Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sample Sunday: Polar Night Protagonist

I posted a quick intro to the antagonist for my WIP when I first wrote about my story and shared the prologue, so I thought I would share a glimpse of the protagonist now that I have made significant progress in completing my first draft. I have to admit, I've become very attached to the character as I've been writing.

His name is Danny Fitzpatrick, and he is a detective in Fairbanks, Alaska. This is a short chapter from the middle of the story.

Danny walked into his Chicago apartment and was immediately hit with the smell of something delicious. That was the norm for dinner time at his home. He didn’t know how he had gotten lucky enough to find a French chef who wanted to marry him, but he was certainly grateful.

He headed for the kitchen and the source of the yummy smell, and found Caroline at the stove, her back to him as she stirred whatever was making Danny salivate. She was dressed in her favorite attire, blue jeans and a long-sleeved t-shirt, and her brown hair fell in waves past her shoulders.

“Hi, Danny,” she said, without turning to look at him. She lifted a spoon full of broth from the pot and sipped at her creation, testing to make sure she had the taste she wanted.

Danny walked to the stove and slid his arms around her waist, kissing the back of her head. “What smells so good?”

“Coq au vin.”

"I’m guessing the vin is wine.”

Caroline nodded. “Burgundy, to be exact. And coq is chicken. Or actually rooster if you want to be precise. It was my grandmother’s recipe and I’m testing it for the restaurant.”

Danny could hear his stomach growling. “How long until I get to eat it?”

Caroline smiled and put down her spoon. She turned away from the stove and faced Danny, her arms around his neck. “Are you hungry?”

“Starving.” Danny leaned into her and kissed her lips. “I haven’t eaten since breakfast.”

“Why do you skip lunch so often? You’re too skinny as it is.”

“I can’t help it. It was a busy day.”

“Still the same case?”

Danny kissed her again and pulled away from her. He opened the refrigerator and grabbed a beer, twisting off the cap as he leaned against the sink.

“Yeah. It’s driving me nuts, I admit it. Jackson and I aren’t getting anywhere.”

“What about the FBI? Are they any help?”

“Are you kidding? When are they ever any help?” Danny shook his head. “I did talk to John Fisher today. He’s running the files I’ve got through some of their systems, but I don’t expect him to find anything we don’t already know.”

“Which is?”

“That this creep’s been raping and murdering women all over Chicago. I just can’t figure out how he manages it without leaving a shred of evidence. It’s like he knows everything we look for.”

“Maybe he watches CSI.”

Danny rolled his eyes and took a swig of beer. “God help us.” He watched as Caroline opened the refrigerator and pulled out a puff pastry. “Ooh, dessert?” he asked.

“Yeah. It’s your favorite. St. Honore Cake.”

“Let’s skip the coq au vin and move right to that.”

Caroline laughed and set the pastry on the counter. She opened the cabinet to take out her mixer, and turned to Danny, her face now pale and panic-stricken. Drops of blood began to drip from her neck.

“Caroline? What is it?”

“Help me, Danny. Please…”

The blood turned from a drip to a deluge, gushing out of her neck and turning her shirt bright red. It splattered all over Danny, instantly soaking his shirt and pants.



  1. Great dialogue!

    And such a great scene, going from a couple's ordinary conversation to OMG WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED?

    Good job!

  2. OMG! That was a total surprise! I was just getting to the point of thinking the recipe for coq au vin was going to turn into an early night when …. KAPOW!!

    OK we need to know more…… :)

    PS I am never going to the fridge again!!!

  3. I'm with L.G., what the heck just happened?! Now I'm afraid to get my mixer out of the cabinet and I have potatoes to mash. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  4. Wow...did a sniper just get her? Very taut writing, congrats!!

  5. Terrific writing. I have to agree with the other comments. I did NOT see that coming!

  6. That's super sudden and I'm hoping this is a nightmare or the like. But yes, great dialog.

  7. @LG, thank you! I love writing dialogue, it's probably my favorite thing, I'm so glad you liked it.

    @Carolyn, thanks so much! LOL, but I'm sorry I made you frightened of refrigerators! :D

    @Jules, LOL LOL, I hope you were able to use the mixer with no problems. Thanks!

    @Damyanti, thank you, I really appreciate it!

    @Susan, thanks so much!

    @Gwen, thank you! I'm so glad you liked the dialogue, thanks.

  8. Whoa. That was frightening at the end! I feel for Danny.

  9. I had the same reaction as the others - what the heck! I didn't see that coming, and now I want to know what happened. So, tell us?

  10. What happened to Caroline? Gees. What a teaser. Great going on the 1st draft, Julie. From the looks of it, you have an intriguing story.

  11. I shouldn't have read this at bedtime. The suspense is killing me and I probably won't be able to sleep! Did a bat fly into the room, or was she attacked by a mad can opener? More importantly, did the bloodstains come out of Danny's shirt? Lastly, did he eat first and then call an ambulance? Sorry Julie, I'm just giddy with excitement for your new book! I hope you provide us with another teaser, and I'll try to read it earlier in the day! Julie

  12. @Tyrean, thank you!

    @Michelle, thanks so much. I will tell eventually! :D

    @Mary, thank you, I hope so.

    @Julie, LOL LOL, you guessed it, a bat was the culprit! :D LOL, it's funny you mentioned that as I had a bat in my kitchen once and it scared the hell out of me. I find the idea of a bat scarier than what happened to Caroline LOL. Thanks so much!


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