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Inspiration for THE PROTECTOR:

Two springs ago, while vacationing in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Massanutten Resort, a timeshare salesman named Stephen Winegard ignored the necessity of selling me a timeshare and, instead, showed me all around his hometown of Elkton, Virginia, where THE PROTECTOR takes place. Here are photos of places that inspired my story. Thank you, Stephen!

Blueridge Mtn driveHere’s what the beautiful Blue Ridge looks like in springtime when the leaves are just beginning to unfurl. Dollar GeneralThis is the Dollar General store where Eryn is forced to buy clothing for herself—clearly an unaccustomed task for her.
Protector shopping centerHere’s the Food Lion where Eryn and Ike buy groceries. Ike suffers the certainty that they are being watched. The FBI’s mobile command center is hiding behind a line of Bradford pears at the bank across the parking lot. FBI mobile commandHere’s a look at a real FBI Mobile Command Center. The one in my book is unmarked.
Ike's running trailThe trail Eryn is forced to run on at the crack of dawn. It’s a miracle she didn’t twist an ankle! Elkton Town Hall
This is town Hall in Elkton. The police station really is in the basement!
Overlook MtnThere really is an Overlook Mountain Road to Ike's CabinThe driveway to Ike’s cabin is like this, only steeper.
Ike's cabinIke’s cabin is like this one, only more run-down. Zipline courseImagine going across this on a zipline?
Melton's husbandView from the boulder on Overlook Mountain. That’s not Ike, but he’ll do. (Husband, Alan, posing). Dwayne's trailer siteDwayne’s trailer is just on the other side of Naked Creek.
Cross Keys VineyardThis is Cross Keys Vineyards, inspiration for Naked Creek Vineyards Elkton MotelThis is where my FBI agents hang out while trying to frame Ike.
Chained Cats DisgustingThis did not inspire anything in me but disgust. Look closer. These are cats chained up to little shelters. Yes, I said chained. What the heck? My guess is they are used for cat fights? There’s a cock farm right up the road…