Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Miranda Lowell, the heroine of Spark of Attraction from the Pets in Space anthology. Miranda is the archivist for the New Utopians, a group of colonists. She brings with her a little white fluffy dog named Sparky. He sits calmly on her lap, but she seems a little jumpy.
Cara Bristol: Are you all right?
Miranda: [Clutches her dog tighter to her chest]: Yes. I’m just a little nervous after what happened on Verde Omega.
Cara Bristol: I’m sorry. I heard about attack by aliens, the massacre. You’re fortunate you survived.
Miranda: If not for Sparky, I wouldn’t have. He attacked the alien who cornered me. Because of Sparky, I was able to kill it and get away. He looks like a little ball of fluff, but he’s fierce.
Cara Bristol: You’re safe now on the Crimson Hawk, which is taking you to the space station outpost, correct?
Miranda: Yes, but unfortunately, Sparky, um, also bit the Crimson Hawk’s captain. Dante Stone is not the warmest man around. People call him Cold Stone.
Cara Bristol: Oh no. What did the captain do then?
Miranda: He ordered me to keep Sparky powered down.
Cara Bristol: Powered down? You mean--
Miranda: Sparky is a K9-500 artificial intelligence companion model. My father designed and programmed him to protect me. I wanted to follow the captain’s orders, but having Sparky animated is a big comfort to me. If I stay in my quarters, nobody will know I disobeyed orders.
Cara Bristol: Mums the word!
Miranda is an archivist who keeps records of the colonists’ activities. If you were going to colonize a planet, what job would you want to have?
Spark of Attraction blurb
Memory: intact. Cognitive function: enhanced. Emotion: erased.
After becoming a cyborg, Captain Dante Stone didn’t think he’d ever feel again, until a traumatized young woman and a ball of synthetic fur named Sparky helped him to love.
An excerpt from Spark of Attraction, Pets in Space
“How’s your leg?” she asked.
“Good as new.”
“I’m so sorry about what happened.”
“Don’t worry about it. With my nanos, the bite wound had healed by the next morning, and all traces had disappeared the day after. Just give me your word you’ll keep the bot powered down.” A cyborg, he’d healed fast, but if the K9-500 bit a human, the outcome wouldn’t be so good.
She crossed her heart. “I learned my lesson. I had assumed when you grabbed me to keep me from falling, it triggered a protective response in Sparky, but he hasn’t been performing to spec lately.”
“You need to get that checked out.”
“I intend to when I get to the space station. He’s the only thing I have left. My father gave him to me before he died.”
“On Verde Omega—”
“No, no,” she added quickly. “He died when I was teenager. I’ve had Sparky ever since, and he saved me from the Tyranians. He bit one of them, too.”
Thank goodness she had had the bot. “Maybe I could examine him?” Dante offered.
What was he thinking? He needed to break off all association with this woman—not find ways to spend time with her. A relationship between the captain and a refugee passenger would be inappropriate—not to mention short-termed. Once the ship docked, they would go their separate ways, as they should. And if he already ached at the idea of never seeing her again, how much worse would it be if he got to know her better?
“I don’t understand.” She frowned.
“We have an android lab. I’m no coding expert, but as a cyborg, I run diagnostics on my own programming regularly. I can examine…uh…Sparky for anomalies, red flags.”
Was he crazy? He couldn’t fraternize with a passenger! Tell her never mind. Forget what I said.
“You’d do that?” Her face lit up with a beautiful, glowing smile. For the second time since he’d met her, he felt as if he’d been punched in the chest. If she ever smiled at him like that...well, she was, but only because he’d offered to run a diagnostic on her robot.
“Let me see when I have the time,” he backpedaled. Before he extended any more stupid offers, he excused himself. “I’ll let you know what Lieutenant Commander Brack finds out,” he said, and rose to his feet. “I must return to the bridge.” He fled the observation deck.
Cara Bristol’s website: https://carabristol.com
Cara Bristol’s newsletter: http://eepurl.com/9aRJj
Cara Bristol on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cara.bristol.3
Cara Bristol’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Cara-Bristol/e/B004D8KZTQ/
New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers nine amazing adventures that will capture your imagination and help a worthy charity. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!
10% of the first month’s profits go to Hero-Dogs.org. Hero Dogs raises and trains service dogs and places them free of charge with US Veterans to improve quality of life and restore independence
Available: Oct. 11, 2016