The Hateful Eight


The Hateful Eight

Went to see this on Wednesday with my beloved. it was far too long but that was my only complaint. Incredibly gory but very entertaining. If you don’t want to read a plot spoiler look away now – all the characters die magnificently. Kurt Russell’s character wasn’t the pleasantest chap on the planet, but I did feel a bit bad for him when he found out Samuel L. Jackson’s character had made up the letter from Lincoln. Tim Roth’s English accent was bizarre – I think he was channelling Terry-Thomas. Jennifer Jason Leigh’s character was truly heroic. Never did a condemned prisoner make you feel absolutely no sympathy for her plight whatsoever.

I am very fond of Tarantino movies even though the constant swearing makes my eyes water. So much so, in fact, that I named the dog Zed from my novel ‘Maids, Mothers and Crones’ after a character from ‘Pulp Fiction’. At the time the name had struck me as unusual but it took me about two years to realise that it seemed strange because Americans pronounce the last letter of the alphabet ‘zee’, not ‘zed’.

Anyway, I digress. If you enjoy Tarantino movies you will not be disappointed by ‘The Hateful Eight’. It has all the trademark Tarantino elements including gore, an intriguing plot and great big dollops of dark humour which are always welcome.



There’s been a lot of talk in the news recently about the menopause and how it is the new taboo. It is a subject that many people -usually, but by no means exclusively of the male gender – find difficult to discuss, and it really shouldn’t be. It will happen to every woman who is lucky to make it to her fifties and beyond (sadly sometimes before) and it isn’t a terrible thing, although I wish there was a proper name for it. ‘The change’ I find twee and slightly ridiculous. We’re not ‘changing’, we’re just not having babies anymore. The word ‘menopause’ actually refers to the very last period a woman has and what woman knows that for certain until a year later. I can’t even remember the last one I had and it’s not because my memory’s fading (although it is a bit), but because every month I didn’t have a period was just another bonus as far as I was concerned until I didn’t even have to worry anymore. I remember reading an article in a glamorous magazine for (younger) women about five years ago when I first began to experience the symptoms and the only advantage they could come up with was that we no longer had periods. The ONLY one! ONLY! That’s a major bonus as far as I’m concerned. It’s fantastic. And as for now being barren – well, I’m 54, I’ve had my kids, they’re great, I love them to bits, but the idea of being pregnant, all that physical discomfort, then actually giving birth and the years of broken nights, having to find babysitters or not go out…My God, I don’t want to do that again. I’ve just started to get my life back. Being post menopausal is wonderful as far as I’m concerned. So to every 50+ woman out there I say, embrace your inner crone. Being old is the new young.


The Scarlet Queen

Today one of my historical romances is being republished by The Wild Rose Press. I have very happy memories of this novel, not least of which is the fact that it was originally accepted for publication by by Robert Hale Ltd and sadly I have just learnt that they are closing. Robert Hale took on ‘The Scarlet Queen’ at a time when I was used to expecting rejection letters and it was lovely to get a letter from someone who actually wanted to publish something I had written. Amanda Grange, my co-author on ‘Pride and Pyramids’, has written about this in her blog

‘The Scarlet Queen’ was inspired by all the Victoria Holt novels I read as a young woman, tales of plucky Victorian heroines armed only with their wit, beauty and spirit to help them navigate the stormy seas of life as an impoverished governess/lady’s maid/companion. They often ended up in some exotic foreign location, their lives imperilled by an evil suitor, before being rescued by the dashing alpha male. The only thing I felt they lacked was a sense of humour which I added to my heroine’s life. I do remember that Mr Hale didn’t like the passages I originally wrote about the ancient Egyptian courtesan on whom the Scarlet Queen character was based, so I had to cut that out, and I always felt the novel lost something. Fortunately when I wrote to The Wild Rose Press offering the novel, they liked the snippets of this character and left them in. I also love the new cover and hope that this new publication will give ‘The Scarlet Queen’ a new lease of life.

Cute cats

I’ve just read a blogsite tutorial that says when all else fails, post a cute picture of a cat. So here goes…Daisy and Lucy

I know it’s actually a dog and a cat and I’m not sure how cute they really are together, but at least they’re sitting on the same sofa without trying to kill each other.

New Reviews

I have had some more lovely reviews for Sophronia and the Vampire, two on Amazon here (thanks to Fiona Wilson, whose reviews can be read here –
and Jayne Turner, a Vine Voice ) and one with Coffee-time Romance –

If you do read any of my books and like them, please could you leave a review on Amazon. It doesn’t have to be long. Just rating the book and a couple of words (hopefully something like “great read”) will do!

Self marketing

Here’s me featured in an article in the local newspaper in Wallasey where I live. I’m so glad I did it although at the time I contacted the newspaper I felt a complete fool, as I was brought up not to push myself forward or ‘make a show’ of myself. Self marketing does not come easily to me – I suspect it doesn’t to most people, but it has become clear to me over the last year that a little less ‘I can’t do that ‘ and a little more ‘Here I am’ is what is required.

Extract from The Wallasey News, April 16th 2015:

“Teacher Jacqueline Farrell from Wallasey is about to have a novel published by The Wild Rose Press, an e-publishing company based in the USA.

Jacqueline explained: “My book is called Sophronia and the Vampire and is a paranormal romance between a vampire and a witch, with the twist that the heroine is in her fifties.

“I wrote it as I approached my own fiftieth birthday, as I enjoy paranormal romances but was fed up with heroines in their teens/early twenties because I can no longer identify with them and it occurred to me that I can’t be alone thinking this.

The story follows the journey of Sophronia who, whilst touring America, becomes embroiled in a love story between a young witch named Charlie and a vampire.

Jacqueline describes it as: “The classic love story, that Sophronia would normally run a mile from except that she’s a witch too.

“More mature than Charlie and therefore much more attractive to the local head vampire who traps her so he can use her powers to pursue his own ambitions.

“As Sophronia wrestles with her conscience – should she try to help Charlie avoid becoming a toy for the local bloodsuckers or just weasel out like the coward she really wants to be? – she becomes embroiled in a struggle for territory and power between different rival factions in the local undead community. And when she’s fighting her own fatal fascination with vampires as well she knows the whole situation can only end in tears.”

As well as this book, Jacqueline has also had two historical romances published by Robert Hale and has co-authored a Jane Austen spinoff with Amanda Grange, which was published by Sourcebooks.”