Thursday, June 28, 2018

Starring Role



Starring Role
by Hollis Shiloh
Shifters and Partners #20


It's his dream job—if he can survive it.

Cooper Hayes has finally landed a great role as the main character on a TV show about wolf shifters working with the police. The only problem? He's not a wolf—and the character he's playing is.

Some people aren't happy about that, including the showrunner, Sahil Singh, who's looking for an excuse to get rid of him. Between that, issues with his unfriendly costar, and his own fragile sense of self-worth, this is no time for Coop to be falling for a hot security guard—who just happens to be a wolf.


~67,000 words – very low heat
A Shifters and Partners story


Let me know if you need a review copy!

Also-Boughts and Amazon Destroying Customer Trust

Amazon used to be good for helping you find stuff.  That, good deals, and Prime shipping were major game changers and brought Amazon a level of store power not seen since Wal-Mart.

Lately, Amazon seems to be trying to destroy the first thing they were ever good at: helping people find stuff they want.  The ebook bestseller lists have been manipulated a lot, as we all know, but that's not what I'm talking about today.  

Also-Boughts; you know, the links on Amazon to "things other customers bought."  The place where I and likely you, and thousands of other customers, have browsed, bought, and gone down the shopping rabbit hole.  

Well, Amazon has been testing removing them and replacing them with ads, or moving them around on the page so they're hard to find.  All so you'll click on the endless ads they've been pushing lately.

There is no way that throwing away this first, best thing Amazon has been good at (helping people find what they want to buy, and instead forcing more and more glut of ads on them), will not end up impacting the entire store.  The trust of customers, and perhaps even whether they go to Amazon to shop for items at all.  There will always be some sales through Amazon for steady customers--habits, ease of use (like subscribe and save items).

But impulse spending, and "fun shopping," will be affected by making the site more difficult to use.

I don't think that Prime and good deals will be enough to compete so impressively in the marketplace forever--and the things Amazon does now WILL have an impact in the future as customers stop associating Amazon with good deals and good shipping and being able to find what they want--and instead think of it as a frustrating, basically useless for discovery, ad-infested site that is difficult to use the way they want to.  A site it's easier to avoid, except for a few things you can get easily, without having to hassle with search engines clogged by ads, or product pages with carousel after carousel of poorly targeted, useless ads.  

The Amazon disruption that the company is so proud of can't disrupt the tech they've used to build themselves, or the tools they've given customers that customers actually like, without consequences.  

They need to fix the store, or get ready for the impact, which could last for much longer than they think.  When the tech you're disrupting is your own, the customers are, too.  There WILL be other options someday, even for the things Amazon is still good at.  

Maybe it's time.  Maybe Amazon has gotten too big to succeed, if common sense is so far lost.

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On a more personal note, I want to say a couple of things.  I used to love Amazon.  When it was a small site and I was younger, I sold used books there for some spending cash.  Years later, basically housebound and struggling to make a trip anywhere to get things I needed, I was able to use Amazon for necessities and niceties that I simply couldn't get easily another way.  It helped.

I love my Kindles.  I love ebooks.  I love them as a reader, and an author: they've changed the game for me.  Now I can buy books without having to store them!  I can read instantly!  I can read constantly without overloading my shelves to the point of groaning!  I'm even saving trees by reading and writing digitally!  I can sell books without a publisher or printing costs, and Amazon is a big part of that.  It's changed my life in so many ways.

There are still things I like about Amazon.  (It's true, perhaps to my detriment!)  But I don't really trust Amazon anymore.  

The changes I've seen trouble and sometimes anger me.  Amazon used to be my favorite store and I believed in them--more than I should, probably.  For a while now, I've been disillusioned and growing more so.  I don't trust them--and I don't spend hours a week browsing the store and discovering new, cool things I'm interested in (and may end up buying).  Instead I find myself wondering when Amazon's ascendancy will end...and what complicity I share in its current power hungry state.  These aren't comfortable feelings, but they're probably more honest than my previous untarnished Amazon love.

I still love my Kindles.  I still love selling ebooks, and buying them, and there are things I can buy on Amazon that I can't get easily elsewhere.  But...things are changing, and maybe faster than they think.  

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Marriage of Friends



Allen would do anything for his best friend Neal—including marrying him so he can get health insurance. But things are complicated. He has feelings for Neal that he's tried to repress...and Neal has enough on his plate, battling chronic depression and anxiety. He doesn't need friendship to become something more...does he?

Heat level: sweet
17,600 words


Note: This was a previous Patreon reward. 




Let me know if you need a review copy!

Friday, May 4, 2018

A Quiet Man


A Quiet Man
by Hollis Shiloh


Tomas Quiróz is a quiet guy. He's content with his books and his job as a cop, and working with his wolf shifter friend, Riley. But lately, Tomas is lonely — and he starts feeling strangely drawn to a cute guy. Between discovering new things about himself and trying to navigate a possible relationship, Tomas has to deal with Riley's jealous husband, the new guy at the precinct who wants to be friends (or more than friends?), and finding the best way to be himself.



60,700 words – very low heat

A Shifters and Partners story

Takes place after "LOYAL" and contains characters from that story



Let me know if you need a review copy!


Patreon members who pledged $5/month or more will be getting this story thru email...no need to buy it!

P.S.  The May Patreon short story for all patrons will go out soon.  Thanks.  

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Off the Shelves



Off the Shelves

A librarian is called in to investigate the mystery of books flying off a mansion's shelves — literally. Instead of answers, he finds himself falling for the mansion's oddly handsome owner.

Jason isn't particularly magical — he works in the library — but he's the one who ends up being sent to investigate, all on his own. What sounds like a difficult chore at first becomes a lot more enjoyable after he meets Tobias, mysterious and quirky, but very sensual, too...

The two men might not find the answers they thought they were looking for, but they find one another.


A Men of Magic story
Medium heat
17,400 words
A standalone story


Note: if you were a Patreon member during the month of January, you received this story already, no need to get it again!  



~


Let me know if you need a review copy!

P.S. Patreon short story for April will go out soon.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Someone Else's Wolf


Someone Else's Wolf
by Hollis Shiloh


Shane is a burned-out cop trying to mind his own business. Peter's the new wolf at the precinct. Nerdy, awkward, and oddly attractive — and he seems strangely drawn to Shane.

Peter already has a partner on the job, the jealous and protective Sue. So, what's the deal? Maybe he wants something else from Shane. Maybe his interest is purely personal...and not in the least professional. Shane's starting to feel pretty unprofessional himself.

But having feelings for Peter is riskier than Shane could ever have guessed.


56,600 words

Payhip [use this code for 25% off: TR526G1WVC]
Scribd



Please let me know if you need a review copy!  They're always free, of course.  :)

The Payhip coupon is good on any of my stories for sale there.  It expires April 1.

I apologize for not having my books on Google Play right now.  I've had a lot on my plate and haven't managed to get it done yet.  (Hopefully soon.)

Friday, February 2, 2018

CARE



CARE
by Hollis Shiloh

Caleb's a tracker. Eli's a precog. They aren't exactly friends. They both work for the ESRB, but very much alone – no matter how Caleb feels about Eli. But when he faces one of his hardest missions yet, Eli invites himself along...

~8,000 words - low/medium heat


A Men of the ESRB short story

The Extra Sensory Regulatory Bureau rates talented individuals, like empaths and clairvoyants. They have special gifts, and often some extra burdens that go along with them. The ESRB takes care of its own, but these guys still have a lot to figure out about life — and love.





Note: This story was originally a reward on Patreon!