Good morning, Sixers. I had planned to bring you a smokin’ scene from WANT’s sequel, NEED, but after this week’s tragedy, I think we’re all feeling a bit subdued and it seems wrong to post such an excerpt.

Instead, I’m going to introduce you to a new character that stole my heart, and beta readers’ as well. She’s Isaac’s little niece, Jayne, with whom he shares a special connection. If you hated Ike in WANT, she might change your mind about him.

In this excerpt, they’re headed to a funeral home together. She’s a bit of a tomboy and loves Isaac’s sports car.

Here, press this button.”

She wiggles up in her seat and stretches to press the button to open the sun roof. Despite her black dress, the sunlight that angles in through the opening dances off the freckles on her nose and leaves her in a radiant splash of color. Jayne grins and my heart squeezes. I resist the urge to chuck her under the chin, but I can’t squash the growing feeling that if anyone ever messes with her, I’ll personally pound them into the ground.

I remember the day she was born, the first grandchild.

My good friend and fellow Alabama YA author Jamie Manning is organizing an auction to benefit the families of the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting victims. Authors of all genres are invited to contact him to donate whatever you can to help out — signed copies of books, swag, critiques, character names, etc. All the information is here, or you can email him at: jmanni32 @ yahoo . com

Southern YA author S.R. Johannes is also running an auction that begins tomorrow. Her information is here.

Although I’d love it if you left feedback on my six, I’d much rather you used those few seconds to contact Jamie or S.R.

Either way, have a safe week and hug the little ones in your life.