September 25th, 2021
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Anna Sugden | Meeting the Inspiration for Jake – Scott Stevens


One of the most common questions writers get asked is where you get your ideas. The simple answer is from all sorts of places. Not very helpful or very interesting. So, for those of you who want interesting, here is the story behind A Perfect Distraction. In particular, its hero – Jake ‘Bad Boy’ Badoletti. By now, you know I’m a big hockey fan . And I love romance novels. Combine the two and I’m in heaven.So, writing a hockey romance was an obvious step for me. But how to make it original? Well, I didn’t have to look very far – in fact, to my very own New Jersey Devils.


Former captain, Scott Stevens, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007, was one of the all-time great defencemen. He led the Devils to three Stanley Cups, won the Conn Smyth trophy for playoff MVP in 2000, played in more regular season and post-season games than any other defenseman and was named to thirteen all-star teams. He was also the first New Jersey Devils player to be honoured by having his number retired. No-one will wear no. 4 for the Devils again.

Scott’s reputation is legendary – hard-hitting, hard-playing. Check out videos of his top ten hits on You-Tube. This man has probably given more players concussion than anyone else on ice. (Sadly, it was a concussion that forced him to retire). But he didn’t take cheap shots. Scott was also a great leader and a great mentor; no-one played harder, with more commitment and intensity. Yet, Scott is a family man who adores his wife and children. Who supported his team-mates and friends off the ice quietly; without fanfare. He has the respect of all around him, both on and off the ice. A good friend, team-mate, family man – the epitome of a good man.

Tell me the many facets of Scott Stevens – the ultimate bad boy, good man – don’t enthrall you?

They inspired me to create Jake ‘Bad Boy’ Badoletti; a hero filled with similar contrasts to Scott. Jake plays hard, both on and off the ice. He is the ultimate bad boy, until a tragic accident changes him. Through the course of A Perfect Distraction, he learns that he is also a good man.

Although Scott Stevens is the inspiration for A Perfect Distraction – remember, this book is a work of fiction!

Imagine my thrill when, during the course of my research, I met Scott Stevens!


There I was, soaking up the sights and sounds of a Devils’ practice, when a familiar figure skated onto the ice. A buzz went through the small crowd of spectators as we realised who it was. After practice, Scott graciously signed autographs and posed for this photo with me. Trust me, those piercing blue eyes are as arresting in person as they are in the clips!

Now, there’s a real life hero.

A Perfect Distraction A face–off—head vs. heart

For Jake Badoletti, this year is all about his career. He has a rare second chance to make the most of being a pro hockey player, so no parties, no scandals. Too bad he's met a woman who could sideline those plans. Maggie Goodman is not his usual type—right down to being a single mom. Still, the sizzling connection with this gorgeous brunette can't be ignored.

With a little juggling and a lot of focus, Jake manages to have the game and Maggie. Then his performance on the ice suffers and a scandal erupts. Now he can't afford the distraction of Maggie...even if she is perfect for him.




5 comments posted.

Re: Anna Sugden | Meeting the Inspiration for Jake – Scott Stevens

I do love hockey... and Scott Stevens is a great guy! :)
(May Pau 2:43pm September 10, 2013)

It looks like I have another book to put on my list for my Fall reading!! Being a big Red Wings fan (sorry), a hockey book is right up my alley!! This sounds like a wonderful book, and I'm really glad that you got a chance to meet the inspiration for your book!! I hope you told him of your plans, and maybe sent him a copy, so that there's a chance his wife could read it!! I'm sure she'd be more than happy to!! I love the cover!! Couldn't be more sweet!!
(Peggy Roberson 9:22am September 11, 2013)

Hockey makes my heart beat faster and both my sons played
when young. I read about one hockey player who claims he
travels light and just takes a toothbrush on trips. You
must still be glowing having met Scott Stevens, a hero with
heart, like a lot of hockey players. Books about sports do
hold my interest and yours looks like an intensely hot read.
(Alyson Widen 12:43pm September 11, 2013)

Sounds like a book I have to read. Books about sports always seem to peak my interest.
(Carol Woodruff 3:59pm September 11, 2013)

Scott Stevens is a legend! Glad I wasn't one of those guys
he's hit lol Epic hits but he's got the skill and talent to
back up his physical play. Cheers!
(Ada H. 5:11pm September 11, 2013)

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