosen book. I’m officially modifying my original rule of not reading the book-of-the-week off-treadmill. I’m usually going to look at length and try to divide it up somewhat evenly per day, even if that means either closing that book early (if it’s short) or continuing after (if it’s long).

Week 156: November 17, 2019 – November 23, 2019

Sunday 30 min/mile 31:32 min:sec 1 mile
Monday 30 min/mile 38:22 min:sec 1.2 miles
Tuesday 30 min/mile 32:31 min:sec 1 mile
Wednesday 30 min/mile 30:35 min:sec 1 mile
Thursday 30 min/mile 30:33 min:sec 1 mile
Friday 30 min/mile 32:51 min:sec 1 mile
Saturday 30 min/mile 30:28 min:sec 1 mile

What I’m Reading

Note: Although I will try to avoid them, my weekly reading snippets may or may not contain spoilers, so read at your own risk.

What I #amreading: The Curious Adventures of Smith and Skarry (Ashton’s Kingdom book 1) by Penny Blake

The evil overlord Wiz has seized control of all the tea, cake and magic in the universe. In a world crammed with dubious science and cream-powered technology, crippled by sugar tax and loose leaf ration books, overrun by cake smugglers, tea fiends and lemonade dealers, ruled over by Tea Time Lords and policed by vigilante mechanical angels, only a band of truly extraordinary adventurers can bring down this oppressive empire and save the good people of Ire from this tea time tyranny. Could these two would-be wizards, Messrs Smith and Skarry, and their band of land pirates, skywaymen, witches, orphans and other relentless rogues, be the anti-heroes The New World has been waiting for, or have they simply stirred up an enormous storm in a rather tiny teacup?

Penny Blake writes LGBTQIA+ Steampunk and Mythpunk inspired by her Rromani and Celtic cultural heritage.

My favorite lines this week…

✿✿ SUNDAY ✿✿

“Well,” Skarry hesitated. He liked this strange, eccentric wizard who had swept, so suddenly into his life a few weeks ago. He wasn’t sure he should like him. Wasn’t even convinced that ‘like’ was the correct term for it; Mercurio Smith had the same curious appeal as an invitation to delve into a haunted crypt at midnight. Even as a child, Skarry had never been able to resist that kind of invitation. “I am dressed for dinner,” he said, at last. The last thing he wanted to do was offend his new companion. Mercurio liked being offended. He actively sought it out and then immersed himself in it for hours, like a long, hot bath.

✿✿ MONDAY ✿✿ (I got to the end of this snippet and had to step off the treadmill for a minute while I laughed.)

Cucumber was swiftly ousted from the establishment; he and his the-heretical proposals being hurled from the hallowed doors and into the welcoming arms of the Pre-Cognitive Sisterhood, who instantly adopted him as their first and only ever male member and immediately began embroidering his triangular trademark upon pig-skin banners using bone needles and strands of their own armpit hair as thread.


During the Victorian era of the New World, several wizards tried to create a theory to explain and understand the universe using the analogy of cake. The most promising and widely accepted of these was the Universal Fruitcake Theory, because it adhered most closely to the rule of Occam’s slice, which states that the theory which gives one the same comfortable satisfaction as a large slice of Victoria sponge is usually the most correct.


Skarry leaned over the rail of the Agro and hurled a projectile mass of semi-digested wheat, sugar, tea and assorted dairy products into the arms of the awakening dawn. The dawn was not impressed, pulled back its arm of blinding sunlight and dealt him a hefty blow between the eyes.


The sound of a dozen or so pistols being cocked is an interesting one to describe. Skarry likened it to an amphitheatre of sardonically applauding lobsters.

✿✿ FRIDAY ✿✿

Skarry shifted uncomfortably, for the last twenty minutes he’d been trying to find the correct way to phrase the thing which, he really felt, must now be said and, in fact, probably should have been said at the beginning of this conversation. “With all due respect,” he began, which immediately sounded like he wanted an argument…


Skarry drew in a deep breath and his brow furrowed, this was all getting decidedly thick. It was one thing to begin an evening with a little breaking and entering, quite another to now be talking about crossing uncharted portions of the globe in search of mythical lunatics in the company of very, very real ones…

7 thoughts on “TREADMILL & What I #AmReading – The Curious Adventures of Smith and Skarry by Penny Blake

  1. How I love this book…it’s magnificent. 🥰 Your quotes are fabulous.😁 Oops…😂 I’m glad you didn’t fall off the treadmill and do yourself a mischief on Monday😲

    …the rule of Occam’s slice, which states that the theory which gives one the same comfortable satisfaction as a large slice of Victoria sponge is usually the most correct.

    I couldn’t imagine a better design for life decision making if mine depended upon it.😻

    1. I loved this book. Penny has a wonderful imagination! The aside chapters were every bit as much fun as Smith & Skarry’s story progression. The image of Captain Jack on the cover is fabulous, but now I’d really like to see an inspiration pic of Eight Cups Max!

  2. Oh wow, thankyou so so much for this, and for your lovely words, I’m over the moon you enjoyed it (although I’m sorry for making you laugh that you had to get off the treadmill) I’m glad you liked the Tiffin Den Sleuths (they have a small book of their own coming at some point) and I’m so glad you loved Jack… and I’m really happy you love Max too, I don’t have a pic for him yet, sadly, but I do paint teabies of him and Collin from time to time 🙂 xx

    1. You’re welcome! I’m so glad I discovered your writing on Rainbow Snippets. Now I’m anxiously awaiting the continuation! 💖😍

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