In God’s House” is one of the most well written works by an American novelist in years and it is an important book as it chronicles the origin of one of the most significant historic stories of our times, the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church, covering nearly 20 years and taking the reader from the first day of the first case to the highest reaches of the Vatican in Rome. What is really important about this book is the credibility and authority  Ray Mouton possesses to pen this novel. Those who have followed this story know Mouton has repeatedly been identified by media nationally and internationally and by authors of nonfiction books as an “insider” in the origin and development of the clergy abuse scandal. Fr. Tom Doyle, the leading expert worldwide, a man who has testified on behalf of victims in over 1,600 legal cases worked with Mouton daily for years and he has written about Ray Mouton, Mouton’s book, and the crisis – “This plague of destruction would have continued unchecked had there been no Ray Mouton. From the outset Ray was at the center and on the edges of this rapidly developing storm. The reality of Ray against the world-wide institutional Church makes the image of David and Goliath pale by comparison. There are countless children who may never know Ray’s name but whose childhood will bear the result of his courage, his insight, his determination and his faith. Ray fought fiercely to save children from the church. I think Ray views his many years of work in writing this novel as if he were presenting a gift to the victims of clergy abuse, some who have no voice of their own, but I think this book may be a gift to the world.”​ Combined with those incredible credentials and the strongest endorsement possible, one reading these pages also discovers that in the twelve years Mouton spent crafting this book, he brought to it great gifts as a writer, creating a powerful, suspenseful, fast-paced narrative that moves the story like a freight train as the pages turn themselves. As a writer, I have read many books on a lot of subjects. None hit me any harder than “In God’s House” or stayed with me longer. This is a work that I feel should be read by anyone interested in truth, for as the author correctly wrote in describing “In God’s House,” “this is a book about truth.” -Blaine Lourd
  • The Epilogue

    Below is the epilogue I wrote to accompany “Born on the Bayou.” It ultimately ended up being cut from the final version of the book, but I thought I would share it with you all here. Thanks for reading.  Like a fire bell in the night I was awakened to the sound of my middle son crying. I jumped out of bed and ran to his bed side. He was rubbing his eyes, trying to catch his breath as the morning sun trickled in through the window shade “What’s wrong son?” I asked putting my hand on his chest. “I had a nightmare, dad..” he said sniffling. “What about?” I asked pushing his hair up on his forehead. “I dreamed you weren’t my Dad, anymore..” He said crying and panicked. “You dreamed I was dead?’ I asked concerned. “No, you were alive you just weren’t my dad anymore…” he said hugging me and looking away. “I’m always going to be your dad, son…forever…” I said with a tear in my eye. He got up from his bed and he got a tissue. He was still startled, but now awake he knew that it was just a dream. He hid his face from me thinking that he shouldn’t cry, for after all he was a little man now at 8.  I patted him on his back as he blew his nose and I said: “Son, it was just a dream. Today is Thursday, you’ll have fun at school, and then we’ll have football practice..I’ll cook you breakfast after your brush your teeth…see you downstairs…” As I walked back to my room, I reflected upon the father-son relationship and the long shadow it casts on our lives. I thought about how fast my boys will grow up and how soon enough they’ll have their own sons, and they’ll have their memories of me. My dad died after a long and complicated illness on August 20, 2011 at UCLA medical center. My brothers and I watched him take his last breath. When a man’s father dies something irrevocable occurs. We ascend in rank and we feel more alone. We try to remember what our father said to us that can be part of our new tools as we go forward—our thoughts and burdens are compounded with memories of their lives; their ups, their down, their successes, their failures.   My Dad’s hammers and anvils. I know that much within me I can attribute to the early years with my Dad.   Memories, stories, skills and loves. The way I raise my own boys is in no small part due to the truths my Dad avoided, but ultimately learned anyway. We all learn the truth in the end.
  • Recommended Reading

    Many great books kept me company during the several years I worked on my memoir, Born on the Bayou. Southern writers—Faulkner, Welty, Warren and Harper Lee—provided inspiration in the strong sense of place they evoked. Entering a writer’s world is such a gift, made possible only by one’s true talent of moving mountains on a page—and the writers above demonstrate that talent again and again. But I also read and would recommend a few other books that have moved me over the years…   A MOVEABLE FEAST by Ernest Hemingway is a book that I, perhaps like many writers, re-read from time to time. Hemingway, nearing death, reached deep one last time into his well of incomparable artistry to deliver this memoir of a time long lost to him – his youth in Paris. The intimately conversational quality of this work is the kind of tone a writer working on a memoir should read again and again, I think. IN GOD’S HOUSE by Ray Mouton is a lifelike fictionalization of an important historical event – the worldwide clergy sex abuse scandal. Writing in a fast-paced, character- driven narrative, Mouton’s authentic southern voice delivers a suspenseful tale of tragically flawed characters unfolding in a twisting, dark plot that ultimately shatters the great institutions of Rome. SELF-RELIANCE by Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of the books I keep on my desk in Lake Bruin, Louisiana and in my office in Beverly Hills. Although aspects of Emerson’s style might seem archaic or outdated to some modern readers, upon closer inspection it’s also evident that no word is ever wasted, and that he had a measured elegance which remains unmatched. “But the soul that ascends is plain and true; has no rose color, no fine friends, no chivalry, no adventures, does not want admiration; dwells in the hour that now is, in the earnest appearance of the common day, — by reason of the present moment and the mere trifle having become porous to thought, and bibulous of the sea of light.” Emerson always said “Insist on yourself, never imitate” – some of the best advice a writer, or any person, can ever follow.  
  • Thank You

    We took a contrarian view and had the #BornOnTheBayou book launch party last Thursday night, about a month after its publication date. It was a Louisiana hot summer California evening in a venue where we have celebrated so much.   Six or Seven birthdays for my dearly departed Dad, Harvey H. “Puffer” Lourd Jr., a bunch of Oscar parties, summer barbecues, and many other things. A New Orleans Jazz Band, led by a man named Hilarion, stood on a bricked patio next to a majestic garden, under a crystal blue sky, and giant palm trees and brought us all back to bourbon street for a few hours. Our gracious host nailed every detail: Southern hors d’oeuvres, purple and gold flowers to put the good voodoo on a fresh LSU football season, Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes from sprinkles topped with a small candied “Born on the Bayou” book jacket replica. That’s the lagniappe though, because no party works without a great guest list — And boy did we have one — because when Hollywood screen queen/entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow and super-agent/brother Bryan Lourd, put their names on a party invitation– people show up. IMG_4908I want to thank all my friends who came to the party, and also once again thank everyone who has supported this book with their hard earned dollars, or their kind words of praise on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and on the Amazon review pages.  I also want to thank all of the critics (Bookpage, Kirkus Reviews, People, Entertainment Weekly, Garden and Gun.com, XOXO, and Publishers Weekly) who have reviewed and liked this story, because I’m sure this post launch release party wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun if the literati had hated it! And last but not least, I must thank my wife, who is quietly behind the scenes of every good party we ever have and once again, this party did not disappoint.
  • Time

    I tucked my boys in last night — one is big, another is bigger and one is still pretty small.  The little one sleeps, as there is a big gym party and spring football for him on Friday.  The big ones do their homework, listen to music, text, watch sports center, and study for tests until midnight.  Is this new traditional and “dynamic” education that we  pay for really going to yield the ripe fruit that they’ll need to nourish them through a complex life of joy and pain, success and failure, victory and defeat?  Is the process of the new harder education giving them the linear skills that are going to translate into understanding?   Is it also teaching them that hard work and discipline makes a parent proud and a teacher pleased?  And is that even a variable in a successful education?  Does the end justify the means or are the un-intended consequences of this grind at 12 and 14 something to be worried about?  Is a kid even a kid anymore at 12?  Will it teach them grit and how to solve the problems of life? I wonder…and  I am certain that I can’t see all that is to be for them… and I know that their lives will be like nothing like the life I imagine for them a”s making predictions is hard to do especially when it involves the future” (Mark Twain).  I believe  that their lives can be better for what parent doesn’t fundamentally believe this?  But will it be, or will it be worse, or will it just be different?   I am not the sentimental old fool longing for the good old days…because for me — these three little boys most certainly represent my good old days.   I watched a sports doc tonight and saw newspaper clippings from the 80s….they now look like the old newspaper clippings from the 20s that I used to stare at when I was young with my dad.  Tonight’s 30-30 was the story of the Detroit Pistons and the “golden age” of basketball.  Bird, Magic and Michael were all at their individual athletic peaks — draining 3’s and jamming dunks– all set up on grainy tv clips that reminded me of the vhs tapes found in a college apartment or frat house that were always viewed alone.    Time is a trick.  I tell them “boys don’t stay up to late… oh and I also  prepped the turkey bacon egg burritos for the morning….and I love you” ….they shake their heads at the old man, and mumble an “I love you back” and they go back to their books, their music, their phones, their thoughts of tomorrow.  I walk back to my room in my pajamas that they call “the whites” …and there is another night.  They have all the time in the world now….
  • Hump Day Musings

    Knowledge is always imperfect.  The only thing I’m sure of is my own intellectual insecurities….the rest will be what it will be and is what it is…
  • 5-5-15

    I have a personal website now.  I am going to promote a book I wrote and other things maybe.   Stay tuned.