Review: Scattered Links by M. Weidenbenner

Release Day Tour

Scattered Links is a novel that pulls its characters from the gutters and, in the end, celebrates the tenacity of the human spirit.

Thirteen-year-old Oksana lives on the streets of Russia with her pregnant mama and abusive aunt—both prostitutes. When Mama swells into labor, Oksana makes a decision to save herself from abandonment, a decision that torments her forever. When her plan fails and her aunt dumps her in an orphanage, she never has the chance to say goodbye to her mama or tell her the secret that haunts her.

Scattered Links is a story of family and the consequences that come from never learning how to love, of a girl’s inability to bond with her adopted family and the frustrations that follow.

How can a child understand the mechanics of forming a healthy relationship when she never had a mother who answered her cries, held her when she was frightened, fed her when she was hungry, or loved her unconditionally?

Only when the child meets a rescued abused horse, and recognizes the pain in his eyes, does she begin to trust again.


Scattered Links, (initially titled Love is Just a Word), was the winner of the 2013 Aspiring Writers Competition, sponsored by Write on Con and The Reading Room. Scattered Links was intended to show a glimpse into the life of a child with RAD, reactive attachment disorder, so prevalent in children who never had unconditional love in infancy.

This novel was inspired by Michelle’s journey to Russia to adopt her orphan daughter. Upon seeing the neglect of orphanage children and learning of the effects of RAD in post-institutionalized children, Michelle researched this disorder, committed to giving her daughter the best chance at a healthy life. Sadly, many parents can’t cope with the behavior from kids with RAD and re-home their children like pets.

Buy on Kindle | Paperback


About the author:

Michelle grew up in the burbs of Detroit with five brothers. No sisters. Each time her mom brought the boy bundle home from the hospital Michelle cried, certain her mom liked boys better than girls. But when her brothers pitched in with the cooking, cleaning, and babysitting—without drama, Michelle discovered having brothers wasn’t so bad. They even taught her how to take direct criticism without flinching, which might come in handy with book reviews.

Michelle blogs at Random Writing Rants where she teaches and encourages writers how to get published.

Follow Michelle:

Blog link:

Random Writing Rants

Teaching adults and teens how to get published


Website link:

Facebook link:

Twitter link: @MWeidenbenner1

Goodreads link:


Winners Prize:

Enter the giveaway here! a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Review: 

This is the second book I’ve read by this author. I loved both of them.

This book really tugs on your heart strings, especially if you are a parent. I can’t even imagine how Katie and Jack feel.

Can you imagine growing up the way Oksana did. It’s no wonder why she had problems adjusting to her adopted family.

Oksana is able to bond with an injured and abused horse at her new aunt’s farm. She is able to help the horse because she knows the pain and fear he has.

Oksana has kept a huge secret. When she finally shares her secret and starts to heal.

This book moves at a great pace. It grips your attention from the very first page to the very last page. It also ends great. Sometimes you are left wanting more in a book. This one sums everything up nicely for the readers.

This is definitely going on my “Must Read in 2004” list for my fellow reading friends.

Right now on goodreads there is a contest to win the book. The contest ends Jan 30.

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  1. Hi Gina – Thanks again for reading LINKS and spreading the word about Oksana’s story. I love your Pinterest story board about the book too. I hope you’re having an amazing day, and I love what you do for authors and readers!

  2. lynn buttedal says:

    sorry dont know where to post this. your tweet is too long? on the test button lol just thought you should know!

  3. I love books that are about more than the story – in this case, attachment disorder from inside the mind of the child. Can’t wait to read it, thanks, Gina!

  4. nancyfancypink says:

    This story sounds very touching and emotional. I have heard that animal therapy can heal deep wounds like Oksana’s and sounds like a good read!

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