Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Please Welcome Crime Novelist Nichole Christoff

Omnimystery News: Guest Post by Nichole Christoff
with Nichole Christoff

We are delighted to welcome author Nichole Christoff to Omnimystery News, courtesy of TLC Book Tours, which is coordinating her current book tour. We encourage you to visit all of the participating host sites; you can find her schedule here.

Nichole's debut thriller is The Kill List (Alibi; December 2014 ebook formats), which introduces a savvy private investigator with nerves of steel — and a shattered heart.

We asked her to tell us a little more about her characters, and that is the subject of her guest post for us today.

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Nichole Christoff
Photo provided courtesy of
Nichole Christoff

New acquaintances and old pals often ask me the same question. Are the characters in my books based on real people? Well, it's funny you should ask … Each and every character is a figment of my own overactive imagination. But that doesn't mean my brain box hasn't had help. Certain real-life situations have been grist for my mind's mill. And two events in particular helped me create Jamie Sinclair, the private eye-turned-security specialist who stars in The Kill List. I'd love to tell you about them. First, let's go back a few years. Before I was an author, I was a broadcaster. I worked on-air and behind the scenes creating content for radio, television news, and the PR industry in both the United States and Canada. And all the while, I was a military spouse.

As a military spouse, when my husband got assigned to work alongside our neighbors to the north, I went with him to live in Canada's capital. I spent my days on studio floors and in sound booths. And I spent my nights at diplomatic functions, ambassadors' dinners, and embassy parties.

On any given evening, you could find me in velvet and pearls, sipping champagne, and nibbling canapés while the folks around me hashed out trade agreements or exchanged boarding-school stories in at least three languages. And I loved every minute of it. But not everyone at these events had fun. That's because some of the tuxedoed men and perfectly coiffed women were on the job. In other words, they were security specialists.

And this got me thinking.

What kind of person wants to wear a tux while taking-on trouble? That question stayed with me as my husband and I returned to the States where I went to work for a news organization. I loved the electricity of covering breaking news and the camaraderie of joining my colleagues for Rueben sandwiches to celebrate a job well done. One of my colleagues — my favorite anchorwoman — and I had a lot in common. We were about the same age, we had the same look, and we had similar taste so sometimes we accidentally dressed in the same colors and styles. But she had one thing I didn't have. My anchorwoman had a stalker. During our news broadcast, the stalker would phone my desk in the hopes of speaking to my anchorwoman on-air. Though they'd never met, this man was convinced they had a connection. But my anchorwoman didn't think so — and neither did the police. One day, as I left the station, I spotted a man loitering against the cinderblock wall that marked the perimeter of the parking lot. And as I made my way to my car, he became much too interested in me. He left his spot and crossed the lot before I could drive away. Because he'd been waiting for my anchorwoman. And he mistook me for her. All's well that ends well and that guy won't be bothering anyone for awhile. But the situation made me wonder. What motivates a stalker to get close to a person he or she has never met?

These ideas about security specialists and stalkers collided when I moved to Washington, DC, and my protagonist, Jamie Sinclair, was born. So while my characters are fictional through and through, real life gets me thinking. And sometimes it finds its way into my imagination.

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Nichole Christoff Book Tour

Nichole Christoff is a writer, broadcaster, and military spouse who has worked on air and behind the scenes producing and promoting content for radio, television news, and the public relations industry across the United States and Canada. When she isn't penning her latest novel, Nic teaches Creative Writing at a small, private university.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at NicholeChristoff.com and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Kill List by Nichole Christoff

The Kill List
Nichole Christoff
A Jamie Sinclair Mystery

As a top private eye turned security specialist, Jamie Sinclair has worked hard to put her broken marriage behind her. But when her lying, cheating ex-husband, army colonel Tim Thorp, calls with the news that his three-year-old daughter has been kidnapped, he begs Jamie to come find her. For the sake of the child, Jamie knows she can't refuse. Now, despite the past, she'll do everything in her power to bring little Brooke Thorp home alive.

Soon Jamie is back at Fort Leeds — the army base in New Jersey's Pine Barrens where she grew up, the only child of a two-star general — chasing down leads and forging an uneasy alliance with the stern military police commander and the exacting FBI agent working Brooke's case. But because Jamie's father is now a U.S. senator, her recent run-in with a disturbed stalker is all over the news, and when she starts receiving gruesome threats echoing the stalker's last words, she can't shake the feeling that her investigation may be about more than a missing girl — and that someone very powerful is hiding something very significant … and very sinister.

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