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Author of “Ticket to Paradise,” which features a town based on Santa Clarita, Cherie Claire.

Award-winning author Cherie Claire has set her latest book, “Ticket to Paradise,” in a fictional town based on Santa Clarita; first published as an ebook this summer, the novel is now available in both digital and trade paperback at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

Claire, a Louisiana resident, lived in Santa Clarita for many years and sets the first book in her new contemporary romance series, “The Cajun Embassy,” in a town named Santa Helena, California.

“I lived near Valencia Town Center when I was working for Variety magazine a few years ago,” Claire said. “I cherished my time in Santa Clarita and even though my main character is Cajun and from Louisiana, like me, I wanted to set the story in one of the finest cities in California.”

As the story involves a fictional mayor and community newspaper, Claire renamed the town Santa Helena.

Claire’s current series, “The Cajun Embassy,” follows three Columbia journalism coeds homesick for Louisiana who find comfort at school in a bowl of Cajun gumbo. In each book — “Ticket to Paradise,” “Damn Yankees” and “Gone Pecan” — these dedicated friends make their way into the world of journalism and find that love — and a good gumbo — cures everything.

In “Ticket to Paradise,” main character Elizabeth “Lizzy” Guidry is having the worst day of her life, thanks to newspaperman Martin Taylor, whose editorial has raised the ire of Lizzy’s boss, the mayor of Santa Helena. Martin is on the verge of losing his newspaper, which is why he’s buying yet another lottery ticket the night he runs into Lizzy. Still fuming, Lizzy beats him to it, nabbing the last ticket before the machines close. Topping off Martin’s worst day, Lizzy’s ticket wins. Only she doesn’t know it.

As Martin attempts to romance his way to five million dollars, will he lose his heart in the process? Will they both realize that love, more than money, is the ticket to paradise?

Since “Ticket to Paradise” is the first book in the new series, the ebook’s download is free. The trade paperback edition costs $9.99.

Claire is the pen name of Cheré Dastugue Coen, a native of New Orleans who now lives in Lafayette, Louisiana, where she works as a freelance travel and food writer and author of several travel-related non-fiction books. Claire’s six-book “Cajun Series” of historical romances won numerous awards when it debuted in print by Kensington Publishing Co. All six historicals are also available online.

For more information, visit Claire’s web site at http://www.cherieclaire.net/.

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