Much as I love romance books, I assure you that "happily ever after" never was one of my youthful daydreams. I was too busy spinning wheels trying to reach an elusive career goal I wasn't prepared for - and had no idea how to score anyway.  Not growing up with HEA on my mind is one of the reasons I wish somebody'd've been kind enough to front me a Harlequin Presents or something when I was an adolescent; everything would have been so very much different if I'd've found romance earlier.

Alas, it's never a good idea to look back w/ regret.  I mean, lots of us had goals we set back in school which drove us.  Some, or most of them, had nothing to do with what we actually wanted for ourselves, and almost everything to do with what we were gonna' show "those idiots" who didn't get how terrific we thought we were.

That possibly misguided kind of obsession with getting our hearts' desires is at the center of Zoe Le Verdier's tasty little erotic read, "Seven Year List  ."

Julia Sargent had big dreams of a career as an important photojournalist when she graduated seven years earlier, but now she's discontent.  Julia's found some fame and fortune as a "gotcha" celeb photog - and is just weeks from marrying a handsome and famous actor - but she's disappointed in herself and fears she compromised her dreams for the realities of working for a living.

When Julia's tight-knit group of chums from school hooks up for a reunion, she's thrown together with the two most important boys - now men - from her past: Nick, the first love who still turns her on, and Steve, the intense, brilliant-and-now-wildly-successful entrepreneur who loved her as a friend, but now tempts her as a possessive - and possibly obsessive -- lover.

Seven years before, Steve urged all the school chums to create lists of seven goals they'd reach before their current reunion.  And he's still got one goal to conquer, a final challenge only Julia can help him achieve.  

As far as Steve's concerned, Julia either can go along with his wildly sensual plans quietly and with pleasure - or at his mercy.  Either way, the outcome will be one that changes both their lives, and leaves the reader certain that a man who's waited long and worked hard for his heart's desire just may be entitled to winning it by any means necessary - even if those include playing delightfully dirty.

What goals did you set when you graduated from high school or college that you achieved?  Which goals did you set that you look back on and laugh about? Feel free to include proposed marriages to Jon Bon Jovi and James Van Der Beek.

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎11-20-2009 01:22 PM

I was going to be an investigative journalist, a la Jessica Savitch (remember her?) or Woodward and Bernstein. It didn't take long to realize while I wanted to write, I didn't want to be a newspaper reporter. I loved the publishing business, though, and ended up in ad sales for a number of magazines and newspapers, including London's TIMES and the Chicago Sun-Times. Now I'm wishing I'd tried fiction writing long ago -- the bug was always there, I just didn't recognize it.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎11-20-2009 02:17 PM

You know, Becke, my husband and I had a discussion this am about whether newspapers are the last bastion of great journalism. I'm crazed for the greats.  But there's good journalism going on online. Still so much of it's rogue. Dave's thought is, w/out lg orgs, who's going to be the next Bernstein/woodward, investigative great, etc.  It's tough when one doesn't have the brand and editorial team behind the talent to back up the work.  It'll take a while before it works out. Very interesting stuff to watch.

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎11-20-2009 02:40 PM

Ah Becke the perfection of hindsight, something we all have although I think you are much more stable than our friend Ms. Savitch.

For me I wanted to be a teacher until very astutely my advisor in college pointed out that I'd only end up on the front page of the newspaper then in jail after I blew the entire class to kingdom come. I changed my major to business which was what everyone who didn't know what they wanted were doing in the early 70's. I didn't dream of the HEA either since I was terribly allergic to children at the time and had a terrible aversion to the males of the species always knowing what was "good for me" and not afraid of telling me. So I knew in years to come I'd be one of the crazy cat ladies who never married and who were kindly called eccentric and went to work in a hospital as a purchasing agent and have had several major and minor career changes since then but I've stayed in business services. And I found love although there have been several times in my 30 year marriage that I still look fondly at the cat lady scenario.

My marriage proposals were from Sean Connery, Yul Brenner and believe it or not Pat Boone.



by Moderator becke_davis on ‎11-20-2009 02:46 PM

"my advisor in college pointed out that I'd only end up on the front page of the newspaper then in jail after I blew the entire class to kingdom come."


Debbie - I practically spewed my tea all over the computer at that one.


When it comes right down to it, I'm still in the process of reinventing myself. Getting married was the only thing I did young -- I didn't write my first gardening book until I was 45, didn't try my hand at fiction until 55.


BTW, love the premise of this book. Fabulous title/cover, too! 

by PrincessBumblebee on ‎11-20-2009 02:51 PM

Becke, that's an awesome background. And your definately still in the industry we all love, hehe.

Michelle, I think you're one of the journalists your talking about, hehe.

dhaupt, I think the cat lady you're talking about is me, hehe.

Me, I never really was sure what I wanted to do in high school. I just knew that I was too cool for school, hehe. And, yes, those skanks never knew what they were missing, hehe. I did kind of have dreams of going to France and becoming an interpreter and then being swept off my feet by some hunky billionare. Or being a vet and being swept off my feet for some hunky cop after I save the life of his K-9 partner, lol! Needless to say, I didn't realize how much those romance novels my grandma 'forced' me to read effected my fantasize and still do. Now I write about those heroes rescuing the day. Ok, the heroines definately help. Though I'm not published yet, my entire life revolves around books, so I figure one day I will be! Right? Dreams do come true! And, most of all, it's fun to me, so that's what's important! dreams revolved more along the lines of marriage proposals from Luke Skywalker, hehe. I know, but no laughing! *grin*

by SimplyAli on ‎11-20-2009 03:27 PM

Wow, I had a lot of goals when I was in high school... maybe not career wise, but as far as my life went, lol. I figured that I'd get engaged by the time I was 24, married by 25yrs of age, pregnant after 26yrs of age... um, yeah, I'll be 27 years old next year and I've got nothing, lol. But, quite honestly, I'm actually a bit glad I'm not married with children, yet. It's not the right time for me :smileywink:

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎11-20-2009 03:43 PM

Debbie, Pat Boone was very suave in those bucks!  Ah, the "eccentric" cat lady. Hilarious that it still appeals to you through marriage. Liberal arts also was like the 'business degree' you're talking about.  Or, well, some might call my major of fine arts/writing something similar, but I was just glad to graduate, ya know?  I'm wondering whether young guys still tell women 'what's good for them,' or if they're too befuddled by these awesome strong young women to think that way?  And I like the idea of career changes as ways to get to try new or newish things if we're able.  So, I take it you wanted to be a chem teacher? 

We're all inspired by your publishing career, becke.  When did you do the N'Sync book?  And, yeah, the cover's hot.  The 'undressed while he's still dressed' fantasy's hot right now. Love the wedding ring.

by Blogger Michelle_Buonfiglio on ‎11-20-2009 03:53 PM

Those were some good romance-based fantasies, principessa!  Your grandma rocks.  See, she could've loaned me some of those when I was a teen and I'd've been so much happier!  Ah, Luke.  I was a Han Solo girl.  And here I thought you went for the bad boys...

HI, SimplyAli! Great to see you!  I think it sounds like you're right where you need to be. :smileyhappy:  It's funny how we figure that out when we don't get what we thought we wanted. Does that make sense?  Of course, I still think Barry Manilow would have been very happy with me... 

by 1AnneB on ‎11-20-2009 04:33 PM

Hi Everyone  - AnneB here - Michelle, as usual this is a very interesting topic. I always thought that I'd teach, but life got in the way. I got married young (by today's standards) and had 2 boys, I loved the life, but also went back to school from time to time to finish my degree (thank goodness for "general studies" !)  I guess I'm still trying to figure out what to be when I grow up ! This is sort of the season for taking stock - end of the year and all that, but after 39 years (this weekend) of being married, all in all it turned out pretty well. But, other than my family, the one constant in my life has been books - they inform, sooth, cheer me up and calm me down - what would we do without them ?




PS - Did that even answer the question ? I just re-read it and it sort of seems like stream of consciousness!!


PPS - I was a Paul McCartney gal !

by Moderator dhaupt on ‎11-20-2009 04:50 PM

Becke, it's my obvious mission in life to keep you in stitches. ;-)


Michelle, yes I did sway over the bucs and yeah just keep telling yourself chem teacher.


And Anne you are such a sweetheart, life got in the way for me too, but I didn't marry to early I was 25 and went kicking and screaming down the aisle.


by 1lovealways on ‎11-21-2009 02:56 AM

I always wanted to get married and have six kids.  Yes, six!  I come from a large family, so it wasn't unthinkable.  But, alas that didn't happen.  So, my dreams turned toward being a teacher, artist, writer or working in an office.  I went to Business School twice and learned two different office procedures, which after,  I ended up working in the Insurance industry.


In high school, I wrote lots of stories.  I had the discipline, but not the imagination of a writer.  Although, I'm very structured, it wasn't for me. Those deadlines would kill me!  If I'm rushed everything just seems to go to the dogs!  Although, I can multi task, it drains all of my energy!  I've always loved words.  Books have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.  I still write poems for friends sometimes and just for the love of it.  Books have literally surrounded me and at one time, I had stacks of them on the walls!  Now I have a large walk in closet that house my TBR pile!


Aside from books, I love needlework.  Mostly, anything creative appeals to me.  Knitting, crocheting, cross stitch.  I have visions of designing  my own bookmarks.  Nothing elaborate, just something that says ... me!



by 1lovealways on ‎11-21-2009 02:59 AM

Becke, I remember Jessica Savitch.  She used to worked at the local CBS affiliate in my hometown.  She was a lovely lady and a talented reporter.  :smileyhappy:

by Moderator becke_davis on ‎11-21-2009 04:18 AM

I was really shocked when she died. Read her biography years ago - fascinating!

by MalePerspectiveGuy on ‎11-21-2009 08:35 PM

Goal when I graduated from college? I really, really wish I had one. AS I think about it, I think my goal may have been to avoid real life for as long as possible.  The thought of leaving school for the business world or law school was frightening. 


Hey Michelle, that tell you anything about me? I bet you it does.  Yikes!



by Author MonicaBurns on ‎11-23-2009 11:27 AM

Let's see, I only remember three goals. One, travel to Europe. Two, marry a rich Spainard. Three, become a published author. I married a wonderful American guy who's poor as a church mouse, but two out of three ain't bad. Not bad at all. *grin*

by PrincessBumblebee on ‎11-23-2009 03:14 PM

Michelle, I used to like the good guys, until I found out from romance novels that those bad boyz can be sooo much more fun! hehe


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