Welcome friends and readers to my web page!

Welcome friends and readers to my web page!

I write sweet and inspirational romances and romantic suspense novels for Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, Simon and Schuster, Howard Books, and Tule Publishing Group. I love to interact with readers daily on Facebook and Instagram.
If you’d like to be notified when I have a new release and some fun extra's sign-up for the newsletter at the side of this page by typing in your e-mail address. Don’t forget to add my e-mail address to your whitelist so it doesn’t get trapped in a spam folder. Thanks for stopping by!

Dec 31, 2014

Happy New Year Contest for Books and Chocolate

Welcome to my webpage and a new year.
In celebration of the New Year, I want to present you with three opportunities to win books and discover some new authors.
First up author Susan Mallery is hosting a New Author New Year contest on her website. Here’s the link http://www.susanmallery.com/contest.php

If you scroll down to the T’s you’ll find me!

Since you've stopped in here I'd love to give a randomly picked commented a chance to win a selection of Love Inspired books by:
Terri Reed, Allie Pleiter, Lacy Williams, Brenda Minton, Shirlee McCoy, Lenora Worth, Winnie Griggs.
And an anthology collection of short stories with delicious recipes by Love Inspired Authors:
Carolyne Aarsen,Dana Corbit, Lyn Cote, Danica Favorite, Gail Gaymer Martin, Debby Guisti, Winnie Griggs, Arlene James, Deb Kastner, Jill Kemerer, Jolene Novarro, Marta Perry, Terri Reed, Renee Ryan, Sherri Shackelford, Camy Tang, Missy Tippens, Pamela Tracy, Janet Tronstad, Debra Ullrick, Lenora Worth, Cheryl Wyatt.

Plus Moonstruck Chocolate, the best chocolate made in Oregon

For a third chance to win some books and chocolate, go to my author FACEBOOK page 

May you be blessed in 2015!


Dec 20, 2014

Her Christmas Protector

Its always fun when someone has read one of my books, in this case Her Christmas Protector, and asks me to do an interview on the website. 
Thank you Sylvia Frances for hosting me today.
She's offering a prize to a commenter. Stop by if you have a moment

"If I can't have you, no one will."

Those words from her abusive ex-husband sent Faith Delange fleeing from everything familiar. And when a bus dropped her off in the small town of Sisters, Oregon, Faith immediately found room, board and a job on an isolated ranch. But she couldn't tell her handsome new boss, Luke Campbell, what had her jumping at shadows during the joy of the holiday season—or what kept her out of his arms. She'd only put his and his frail mother's lives at stake. Faith feared her past would never let her go, but could Luke be the one to give her a future?

Dec 19, 2014

Special Ornaments

Here's a clue for the Craftie Ladies of Romance Christmas Caper

Do you have special ornaments? Very year my in-laws send my children a new ornament. Our tree is filled with these ornaments. Here are the first two that my kids received. The teddy bear is my daughters and the raccoon is my son's.
I have kept all the boxes the ornaments have come in so when the time comes I can separate out their special ornaments for their own trees. My tree will look pretty bear but that is the way life goes. 

Whose Tree is That?

One week from today is Christmas. My tree is up, presents are wrapped and the stockings hung.
And over at the Craftie Ladies of Romance blogspot we've got a challenge for you!

Join us on December 19th and match the tree to the author (Don't worry; we'll give clues). The person who gets it right first, or closest first, by 10 p.m. Mountain Time will receive a book blast.  http://craftieladiesofromance.blogspot.com

Are you up to the challenge?
Hint: Clues will be in the comments section

Dec 9, 2014

Goodreads Giveaway!

Hi, head over to Goodreads and enter to win one of 2 copies of this book.  Or better yet, head to Amazon or Barnes and Noble and buy the book.  All proceeds go to children's charities.
It would make a great gift for the romantic cook in your life.


Dec 8, 2014

To review or not to review? And a giveaway.

On Trish Perry's blog we're discussing reviews.  Do you let book reviews influence your book buying?
And in the holiday spirit of giving, I'm offering a copy of Her Christmas Protector to one commenter.
Stop by if you have a moment and learn a bit more about me and join the discussion.


"If I can't have you, no one will."

Those words from her abusive ex-husband sent Faith Delange fleeing from everything familiar. And when a bus dropped her off in the small town of Sisters, Oregon, Faith immediately found room, board and a job on an isolated ranch. But she couldn't tell her handsome new boss, Luke Campbell, what had her jumping at shadows during the joy of the holiday season—or what kept her out of his arms. She'd only put his and his frail mother's lives at stake. Faith feared her past would never let her go, but could Luke be the one to give her a future?

Dec 5, 2014

A Recipe for Romance

A great gift idea for Christmas!  Several USA Today and NYT bestsellers share stories and recipes in this collection.  But the best part...the proceeds go to BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS
Help us donate to this worthwhile non-profit organization that serves the needs of children by snagging a copy for yourself and anyone else who might enjoy 22 short romances and 22 recipes.  You might even find something new to make for Christmas!

P.S. The authors would love to hear how you like the stories and recipes. Reviews are most appreciated.

Here's the links for your convienance

Or, if you'd like to order through the Createspace store, the royalty is approx $5 to the charity: https://www.createspace.com/5124721 

Dec 2, 2014

A Christmas Concert

If you're in the Portland area please consider a night of celebration with the Westside High School Choir.  They are sooo good!

On Monday, December 15, Westside Christian High School will hold their annual Christmas Concert and Winter Art Show at the new school site, located at 8200 SW Pfaffle Street in Tigard, near the intersection of Hwy. 99 and 217. The art show is open for viewing beginning at 6 p.m. and the concert starts at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public. 

For more than a decade Westside's choir has consistently ranked among the top three choirs in the state and has achieved first in State a total of ten times. This past year they won their eighth consecutive State Championship title.

Under the direction of Will Fox and accompanied on the piano by Karin Chesnutt, Westside choir members will sing a broad sampling of Christmas pieces, including Lo How a Rose 'Er Blooming, Christmas Hallelujah, Tonight the Angels Sing, and some lighter music, like All I Want For Christmas Is You and Twas the Night Before Christmas. Three different choral groups will perform as well as students from Westside's guitar class.

"I can't think of a better way to get into the Christmas spirit," said Fox. "and an awesome way to celebrate the arts here at Westside."

The Winter Art Show will feature work from Westside students enrolled in three different art classes.

Nov 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln, in a speech given October 3, 1863 (after a Union army victory at Gettysburg during the Civil War), proclaimed that the nation would celebration an official Thanksgiving holiday each November.

This is a fun craft for a fall centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table.

Below is a link that will take to the Harlequin site where several authors, me included, tell what they are thankful for this year.


Nov 21, 2014

Featured on Choosy Book Worm

Have you checked out Choosy Book Worm?  This site has a plethora of books in all genres.  My novella HOME FOR GOOD is on sale for .99 and  is a featured book today on the front page of the site.  Take a moment to check it out.


Nov 12, 2014


Every quarter Harlequin puts out a list of milestones. So fabulous to see all the names here.
Lots of new books to read!

Milestones: August, September, October 2014
Debut Authors:
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Shear Murder by Nancy J. Cohen
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica
When I Wasn't Watching by Michelle Kelly
Just to Be with You by Sheryl Lister
The Firefighter's Appeal by Elizabeth Otto
Mary and the Marquis by Janice Preston
Out of Hiding  by Rachel Dylan
No Safe Haven by Virginia Vaughan
How to Bag a Billionaire by Nina Milne
The Life of Corgnelius and Stumphrey by Susie Brooks
Campaigning for Love by KD Fleming
The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
The Aftermath by Jen Alexander
Ghost House by Alexandra Adornetto
365 Style by Nicky Hilton
The Secret Wife by Linda Kavanagh
Out of the Night by Dan Latus
Frozen Heart, Melting Kiss by Ellie Darkins
The Pirate Hunter by Laura Martin
Rancher Under Fire by Vickie McDonough
Dead Don't Lie by Lynell Nicolello
All's Fair in Lust and War by Amber Page
Elvis Sightings by Ricardo Sanchez
Virgin by Radhika Sanghani
Dressed to Thrill by Bella Frances
Matthew's Choice by Patricia Bradley
Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh
His Texas Forever Family by Amy Woods
An American Duchess by Sharon Page
The Surgeon's Christmas Wish by Annie O'Neil
Eat, Drink and Remarry by Margo Howard
Ovenly by Erin Patinkin and Agatha Kulaga
Falling for Her Captor by Elisabeth Hobbes
Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Retrain Your Anxious Brain by John Tsilimparis and Daylle Deanna Schwartz
Triple Threat by Regina Kyle
A Deal Before the Altar by Rachael Thomas
The Delight Gluten-Free Cookbook  by Vanessa Weisbrod

5th book:Saving Felicity by Darlene Franklin
Under the Sheik's Protection by C.J. Miller 
Sweet on the Cowgirl by Rose Ross Zediker
Cowboy in the Making by Julie Benson
Changing Constantinou's Game by Jennifer Hayward
Cowboy to the Rescue by Louise M. Gouge
Secret Silver Nights by Zuri Day
Once Upon a Bride by Helen Lacey
Winning Ruby Heart by Jennifer Lohmann
Breaking His Rules by Alison Packard
Sleeping with the Soldier by Charlotte Phillips
Desert Heat by Kathleen Pickering
Take Me In Your Arms by Judy Lynn Hubbard
Stagecoach Bride by Darlene Mindrup
The Courtesan's Book of Secrets by Georgie Lee
A Princess by Christmas by Jennifer Faye

10th book:
Heart's Desire by Catherine Lanigan
Not the Boss's Baby by Sarah M. Anderson
Cats Can't Shoot by Clea Simon
Tasha's Christmas Wish by Sharon Dunn
The Party Starts at Midnight by Lucy King
A Diamond for Christmas by Joss Wood

15th book:
The Cowboy Meets His Match  by Roxann Delaney
Mr. Right Goes Wrong by Pamela Morsi
Falling for Max by Shannon Stacey

20th book:
Loyal Wolf by Linda O. Johnston
A Heart to Heal by Allie Pleiter
His for a Price by Caitlin Crews
Christmas in Smoke River by Lynna Banning

25th book:
Taming the Takeover Tycoon  by Robyn Grady
A SEAL's Fantasy  by Tawny Weber
The Agent's Surrender by Kimberly Van Meter

30th book:Getting Off by Abby Green
Expose Me by Kate Hewitt
Redeeming the CEO Cowboy  by Charlene Sands
Breaking All Her Rules by Maisey Yates
Her Montana Twins by Carolyne Aarsen
Danger at the Border by Terri Reed

35th book:Deadly Allure by Elle James
Blood Ties in Chef Voleur by Mallory Kane
Scarlet Bells by Jenna Ryan
Down to the Wire by Laura Scott
40th book:
Bridegroom Bodyguard by Lisa Childs
Hot Intent by Cindy Dees
For You I Will by Donna Hill
North Country Dad by Lois Richer

45th book:
Reclaiming the Cowboy by Kathleen O'Brien

60th book:Daring to Date Her Boss by Joanna Neil
Her Hometown Hero by Margaret Daley
It Started with No Strings... by Kate Hardy
The Valquez Bride by Melanie Milburne

70th book:
A Match Made by Baby by Karen Rose Smith
Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan 

75th book:The Argentinian's Demand by Cathy Williams

80th book:
One Tall, Dusty Cowboy by Stella Bagwell

100th book:
The Betrayed by Heather Graham
165th book:
Invincible by Diana Palmer
190th book:
Zachary Black: Duke of Debauchery by Carole Mortimer
245th book:
Dating for Two by Marie Ferrarella

Oct 9, 2014

A FACEBOOK Giveaway!

To celebrate the release of HOME FOR GOOD, I'm having a giveaway on my FACEBOOK author page! Click on over and comment to enter.  One winner will be randomly chosen to receive a $5 Starbucks gift card, four backlist titles and swag! 

To learn more about the book: http://amzn.to/ZOTbWB

A winner will be chosen on October 13! This contest is separate and not affiliated with Facebook in any way.

Oct 7, 2014

Win a $500 Visa Gift Card!

Fall is here and the holidays are just around the corner. The authors of Tule Publishing are holding a giveaway. Who couldn't use an extra $500.  http://tinyurl.com/pn574ec

Oct 6, 2014

A Sweet Romance On SALE .99!

Over the summer while waiting to hear back on a proposal that I sent to my editor (a proposal is the first three chapters and synopsis of a book that I want to write), I wrote a sweet contemporary romance novella for Montana Born Books, Tule Publishing Group.  This story is set in the fictional small town of Marietta Montana.  I had this story floating around in my head and when I was asked if I would like to be a part of the Marietta Homecoming series, I had to say yes.

For the next two days HOME FOR GOOD is for sell on Amazon for .99 cents!

Follow her dream… 
After making a deathbed promise to her father, Joelle Winslow is ready to seize the NYC business opportunity to take her jewelry designs global. All she needs to do is cash out her inherited half of the family ranch in Montana—which means convincing her childhood rival, and now co-heir, to sell or buy her out. Sparks fly when Matt, no longer a gangly, solemn teenager, but a tall, handsome cowboy with work-hewn muscles, is unwilling to give up on the legacy he's worked so hard to keep without a fight. And part of his bargain includes Joelle staying at the ranch with him through Homecoming Weekend. 

The son her father never had... 
The Winslow ranch rescued Matt Locke from a life in the foster-care system. As an orphan boy adopted by Clark Winslow and groomed to take over the ranch, he wants nothing more than to marry, raise a family, and continue the legacy of the man who became a father to him after his parents’ tragic deaths. Matt can't imagine a life anywhere else, and he definitely can't afford to buy Joelle out. Can he convince the dark haired beauty to not walk out on him and her home a second time? 

Montana Born Homecoming series 
Book1: Sing me Back Home by Eve Gaddy 
Book 2: Finding Home by Roxanne Snopek 
Book 3: Hometown Hero by Dani Collins 
Book 4: The Long Way Home by Kathleen O'Brien 
Book 5: Home for Good by Terri Reed 

Sep 24, 2014

$500 Visa Gift Card giveaway via Facebook

Wow, look at this! All this wonderful authors from Tule Publishing have a giveaway going. You can get to it from any of the authors Facebook pages. But here's the link to my friend Melissa McClones page.  

Sep 18, 2014

Novel Crossing

I had an unexpected blessing pop into my inbox this morning from my editor.  Danger at the Border was featured in Novel Crossing.

If you haven't discovered this website for finding Christian books,  take a moment and explore.

Sep 9, 2014

Danger at the Border Excerpt

Danger at the Border 
by Terri Reed
"Thank you, Randy." Biologist Dr. Tessa Cleary smiled at the young ranger sitting in the driver's seat of the Forest Service truck.

         "Sure thing, Doc." He saluted her with a grin crinkling his tanned face.

Randy had picked her up from the airport in Bellingham, Washington, and driven her on the long, windy road to the ranger station at Glen Lake in the North Cascades National Forest. At least five years younger than her twenty-eight years, Randy had kept up a running dialogue on the lake and the human inhabitants who made the forest their home. He obviously knew the area well.

Tessa had been content to listen but was glad to reach her destination and escape the confines of the truck cab. The smell of tobacco coming off the young ranger had been overpowering, even with the window down. A little queasy, she climbed from the vehicle and stretched. However, the agitated churning of her tummy wasn't due to motion sickness, but from the recent reports of fish kills and the outburst of breathing problems swimmers in Glen Lake had been experiencing.

Shielding her eyes against the late-summer sun, she surveyed her surroundings and filled her lungs with the sweet scent of fresh mountain air. Tall conifers dominated the forest, but she detected many deciduous trees surrounding the sparkling shores of the reservoir lake, as well.

A hidden paradise. One to be enjoyed by those willing to venture to the middle of the Pacific Northwest.

The lake should be filled with boats and swimmers, laughing children, fishing poles and water skis.
But all was still.

The seemingly benign water was filled with something toxic harming both the wildlife and humans.

Her office had received a distressing call yesterday that dead trout had washed ashore on the lake, and recreational swimmers were presenting with respiratory distress after swimming in the lake.

As a field biologist for the USDA Forest Service's Fish and Aquatic Ecology Unit, her job was to determine what exactly that something was as quickly as possible and stop it.

She'd convinced her boss she couldn't wait for a team to be assembled. She needed to get to Glen Lake ASAP. The team would follow but not for another forty-eight hours. She'd hopped on the next available flight from Logan, Utah, to the state of Washington to assess the reports of contamination in the water.

A wet, hot tongue licked her hand. Startled, she jerked back. A large Rottweiler stared up at her.

"Ooh, aren't you a beauty?" she cooed and scratched the dog behind the ear.

"Here she is!" A booming voice full of anticipation rang out. The dog trotted away, apparently losing interest in her as she turned her attention to the ranger station.

The building, like many she'd visited around the country, had a peaked roofline to keep winter elements from accumulating, and natural wood and material painted in earthy tones to help the structure blend in with the environment.

A mixed group of civilians and uniformed personnel gathered on the wide wooden porch.

She recognized the park ranger by his tan uniform. She figured the man in the dark brown uniform with the gold-star badge was the Okanagan County sheriff.

All eyes were trained on her. All except one man's.

Tall with dark hair, he stood in profile talking to the sheriff. Too many people blocked him from full view for her to see an agency logo on his forest-green uniform. Probably from EPA. She'd worked with agents from the Environmental Protection Agency on other cases, though she thought their uniforms were dark colored. Either way, she hoped this didn't turn into a power struggle.

The ranger, a lanky man in his sixties, and a woman of the same age dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt broke away from the crowd to hurry down the stairs toward her.

Tessa forced a composed smile, though inside she was anxious to get going. The longer they waited, the more damage to the lake and its inhabitants there would be, but she knew in situations like this it was best to appear confident and calm. Showing any sign of concern would create panic.

She didn't want anyone to freak out. At least, not until she knew what they were dealing with. There could be any number of reasons for the fish kills—the most common causes were oxygen depletion, algae, disease or pollution.

Only the last two could explain the swimmers' breathing issues.

The ranger approached with his hand out. "You must be Dr. Cleary. I'm Ranger George Harris, and this is my wife, Ellen. Thank you for coming so quickly."

"I got here as soon as I could," she said, shaking each of their outstretched hands.

"I did as you asked," George said. "All boating activity and swimming in the lake has ceased. The sheriff has officers stationed at the docks to make sure no one takes any watercrafts out."

"Good," she said. "It would be best for everyone to stay out of the lake until we know what's going on."

"You're going to find the cause?" An older man stalked forward, the Rottweiler at his heels. His bushy eyebrows lowered over dark eyes. "You're just a scrawny lady. What can you possibly do?" He threw his hands in the air. "We're doomed."

Not letting his words affect her took effort. This wasn't the first time she'd been dismissed before being given a chance. She'd hoped her career would be the one place where she'd be accepted for who she was. Unfortunately, that was a fight she constantly found herself battling.

But at least she had knowledge and expertise to back her up. "Sir, I assure you I know what I'm doing. I will get to the bottom of what's going on."

The old man harrumphed.

Ellen stepped forward and placed a hand on the old man's arm. "Henry, enough with the dramatics." She turned to Tessa. "As you can probably understand, folks around here are pretty upset. The resort at the southern tip of the lake has people bailing on their reservations right and left. The other small communities along the shoreline are suffering, as well."

"Without the tourist trade, my business will die. I'll have to sell." Henry's fists tightened at his sides. "Where am I going to go? Huh?"

Ellen patted his arm. "It won't come to that."

Tessa turned her attention to Ranger Harris. "Do you have any idea where the contamination is originating?"

He shook his head. "We haven't come across the source. At least not on our side of the lake. I'm not sure what's happening across the border." George ran a hand through his graying hair as his gaze strayed to the lake. "Whatever this is, it isn't coming from our side."

"Let's not go casting aspersions on our friends to the north until we know more. Okay, George?"

The deep baritone voice came from Tessa's right. She turned to find herself confronted by a set of midnight-blue eyes filled with curiosity.
She blinked at the attractive man towering over her. Answering curiosity rose within her. Who was he? And why was he here? She couldn't drag her gaze away from his face to check his uniform.

His gaze slid the length of her, burning a trail over her plaid shirt, jeans and work boots, and back to her eyes. She drew herself up to her full height, though she only managed to reach his shoulders, refusing to squirm beneath his perusal.

However, she was glad she'd corralled her wild curls with a clip and had applied some lip gloss when her plane landed.

She mentally scoffed. Not that she cared a whit what this man thought of her. Doing her job wasn't dependent on meeting his approval.

His well-formed lips curved upward slightly, sending a shiver gallivanting across her flesh. But she held his gaze, unwilling to let him think he could intimidate or embarrass her, despite the heat creeping up her neck.

George cleared his throat. "Dr. Cleary, this is Agent Steele with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service."

Ah. That explained his presence. Finally able to tear her gaze from his, she noted his gold badge with the unmistakable bald eagle perched at the top with its wings spread as if in flight. Considering the lake crossed the international border separating the U.S. and Canada, she wasn't surprised that a Border Patrol agent had been called.

Since 9/11, the U.S. and Canadian governments had upped the amount of personnel and security measures along its shared boundary. The forestland on both sides of the line, though rugged terrain, had seen its share of attempted illegal crossings.

"Jeff," Agent Steele said, holding out his hand.

She hesitated a fraction before slipping her hand into his. "Tessa."

His big, warm palm pressed against hers like a shock pad, sending waves of sensation up her arm.

She extracted her hand quickly and curled her fingers to disperse the disturbing reaction. Basic biology at work here. Nothing more. Just because the guy looked as if he belonged on a billboard ad rather than out in the middle of a forest didn't mean she had to get all goofy about him. She wasn't in the market for a romance. The last time she'd allowed the rush of attraction to rule, she'd ended up busted to pieces when the relationship took a nosedive like the pH level in an aquarium when exposed to too much CO2.

The gleam in his eyes made her think he'd noticed her reaction to him. She resisted the urge to put her hand to her warm cheeks. No sense in confirming her initial attraction.

"I look forward to working with you."

His smooth-as-silk voice wrapped around her. It took a moment for his words to process. "Working with me?"

She couldn't imagine what he could do to help her or the work she did. He'd only be a nuisance. A distraction she didn't want.

Instead of answering, he gestured to the man beside him. "This is Sheriff Larkin."

Tessa jerked her gaze from the too-handsome Agent Steele to acknowledge the sheriff with a handshake. "Sheriff."

"We're counting on you to deal with this," the sheriff said.

"Have there been any fires in the area recently? The contamination could be chemicals used in fire-fighting that seeped into the soil or into the water."

Sheriff Larkin shook his head. "No. Not for a couple of years."
So much for that theory. "I'll need to test samples of the water and the soil along the lakeshore on both sides."

"I'll have a boat ready to take you wherever you need to go," Ranger Harris promised.

"You have the fish samples?" She'd asked that they collect as many different samples as possible from various points along the lakeshore. That way she would have a better chance of figuring out if the contamination was widespread or localized to a specific section.

"Yes. I have at least two dozen waiting for you."

Anxiety spurted through her. She was careful to keep her voice even. "Two dozen dead fish?"

"Yes, ma'am," George stated. "From up and down both sides of the lake all the way to the borderline. Each is labeled where on the lake it came from, like you'd asked."

Her stomach sank. So much for hoping the contaminant was limited and hadn't had a chance to cover too large a portion of the lake or to settle in the sediment. With that many dead trout turning up, the toxin had spread.

She looked at Agent Steele—Jeff. "You'll need to alert the Canadian authorities that the lake is contaminated."

Agent Steele exchanged a glance with the sheriff. "We've communicated to the Canadians that there is an issue with the lake water. They are taking appropriate precautions."

"Could an oil or gasoline spill cause the fish to die?" Ellen asked.

"And swimmers to get sick?" George added.
Tessa shifted her gaze to the older couple. "Has anyone reported a spill?"
George shook his head.

"I doubt a tourist would report an accident like that. Too eager to save their own bacon than protect the water," Henry shot out.

"What happens if it is a spill?" Ellen asked.

"We'd skim the spill from the surface by using a boom or skimmer device that sucks up the contaminant." Cleaning up even a small portion of the lake wouldn't be an easy task, but it would be doable.

Jeff's intense gaze held hers. "And if it's not oil or gas? How do we clean it up?"

"If the pollutant has settled into the sediment, then dredging will be necessary."

"How long will that take?" George asked.

Looking at the lake, she said, "I don't have a definitive answer."

"Your best guess?" the sheriff interjected.

"I don't make guesses," she said.

"Try," Jeff prodded.

The weight of his stare pried the words from her. "Considering the size and depth of the lake, maybe a week or two. Maybe more."

George groaned.

"Summer's not over yet. We still have several weeks of good weather. We can't afford to lose the tourism," Ellen said, distress ringing in her tone.

"See, I told you, we're doomed!" Henry interjected in a loud roar.

Tessa held up a hand. "I won't know what to do or what we're dealing with until I locate the toxin and assess the damage."

"What do we do first?" Jeff asked, his intense gaze drilling into her.

"We don't do anything." Tessa hoped he understood where the boundary line lay. She didn't need him getting in her way. She turned to Ranger Harris. "I need to examine the fish."