BOOK TOUR: Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood

Author: Jayne Lockwood
Book: Euphoria
Page/Word Count: 319 pages, 96K words
Categories: Fantasy/Paranormal/Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Cover Artist: Emmy Ellis
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It might take the arrival of an alien being to remind an isolated man what it means to be human.

With a stressful job, his boss breathing down his neck for profitable results, and an estranged wife and daughter, scientist Kurt Lomax doesn’t think life can get much harder. Until a nonbinary extraterrestrial with an otherworldly beauty, captivating elegance, and a wicked sense of humor inconveniently shows up at his apartment.

Vardam watched the destruction of their own world, and they don’t want to see the same thing happen on Earth. They are lonely, and feelings soon develop between them and the supposedly straight scientist—feelings Kurt reciprocates, much to his confusion.

The arrival of cheery interpreter Tom Soames—whose Goth appearance belies a gentle heart—is like a ray of sunshine in the somber lab. He acts as matchmaker for man and tentacled extraterrestrial, unwittingly instigating a national crisis when the news breaks out.

But will a misunderstanding ruin Kurt and Vardam’s chances for happiness together—along with the hope for peace between humanity and the Var?

Warnings: some description of historical child abuse

About Jayne Lockwood:
Jayne Lockwood - AuthorJayne Lockwood has always wanted to learn to fly. Spending free time honing her Peter Pan skills on an aerial hoop, she also creates flights of fancy in her books, mingling sex and romance with angst and a healthy dash of dark humor.

Since she was a small child, Jayne has always sympathized with the villain. It all began with Alice Cooper, even though she was banned from listening to his music by her mother. From wanting to sail away with Captain Hook or redeeming the Child Catcher, the antihero has been an enduring fascination ever since.

After a two-year sojourn in New Jersey and two decades of child-rearing, Jayne is an outwardly respectable member of an English village community. She also is one of the founder members of WROTE podcast, which is dedicated to showcasing LGBTQA authors and their work, and now writes book reviews as well as diverse fiction.

She is also in a sub/dom relationship with a cat called Keith.

Guest Post: The Creation of An Alien
Hi everyone! I’m very grateful to be here, and it’s because of my new novel, Euphoria. The book has invariably been described as a Dystopian, fantasy, humorous, science fiction romance about an extra-terrestrial who wants to save Earth from self-destruction. Yes, there is romance in it, but that isn’t the whole story. I’d rather call it genre fiction and let the reader decide what the hell they just read…

I’m not used to talking about myself so I’m going to talk about my main character instead. These are the times I wish I could draw, as I see Vardam so clearly in my head. What I didn’t want to do was fall into the trap of making them almost human (chest hair, great abs, cute face – but green.) or too alien (think Predator with added tentacles and muscular hotness) or a Paul-esque smartass with large black eyes and insipid skin-tone. So here goes.

  1. Tentacles. That’s a given. In fact, the whole book stemmed from wondering if tentacles could work in an alien/human romance. I mean, really work, and not be slightly silly, or gratuitously pornographic. Also, they needed a purpose. Vardam uses theirs for various purposes: hunting and gathering, illustration, defense and annoying humans.
  2. Vardam does not conform to human gender because they’re alien, so it made sense for them to be nonbinary. This threw up another set of challenges, mainly because some people I spoke to said they would struggle with them/their or zem/zir pronouns. In the end though, you have to go with gut instinct. There will always be readers who can’t see past the pronouns. I went with them/their because after a few false starts, it came naturally the more I got to know who Vardam was.
  3. Because I’m a cat lover, they have a somewhat feline appearance, with a cleft top lip and pert, triangular ears. That is where the resemblance ends, however. I thought about a tail, but it seemed too Avatar. Their skin is iridescent, changing colour according to their environment. Vardam is also very tall and slender, with the strength of 20 humans. Their tentacles are hidden within their fingers and are unsheathed only when needed. This saves them getting in the way of the action until necessary.
  4. Vardam is highly intelligent and curious, yet also subject to unfamiliar feelings when they see Professor Kurt Lomax for the first time in person. This will lead to misunderstandings, but NO SPOILERS. I can say that Vardam does have something akin to a schoolgirl crush on the professor, but with the future of Earth at stake, there seems to be little time for them to explore these intriguing possibilities.
  5. Their language is sophisticated, not dissimilar to British or American Sign Language. Their fully formed voice boxes mean they can make sounds, mostly warning gestures or exclamations of pleasure, but the main part of their communication is done with body language and facial expressions. They also have a strong sense of intuition, and as one people, the Var can communicate with each other perfectly with little use for sound.

In the end, I wanted an alien that readers could empathize with and have sympathy for. As Vardam says in one intimate conversation with Kurt,

“Vardam cry so much since arriving on Earth. Now almost human.”

Not quite. Their healing powers, tears of gold, their talent of drawing illuminated images in the air and their inability to tell untruths make them totally not of this world. Even though they are aware of the significance of their power, they have no desire to use it for anything other than good for mankind.

I would love to hear your thoughts about what makes a good alien character, and your favourites, either from books you’ve read or written! Any authors mentioning their own books will get a shout out on my blog, Hollow Hills Publishing.

Where to find Jayne Lockwood:

Jayne Lockwood Amazon Author Page Jayne Lockwood on Facebook Jayne Lockwood's Facebook Author Page Jayne Lockwood on Goodreads Jayne Lockwood on Twitter Jayne Lockwood Website
Jayne is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this tour – enter via Rafflecopter for a chance to win.
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One thought on “BOOK TOUR: Euphoria by Jayne Lockwood

  • August 14, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Thank you for promoting Euphoria! I hope your readers enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    Jayne x


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