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Intersection Column | Santa Fe All the Way!

by Tracie Peterson

I grew up hearing that saying a lot. Born and raised in Topeka, Kansas, I soon found that the Santa Fe Railroad played a major roll in my life. My grandfather and other relatives worked for the company, and my passion for trains came from riding those wonderful beasts and going to the depot to pick up or drop off passengers. So when it comes to writing, I love to include trains in my stories.

Along the Rio Grande is a perfect example of that. I had researched an area of the Santa Fe Railroad for a novella titled A Flood of Love. I chose the area of San Marcial, New Mexico, for that story, but knew there was much more I wanted to share about that area and the Horny Toad Division of the Santa Fe.

San Marcial, now a ghost town with very little to show for having once been a bustling railroad town, sits south of Albuquerque on the Rio Grande River. At one time, it was a thriving hub for the railroad, and thousands of people lived and worked there. However, the river created problems and flooded out the town more than once. After the last major flood in 1929 when guests of the Harvey House were left to be rescued from atop the porch roof, the area was pretty much destroyed and abandoned. Yet, as I read about this place and the Santa Fe, I knew that I wanted to tell more of its story.

Along the Rio Grande is the first of three independent books in the Love On The Santa Fe series. I set it in the town of San Marcial and gave my hero a job working as a boilermaker at the Santa Fe shops. My widowed heroine comes to town with her parents and brother who are experiencing a sort of riches-to-rags moment in their lives. Having come from a glorious, wealthy setting elsewhere, San Marcial only served to rub in the desperation they were already feeling. But in truth, it’s the start of their redemption.

The novel is also a romance, as is true of most of my stories. My main characters Susanna and Owen have their own pasts to overcome where mistakes were made, and hope was lost. They know early on that there can’t be a future for their love without putting the past behind them, but so much rises to interfere in their relationship that it will take a miracle to set them free.

As with most of my stories, I share encouragement and hope from biblical application. This story deals with overcoming the past, starting fresh, and shaking off bad attitudes. We’ve all experienced times like that in our life, and I believe the story will strike a chord with my readers. Writing for me has always been a ministry to share the hope God has given me, as well as the good news of Jesus Christ. I hope you’ll enjoy Along the Rio Grande.


About the Author

Often called “the Queen of Historical Christian fiction,” Tracie Peterson is an ECPA, CBA and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of over 120 books. Tracie, a Kansas native, now makes her home in the mountains of Montana with her husband of over 40 years.


About the Book

Recently widowed Susanna Jenkins has decided to follow her family to the booming town of San Marcial, New Mexico, for a fresh start and to aid in her family's sudden change in fortune. When misguided choices put Susanna's family in an even more precarious situation, she worries her help has only made things worse.


Did You Know?

Many strange ideas are floating around our world today as to who God is. People speak of Him in terms of who they want Him to be. We may not even realize how we have been molding our understanding of God to fit our own expectations. But what might happen if our perspective changed from who we think God is to who He said He is? This change will touch us three ways.

  • Who God is: each name and attribute God disclosed in His Word reveals His character and His ways. As the facets of a cut diamond combine to reflect its brilliance, God’s names and attributes combine to reveal His glory.

  • Who we are: the more we learn about who God is, the more we grasp who we are in relation to the One who created and redeemed us. The result will be increasing intimacy with Him.

  • Our relationships with others: as we apply what we learn about God and ourselves, the way we relate to others will be strengthened. We learn the priority God places on relationships and the characteristics that nurture our relationships in ways that honor Him.

It’s difficult to trust someone we don’t know. As we grow in our understanding of who God is, we’ll find it easier to trust Him. If you and I want to know God intimately, it makes sense to learn what He says about Himself!


Why I LOVE My Local Christian Bookstore

“When I shop in a real bookstore, it's like I'm transported into another dimension. The cares of the world slip away, and I become a book detective searching for my next world to live in my imagination or to research for writing my next book.”

-Angela Breidenbach, The Bucket List Dare


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