JAY — John F. Balser Jr. has recently published “Mystery on Macomber Hill,” a novel for teens and young adults that is set in North Jay in June 1957.

Balser lives in Milo, but when he was 9 years old, he attended school in North Jay while his father was foreman of the dairy farm owned by Myron and Everett Wright. The farm was at the top of Macomber Hill. The barns and fields are gone, but the house Balser lived in is still there.

The setting for Balser’s story is Macomber Hill and Spruce Mountain. He used many references to the area and some remembrances of childhood experiences in the book, but the story itself is fictional.

Balser lived on several farms growing up and his grandparents had a farm in Chesterville.

He has four older brothers and a younger sister, although the book features a family of four.

In June 1957, life on the “Hill” turns exciting when 11-year-old Jake finds an old jar hidden in the cellar. The jar contains a paper that propels him and his brother, Billy, into a summer full of fun, frustration, intrigue and discovery. A horse stall, an old cigar box, a rusty nail and some spruce trees are all clues that lead to their final triumph. With help from their Uncle Dave, they slowly decipher the “Mystery on Macomber Hill.”

The story depicts farm life during the 1950s. The lifestyle was based on hard work and love and respect for family. Everyone worked together with very few complaints. It was a hard life, but there were also good times while growing up on a farm. A little mystery and adventure have been added for excitement. The book is targeted for ages 8 to 14, but can also be enjoyed by those who are older.

“Mystery on Macomber Hill” is available on Amazon.com worldwide for $14.99, with special offerings listed over the next several months. Kindle digital download is $5.99 but there will be a free download offering April 11 and 12.

“Mystery on Macomber Hill” should also be available in some major book stores in about six weeks. The book can be ordered through any bookstore. It is also available though CreateSpace eStore at www.createspace.com/5358826.

Balser hopes to offer local appearances and book signings in the near future. He asks that anyone who purchases or downloads the book write a review on Amazon.com.

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