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Secret Storms: A Mother and Daughter, Lost then Found Paperback – March 22, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Blazer Productions, Inc. (March 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985735805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985735807
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Julie Mannix von Zerneck was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She traveled with her parents, living in Paris, on the Isle of Capri and in several boarding schools around the world, before settling down at Sunny Hill Farm at the age of nine. There, she lived with a menagerie of animals, including a cheetah and eagle and her very own baby spider monkey. After attending the Neighborhood Playhouse in NYC, she became an actress on Broadway, had running roles in three soap operas and guest starred on many TV series. She is married to the TV producer, Frank von Zerneck. They have three children and four grandchildren and reside in Toluca Lake, California, where, for 26 wonderful years, they were the owners of Portrait of a Bookstore. She is a lifelong collector of antiques and antiquarian books.

Kathy Hatfield was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and grew up surrounded by two brothers, twenty-five cousins, and two sets of grandparents in Indialantic, Florida. She attended Florida Atlantic University, after which she worked as a mortgage broker while running her own small business selling men’s neckties. She now teaches World Literature at a high school in Florida where she serves as English department chairman. She and her husband of 25 years live in a quaint beachside community with their two daughters. She is a freelance writer and moderator of the Adoption Reunion Stories Facebook page, which currently has over 2,800 members. She’s a competitive runner and participates in 5k races when she’s not correcting papers.

Customer Reviews

I received a copy of this book for review purposes.
The Every Free Chance Reader
That's slow for me because I speed read but I wanted to savor this book because it was that good.
G.I Gurdjieff
Thank you Julie and Kathy for sharing such a personal and beautiful story.
Aurora Cooper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Teri A. Davis on April 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Once in a while you find a book that has a voice that is so authentic it actually pulls you into the story. That is Secret Storms which is the story of a mother who was forced to give up her child and the child growing up without knowing she was adopted and finally finding the truth and her mother.

Julie Mannix grew up in an unusual family being that her father was an author and traveled the world. At their home in the Philadephia area would be numerous exotic animals. To accomplish this task throughout the world required much of her life being spent in boarding schools. In many parts of the world, children were not always safe in the adventurous life of exploring parents.

Julie's dream was to become an actress in New York. What her parents did not plan on was Julie becoming pregnant while in New York. While visiting her home, she saw a doctor who informed Julie's mother, not Julie, of the pregnancy. The father of the child was already married. Her mother, like many mothers in 1963, looked for a solution. When Julie took three sleeping pills her mother then had her answer. This could obviously be a suicide attempt.

Julie was committed to a private psychiatric facility for an abortion but she refused to sign the papers. Her punishment for the refusal was to move her as a pregnant mother to the state hospital for the mentally ill to wait for the birth of the child. There she took a vow of silence. When the baby arrived, the baby girl that Julie so wanted was quickly whisked away to be adopted. She had no choice in this matter. Only then was she accepted back at her home.

With her mother's help, Julie was able to return to New York to follow her dream and naturally to the man she loved.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pamela B Middleton on June 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very good book about the positives of adoption unlike so many that are horror stories. GOD has blessed both of these ladies
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lady73 on May 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book from the very first page. I had seen the interview on TV and became fascinated with the story. The book came out the next day and I got it. The story was so moving, I had tears in my eyes many times. I plan to give the book to my daughter and she will love it as much as I did. You and your daughter were meant to be together. It took many years but thank god it happened. I am so glad you all came together and are enjoying every moment.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dulcie on July 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am glade I downloaded this book!! I saw the family on the Jeff Probst show and found the book as soon as the show was over.
It's amazing they found each other after all the years that passed.
I'm so glad they had a very happy ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G.I Gurdjieff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What drove me to this book was a segment on the Katie Show that could not have been more than ten minutes long including commercials. The segment ended and I ordered the Kindle version of this book yesterday. I read it in about 3 1/2 hours. That's slow for me because I speed read but I wanted to savor this book because it was that good. The story was compelling and well written by both of its authors and had many elements of disbelief which I'll get to later. The bottom line is that this is a true story that had it been fiction would have seemed weird and possibly pushing the limits of fiction credibility.
It all starts in 1963, Nineteen year old Julie Mannix finds herself being checked into an Eastern Pennsylvania state mental facility. She is being transferred from a tony private hospital in Philadelphia. Her wealthy parents health insurance ran out after a 30 day stay, so this was going to be her home for the unforeseen future. She remembers the grungy admittance area in vivid detail. A television on the wall has Walter Cronkite reporting Kennedy's assassination. As everyone is transfixed by the rapidly evolving news report, Julie experiences a flutter in her abdominal area, then another, and then a very definite kick. As the story rolls out, we find that Julie is pregnant and unmarried. In a matter of 5 weeks, Julie's Catholic mother has devised what she sees as the perfect plan with the inadvertent help of Julie. The only way you can get a safe legal abortion in this country back in 1963 is if the mother is at risk physically or mentally. Julie took 3 sleeping pills and was rushed to the hospital as an attempted suicide. Sleep was Julie's intention, but the suicide angle was the perfect excuse for an abortion except Julie refused to sign the papers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Barbara on June 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
Secret Storms was a story about a child adopted as an infant, by her parents whom she searched for and found as an adult. Each person tells a part of the story from their viewpoint, and the last part of the book sheds insight on their healing through the power of love and family.

I enjoyed this book, and the forgiveness shines throughout the book. In the end, this was a win-win situation,but the first part of the book breaks your heart. Kathy suffered immeasurably in her adopted family, at the hands of a stepmother, and her ability to move beyond this to fall in love and raise her own family shows the power of the human spirit. Never giving up, she finds her mom and dad, and the reader will cheer her on as the family make a tentative but final contact.

Julie Mannix von Zerneck and her daughter, Kathy Hatfield, have written an awe-inspiring book. Side stories abound, such as Kathy's father being a huge Hollywood director, the wealth of the von Zernecks, Julie, at 19, confined to a state mental hospital because she is pregnant with Kathy, and the siblings that come with the new found family. I'll tease you with these elements, because each has its own unique addition to the story.

This is a book to recommend to any reader, but especially to those who have been adopted, had to give up a baby or need to see how forgiveness works in a true to life story.
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