What am I researching? Cars, motorcycles, and hot, tattooed men. Some days, it doesn’t suck to be me.

Setting your romance novel in a hot rod shop definitely has its advantages. Not the least of which is the endless hours I can spend looking at classic cars for sale and scrolling through photos of hot men with tattoos. I’m diligent. Very, very diligent, LOL.

Seriously, though, it has been a treat coming up with all the cool cars, motorcycles, and such that are being put out by the very fictional Holliday Hot Rods. When you have a setting that goes through all the books in the series, you have to do some imaginary car shopping! And I thought y’all might enjoy seeing some of the real makes, models, and inspirations that fueled my latest book The Christmas We Knew. Here are some of my favorites:

The Bike Hopper Gave Delilah When They Were Young.

The 1969 BMW R69S with the Hoske Tank. It may or may not be worth $40K like I said. But it looks like it should be!

The motorcycle Delilah bought for herself, years later.

The 1978 Triumph Bonneville. It was a rusted heap, but I’d like to think this is what it would look like when it’s done.

Hopper’s 1971 Silver GTO

Bet this would hug those mountain curves!

The 1965 Chevy Corvair Monza Hopper Rehabs for Delilah.

I’m generally not an old car buff. But this one makes my heart go pit-a-pat. Delilah’s car is just a little different. The shade of purple is a glittery aubergine color. The interior has white leather seats with tangerine, bright green, and turquoise stripes going down the middle of the seats.

The “Big Carmichael Job” they were so happy to get in at Holliday Hot Rods—The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Drogo.

It’s not such a surprise they were stoked to get in on this project. According to autoevolution, this rare model fetched nearly 800,000 Euros at auction and surely would have been a huge PR coup for Holliday Hot Rods, if they’d gotten the job.

Inspirations for Hopper’s Look

Young Hopper

Hopper, Present Day. The Older, Wiser, More Ripped Version.

Okay, I’ve gotta fess up. My character muse for Hopper Vance was Joe Mangianello, who’s a Pittsburgh boy, an all-around good dude, and one of my favorite celebrity crushes. But these photos here get the point across. Hopper is one sexy, intelligent, battle-hardened, complicated guy. And this is really the beginning. Read on. There’s so much more to explore in The Christmas We Knew. Out Now!

The Christmas We Knew Book