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Authors: Sally John

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A Time to Surrender

BOOK: A Time to Surrender
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© 2009 by Sally John and Gary Smalley

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published in association with Alive Communications, 7680 Goddard Street, Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO, 80920, www.alivecommunications.com.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected]

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
®
‚ © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Publisher’s Note: This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. All characters are fictional, and any similarity to people living or dead is purely coincidental.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

John, Sally, 1951–
  A time to surrender / Sally John and Gary Smalley.
    p. cm.—(Safe harbors ; bk. 3)
  ISBN 978-1-59554-430-8 (softcover)
  I. Smalley, Gary. II. Title.
  PS3560.O323T57 2009
813'.54—dc22

2009014752

Printed in the United States of America

09 10 11 12 13 RRD 6 5 4 3 2 1

Contents

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-one

Twenty-two

Twenty-three

Twenty-four

Twenty-five

Twenty-six

Twenty-seven

Twenty-eight

Twenty-nine

Thirty

Thirty-one

Thirty-two

Thirty-three

Thirty-four

Thirty-five

Thirty-Six

Thirty-seven

Thirty-eight

Thirty-nine

Forty

Forty-one

Forty-two

Forty-three

Forty-four

Forty-five

Forty-six

Forty-seven

Forty-eight

Forty-nine

Fifty

Fifty-one

Fifty-two

Fifty-three

Fifty-four

Fifty-five

Fifty-six

Fifty-seven

Fifty-eight

Fifty-nine

Sixty

Sixty-one

Sixty-two

Sixty-three

Sixty-four

Sixty-five

Sixty-six

Sixty-seven

Sixty-eight

Sixty-nine

Seventy

Seventy-one

Seventy-two

Epilogue

Acknowledgments

Reading Group Guide

About the Authors

For our troops and their families

OTHER NOVELS IN THE SAFE HARBOR SERIES:

A Time to Mend
, Book One
A Time to Gather,
Book Two

You were taught . . . to put off your old self . . .
to be made new . . . to put on the new self.
—Ephesians 4:22–24

Beaumont Family Tree

The Beaumont family

Ben and Indio—
Parents and grandparents.
BJ
—Older son, MIA for thirty-five years.
Max and Claire
—Younger son and daughter-in-law.

Manage the Hacienda Hideaway, a retreat center near San Diego, California.

Max and Claire’s four grown children

Erik
—Former television news anchor, now a freelance film producer.
Jenna
—High-school English teacher. Married to
Kevin Mason
.
Danny—
Lexi’s twin. Software guru and surfer.
Lexi (Alexis)—
Danny’s twin. Gardener. Artist.

Others

Kevin Mason—
Jenna’s husband. A Marine, assigned overseas.
Rosie Delgado—
San Diego police officer. Erik’s girlfriend.
Tuyen Beaumont—
Ben and Indio’s granddaughter.
Nathan Warner—
Lexi’s friend. Journalist.
Skylar Pierson—
A newcomer to Hacienda Hideaway.
Amber Ames—
Jenna’s friend and coworker.
Cade Edmunds—
Jenna’s principal.
Hawk Roman—
Danny’s coworker and roommate.

One

F
ew things unhinged Jenna Beaumont Mason. She could do cool, calm, and collected. She could do serene. She could go with the flow. She could chill.

Honestly, she taught grammar and John Donne’s poetry to sixteen-year-olds!

“Jenna Mason.”

A rushing noise whistled through her head again. Her ears burned. The base of her throat pulsated in sync with a wildly erratic heartbeat. She flicked her straight black hair off a shoulder.

“Jenna?” Behind the podium onstage, the high school principal, Cade Edmunds, smiled in a gentle, expectant way.

Which was totally out of character for him.

Which totally defined the insanity of the moment.

Jenna sat with ninety-nine other abnormally subdued faculty members in the high school auditorium. Ten of those people, including herself, were related to military personnel, all currently deployed overseas. Ten teachers who had an infinite number of other things to do before the first day of school
tomorrow
. Ten teachers who had countless
better
things to do than sit around while their principal singled them out for a salute to the armed forces—aka
pity party
.

Cade extended his hand, palm up, waiting.

Beside her, the sophomore lit teacher touched Jenna’s arm. The woman’s eyes looked like overfilled bathtubs.

Evidently Jenna’s fairy godmother had taken a hike. There would be no
poof
ing her from this wretched scene. Jenna rose to her full five-eight height, careful not to slouch, and stood rigidly next to her seat.

“As most of you know,” Cade said, “Jenna’s husband is Kevin Mason, last year’s winning varsity football coach and PE teacher here at Sundance High. He’s a Marine, serving in . . .”

Jenna tuned out her boss and glanced around. Two others stood with her. That left seven to go. Seven more loved ones to name along with their branch, rank, unit, platoon, or whatnot numbers. Seven more foreign, unpronounceable locations to reference.

John Donne had it all wrong. “No man is an island”? Yeah, right. She disagreed. She was totally an island, hemmed in by huge swells of dread. The warm fuzzies directed her way at that moment could not build bridges over such waves. Applause could not warm her bed or explain why he left or fill the lonely dinner hour night after night.

Jenna blinked rapidly, focused on Cade Edmunds, and blinked some more.

The principal was a good guy. Great with the students, respected by his staff, liked by most parents. His tearing her inside out in public, however, was the most idiotic thing he’d ever done.

She remained deadpan throughout his presentation and imagined chiding him. The mental exercise worked. She made it through seven more intros, ears still aflame but serenity intact. Yes, Jenna Beaumont Mason could do cool.

And then the applause evolved into a standing ovation.

Okay. So her mascara was getting smudged. Not a problem. Jenna Beaumont Mason could do damage control, no sweat.

T
he scolding and makeup repair were both put on hold. As soon as Cade ended the meeting, several teachers surrounded Jenna, offering hugs and words of gratitude and concern. Finally the last one stepped front and center.

“Jenna! Oh!”

The woman was vaguely familiar. She had short, bouncy blonde curls and a perky demeanor to match. Wasn’t she a cheerleader coach?

“Jenna, I am so, so sorry I didn’t get with you last spring when Kevin left, but Joey shipped about the same time.”

Joey?

“You know how crazy life is when that’s all happening. I mean, to tell your husband good-bye for a year—” She mashed her lips together, shook her head, and then gave her shoulders a quick shrug. “So anyway. You made it through the summer, too, and here we are. Trust me, work is a godsend. At least it always has been for me.”

“Mm.” Jenna hummed a noncommittal reply that got lost in the woman’s monologue.

“Put me in a lab with a bunch of kids and I’m content as a gecko with a cricket in its gullet.”

Science department. Biology. Ann, Angie, Abby, Alison?

“Of course when we cover explosives, the kids are all over it. They say ‘Mrs. Ames, why can’t we build just a little bomb?’ Then I’ve got Joey right there in the room with me. It’s his specialty. Bombs, explosives. Not that I tell them that, but you know what I mean. I can’t help but imagine what he’s up to over there.”

Amber Ames. Chemistry.

“Jenna, did you notice that out of the ten of us introduced, you and I were the only ones with spouses in the military? Everyone else had an in-law or a cousin. I bet this is your first, huh?”

“First?”

“Deployment.” She pointed at one of her own eyes. “I gave up mascara the second time Joey went.”


Second!

“This is his third. That I know about, anyway.” She leaned toward Jenna and lowered her voice. “He’s a Navy SEAL. What am I going to do?”

Jenna felt an arm brush hers and turned to see Cade.

He said, “Amber, you could join up.”

BOOK: A Time to Surrender
2.08Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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