First Line Friday — Under The Bayou Moon

6 Aug

With her debut novel Missing Isaac, Valerie Fraser Luesse became a must-read author. Each successive book has been a treat. I am excited to feature the first line of her latest book, Under The Bayou Moon. Can’t wait to read it!

Here’s the first line:

Raphe Broussard was just a boy when he first saw it — glimpsed it, at least.

Restless with the familiarity of her Alabama home, Ellie Fields accepts a teaching job in a tiny Louisiana town deep in bayou country. Though rightfully suspicious of outsiders, who have threatened both their language and their culture, most of the people in tiny Bernadette, Louisiana, come to appreciate the young and idealistic schoolteacher as a boon to the town. She’s soon teaching just about everyone–and coming up against opposition from both the school board and a politician with ulterior motives.

Acclimating to a whole new world, Ellie meets a lonely but intriguing Cajun fisherman named Raphe who introduces her to the legendary white alligator that haunts these waters. Raphe and Ellie have barely found their way to each other when a huge bounty is offered for the elusive gator, bringing about a shocking turn of events that will test their love and their will to right a terrible wrong.

A master of the Southern novel, Valerie Fraser Luesse invites you to enter the sultry swamps of Louisiana in a story that illuminates the struggle for the heart and soul of the bayou.

Valerie Fraser Luesse is the author of four novels set in the South: Christy Award winner Missing Isaac (2018), Almost Home (2019), The Key to Everything (2020), and the upcoming Under the Bayou Moon (August 2021), all published by Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. An award-winning magazine writer, Luesse is perhaps best known for her feature stories and essays in Southern Living, where she wrote major pieces on the Mississippi Delta, Acadian Louisiana, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Her editorial section on the recovering Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, photographed by Mark Sandlin, won the 2009 Travel Writer of the Year award from the Southeast Tourism Society. Luesse earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Auburn University and Baylor University, respectively. She is a native of Harpersville, Alabama, and lives in Birmingham, where she is the senior travel editor for Southern Living. Find her online at;;;; and

2 Responses to “First Line Friday — Under The Bayou Moon”

  1. Cindy Davis August 6, 2021 at 12:05 pm #

    I have heard a lot about this book. I hope you are enjoying it! Happy Friday!

  2. Paula Shreckhise August 7, 2021 at 5:17 pm #

    Loved Under The Bayou Moon!

    My first line is from To Write a Wrong by Jen Turano:
    March 1887. New York City
    There was not a shadow of doubt left in Miss Daphne Beekman’s mind that her days as a successful novelist were numbered.

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