. Copyright © 2018 by Michael Haibach.
During this quarantine, I was reminded that the best way to pass time is with a good book. So, I'm finishing all the books I never finished, and finding some I'm reading again and again. AMAZING GRACIE, is a nice distraction, especially in these troubled times. So indulge yourself, for the first time, if not the second or third. Enjoy and stay safe. And more importantly, keep reading.
Here is the 12th and final weekly excerpt from AMAZING GRACIE. This is the final scene in the book, that will stay with me the rest of my life — a moment where my grandmother quietly and discreetly confirms she had a Deep Secret.
Enjoy and please share. And remember AMAZING GRACIE makes a wonderful holiday gift!
Here is the 11th weekly excerpt from AMAZING GRACIE. This is the one that touched me deeply — my grandmother revealing her hidden past, "I'm not who you think I am."
The truth that we thought would destroy us doesn’t. The lies we told out of fear of the truth weren’t really necessary. And the secrets we keep safely guarded at all costs, only mask getting to know the deeper, much more fascinating person that we kept hidden from the world. Enjoy and please share.
Here's another weekly excerpt from AMAZING GRACIE. My grandmother, finally walking down the aisle on her wedding day, a day she thought would never come. But I'm so glad it did. Enjoy and please share.
Sorry for the long delay in my weekly excerpts from AMAZING GRACIE. This is the 9th weekly excerpt from my grandmother's incredible story. Gracie receives a startling, and mysterious letter from a stranger. Or is he? To see the actual card Gracie received in the mail, click on the tab: Photos & Research. Enjoy and please share. Order your copy or audio version today. Thanks.
The 8th weekly excerpt from my grandmother's incredible story. Gracie "Mary" is getting married. Enjoy and please share. Or order your copy or audio version today. Thanks.
Here is the 7th of my weekly excerpt from AMAZING GRACIE, when Gracie retrieves her hidden blocks. Enjoy and please share.
For your pleasure... here is the six weekly excerpt from AMAZING GRACIE. Grace's first date with her future husband at the Hotel Schenley, Pittsburgh. Enjoy and please share.
Here is the fifth weekly excerpt from AMAZING GRACIE. The grand gala when Gracie met her future husband, John. Enjoy and please share. Thanks.
Another week, so another excerpt from AMAZING GRACIE. For the entire amazing story order yours today on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, Audible, and/or iTunes. Thanks. Enjoy and please share!
I thought it might be fun for AMAZING GRACIE to post a weekly excerpt from her incredible story. Here is the first one... Enjoy!
If you’re like me, you need not look too far to uncover family events no one wanted to talk about. Maybe Dad’s inability to show affection or Grandma’s sidelong glance when a certain ancestor’s name comes up, or maybe you’ve found records hinting that there’s more to your family’s story than anyone ever thought. Getting at the forbidden truth, or that deep, dark family secret is not all that hard. And you might just get a better understanding about who you are in the process.
If you want to know more about the family secrets I uncovered… it’s all in my book, AMAZING GRACIE. Available in hardcover, paperback, eBook, and even in audio.
Discover your secret past. It’s worth the journey.
Available on AMAZON, BARNES&NOBLE, AUDIBLE, iTUNES, LULU and KINDLE
2018 was an incredible year for me, but it flew by in lightening speed. It started off with the publication of my first book, AMAZING GRACIE. As soon as it went on sale on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kindle, sales instantly soared and the reviews poured in. It was a dream come true completing a 10-year writing and researching project. I appeared on FoxNews Los Angeles, and on the entertainment/news show out of New Haven called, “Good Morning Connecticut." In the fall, I found myself in an ADR studio at Technicolor in Toronto, Canada, recording the audio version of AMAZING GRACIE, narrated by the magnificent actress, screenwriter, producer, director and friend, Sara Botsford. With editing finally complete in December, the audio version was published by Audible and iTunes, allowing fans to now listen to my grandmother’s story brought to life in magnificent and vivid detail.
Ever since it was first published I have been asked by many, if I plan on writing a sequel — as no one wanted the story to end, and left them yearning for more of Gracie’s life. So with the start of 2019, and the great success I have had, I’m hoping to begin writing that much requested continuation. So, wish me luck, and stay-tuned.
Thank you all for your support, encouragement and the great reviews. Here’s hoping 2019 will prove enlightening for all of us!
I have been asked since my book came out in spring of 2018, if I consider doing an audio version. Well, I finally did just that.
I am am very excited and proud to announce that AMAZING GRACIE is NOW available in audio, so you can listen to this incredible story on all your devices.
And, even if you have already read my book once, or twice (in hardcover, paperback and/or eBook), I encourage you to listen to the audio version. It is exquisitely narrated by the multi-talented, Sara Botsford, television & film actress, producer, screen writer and director. Sara takes an already amazing story to the next level, breathing life into each character and transporting listeners back in time to feel they are part of each and every scene. You won't regret listening to this incredible story come to life. I guarantee it. And, it also makes a great holiday gift.
Click any of the links below to order your AUDIO version today:
And don't forget hardcover, paperback and ebooks are still available on
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, and Lulu.
A BOOK REVIEW
AMAZING GRACIE BY MICHAEL HAIBACH
Carole A. Briggs, Curator
Jefferson County History Center, Brookville, PA
I usually don’t write to authors, but I did write to Michael Haibach after finishing his book and said, “I think I would have liked your grandmother. I favor strong women!”
The book, Amazing Gracie, published this year, is the story of his grandmother’s childhood, youth, and marriage. It is the story of a woman with a secret, and that secret took place in Jefferson County!
Haibach contacted me years ago, in 1990 when the historical society was located on Jefferson Street and I had just been named curator. He’d found an article about convicted felons William and Frank Dodson. Did we have any information about the murder they’d committed in 1896? I passed his question on to members Bill and Vada McCracken, and they went to work.
It was their work as well as that of member Emma Work that helped Haibach flesh out the mystery hidden behind his grandmother’s slate blue eyes.
He’s woven that secret and the events that secret caused into a suspenseful yet delightful tale of two young women stepping out into the society of pre-World War I Pittsburgh, the city of the Schenley Hotel, Schenley Park, and Phipps Conservatory and the homes of people like Andrew Carnegie and Andrew Mellon.
Haibach’s writing is descriptive of these people and places. Our county courthouse is indeed “the two-story red brick structure with its white colonial steeple and looming clock tower….” While C. C. Benscoter, at the age of forty-five, may or may not have been “grey-whiskered,” local readers should not be put off by minor errors in the setting and character descriptions. Living across the country in West Hollywood, Haibach’s story rings true.
In the final three chapters of the book, Haibach explains how the book came about, but it is his epilogue that is worthy of rereading. What did he take away from this woman, his grandmother, who lived a lie, reinventing herself after the traumatic events of her early life?
Amazing Gracie is an inspiring read. Grace Dodson Haibach is an inspiring person—a strong woman. I think readers will find her inspiring, too.
Copies of Amazing Gracie are available for purchase at the Jefferson County History Center. And also available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kindle.
Last week, I had the great pleasure to fly to Toronto, OT Canada, and spend 2 days or 12 hours in an ADR Studio at Technicolor, recording the audio version of AMAZING GRACIE. Which will be out soon on Amazon and Audible.
The amazing actress and my dear friend, Sara Botsford, did the reading and the recording. Sara’s extraordinary talent not only brought the written words to life giving each character a unique voice, but made the incredible story more meaning. Although I wrote my grandmother's story, hearing it spoken so beautifully gave the book a life of its own. At times, it was very emotional for me, as it bought my grandmother back to life as well, revitalizing the amazing times and memories I had with Gracie, my Grandma. It was a thrill that I will never forget, and I will be eternally grateful to Sara for giving up so much of her time in the studio.
I'd like to also thank, Marian Botsford Fraser, Sara's sister, also a published author, who assisted us in getting the dialogue and character voices flawless and consistent throughout the reading.
We are still in editing mode, so it may be a few months until it launches, but as soon as it comes out, I'll let you all know. And, even if you have already read the printed versions, I can truly say, that you will find the audio version even more incredible and more captivating.
I recently had the great pleasure to be a guest on the "Good Morning Connecticut" TV Show on KTNH out of New Haven, CT. It was a long trip from Los Angeles to New Haven, but it was well worth it. I'd like to personally thank the show's producer, Samantha Miller; and the Co-Anchors, Brian Spyros and Laura Hutchinson. They were all amazing, and it was a great experience for me! I love talking about my book, my amazing grandmother, and how I uncovered her 100 year old family secrets.
To watch the entire interview, click on the Home or the News/Reviews button at the top of the page.
I wanted to share with you a great quote from Joan McNamara, owner & creator of Joan's On Third, Los Angeles.
If you have any opinions or comments on my book, let me hear from you on my blog here at www.amazing-gracie.com. I'm always looking for input, suggestions and insight.
It's hard to believe that today, my grandmother would have been 125 years old — July 9, 1893. She's left us 22 years ago at 103, and I miss her everyday.
If you've read my book, AMAZING GRACIE, you'd know my grandmother was a veritable phoenix, on one hand, rising up from the ashes life had dealt her. And on the other hand, she was like a human feline with her multiple lives: Gracie Dodson, the beloved daughter; Mary Josephine, the abandoned child; Mary Dodson, the young maid; Grace Dawdson, the metamorphosed debutante; and finally, Gracie Haibach, the refined matriarch & sophisticate.
Through it all, my grandmother surely lived up to her name — meeting life’s setbacks and challenges with grace and tenacity. She will always be, in my mind, truly amazing. Happy Birthday!
Check out my new section on my web page, called News/Reviews... and see my latest interview on Channel 11 News about AMAZING GRACIE. It was a great interview with co-hosts Bob DeCastro and Marla Tellez.
And if you haven't yet read, AMAZING GRACIE, you can still order it in hardcover, paperback and/or eBook at Amazon.com. Or just hit the BUY NOW page above.
It's the best read all Summer. Enjoy! If you are on Facebook, please like my page, Amazing Gracie By Michael Haibach
It may have taken me a few years before I actually took the time to sit down and start writing this incredible story, but the journey was most insightful and enlightening. It allowed me time to focus on my own behaviors and the collateral damage as a direct result of my grandmother’s masked past.
Although my grandmother may have gained much in NOT looking back, I have gained a tremendous amount in doing just that. Although I wasn’t looking back at my own immediate past, I looked back three generations, and those insights and revelations I found over a century ago, are still influencing my life today.
The past may be the past, but sometimes hidden way back in the past you can uncover things, maybe not secrets, but things that can shed incredible light on your own behaviors that didn’t quite make sense before.
Some of my grandmother’s unexplained behaviors and traits that didn’t fit someone born into a happy, wealthy family from Boston did actually fit someone who survived hell on earth. Her complete and utter dependency on family, which increased the older she got, all make sense now. Where and why she had developed a fear of being left behind, I now understand. Why her discomfort and anxiety escalated when she was around strangers or in unfamiliar surroundings, becoming irrationally shy, apprehensive, and at times even withdrawn. How she distrusted outsiders to the point of always looking over her shoulder for fear they might snatch something precious from her. Or the fact that she was always extremely frugal and money conscious when she had so much. Of course, living through the ‘great depression’ didn’t help, but I would suspect the seed was planted many years prior, perhaps from her own family’s humble beginnings.
Once I knew the truth about my grandmother, her many trials and tribulations, it was easy to understand my father’s unexplained behavior and traits. It was very hard for my father, if not impossible, to show affection. And just like my grandmother, he too would stiffen up like a toy soldier when anyone attempted to give him a hug. I always resented him for that, assuming it had to be my fault. Finding out where this unexplained trait originated, I was able to let go of the animosity I felt towards him my whole life, finally confident that it was nothing I had done. And, our relationship improved.
So if asked, what advice do you have to offer, it would have to take an in-depth look back at your own family, at least a few generations back. You just may find out more about yourself than you ever could have imagined.
I never thought much about the faces we let the world see and the ones we keep well hidden behind a mask. But we all wear masks to some extent. The sad thing is they mask much more than people think, and for a lot longer.
I also never did reveal to my grandmother my secret before she died, but somehow she knew. Not what it was, just that I too had been living a lie, hiding behind a mask of secrets. My secret didn’t compare to those my grandmother had spent her entire life hiding, but still on some level she must have been aware that we both were hiding something; perhaps that’s what bonded us so closely. We connected in a way no one else in my family ever had, not for generations. I like to think that’s why she finally confided in me, instead of continuing with her masquerade, and burying her secrets even deeper.
Through this unexpected journey my grandmother allowed me behind the mask she had worn almost her entire life. I not only gained a deeper understanding and sensitivity to previously unexplained family traits and behaviors. I also uncovered their origin. Now they make perfect sense. I also learned the insidious effect that lies and secrets can have on a family for generations.
It’s funny. The truth that we thought would destroy us doesn’t. The lies we told out of fear of the truth weren’t really necessary. And the secrets we keep safely guarded at all costs, only mask getting to know the deeper, much more fascinating person we kept hidden from the world. Your past is your past, and although it may be insightful to visit it once in a while, it has no power on your future, unless we let it.
My journey into writing AMAZING GRACIE was very much like fitting the pieces of a puzzle together to finally reveal the hidden truth. A stunning portrait of a young girl who survives the shocking destruction of her poor-yet-loving family, and rises to become a woman of strength, courage, tenacity.