Review: Secret Storms by Julie Mannix von Zerneck and Kathy Hatfield

Secret Storms
written by Julie Mannix von Zerneck and Kathy Hatfield
published by Blue Blazer

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Book Depository, Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: EFC was asked by the publicist to review this book. Chrissy thought I would enjoy it, and she really wanted me to give something more than 2 stars.  **grin**  (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: 
I cried – and not just sniffly, easily hidden tears, either.  We’re talking full blown,  red-nosed, blood shot eyed weeping.  So… I guess that’s a yes.  I’m desperately in love with my own son – partly because it was so difficult to get him here – and I’ve found that I now have a squishy spot in my heart for stories about mothers who love their offspring.

But.  Enough with the sentimentality.  Here’s the low down: 

Both women have excellent grammar (and you know how snobby I am about grammar!).  Both have exceptionally poignant imagery (it’s like they’re related).  Both tell their stories with honesty, humor, and just the right amount of emotion. The writing is superb, and this book is wonderful.  Each woman’s story could stand alone, but together… well, together they’ve turned their story into a fairytale.

I’m almost certain that if my mother and I tried to write a book together her half would be about blue teapots and craft projects and my half would be about whiskey and swearing.  On the other hand, we both love our kids desperately, and we both love music, and had we lived apart for most of my life, I bet we’d find we have a lot more in common than we think.  I could tell the story of my mom and I.  It might even be slightly interesting to someone. Von Zerneck and Hatfield’s story, though, gets the first ever five star rating from me. I’m in love (and also, I really think I need a pet monkey)!

My first ever 5 star review!

My first ever 5 star review!

Would I recommend it: Yes, definitely!  My husband decided, based on the title, that this book was for women only, but I’d bet a bottle of scotch he’d be hooked if he read the first few chapters.

Will I read it again: Next time I need a good cry, this is on my top ten list of Things to Read.


About the book – from Goodreads: 
This is the story of two strangers: a mother and daughter, separated at birth. It is the story of the riveting journey each took to redeem the past.


I was being transferred from the Psychiatric Institute of Philadelphia to a state hospital-a home to people ranging from mentally challenged to the criminally insane. I was nineteen, blonde with blue eyes, five foot four, 102 pounds, and a Philadelphia Main Line debutante. And I was 3 1’2 months pregnant.


“She’s a screamer,” the nuns at the hospital for unwed mothers warned as they handed me to my parents. “We think she just needs some attention.”

The Sisters of Charity were right; I was born with an insatiable desire to be noticed and wasn’t afraid to show my unlikable side if it meant all eyes would be on me. My grandfather called it a mean streak; my father deemed it determination, my mother, who had waited ten long years for me, simply smiled.


Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!



  1. awww I could tell this book will give FEELS to its readers! I’m so happy that you loved it and that’s awesome that it’s your first 5 star review. I love how the writing is good and the characters were likable. I’m definitely reading this, but I’ll read it when I become a mom (LOL) so I could relate to the story and characters more. Awesome review!

    Little Book Star

    • Melissa really loved this book. It was her first 5 star review. I’m glad you liked the review. (She’ll be happy to know that as well.) I really want to read this book, too. I am a mom and I am adopted.

      Thanks for stopping by, Leigh!


  2. I can’t help it… it was just awesome. Don’t wait until you’re a mommy, Leigh… You’ll love it now!

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