TREADMILL Week 190 & What I #AmReading – Secret at Skull House by Josh Lanyon

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 190: July 12, 2020 – July 18, 2020

Sunday 30 min/mile 30:33 min:sec 1 mile
Monday 30 min/mile 34:46 min:sec 1.1 miles
Tuesday 30 min/mile 30:04 min:sec 1 mile
Wednesday 30 min/mile 30:24 min:sec 1 mile
Thursday 30 min/mile 30:13 min:sec 1 mile
Friday 30 min/mile 30:21 min:sec 1 mile
Saturday Mowed Yard ~ 1-1/2 hours Lots

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: Secret at Skull House (Secrets and Scrabble book #2) by Josh Lanyon

Unlike everyone else in Pirate’s Cove, Ellery Page, aspiring screenwriter, reigning Scrabble champion, and occasionally clueless owner of the village’s only mystery bookstore, is anything but thrilled when famed horror author Brandon Abbott announces he’s purchased legendary Skull House and plans to live there permanently.

Ellery and Brandon have history. Their relationship ended badly and the last thing Ellery wants is a chance to patch things up–especially when his relationship with Police Chief Jack Carson is just getting interesting. But then, maybe Brandon isn’t all that interested in getting back together either, because he seems a lot more interested in asking questions about the bloodstained past of his new home than discussing a possible future with Ellery. What is Brandon really up to?

Ellery will have to unscramble that particular puzzle post haste. Because after his former flame disappears following their loud and public argument, Ellery seems to be Police Chief Carson’s first–and only–suspect.

***This story contains no on-screen sex or violence

My favorite lines this week…

✿✿ SUNDAY ✿✿

The familiar, comforting, theatrical scents of aged wood, fabric, mothballs, and sewing-machine oil greeted Ellery as he walked into the costume room at the old theater on Wallace street Monday evening. It was clear, from the sudden cease fire, that everyone had been talking about him. Even the blank papier-mâché faces on the masks on the prop shelf looked vaguely guilty.

✿✿ MONDAY ✿✿

As though reading his mind, Jack said, “People like to talk, and that’s fine. I’m used to it, but you’re still and unknown quantity for a lot of folks. I don’t want…” He hesitated.

“I think most people have figured out I’m gay.”

“Oh, yeah.” Jack agreed so readily, it startled Ellery. “That’s not what I mean.”

“Then what do you mean?”


The dark beyond the entryway seemed to swallow his voice.

The hair rose on the back of his neck. His heart began to thump in his ears.

He took a step back, then another, retreating from that tomblike silence.

As owner and proprietor of a mystery bookshop, Ellery was well aware that standard protocol demanded he squelch his trepidation, ignore his instincts, and enter the house to search for Brandon.

Instead, he withdrew another step, felt for his cell, and phoned Jack.


Sundays were Ellery’s day off.

Okay, off was comparative, because he typically spent his Sundays working his tail off on a variety of DIY projects around Captain’s Seat. With Jack’s help he had managed to rip up the grungy green linoleum in the kitchen and replace it with black and teal polished concrete. With Jack’s help he had painted the living room an elegant shade of ivory. With Jack’s—well, never mind.


Was it possible to see a puppy’s face fall? WAtson had an almost human look of disappointment on his little puss.

Ellery gathered up the paint tray, brushes, and roller, kicked the front door shut, and carried everything into the kitchen, dropping his load in the huge farmhouse-style sink. He turned on the taps full blast, braced his arms on the sink, and hung his head.

You know it’s a bad day when the only bright spot is you haven’t been arrested yet.

✿✿ FRIDAY ✿✿

It was a relief to get out of there, to look at the faintly twinkling stars and feel the cool salty air against his face. He walked briskly down the narrow streets, Watson pulling at his leash, the puppy not walking so much as making rabbit-like leaps through triangles of lamplight.


They rounded the last hairpin curve in the road, and Pequot Bluffs and the house came into view.

Moonlight gilded its towers, turned the windows silver as the coins on dead men’s eyes.

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