Contest
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Enter as many times as you'd like. The first person to guess the topic of the trilogy will receive an autographed set of the three books upon publication.

NOTE: Family members and any of the few who've entered my office are ineligible, as they have been privy to more information than the rest of you.

KEEP SCROLLING FOR MORE HINTS.
Hints
Entry Form
 
Hint 1:
“Truth. It is not thy calling. It is thy siren, and thee cannot resist her.”
--the hero's wife

 
Hint 2:
The historic Marnoch homestead in Helotes, Texas.

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What do you think my trilogy is about?
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Hint 3:
The graves of most of the U.S. Army officers and enlisted men who died while based at Fort Wallace, Kansas, have been moved to Fort Leavenworth. 
The majority of the remaining graves are those of civilians who lived in the vicinity or travelers who passed away while en route to other destinations. 
The well-maintained wooden gravemarkers hint at 
sad and interesting personal stories.

 
Hint 4:
Pioneers on the Oregon Trail used horses, mules, and oxen; but castrated bull oxen were especially favored for pulling wagons, as they were manageable and hardy, and they were less expensive than horses and mules. Oxen could keep moving through snow or mud, and they could survive on the sage and grasses of the vast prairies. They could also stand idle for long periods of time without damaging their feet or legs. The typical tack employed with horses and mules was not needed with oxen; however, the teamster had to be forceful and consistent with the use of oral commands and a whip or goad. These animals maintained a steady pace of two miles per hour, day in and day out, taking the pioneers and their provisions to destinations some 2,000 miles west of the trailhead at the Missouri River.

 
Hint 5:
During the late 19th century, the town of John Day, Oregon, was home to more than 1,000 Chinese immigrants, most of them gold miners. The building that now houses the museum at the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site was built in the 1870s and served as a general store, medical clinic, community center, and residence; today it includes one of the best surviving examples of a 19th-century Chinese apothecary. Bordered by the Strawberry Mountains to the south and the Blue Mountains to the east, this scenic and historic town of less than two square miles sits at an elevation of 3,087 feet. The surrounding area is known for its paleontological riches.

 
Hint 6:
The American Philosophical Society, located in Philadelphia, was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin and others as the first learned society in the United States. The Society attracted some of the country’s finest minds, including several Founding Fathers: George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James McHenry. Its purpose was the promotion of useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through scholarly research, professional meetings, community presentations, publications, and library resources. Still active today, this eminent scholarly organization has held an important role in American cultural and intellectual life for nearly 275 years.


 
Hint 7:
Upon his death in London, one of the characters in my trilogy was buried in Westminster Abbey. Three months later, in accordance with his will, his remains were re-interred in that American town known for its late-17th-century witch trials: Salem, Massachusetts.

 
Hint 8:
Populus fremontii, commonly known as Fremont’s cottonwood or the Alamo cottonwood, is a riparian tree that naturally grows near almost any water feature in the western United States below 6,600 feet in elevation. This fast-growing tree can reach heights of 39 to 115 feet and trunk diameters approaching five feet. For centuries, these characteristics—proximity to water, rapid growth, and large size—plus the plant’s tenacity and rampant reproduction gave the cottonwood an essential role in the sustenance of human and animal life west of the Mississippi; for where there were cottonwoods, there was shelter and—more important—water.