Judith D Collins
The Revenge List
Narrator: Lauren Ezzo
Publication Date: 05/23/2023
My Rating: 5 Stars ++ (ARC)
MAY FEATURED ELEVATOR INTERVIEW
“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.
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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 NEIGHBORS (3/18)
HER SECRET SON (5/19)
SISTER DEAR (5/20)
YOU WILL REMEMBER ME (5/21)
NEVER COMING HOME (5/21)
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
Website First Chapter Fun Twitter Facebook Instagram
Goodreads Book Bub Amazon Events
Q&A with International
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.
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.
NAME ONE THING YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF TO BE BAD AT.
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?
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE REMEMBERED FOR?
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?
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! 🙂
“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.