The Witch's Debt (Coal Mountain Book 1) by Edward Rollins
It’s been ten years since Jake Calhoun, scion in an ancient line of witches, turned his back on the obligations of his family and fled the town of Pineville, West Virginia. After ten years spent among dark magic and questionable company, only the death of a close family member — and the cryptic message brought to him by her ghost — could bring him home again.
"She needs you."
Who is ‘she’ and what does ’she’ need from him? Those three words and a sense of respect leave Jake with little choice, but to return to where ancient responsibilities demand he unravel the meaning of the message, even as he faces the reasons why he left in the first place.
In the middle of it all, a string of murders set Jake on a collision course with a malicious influence willing to kill to get what it wants and more powerful than he's ever seen. Like it or not, Jake has no choice but to chase the meaning of the message and find the killer before anyone else dies. In his search for answers, he is confronted by the consequences of his past actions, the strained family ties that drove him to run, and the woman he left behind- — the woman he still loves.
Josette Reuel's Review
I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy of this book in order to provide feedback to the author. This isn't my typical genre of book but, oh my, I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I was pulled into the story. This book is full of suspense, magic, and second chances.
The characters were dynamic and well-rounded. I grew to know them as the story progressed and was cheering and yelling at them by the end. The main character Jake starts out as a selfish, hedonist but by the end, we learn who he truly is and hope for him to find the answers he seeks.
The story opened my eyes to how we, as the children of our parents, often don't stop to think about our responsibility to the past, to our ancestors, or to the future generations of our family. By the end, I was visiting my parents and giving them a hug and offering a hand.
"The Witch's Debt" twines together the ideas of a great suspense novel with the culture and legends of West Virginia.