TICKET TO PARADISE
The Cajun Embassy, Book One
What happens when three Columbia journalism students homesick for Louisiana meet over a pot of Cajun gumbo? They become lifelong friends.
And so begins The Cajun Embassy, a new contemporary romance series. In each book — Ticket to Paradise, Damn Yankees and Gone Pecan — these dedicated friends make their way into the world and find that love — and a good gumbo — cures everything.
In “Ticket to Paradise,” 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, California. 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?
The Story Behind the Story...
I wrote this story while living in the sweet town of Santa Clarita, California, located just north of Los Angeles. My “day job” in Hollywood, a demanding position with heavy egos, included a commute that was easily two hours daily. Santa Clarita with its planned subdivisions, quaint boutiques and endless hiking paths turned into my personal oasis, my beacon at the end of a long drive through L.A. freeways.
Because I wasn’t happy with my job, I routinely turned to the California Lottery, hoping that a winning ticket would deliver me to Paradise. What I came to realize, and so do my characters in Ticket to Paradise, is that happiness exists with the ones we love — in my case, my husband and children. When I look back on those years I don’t think about my horrid day job.I remember the wonderful times with family in a lovely Southern California town.
But why gumbo? I hail from New Orleans although I now live in Cajun Country about two hours west and gumbo is a vital part of my culture. Whether it’s a family gathering, sustenance when the weather chills or just an excuse to add love into a pot, we adore our uniquely Louisiana dish. There have been so many times when I’ve been away from home — California included — and a pot of gumbo has healed my homesick heart.
The Cajun Embassy initially meets over gumbo and each story has a gumbo at its heart. Be sure and check out the gumbo recipes in the back of each book.
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Cherie Claire is the award-winning Louisiana author of several Cajun historical romances, including The Cajun Series: "Emilie," "Rose," "Gabrielle," "Delphine," "A Cajun Dream" and "The Letter" and The Cajun Embassy series of contemporary romances: "Ticket to Paradise," "Damn Yankees" and "Gone Pecan."