Friday, July 12, 2013

**Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ Losing Francesca ~ J.A. Huss**

Hi y'all~ Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for J.A. Huss' Losing Francesca. My stop includes my review, a guest post from J.A., and a giveaway!

Y'all know that if I'm reviewing anything by J.A. Huss, there's bound to be some fangirling. Losing Francesca is no different! ;) And since I loved this book just as much as I've loved everything I've read by Ms. Huss, I'm going to offer a giveaway of my own.

To enter my giveaway, leave a comment about J.A.'s guest post OR my review. One lucky commenter will win an ecopy of Losing Francesca. This giveaway is open internationally and the winner will be chosen randomly. The giveaway ends July 19th. 

This tour is presented by Xpresso Book Tours. You can follow along with the tour by clicking here.


Losing Francesca by J.A. Huss

Publication date: July 1st 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance


WARNING: This book contains no smut. It’s not smexy or hot. It’s sweet and filled with a longing so deep, your heart will ache and maybe even break. This book is about bare feet on the beach, the sound of crashing waves, first kisses, losing your faith and then, against all odds, finding it again. This book is about bad things that change people’s lives, a father’s love for his daughter, a brother’s love for his sister, a bad boy who finally figures out why he’s so broken, and a girl who grows up.
So if you’re looking for smut, or smexy scenes filled with groping and lust – move along. This book is not for you.
Francesca Sabatini came to America to take in the sights, celebrate her high school graduation, and have fun wasting time before college starts in the fall.

That’s not what happens.

Fresh off the plane and barely on American soil more than a handful of minutes, Francesca’s face is recognized by TSA scanners to be a match for a child who was kidnapped twelve years ago.

Brody Mason remembers the day Fiona Sullivan went missing during a family vacation in Italy and it’s haunted him his whole life. So when Francesca shows up at the Sullivan farm down the road, he’s compelled to figure out if this girl really is his long lost friend.

But Francesca knows she’s not Fiona Sullivan. She knows exactly who she is. At least she thinks she knows – until Brody Mason relentlessly pursues her and she begins to have feelings for him. Maybe being Fiona isn’t so bad?

Reality becomes blurred, secrets are revealed, and life will never be the same when the final questions are answered: Is she Francesca or Fiona? And where does she really belong?


My Inspiration for Losing Francesca

Well, this is gonna be quick, because I’ve racked my brain and cannot for the life of me remember how I came up with this scenario.  I honestly have no clue.  I do remember I had just finished The Sea of Tranquility and I was in awe of that story.  It was soooooo good.  I loved it.  So I think I started with the premise of not speaking.  I loved that first surprise in TSOT, when I realized (spoiler) that Nastia didn’t talk. (spoiler) It was amazing.

So I do remember that part.  I wanted a character that couldn’t relate to the people around her, but in Francesca’s case, she was just refusing for the sake of being difficult.  Not because of some tragedy like Nastia, but something else.  Loyalty, I guess.

As far as the mistaken identity and the whole kidnapping stuff—I just can’t remember how it came to be but I will say it took me a very long time to nail down who Francesca really was.  She morphed between a few different things as I was writing, and even her father morphed many times.  Is he good?  Is he bad?  Did he steal her?  Is she Fiona or isn’t she?  

I started this book in January, wrote about 25,000 words, and then couldn’t answer any of those questions. I didn’t know if I wanted her father to be the bad guy or not, in fact, I wasn’t sure there was a bad guy in this story.  I do that a lot in my books.  In Junco, there are no bad guys because none of those characters are good.  They’re all bad. I like making the enemy ambiguous.

But it’s hard to write a book that way, and this was supposed to be a romance and it was shaping up to be more of a thriller, so I put it aside and wrote Tragic instead.  When I came back to Francesca in May, It all came together.  I cut out 18,000 words and started the story again and ended up finishing it in about three weeks. 

Her “brother” Sean was another one that took a while to figure out.  What kind of relationship did they have?  It took me awhile.  The only character who was one hundred percent the same from beginning to end was Brody.  He was always a sad boy who grew into an angry guy who was forced to let it all go for the sake of something bigger. 

My Review

Okay, so I kinda knew it after reading the first Junco book. I was more certain after I finished Junco books, #2, #3, #4... I was positive after I finished Tragic. But it's now officially official. J.A. Huss master. Why? Because no matter the genre (Junco, NA, YA), no matter the setting (post-apocalyptic Earth, another planet, Colorado or Ohio), no matter the steam level (and trust me when I say, she knows how to write a steamy scene!), J.A. Huss just KNOWS how to tell a story!! A story that will grab you, pull you in, keep you guessing and have you laughing, crying, yelling and even swooning!

Before I began reading Losing Francesca, I thought I understood what this story was about. I was wrong. I thought I knew who this story was about. I was wrong. Ok, J.A., I won't go into one of your stories with assumptions again. :) I'll just dive in and enjoy the ride. 


Losing Francesca is about a girl who may or may not be who she believes herself to be. But it's also about the journey she takes to find out who she really is - not literally, as in what her true name is, but who she is in her heart. It's also about the damage done when people experience profound loss. How it affects them and the ways in which they cope. 

Rather than spending her last summer before college enjoying herself, Francesca finds herself spending it with a family who insists she's their long long daughter/sister. Although she has no memory of them, Francesca, whom they call Fiona, finds herself able to settle in quickly as the Sullivans provide her with things she's never had and never wanted.

Brody Mason is the town bad boy. He's also known since he was a little boy that Fiona Sullivan is his soulmate. He was destroyed when Fiona went missing. He spent years looking for her in the woods between their homes. And when he gave up hope, he so so angry. He spent many years staying in trouble. Now that Fiona is back, and he wholeheartedly believes Francesca is Fiona, he's not letting her go.

As I mentioned, I went into Losing Francesca thinking I knew what the story was about. I thought it was about unraveling the mystery of who Francesca is. And it is to a certain extent. But this story is just as much Brody's as it is Francesca/Fiona's. The story is told in a dual POV, both Fiona's and Brody's. This format adds so much depth to the story. Getting glimpses inside both Fiona and Brody's heads allowed me to feel what they were feeling as they discovered things about themselves and their lives. 

Brody was the real shocker for me. The depth of emotion this young man feels and conveys is incredible. I cried with him, ranted with him, laughed with him and loved with him. I felt all his emotions just as strongly as he did. The confusion Francesca/Fiona feels over loving the man she considers her father but wanting the life the Sullivans and Brody offer - it's mindboggling. But watching her figure out what she wants for herself, for her life, even as these startling revelations about her life were made, was something to behold. 

Along with Francesca/Fiona and Brody, I also enjoyed the other characters populating this story. Sean, Fiona's brother, was adamant in his belief that Francesca is his sister. His protectiveness of her was so touching. Frank Sullivan, Fiona's adoptive father, was a pleasure getting to know. To see the hope he's always held that his daughter would return to him is astounding. Learning about the man who raised Francesca, too, was illuminating.

Obviously, Losing Francesca evoked some intense emotions from me. And that's the hallmark of a fantastic book in my opinion. Ms. Huss continues to rise in my esteem. I don't think I've done justice to the story in my review. It's a very powerful book. So I'll just say read Losing Francesca NOW! You won't be disappointed.

Favorite Quotes

"I can hear them now, calling for me - calling for Francesca, which isn't my name - calling for Fiona. But they never call for me by my real name." --Francesca
"Sean was right back at the store - I was obsessed with Fiona after she went missing and if I'm going to be completely honest with myself, I'm still obsessed." --Brody
"The panic that sets in when I feel her separated from me is inexplicable, but it washes over me so completely I have to swallow and tell myself she's still there." --Brody
"His heat warms me up and makes me feel...OK. I relax.That's all it takes. Just a little bit of summer sun, a bed of soft grass, and my life on pause with a boy named Brody." --Francesca
"I so, so want you to be her, Francesca." --Brody
"All right, tell me about the best day of your life.I sit up and stare down at her. "The best day of my life?"She nods."Today, Fee. The best day of my life is today." --Francesca & Brody


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About J.A. Huss

J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.


  1. Oooh I love the air of unpredictability. When you read a lot of books especially in the same genre, it starts to blend together. I'm not a big NA reader but your review piqued my interest on this one. I'll keep it in mind when I'm in the mood to move out of my comfort zone

    1. I don't think you'd be disappointed in this one, Braine! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Thanks for the review Brandee! I'm glad you enjoyed the book. :)


  3. The quotes you chose are wonderful and your fangirling is contagious! I already have this on my TBR list, but now it's bumping other reads out of the way. I love how you described Brody and I can't wait to meet him. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Brandee!

    1. Thanks, Robyn! Brody really was a surprise...Julie has a habit of doing that to me! ;) I hope you love it just as much when you read it. I hope your weekend is grand! :)

  4. Great post, doll! I love learning where the stories come from it always fascinates me that authors can come up with intriguing mysteries and epic characters! And so happy you loved it! :)

    1. Thanks, Giselle! Yeah, Julie's stories are always unique!

  5. It sounds sooo good! Love your review :D What she says about Junco not having bad guys because they are all bad was so good...I actually said something similar in my most recent review. Thank you so much for sharing! Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

    1. Oh, Jaclyn, it really is! :) Thanks!! I know there's no supernatural element in this one, but I still think you'd enjoy it. And I do agree with Julie and you about everyone being bad in was hard to know who to root for. :) Although, I really, really LOVE Tier. ;)

  6. OMG I love that "warning" in the synopsis. This sounds so fantastic and your review is awesome! Love those quotes!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

    1. I love that warning too, Teresa! I think Losing Francesca is incredibly, obviously. ;) Thanks so much for stopping by!


Now you know what I think...what are your thoughts??