A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Scattered Links - book review & $50 Amazon card GIVEAWAY

Scattered Links is a story of survival.  It's a story of overcoming hardships, and learning to trust others.  It's also a story of adoption.  

Oksana has a hard life in Russia, but at least she's with her mother.  Only her mother is expecting a baby.  A baby they can't afford to feed.  

After Oksana delivers her mother's baby by herself, she makes a choice no one could have foreseen the outcome of.  

Before she can tell her mother her secret, her aunt Ludmila drops both Oksana and her baby sister, Natalia, off at the local orphanage.  

Oksana manages to get away and find her way back "home" to where they had been staying, only to find her mother and aunt gone, so she returns to the orphanage, where at least she can visit her baby sister occasionally.  

Once, when she goes to visit, she is horrified to discover her sister is being adopted!  Without her!  Oksana tries to stop the strange couple from taking her baby sister, but does not succeed.  Days later, the couple returns with Natalia, and tells Oksana they've decided to adopt her, too, so the girls can be together.

Scattered Links is told from Oksana's point of view, and author Michelle Weidenbenner does a great job of helping you see what's going on in her head, and why she behaves the way she does.  It's easy to understand 14 year old Oksana taking on a parental role with 9 month old Natalia, and a particularly telling line for what Oksana is feeling is when Katie insists on carrying Natalia somewhere and Oksana thinks, "no hiding behind her today."

Jack and Katie, the girls' new parents blunder along, trying to help Oksana the best they know how, but it's aunt Laura, Katie's sister, who helps Oksana find herself.  Laura runs a horse rescue, and Oksana bonds with a horse before she bonds with any of the people in her new life.

There's a huge plot twist, but I don't want to give it away.  You'll want to read it for yourself.

My one issue actually has to do with the acknowledgements at the end of the book.  After admitting she does not have a child with RAD, she speaks condescendingly about parents who struggle with their adopted children who do have Reactive Attachment Disorder.  As an adoptive parent who knows first hand that it's not always happily ever after, I didn't like that.  The rest of the book was worth reading.

About the Author
Michelle grew up in the suburbs of Detroit with five brothers.  She enjoys writing her novels and encouraging writers and readers alike. She is living her dream writing stories of real people searching for their dreams and confronting their fears, showing the passion of the characters' plights, often giving her the ability to show the reader the 'other' side of the story. When she is not writing she enjoys life on the tennis court and is known as “Queen of the Rim Shots.”

Her debut novel, CACHE a PREDATOR, a geocaching mystery. was launched in July, 2013 and has been an Amazon best-seller in the crime/thriller category.  Her other works include: Willow, Scattered Links, Kelly’s Story, Eclair Series, and The Vision in a Kiss.  She has won contests in both The Writer’s Journal and The Writer’s Digest. Love is Just a Word (Scattered Links) was a bronze medalist is the 2010 Frasier Contest, a 2011 semi-finalist in the ACFW Genesis Contest, and won the Aspiring Writer’s Contest withe THE READING ROOM, 2013.

Follow the Author
Website,    Facebook,    Twitter,    Google+,    Goodreads

Follow the Book Tour




ONE LUCKY WINNER will win a $50 Amazon Giftcard
Open Worldwide
Ending on Sunday 4th May at 11.59pm EST

Enter Below and Good Luck !!

I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.

Top Mommy Blogs - Click To Vote! Thanks for clicking for us!


  1. This was such a great book to read and loved the characters too x

    1. It was really eye opening to get past my view as an adoptive mother and see things from an older child's point of view.

  2. When I play with my children it makes them smile. Simple, but important.

  3. Hi Shecki -
    Sorry I didn't get a chance to leave a note for you last week. I was in the middle of moving.
    Wow, what an amazing blog you have here--and what a HUGE heart. You are truly blessed.
    Thanks for reading Oksana's story and sharing it here. I'm sorry you found the comment in the back of the book condescending. Eek! I need to reread that because it's definitely not what I wanted to convey. Parenting children with RAD is one of the most difficult tasks a parent could have to live through and was the purpose of me writing this book--to show a little bit about why kids behave a certain way, to give adoptive parents insight (and hopefully compassion) into how difficult it can be.
    Thanks for all you do for authors, but for children too!

    1. Thank you, Michelle. Although we are not dealing with RAD, we are dealing with a non-verbal, non-ambulatory, profoundly retarded child. As we have the very painful "can we do this?" conversations, it felt dismissive to read you say, "some parents re-home them like pets." I'm beginning to understand what an agonizing decision that must be for a family, and perhaps I'm a little raw and sensitive because of our circumstances. I did enjoy your book, and I hear BVBT may be getting to review another work from you! :)