A/N: Surprise! I bet the last thing you expected was for this fanfiction to update.
Well, it's not an update – not really. It's three different things.
The first, most importantly, is a beta reader request. The sequel I promised to start 'in three to six months' is finally ready to start being posted (gee, I hope there are still interested readers). To prevent the whole 'nine years for one fanfic' issue, I've written ten chapters that are ready to go, and here soon my other project Shadows will be done, so I'll be able to focus wholly on finishing this one (well, and writing a novel. That too).
Anyway, so the plan is to post one chapter every two weeks, but first I want each chapter to be beta'd, and I think it'll be a lot better to have it beta read by someone who read the first story. It'll make a lot more sense, anyway!
So here I am, looking for a beta reader. I'm looking for anyone with at least a little beta experience (especially for the Mummy stories), and someone who is fairly good with grammar as that is mostly what I'm looking for help with. I also just want to make sure every chapter reads smoothly. I'd like to avoid any major edits, but of course if a beta catches big mistakes, they need to be addressed. A lot of the reason I'm asking for a beta is so I can practice working with an editor/agent/publisher, so if changes need to be made I need someone who isn't afraid to tell me – though since this IS fanfiction (and a bit of a wild one at that), I may not be willing to make all the changes.
Second, this update is to say hey, don't bother looking at the Isis website or trying to sign up for the newsletter. They were abandoned. I will hopefully have a tumblr for fanfic writing here soon, and I'll link to that when the sequel is published.
Thirdly, so I can follow the rules of the website and provide story content in each update, here I have for you a little AU bonus scene I sent out with the newsletter so many years ago. I think it was the second rewrite, between chapters 38 and 39. To refresh your memory, Josh and the gang had broken into the O'Connells, there was a bit of a fight between Josh and Paige, and Paige's ex and the leader of the gang Chris was pushing Josh to shoot Paige. Instead, Josh pointed the gun at Alex and fired.
So here you go, a bit of AU bonus material with zero editing since the year it was written, a bit (a lot) early for the Thanksgiving holiday:
"I feel like there's something I should be doing," sighed Alex as he sat at the dining room table.
Paige glanced over her shoulder as she opened the oven for the tenth time in five minutes. "Yeah. Getting the rolls out of the oven. They're burning."
Alex sighed as he stood. "No, I mean something important."
"Well whatever it is, it can wait until after Thanksgiving."
Jonathan stepped into the kitchen, carrying empty appetizer trays. "We need more alcohol."
"No you don't," insisted Paige.
Jonathan ignored her and opened the liquor cabinet. "Yes, yes we do."
Paige grabbed the dishtowel and hit Jonathan with it, and he gripped his arm, pretending to be injured. Then he pulled out two bottles of some sort of alcoholic beverage or other and set them on the counter.
"You do realize we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, right?" asked Alex as he pulled the rolls out of the oven.
"Shut up," Jonathan snapped, filling the tray with more crackers and cheese. "We get to eat a ton of food, and not cook any of it."
"Speak for yourself," said Alex, shaking his hand after accidentally touching the tray the rolls were on. "I had to make the rolls."
Paige rolled her eyes at him. "All you did was open a can. Big deal. Alice made the turkey, and I basically made everything else."
She then went to the fridge and pulled out the deviled eggs and handed them to Jonathan. "Take these out, too, please. And tell them not to eat too much."
As Jonathan left, Alex raised an eyebrow at Paige. "If you don't want them to eat too much, then why do you keep sending trays of food out there?"
Paige shrugged. "It's tradition."
"So what I'm getting is Thanksgiving is about eating a lot of food, followed by eating a lot of food, followed by long naps."
"Pretty much," laughed Paige, shaking her head as she continued to mash potatoes. "No, actually, it's about giving thanks for the things you have. Hence Thanksgiving."
"And when do we do this?"
"Well, you're supposed to do it throughout the day but usually we just say one thing we're thankful for at the table, taking turns."
"And then," Paige smiled as she poured the potatoes into a better looking bowl. "We eat."
The table was set with the O'Connell's best china, champagne (or sparkling grape juice for those abstaining) had been poured, the food was laid out and everyone – Rick, Evy, Alex, Jonathan, Ardeth, Paige and Alice – sat around it, preparing themselves for the large meal of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce, corn on the cob, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole and even a bowl of different kinds of olives.
Alice picked up her glass and stood. "Okay, and now is when we each say something we are grateful for. I'll start. I'm grateful to have made so many new friends," she said, smiling at each of them, but her gaze lingering on Ardeth the longest.
Evy sat beside her, and raised her glass as well. "I'm grateful for my family."
"I'm grateful for guns," Rick chimed in.
"And I'm grateful for poker. And beautiful women. And all this food. And not having been in a gunfight lately. And-"
"Jonathan," Paige stopped him. "One thing."
"Oh," Jonathan said. "Well, I'm grateful for food, then."
Ardeth cleared his throat. "I am grateful the Creature has decided not to attack us as of yet."
It was Alex's turn. "I feel like I should be grateful to not be shot at the moment," he said, and his statement was greeted with raised eyebrows. "But actually I'm just thankful that Paige decided to date me instead of Josh. And instead of a three thousand year old mummy."
Paige laughed. "I'm grateful for that, too."
"Cop-out answer," said Alice.
"Fine," Paige sighed, rolling her eyes. "I'm thankful we're all here together now, without stressing about being chased or dying or anything like that. Just sitting here, enjoying a ridiculously large meal, without any stress whatsoever."
"Here, here," Jonathan agreed, taking a drink from his glass, then making a face. "I hate champagne."
"Since when?" Evy wanted to know.
"Since I'm not drinking it with a rich redhead," shrugged Jonathan. "There's no point unless you're trying to woo a-"
"Okay, how about we just-" started Alice, reaching for the carving knife, but it was too late. Suddenly Jonathan and Rick were in an argument about the last time Jonathan had brought a date to the house, and Evy was talking about how he should just settle down already, and then Ardeth attempted to calm them down. And failed.
Paige and Alex glanced at each other, smiling.
"So much for no stress," Alex smirked.
"Right," laughed Paige, clicking her glass against Alex's. "Happy Thanksgiving."
"Happy Thanksgiving, Paige."
Artificial: I hope you liked that (six, seven year old?) tidbit! If you're interested in beta-ing for me, please feel free to leave me a message. I predict I'll start posting the sequel in a couple weeks, whether I have a beta or not. (Although be warned, I might wait until after NaNoWriMo this year - so that's after November. That or there will be a month break. I haven't decided which way to go yet.) So keep an eye out for it!