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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Revenge List


Narrator: Lauren Ezzo

Harlequin Audio

ISBN: 978-0778333463

Publisher: MIRA

Publication Date: 05/23/2023

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars ++ (ARC)


“This twisty, original thriller through the dark side of self-help is a breath of fresh air that ends with a jaw-dropping gasp.” —Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Overnight Guest


The Revenge List checks all the boxes of what a thriller should be. Brilliant premise? Check. Mounting tension? Check. Jaw-dropping twist? Double-check. I couldn't put it down!”

— Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of The House Across the Lake



They say life flashes before your eyes when you’re about to die. But all she could see was regret.


The people in Frankie Morgan’s life say she’s angry. Emotionally stunted. Combative. But really, who can blame her? It’s hard being nice when your clients are insufferable, your next-door neighbor is a miserable woman and the cowardly driver who killed your mother is still out living it up somewhere.


Somehow, though, she finds herself at her very first anger-management group session—drinking terrible coffee and learning all about how “forgiveness is a process.”


One that starts with a list.


Frankie is skeptical. A list of everyone who’s wronged her in some way over the years? More paper, please. Still, she makes the pointless list—with her own name in a prominent spot—and promptly forgets about it…until it goes missing. And one by one, the people she’s named start getting hurt in freak accidents, each deadlier than the last.


Could it be coincidence giving her the revenge she never dared to seek…or something more sinister?


If Frankie doesn’t find out who’s behind it all, she might be next.











About the Author



Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland, and moved to Canada in 2010. After a long and successful career in recruitment, she left the corporate world in favor of writing. Her first novel, TIME AFTER TIME (a lighthearted rom-com) was published in June 2016 after which she moved over to the dark side of suspense with the following thriller novels:


THE REVENGE LIST (5/23/23) Upcoming, and available for pre-order now.


In 2023, she will return to the softer side, with holiday romantic comedies writing as, Holly Cassidy with THE CHRISTMAS WAGER (09/26/23) and available for pre-order now. If rom-coms aren’t your jam, fear not, she has more annual thrillers to follow.


Hannah is also the creator and co-host with fellow crime Author Hank Phillippi Ryan of the bi-weekly popular show, First Chapter Fun. Join Hank and Hannah every Tuesday and Thursday at 12.30 pm LIVE on First Chapter Fun’s Facebook Group or Instagram Live to hear the first chapter of a different book. Visit www.firstchapterfun.com. What new book will YOU discover?


She resides in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three sons.


Connect with the Author







Q&A with International

Bestselling Author

Hannah Mary McKinnon


Behind the Book & The Author

Exceptional Authors. Standout Books. Elevator Talk.

INTRIGUING QUESTIONS. INQUIRING READERS WANT TO KNOW



Welcome to May 2023 #AuthorElevatorSeries —where we go behind the scenes of the book and the author. We are super excited to have back with us, a favorite — the bestselling author Hannah Mary McKinnon with her seventh novel, the highly anticipated —THE REVENGE LIST. Out Today!


Welcome, Hannah! Let's dive in.




Q. Give us your best ELEVATOR PITCH for THE REVENGE LIST.

HMM: It’s a book about an anger management group exercise gone terribly, terribly wrong.



Q. DESCRIBE your novel in three words or less.


HMM: Twisted, gut-wrenching, original.



Q. INSPIRATION: The spark that ignited the novel? Where were you when the idea came to you?



HMM: I can usually pinpoint exactly where the inspiration for my novels came from. Typically, it’s a news article (You Will Remember Me and Her Secret Son) or a radio segment (Sister Dear), maybe some daydreaming (The Neighbors) or a specific character (Never Coming Home).


With The Revenge List, it was after batting various plot ideas around with my agent Carolyn, and former editor Emily that a random idea popped into my head: “What if an anger management group therapy exercise went terribly wrong?” I was sitting in my garden, and I thought “This is it!” — and we all needed to know what the rest of the story was.



Q. WRITING: Do you have a favorite chapter or scene in the novel you enjoyed writing the most?



HMM: I adored writing the scenes with Frankie and Rico because I loved the brother/sister relationship and dynamic. I don’t have a brother, but if I did, I hope it would be someone like Rico as he was such a wonderful, caring man who clearly adored his sibling but wouldn’t put up with her nonsense, either.



Q. NOVELS: You keep getting better and surprising us. THE REVENGE LIST is highly creative, twisty, and has your signature dark humor. One of your best! Tell us a little about your journey.



HMM: That’s such a lovely compliment, thank you. I always try to add humor and banter to my books. Thrillers can be funny at times, too.


As for my writing journey, it didn’t start until my 40s when we came to Canada and my start-up HR company failed. I had a decision to make – keep working corporate or try something else. I plumped for the latter and I’m beyond thrilled I did. I love my second career so much and can’t imagine doing anything else.


However, I made a lot of mistakes before my first novel was published, including rushing to submit the manuscript to an agent before it was truly ready. After editing it for two years, taking creative writing courses, and reading a lot, I managed to secure representation. If I’d taken those classes and learned about the industry earlier, it may not have taken as long…but the rejections kept my feet firmly on the ground and made me more determined. In a FitBit meditation with Ceasar F. Barajas, I recently heard we could “think of rejection as redirection.” It really resonated with me.



Q. TAKEAWAY: What important message, theme, or takeaway would you like readers to be left with when reading your book?


HMM: Anger is an emotion like any other. Anger itself isn’t bad – it’s what we do with it that can be problematic.



Q. FAVORITE THING: What is your favorite thing about your new book?


HMM: The ending. It still gives me chills.



Q. DID YOU KNOW? Name 1-5 things that readers may not know about THE REVENGE LIST.


HMM:

1. The fictional coffee shop, Jake’s Cakes, originally appears in Sister Dear. It was fun to revive it as a little easter egg for anyone who reads both books.


2. I put Frankie in construction because it’s such a male-dominated industry, but also because, I often went to construction sites when I was a kid as my dad worked as an architect. I still find them fascinating.


3. Like Frankie, I had a job at a grocery store when I was in school but thankfully nothing bad ever happened there.


4. I set the book in Portland, Maine because I’ve been there and loved it.


5. I modeled reporter Danika Danforth’s personality on my good friend Hank Phillippi Ryan. One reader told me “reporters aren’t that nice” and I replied, “Hank is!



Q. SEQUEL: The million-dollar question: Will there be a sequel?



HMM: We hope so! The ending was open-ended and would love to see more Frankie in the future.


I can’t answer that question at this point. I’m not excluding it, but sequels are tricky. You need reader and publisher appetite, the sequel has to read as a standalone, and I have to come up with a great idea.



Q. UPCOMING: Can you share what you are currently working on or what is next in ten words or less (or more)?


HMM: My holiday romantic comedy, The Christmas Wager, publishes as Holly Cassidy on September 26, 2023. It’s about real-estate hot-shot Bella, who’s tasked with purchasing an old, failing Christmas store in the quaint little town of Maple Falls, which is nestled in the Colorado mountains. She thinks it’ll be easy…until she meets the owner’s stubborn but hunky grandson, electrician Jesse. Bella wants the store for next to nothing, Jesse refuses, and they end up competing in the town’s quirky annual Holiday Games. Sparks fly – as do snowballs – but will these rivals find love together? I’m excited to take you on a trip to Maple Falls this autumn!


Another thriller will release in 2024 and I’m unbelievably excited already. We don’t have a title yet but it’s about the rise and violent demise of an all-female pop-rock group called The Bittersweet, and the lengths some of the members go to boost their fame. After all, aren’t rock bands potentially worth more dead than alive…? I can’t wait to introduce you to my brand-new protagonist, drummer Vienna.


I’m now working on the outlines for my romantic comedy for 2024, and playing around with ideas for my next thriller. I hope I don’t mix up the plots (although…!).



Now, for more up close and personal with Hannah, below!

#Behind the Author


FAVORITE MAKEUP/HAIR TIP

I haven’t straightened my naturally curly hair since around 2015 after accepting I have curly hair like I have green/blue eyes. I gave up fighting it and now I love it!


YOUR FAVORITE LIFE LESSON QUOTE?

Making mistakes is better than faking perfection.


FAVORITE HOLIDAY OR SEASON?

Christmas Eve. I absolutely love the anticipation of Christmas (and watching Die Hard because it IS a Christmas movie, dang it!).


WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WISH READERS KNEW ABOUT YOU?

That I also write holiday romantic-comedies as Holly Cassidy (The Christmas Wager publishes on September 26, 2023).


YOUR SECRET TALENT?

Meeting deadlines is my superpower. I’m not sure how I do it, but I do (famous last words…I’ve jinxed it now, haven’t I).


WHAT IS THE MOST MEMORABLE PLACE YOU HAVE TRAVELED TO?

Thailand was incredible!


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO WRITE?

My garden in the summer.


A CHARACTER YOU HAVE WRITTEN THAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?

Lucas from Never Coming Home (2022) because he made me laugh so much.


IF YOU COULD ELIMINATE ONE THING FROM YOUR DAILY LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Cooking! I cook five nights a week (Rob takes the weekend shift) and I do get awfully bored. I’d only like to cook when inspiration and the mood strikes.


HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN?

Eight so far, with another two to be published in 2024 (currently being edited).


YOU WOULDN'T BE CAUGHT DEAD, WHERE?

In a swimsuit in public.


NAME SOMETHING YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE VERY GOOD AT.

Reading people.


NAME ONE THING YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE BAD AT.

Singing


INTROVERT OR EXTROVERT?

I’m an extroverted introvert. I’m not one for crowds or being the center of attention, unless we’re talking about books.


NAME A TRAIT YOU INHERITED FROM YOUR DAD OR MOM. (Good or bad)

Timekeeping! Being on time = being late.


WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT? (Excluding computers, tablets, phones)

Nivea lip balm! I always carry some on me.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SANDWICH?

Tomato and avocado. Yum!


IF YOU COULD CURE ONE DISEASE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Alzheimer’s


WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED FOR?

Being kind


WISH STATE OR COUNTRY? (Where you would love to live)

Back in Switzerland


PIE OR CAKE?

What? Don’t make me choose!


LEADER OR FOLLOWER?

It depends. If I’m the best leader for the job, then I’ll lead. If I’m not, then I’m happy to follow.


WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF BEING AN AUTHOR?

The writing community. It’s absolutely fabulous and I’m so glad I discovered it.


NAME SOMETHING YOU FEAR.

Losing my loved ones. It’s happened before and I know it’ll happen again. I just hope it’ll be in a very long time.


HOW OFTEN DO YOU LOOK AT YOUR PHONE EVERY DAY?

Oh gosh, waaaay too often. When I’m writing I put it away somewhere I can’t see it in a different room.


AN AUTHOR (s) WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU?

The amazing Jennifer Hillier.


WHAT’S THE CRAZIEST OR MOST OUT-OF-CHARACTER THING YOU’VE EVER DONE?

Married my husband 10 weeks after meeting him face-to-face (we’re still married 24 years later!).


NAME OF YOUR FIRST KISS?

I don’t kiss and tell (also, I can’t remember…)!


YOUR FIRST CELEBRITY CRUSH?

Boy George. Yup. It was the 80s!


A SMELL YOU LOVE?

Jasmin


TRUTH OR DARE?

Probably dare because I’m daft.


WHAT VILLAIN DO YOU FEEL FOR?

Lucas in Never Coming Home (2022 thriller). I miss him and his funny ways!


A PET PEEVE?

Rudeness. It takes less effort to be kind.


THE FUNNIEST THING A BOOK REVIEWER HAS SAID ABOUT YOUR BOOK? (OR CRAZY WEIRD)

I was once asked if The Neighbors was an autobiography. Considering what happens to the main character, and the fact it features adultery, I’m hoping the person hadn’t read it, hahaha.


IF YOU WERE GRANTED ONE WISH, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

To continue writing and growing my audience each year!



THANK YOU, Hannah, for spending time with us today! So much fun.


Thank you so much, Judy! 🙂







Praise


“Hannah Mary McKinnon is back with a new feisty, unpredictable heroine in The Revenge List. Who among us hasn’t composed a revenge list in our minds? You haven’t? Frankie Morgan, ordered to anger management classes by her exasperated father, creates a “forgiveness list” as part of an exercise assigned by the group leader. After a volatile interaction with another group member and a strange Uber ride, Frankie’s list mysteriously disappears, and the people on the list start dropping like flies. Now, Frankie is on the hunt to find out who is taking out the people she’s most angry with before she gets blamed for the crimes. I flew through this twisty, original thriller through the dark side of self-help. The Revenge List is a breath of fresh air that ends with a jaw-dropping gasp. I will read anything that Hannah Mary McKinnon writes.”

— Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Overnight Guest



“It’s always a delight to see a justifiably angry woman in fiction, and McKinnon handles Frankie’s story with ease in this twisty thriller.”

—Kelley Armstrong, #1 New York Times bestselling author



“Hannah Mary McKinnon is such a brilliantly original storyteller! The Revenge List is a propulsive page-turner of a thriller, and a gripping and important deep dive into the power of grief and the dangers of revenge. Cleverly written and gorgeously plotted, McKinnon’s unique voice comes through on every page—it’s knowing and witty and constantly surprising. Do not miss this gasp-worthy novel, and don’t even try to guess what happens. The Revenge List is an absolute triumph!”

— Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of The House Guest



“The Revenge List by Hannah Mary McKinnon is a thriller so cleverly crafted that you might as well stop guessing and enjoy the twists and turns instead. Gripping and enigmatic, this tale of what happens when one woman’s forgiveness list lands in the vengeful hands of someone who’d rather punish than pardon the guilty parties will have you turning pages past your bedtime. You’ll feel the tension until the very end.”

– Nick Medina, author of Sisters of the Lost Nation



“A thrilling page-turner with a protagonist you can’t help but root for—even when she makes you mad.”

— Cate Holahan, USA TODAY bestselling author of The Darkness of Others



“I know what I look for in a good suspense novel, and The Revenge List ticks all my boxes: taut, furiously paced, and immensely entertaining. Hannah Mary McKinnon’s signature wit and snappy writing style is unmatched; she’s back with another fun, feisty thriller, and I am definitely here for it.”

— Jennifer Hillier, internationally bestselling author of Things We Do in the Dark



“Hannah Mary McKinnon arrives back on the scene with THE REVENGE LIST, another brilliant and darkly comedic suspense, this time around Frankie, a hot-tempered woman whose enemies are being taken down one by one. McKinnon is a clever master of surprise, dropping subtle clues and changing course often enough to keep you glued to the pages. A read-in-one sitting thriller with a stinger in the tail.”

— Kimberly Belle, internationally bestselling author of The Personal Assistant



“A highly original protagonist and a gripping story make The Revenge List unputdownable…”

— Shari Lapena, internationally bestselling author of The Couple Next Door and Not A Happy Family



“Back with her signature sleight-of-hand and remarkably well-developed insights into human nature, Hannah Mary McKinnon knocks it out of the park in The Revenge List. Twisty, turny, and featuring a vibrant cast of characters I questioned at every step, this fantastic thriller packs an emotional gut-punch and an ending that will terrify you.”

— Samantha M. Bailey, internationally bestselling author of Watch Out for Her



“The Revenge List is another razor-sharp, crackling thriller from Hannah Mary McKinnon. It’s both twisty and twisted, and that’s a good thing. Compulsively readable from start to finish.”

– Samantha Downing, internationally bestselling author of For Your Own Good.



“The Revenge List checks all the boxes of what a thriller should be. Brilliant premise? Check. Mounting tension? Check. Jaw-dropping twist? Double-check. I couldn't put it down!”

— Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of The House Across the Lake



“The Revenge List is brilliant! This twisty, compulsively readable thriller is sinister, richly atmospheric, and holds enough dark secrets to keep you turning pages as fast as you can. And you will love spending time with Frankie Morgan even if—trust me—you do not want to be on her revenge list. Hannah Mary McKinnon is a master of suspense, so clear your calendar and settle in for a great ride.”

— Barbara Nickless, Wall Street Journal and Amazon Charts bestselling author of Dark of Night



“Revenge isn’t so sweet when Frankie Morgan finds someone targeting her enemies—using a list she came up with during Anger Management to target them one by one. The story grabbed me from the first chapter and had me reading nonstop until I got to its satisfying conclusion. It was well worth the sleepless night. With The Revenge List, Hannah Mary McKinnon once again proves herself to be a master of the suspense genre.”

—Kellye Garrett, Agatha, Anthony, and Lefty Award winning author of Like a Sister



“A pulse-pounding thriller with a riveting, take-no-prisoners heroine whose forgiveness list takes a murderous turn. If you’ve done Frankie wrong, watch out!”

—Ausma Zehanat Khan, author of Blackwater Falls



“In The Revenge List, Hannah Mary McKinnon takes the double-edged sword of a woman's rage and lights it on fire. An unputdownable thriller about families lost and made, unresolved grief, and the power of our most destructive—and redemptive—emotion, The Revenge List kept me up too late and then haunted my dreams.”

—Katie Gutierrez, national bestselling author of More Than You'll Ever Know








My Review


The master of clever thrillers, Hannah Mary McKinnon (favorite author), returns following Never Coming Home with her seventh novel, a brilliant psychological thriller, THE REVENGE LIST —a woman completes a list for anger management class of those who have wronged her—then everyone on the list winds up in an accident or death.


McKinnon delivers yet another stellar thriller packed with tension and twists. The author leads readers down a dark, twisty path of secrets, obsession, and revenge—A wickedly chilling suspense.


Frankie Morgan, single in her early thirties, works in her dad's construction business, and a series of events have gotten out of control, leading her dad to mandate she attends anger management class.


As part of the assignment, the instructor has requested the class to compile a list of those who have angered them over the years to forgive them, putting it behind them. Frankie compiles the list and then loses it.


And one by one, the people she's named start getting hurt in freak accidents, each deadlier than the last. Who has seen this list? When a private list turns PUBLIC and dangerous. An innocent anger management therapy exercise turns deadly.


Now on a desperate mission to locate the list and contact the remaining names on the list to try and save them before it is too late. Frankie realizes not only has someone read her list but is actively hunting down the people she has named and is harming them.


She finally locates the list and is tasked with tracking down everyone on the list and trying to figure out who has seen the list.


Her anger started after her mom was taken from her by a hit-and-run driver, and then more events piled on, igniting her temper with a short fuse. She is always angry. It is ok to be angry but it is how you react to the circumstances.


How long before Frankie or someone close to herself becomes the next victim?


What starts as a FORGIVENESS LIST turns into THE REVENGE LIST. Who is out to get Frankie? Who is the Punisher?


The past and present collide, and a gripping backstory leads to an explosive revelation that will have you dying for a sequel and more FRANKIE!


I adore Hannah's writing and have read all her books. A favorite author, and every book is unique.

With her signature dark humor, twisty plots, highly creative imaginative storylines, brilliant razor-sharp writing, and well-developed characters—the author's creative skills are on full display in THE REVENGE LIST.


I loved THE REVENGE LIST and her best yet! Hoping we see more of Frankie in the future. She is too good to end—a heart-pounding thriller with jaw-dropping twists and surprises. Highly recommend it for those who enjoy intelligently written thrillers.


Stay tuned for my #AuthorElevatorSeries Q&A with Hannah, where we go behind the scenes of the book and this fab author on pub day, May 23rd.


Thanks to #MIRA for a gifted ARC via #NetGalley for review purposes.


@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars +

Pub Date: May 23, 2023

May 2023 Must-Read Books






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