This article was originally posted by The Gracious Posse.
At the top of my favorite things about this season is summer reading. Give me a book, some outdoor shade, a body of water (from pool to ocean) and a cool drink, and I am one happy lady. At the end of each summer I have a tall stack of books to prove my love. Call me a nerd, but this joy no doubt harkens back to my tween and teen years and school-required summer reading. I craved the escape those unknown works provided then as much as I do today.
As a result, I am always seeking exciting works from new authors and was delighted when Ellen passed Money Grab by Frances Aylor on to me. Its fast-paced plot had me hooked immediately. It’s a perfect beach read despite its winter setting. I was even more delighted to learn the author lives in the Richmond area and had agreed to meet Ellen and me for coffee. Turns out we could have visited with Frances Aylor all day.
After warming up with Richmond’s do-you-know-so-and-so game, we delved into Frances’s background and how she came to write her first novel after taking an early retirement from a high powered banking career. Frances is clearly one bright cookie. She started out as a teacher after graduating from William & Mary with a degree in English, but decided to go to business school for an MBA while she was pregnant and raising her two babies. From there after a brief stint at Philip Morris, she joined Crestar, the predecessor of SunTrust Bank, and worked her way through several of its departments before settling in the investment division. Throwing herself fully into this area, she set her sights on getting her CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) designation.
Like anything it seems that Frances sets her mind to, she achieved this goal and excelled at her career until a post-2008 restructuring sent her department to Atlanta. Instead of leaving her hometown, Frances took early retirement and decided that the time had come for her to fulfill her life-long dream ~ becoming a published author. The process took her longer than sitting for the arduous CFA, but she accomplished her goal this year with her self-published financial thriller, Money Grab, in which she combines her experience in the investment business with her passion for de-mystifying the world of finance for women.
Set in the fictional city of Hastings, a thinly-veiled Richmond, the book’s female protagonist, Robbie Bradford, is a thirty-something finance wizard trying to make partner in a private investment firm. If you think that sounds boring, you would be wrong. High finance and greed go hand in hand and can make for some high drama and action.
I flew through this book eager to see how Robbie would survive all of the plot’s twists and turns. Because the book is subtitled A Robbie Bradford Novel Book 1, we aren’t giving anything away by telling you that we can’t wait for the sequel, whose basic premise Frances outlined when we met. With a more international setting reflecting Frances’s love of travel, the book, likely to be published in late 2018, is already on my to-be-read list.
In the meantime, I will keep tabs on Frances’s comings and goings with her monthly newsletter. She fills it with these useful and fun items:
- Financial information that you can use in your personal investing
- Recommendations of mysteries and thrillers she enjoys
- Suggestions for interesting places to travel
You can sign up here to get her newsletter, too.
One of the joys of writing The Gracious Posse is the opportunity to meet a wide variety of creative and inspiring folks, especially in the Richmond area. Our coffee with Frances was the most recent reminder of how grateful we are for such occasions. Frances is a sharp gal, and we can’t wait to see where she takes us in the future along with Robbie Bradford.