I thought I would introduce a new character.
Since I’m in the process of writing an update to book #3 “Race Against Time”, I thought I’d fill all of you in on one new character – even though she will not be a central character, she does eventually make an important difference.
Her maiden name is Anna Catherine O’Malley and she hails from a strictly Catholic family that made its home in Philadelphia just after the American Revolutionary War.
Patrick O’Malley, Anna’s father, is widowed shortly after arriving in the newly formed United States in 1781. Twenty years later, in 1801, at the age of 44, he marries again to a woman of means, named Charlotte, a 35-year-old widow who believes she is barren.
Ten years later, in 1811, the second Mrs. O’Malley proves the doctors wrong and gives birth to a daughter, Anna
The O’Malleys prosper in the coming decade and by 1825, when both Patrick and Charlotte pass away, there is a massive fortune left in trust to 14 year-old Anna, who was the sole heir.
Fate steps in.
Anna O’Malley meets Tracy Douglas Allen soon after she arrives in New York City to attend a friends’ wedding. Anna falls head over heels for The Big Baritone and their own wedding bells ring just one month later.
Although there is a difference in their ages, with Anna being seven years older, Tracy felt himself quite the fortunate man finding such a woman of means who was young enough to have children and not completely unattractive. And, she’d be no trouble to him. At least, he felt that way early on.
Anna’s side of the relationship.
There is definitely a strong attachment on Anna’s side of the equation, as she’s somewhat in awe of this towering, and very talented, Southern gent.
But after having four children with him – 2 boys and 2 girls – Anna’s appearance changes and she appears much older than her years. Knowing that she married quite the ladies’ man, Anna decides that instead of continually having to turn the other cheek at his indiscretions, she told Tracy that she wanted to buy a large farm in the Dakota Territory, where she could raise the children away from the dirt and immorality of city life.
Later on, this decision proves to be both a huge mistake and a huge benefit for Anna.
Tracy’s side of the relationship.
Arriving in New York City virtually penniless, the very resourceful Mr. Allen lands a job as a waiter at a high-end restaurant. One day in December, while serving caviar, he begins to sing Christmas Carols, much to the delight of the patrons. And so he began his singing career.
Once Tracy signed with a very clever and hard-working agent, he was booked often at large parties, and then, as he gained a name for himself, he started filling concert halls and theatres.
Anna O’Malley was a small bird of a woman who looked completely out of place in the Chez Paul restaurant, where Tracy was still working, during the winter of 1839. Anna’s party was delayed due to road conditions and so she was forced to eat alone.
From there Tracy struck up a conversation with her, and finally, gave her tickets to his first performance in a theatre. Anna was obviously thrilled, and also obviously not used to attracting the attention of very many men – much less one as tall and handsome as Tracy.
Theatre tickets led to dinners and by the end of two weeks, Tracy proposed marriage to the young woman he learned was in fact one of the wealthiest single ladies in Philadelphia – if not the wealthiest.
Marriage had not been in Tracy’s plans, however the financial security and newfound social status Anna brought to this union was a blessing he did not think was in the stars for him.
How things unravel.
Once Anna and the four children are settled on a farm thousands of miles away from New York, Tracy returns to the city and becomes the toast of the town for his deep voice and his winning manners.
But Tracy couldn’t stay away from the card tables, and it made it even more difficult when he continued to lose vast amounts over the next five years.
In a desperate attempt to win back his money, Tracy set up a millionaires-only poker game with ridiculously high stakes. When that proved to be an enormous disaster for him, Tracy found himself in debt so deeply that he was forced use the last of the substantial marriage settlement Anna had brought with her as a dowry.
Back on the farm.
Tracy made it a habit to spend every Christmas with his family, often remaining on the farm until February. However one year in particular, weather conditions made it impossible to reach Anna and the children, and so Tracy put off the trip until June of the following year.
Having been apart for more than 18 months, he was indeed shocked to find upon arriving that Anna was in fact 6 months pregant. It seemed that the manager he left behind to see to the farm, and his family’s safety, had fallen in love with Anna, and she with him as well.
This gives Tracy the chance to extricate himself from a loveless marriage and get the money he now desperately needed at the same time. Waiting until Anna gives birth to twins two months later, Tracy acknowledges the children as his own (even though everyone knew it could not be the case) and gives Anna a divorce based on her giving him quite a lot of cash.
The future of Tracy Douglas Allen is unclear at this time. I’m working on the book #3 update but I have not yet finalized his fate. Anna, I can tell all of you, goes on to live a happy life with her second husband. But, that’s about all I can divulge at this time.