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The Divine Appointment [Kindle Edition]

Jerome Teel
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

"They aren't hiding just one something, but a bunch of somethings..."

Jessica Caldwell hates the day she met him, and she hates him even more. But now the two of them will be connected forever...

Eli Faulkner is one of the best trial lawyers in Tennessee. It's what he lives for -- righting injustices. When he's called upon to defend Tag Grissom, an arrogant cardiologist accused of murder, he fi nds himself wondering, could this be more than just a case?

Holland Fletcher has always wanted to be a true investigative journalist, but he's never really stepped up to the plate. That is, until he receives an anonymous tip and is plunged into a dangerous realm of intrigue and murder that involves not only the Supreme Court, but the entire nation.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Jerome Teel has crafted an intriguing political thriller -- nice twists and turns to keep you reading. He paints vivid mental pictures that bring characters and locales to life."

-- Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee's 7th District

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Brentwood, a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee

"I didn't mean for it to happen," Jessica Caldwell said. "This is the last thing I want in my life right now."

Jessica spoke into her wireless phone. It had been resting on the nightstand at the base of a brass lamp, beside the alarm clock, two unfinished books, and the remote control to the flat-screen television in her bedroom. Jessica had reluctantly answered after seeing his number on the caller ID. It was a conversation she dreaded, but it could be avoided no longer. There was no small talk between them. Their verbal exchange was an argument from the first word. That was more than fine with her.

"But it happened, and we've got to deal with it," Jessica said.

She sat in the middle of the bed in the upstairs bedroom of her Brentwood town house. Her legs and feet were still under the covers. The rest of her body was covered with a Vanderbilt University T-shirt. The glimmer from the half-moon filtered into the room through the venetian blinds of the second-floor window. The only other light was the glow from her digital alarm clock. It was 11:45 P.M. central time on Monday, the second week of May.

Jessica had arrived home after a late dinner, changed clothes, and watched late-night television before climbing into bed. It had taken a while to wind down. She had just fallen asleep when the phone rang.

"I was being careful," she replied to the biting comment from the other end of the phone. "I've been using birth control for years."

She felt agitated and scared at the same time. No one had ever talked to her like that. Shifting her legs, she crossed them under the covers. She held her head in her left hand, the wireless phone in her right, and closed her eyes briefly.

"I told you I didn't mean for it to happen. But it's not all my fault. It took both of us, or have you forgotten?"

Jessica ran her hand through her shoulder-length auburn hair and tucked it behind her ears. Tears welled up in her brown eyes, but she refused to let them escape onto her cheeks. She refused to give him the satisfaction of making her cry. She had never loved the man on the other end of the phone, but during that conversation her feelings for him grew extremely close to hate.

No, she decided. Hate isn't strong enough. I loathe him.

"I don't want this any more than you do," she said. "I'm just beginning my career and -- "

The male voice interrupted with yelling and profanity. He had never yelled at her during their relationship. He had always been polite and kind. The yelling and profanity were almost more than she could take. It was certainly more than she expected.

Then he said something that caused her heart to leap into her throat. She swallowed hard and spoke with determination. "I'm not doing that. I don't think that's right. And it's my body. I'll do what I want to."

The flood of harsh words intensified, angering and upsetting her even more. Jessica despised the day she had met him. She wished him dead.

"What?" she screamed into the receiver, punching the mattress through the comforter and sheets. "Tell your wife? Are you crazy? Of course not! Why would I do something like that?"

Jessica couldn't fight the tears any longer. The dam burst, and they began to stream down her face.

The man on the other end of the call continued to scream at her.

They'd had a comfortable relationship until then. It wasn't love, Jessica knew, but they had found pleasure in each other's company. Then one thing had led to another...and now this had happened. He had gotten what he wanted -- her.

But no more. The physical relationship was officially over, Jessica vowed. She couldn't continue with him after this lashing, but they would always be connected. It was inescapable.

Like the relationship, the conversation needed to end as well. She was sick of talking to him. Jessica briefly held the wireless away from her ear and thought about simply disconnecting the call. She wiped tears from her cheeks with her free hand.

"I don't know how your wife found out," she finally screamed after she had endured the berating for several more minutes. "But I'm through talking about this. I'm hanging up."

The man's yelling continued as Jessica removed the phone from her ear again and pressed the End button. She turned off the power to the wireless phone and growled at it before slamming it down on the nightstand. She also angrily unplugged the landline telephone cord from the wall. After she was certain she wouldn't be disturbed anymore by the telephone -- any telephone -- she extinguished the lamp, buried her face in her pillow, and wept. What sleep she experienced the rest of the night was restless.

The White House, Washington DC

President Richard Wallace left the two black-clad Secret Service agents in the hallway and entered the residential area of the White House. It was the only place in the world where he had any privacy. And privacy had become a rare commodity since his election to the presidency eighteen months earlier. He was a handsome man. Fifty-five years old. Brown and gray hair. Strong jaw. Rugged. He worked out almost every day in the White House gymnasium.

President Wallace made his way in the dark toward the bedroom suite he shared with his wife, Lauren, and removed his suit coat and loosened his necktie as he walked. It was 1:00 A.M. eastern time Tuesday, and he had been up since 4:30 A.M. the previous day.

He activated only one lamp in the sitting area adjacent to his and Lauren's bedroom -- he was concerned that too much light might awaken her -- and draped his coat over the back of a chair. He knew one of the housekeeping staff would find it at daybreak and have it dry-cleaned and back in his closet before he needed it again. He stretched and yawned before plopping down on the sofa in the sitting room. He knew Lauren was asleep in their bedroom, so he tried to be quiet. He didn't even turn on the television. He laid his head on the back of the sofa and closed his eyes.

Despite his efforts to keep from awakening her, Lauren opened the door to their bedroom and called softly from the doorway, "Are you coming to bed?"

"In a few minutes." He peeked at her through squinted eyes. "I just need to unwind. I didn't mean to wake you."

Lauren walked farther into the room. She wore navy silk pajamas and slipped on a matching robe as she moved toward her husband. Lauren, an attractive, slender brunette with a very elegant appearance even at one o'clock in the morning, was the same age as President Wallace.

"I haven't been asleep long," Lauren said. "You need me to get you anything?"

"I'm fine. It's been a long day, with one crisis after the other." He scratched the top of his head and sat up straight. "I called Justice Robinson's family tonight. They don't think she'll make it another day."

Lauren sat on the sofa, rotated her body toward her husband, and tucked her legs under her. She propped her right elbow on the back of the sofa. He reached for her left hand.

"I hate to hear that." Concern flickered in Lauren's warm brown eyes. "I enjoyed her company on the few occasions I had to talk with her."

"Yeah, me too," he said sorrowfully. "I disagree with many of her decisions but respect her as a jurist."

"You have anybody in mind to replace her?"

President Wallace yawned. "Porter McIntosh and the general counsel's office have been compiling a list and background information for several weeks now. I'll probably start interviewing the leading candidates within the next week or so. The Supreme Court's term starts the first week of October. That's only five months away. So we don't have much time to work through the confirmation process."

"It's a big decision."

Describing it as a big decision was an understatement. Selecting a college or buying a house was a big decision. This decision was enormous. The magnitude of it was beyond description.

"It's probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, decisions I'll make as president. I'm convinced this is one of the reasons God has placed me in this position."

"How difficult will it be, do you think, to have your nominee confirmed?"

President Wallace let go of her hand and stretched his arms over his head. He shifted in his seat. His shoulders ached. His exhaustion had finally caught up with him, and he could barely keep his eyes open. He twisted his head toward Lauren.

"The confirmation process will be one of the most politically vicious and brutal events that I can imagine," he told her. "The liberal-interest groups and senators from the left will ferociously attack any candidate I put forward. It won't be pretty, I can tell you that. But it'll be worth the fight if he or she is confirmed."

Reclining against the back of the sofa again, he closed his eyes. The aching in his shoulders eased, but only barely.

"Why don't you come to bed?" Lauren insisted. "You look completely exhausted."

"I'll be there in a minute," he mumbled. "You go ahead."

Not hearing a response, he cracked his eyes open. Seeing the worry on her face, he gave her a reassuring smile.

Lauren returned the smile and kissed him on the cheek. She affectionately squeezed his hand and stood to leave. "Don't stay up too long. You have another long day ahead of you."

"I won't," he promised.

Lauren returned to their bedroom and closed the door.

President Wallace remained alone. He sat up on the edge of the sofa, lowered his head, closed his eyes, and whispered, "Lord, I know that you are in complete control of every situation. I pray for Justice Robinson and her family. Father, if it's in your will, I ask that you heal her body. Please comfort her. And, Lord, if she passes away, I ask that you comfort her family. I also pray for wisdom and your guidance in this most important decision that may now lie before me. Please provide strength and wisdom to me and also to the person you direct me to...


Product Details

  • File Size: 491 KB
  • Print Length: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (June 5, 2007)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000QJLTPU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #932,752 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RIVETING FAITH-BASED THRILLER June 4, 2007
Format:Paperback
This fast-paced legal thriller offers a riveting account of how Christians involved in politics can impact the world.

When Supreme Court Justice Martha Robinson dies of pancreatic cancer, conservative President Wallace is presented with an opportunity to impact the future of the highest law in the land. He believes God has put him in his leadership position for this Divine Appointment.

Yet not everyone is pleased with his choice, and some will do anything to stop him - including murder.

The plot unfolds in three cities: a suburb of Nashville, Washington DC, and New York City. As the pieces begin to fit together, the layers of suspense will keep readers riveted, wishing for more.

--Christian Women Online Book Buzz
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Divine Appointment June 15, 2007
Format:Paperback
I loved The Election, but The Divine Appointment is even better IMHO. Once I started the book, I could not put it down. I love to read suspenseful fiction, and there is none more suspenseful than the tale woven in The Divine Appointment. How refreshing to see someone in a high
political office take a moral stand on such a critical issue regardless
of the cost!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thriller Addressing Faith-Based Issues July 26, 2007
Format:Paperback
When a liberal Supreme Court justice dies, the sitting president sees an opportunity to leave his mark on future generations. His nominee is conservative. The senate is not. Of course, there will be a fight.

In Tennesse, a couple of lawyers stumble upon a case with ties to the goings-on in Washington.

When these two separate situations converge, fur flies.

In Jerome Teel's second novel, you'll find all the makings of a great thriller. You'll also find growth as a writer from his first effort, The Election, to this one. Fans of such household names as Tom Clancy and John Grisham are strongly encouraged to pick up a copy of this work and Jerome's debut novel, The Election. I can assure you there will be no disappointment.

I look forward to the next in what I hope with become a large bibliography of works by this rising author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing and Inspiring August 18, 2008
Format:Paperback
A young woman is talking to her married lover about the impending birth of their unplanned child. Neither one of them is happy, to say the least. The ripples from the single instance of indiscretion that led to her situation threaten to deluge the entire country with problems that could erode the very foundation of our Constitution. When the young woman, attorney Jessica Caldwell, is found murdered, it appears that her killer is Dr. Todd Grissom, and he is quickly arrested. However, his wife Anne cannot accept the notion that her husband is a murderer and hires Elijah Faulkner to defend him against the charges he faces.

As the investigation to prove Grissom's innocence proceeds, details of the deals and deceits that are going on behind the scenes prior to the selection of a new Justice for the Supreme Court begin to be revealed. Opposing President Wallace's nominee is Senator Lance Proctor. As Senate majority leader, he wants to retain his powerful position at any cost. Proctor enjoys his position of leadership, in which he is a master of maneuvers, negotiations and outright blackmail. Yet, just has he has "the goods" on many of his colleagues, there are those unelected power brokers who have the goods on him.

Written in the same pithy style as Robert B. Parker's successful Spencer series, with short chapters and economical phrasing, Jerome Teel has created a novel as timely as Fox News with themes that raise moral and ethical questions as old as time. And all but the most severely addicted mystery fans will be kept guessing until the author reveals the outcomes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Divine Appointment ~Reviewed July 17, 2007
Format:Paperback
It was an interesting story but kind of confusing, as Teel went into detail about the inner workings of the Presidency: his assistant and the security team that handles different things for the President. Teel also went through the whole election process of a Judge and the detailed workings of that process.

I found myself checking back to see who was the assistant to the President and who was the Assistant to the Majority speaker. It has many characters and a couple of court room dramas, playing out at the same time along with a couple people getting killed in their investigations. It has a good ending and in parts it was suspenseful.

But you don't leave the book thinking, "Wow - that was good." He has some really good points to make in the book about politics and religion; one being a lawyer who is faced with getting real with Jesus in all areas of his life.

Reviewed by Nora St. Laurent
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Thriller From Jerome Teel June 30, 2007
Format:Paperback
I thought he couldn't write a better book than The Election, but The Divine Appointment is awesome. A political thriller with complex relationships, exciting twists, and acts of faith. I can't wait for the next one from Jerome Teel.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars -- June 14, 2009
Format:Paperback
The Divine Appointment
By Jerome Teel
Review by Roseanna White

In Tennessee, a young lawyer is murdered, and the main suspect is Dr. Tag Grissom. Eli Faulkner is hired to defend the arrogant cardiologist, but the deeper he gets into the case, the more questions arise--and the fewer answers he's sure about. He agreed to defend Tag mainly because Anna Grissom pled her husband's case so genuinely. But even her story seems to have holes. So who really murdered Jessica Caldwell and her unborn baby?

A Supreme Court Judge has passed away, and President Wallace has a rare opportunity to appoint a replacement. He knows God has put him in his position for this very reason, but getting his Christian candidate approved requires some major game playing. Senate Majority Leader Lance Proctor would shoot down his candidate in a heartbeat rather than risk appointing a judge who might vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Unless perhaps a deal can be struck.

The Divine Appointment is a legal and political thriller that takes the readers from the crime scene in Tennessee to the White House and many places in between. We get to see from the eyes of many different characters as this intricate web of intrigue, politics, and murder plays out. It took me a while to be able to keep all those characters straight, and even longer to figure out what the two plots had to do with one another. The action was fast-paced, though, and the situation compelling. The latter half of the book especially was difficult to put down.

Tackling the debate of the constitutional right to an abortion as well as the more basic need to share the Gospel with everyone in your life--even those who may not hear you--Jerome Teel writes an involved and engrossing story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Great book, if you like this check out Randy Alcorn's "Safely Home & James Scott Bell's "The Whole Truth"
Published 4 months ago by XoReMuS
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of Money
If I wanted a sermon I will go to church. He spends more time proselytizing than developing the characters or the plot. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Duane S. Kruse
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent book. Couldn't put it down. Love books by this author. Will definitely buy the next one. When is the next book coming out?
Published on November 22, 2012 by Joan Bittle
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Christian Fiction I Have Read
I try to stay with Christian Fiction/Mystery/Thriller and I can't say enough about this book. Note only does the author do what all Christian writers do by not having a bunch of... Read more
Published on April 9, 2010 by John Kitsmiller
1.0 out of 5 stars What was I thinking!
Was looking for a good legal thriller, NOT a "Christian" thriller. Next time I'll be looking more closely.
Published on November 8, 2009 by Laura Paralegal
4.0 out of 5 stars the Divine Appointment
Hold your breath and find a comfortable recliner~~you'll hardly be able to put the book down once you are into the story.
Published on August 18, 2009 by Kowrider
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story, if you're willing to ignore the irrelevant...
I bought two of this author's books to read on my Kindle, they were categorized under legal thrillers. Read more
Published on July 11, 2009 by David Jameson
4.0 out of 5 stars The Devine Appointment
This was the first book I have read by this author. I enjoyed the book and plan to share it with my friends. I will be looking for bookd by this author again.
Published on May 12, 2009 by Thelma S. King
5.0 out of 5 stars Just an outstanding book!
Jerome Teel simply needs to write more books. This was an outstanding political thriller and if you're a Christian, with a strong core message as well. Read more
Published on March 30, 2009 by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading
I loved the suspense. His books compare with John Grisham suspense and unexpected endings. I will read more of Jerome Teel's books.
Published on December 19, 2008 by Avid Reader
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More About the Author

Jerome Teel is a graduate of Union University and received his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. The Election is his debut novel. It is a story of political intrigue and spiritual redemption. His second novel is schedule for release in 2007.

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