Please say hello to Brandon Witt (and Alastair) with
Mapping The Forest
Happily ever after has no map, but sometimes fate sends a guiding light.
Gabe Rice, a seasonal ranger at the Rocky Mountain National Park, can’t seem to get his life on the right trail. He loves the rugged beauty of the land, and there is no place he would rather live than the mountain community of Estes Park. But after six years, Gabe is beginning to wonder if he’ll ever get a full-time position or find love. When Gabe sees Luis—and hears his gorgeous singing—he’s compelled to meet him.
Luis Martinez, the new owner of a hotel and steak ride business in Estes, left California and a career as a therapist for a fresh start in Colorado. But even the beauty of the mountains can’t help him forget the past or move forward. Unprepared for his strong attraction to Gabe, Luis is ready to run and hide from emotions he never thought he’d have again.
Suddenly the path ahead opens to a future that looks brighter for both of them, if they can find the courage to walk forward—together.
Mapping the Forest has a huge cast of characters. Men, women, elk, a corgi. . . you get the idea. However, there’s another character that’s equally as important as all the living creatures. Estes Park, Colorado.
I have mixed emotions around Estes Park. We vacationed there when I was a kid all of the time, and I loved it. There’s a mountain where the chipmunks crawl on your lap and will sit on your hands (or head) if you feed them peanuts. There’s the steak ride that is like a rollercoaster through the mountains. There’s endless gift shops and ice cream stores.
It was always a dream of my father’s to live there (it was a vacation spot during his childhood as well). My parents announced we were relocating around my junior year in high school. Honestly, I was a pretty perfect kid, I did everything I was told. To a fault. Except on this occasion, I threw the fit of all fits and the begging sessions of all begging sessions. Though there was quite a bit of hell for me in my small Missouri town, it was all I knew, and I never wanted to leave. My parents agreed to stay until I graduated high school. One week after graduation, on my 18th birthday, we drove across Kansas and changed our lives. I’m so very grateful I got to graduate with the ones I’d known my whole life and even more grateful that my parents made us move. Looking back, it probably saved my life, literally.
The next few years, while I was there on weekends and summer breaks from college, I wandered the national park, hiking alone, and driving all over. Wondering when the miracle of being released from my sin would finally be answered, planning the wife, kids, and picket fence. Living in a mix of darkness surrounded by one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Now, as a man pushing forty, I still go to Estes Park. There’s a connection to places there for my bother and I that aren’t replicated anywhere. Though I’m a hermit, I still need to live in a city, but I can see myself, later on, when I’ve really perfected the hermit lifestyle, of ending up in Estes Park. A little cabin. A corgi or seven. Sitting on the porch drinking coffee and writing as the elk graze so close I can nearly reach out and pat their flanks. Estes Park, even though it’s the home of The Shining, was the perfect place to allow my Rocky Mountain Boys to find healing and love.
I hope you enjoy following them on their journey!
You can see more images of Estes on my Author Page.
Get the book:
Meet the author (and his corgi):
Brandon Witt's outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he's got plenty to write about....
Please join me for stop number three of the Mapping the Forest blog tour on November 3rd at Open Sky Book Reviews, to learn about a national forest ranger and a steak truck driver.
Blog Tour Stops:
October 28- MM Good Book Reviews
November 2 - My Fiction Nook
November 3 - Open Skye Book Reviews
November 4 - Prism Book Alliance
November 4 - The Novel Approach
November 7 - Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
November 9 - Love Bytes
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Each unique commenter will be added into a raffle for a $5 Amazon gift card, sponsored by the author. The contest ends on 11/7 at midnight eastern time.
Promotional post. Materials provided by the author.