Krystal M. Anderson presents: The Stage Coach: Icon of the West (and a PAPER BACK GIVE AWAY!)

First of all, I’m so thrilled to be with you today and look forward to making some new friends!
We hear about lots of brave men – and a few women, too – who faced incredible obstacles in settling the American West. This was wilderness untamed, a place where you could never be sure what you’d find… or what would find you. Their stories are the ones I like most, for the events that brought them to their destinations often were so incredibly unlikely, yet true. As the 19th century progressed, people traveled west by wagon, handcart, stagecoach, and train. To me, each of these are symbols of that wild time period, but perhaps none more thrilling than the stagecoach.
Can you imagine traveling in one?
Nine passengers could be crammed inside, twelve more squeezed onto the roof. Belongings were packed on the roof or in the front or rear boot (those leather pouch-looking spaces). It varied, of course, on the type of terrain and road conditions, but a stagecoach averaged 5 mph (8 km/h) and could travel 60-70 miles per 24 hours.
If you wanted to ride a stagecoach from your town to another that was 100 miles away, you would typically ride 24 hours a day in the coach. That’s where you would sleep, too. They had to stop every 10-15 miles to swap out the team of horses at a swing station (ideally, they were galloping that entire distance, weather and trail permitting) and passengers could get out and stretch for a minute. Home Stations were located every 50 miles or so, and that’s where you’d come inside to have a meal.
Riding across the country in a stagecoach was miserable, dusty, bumpy, and cramped. It would be a test in patience and endurance to travel in such a way, in my opinion!

As I researched stage lines and all the fascinating treasure stories involved, I came across very few women.

Charley Parkhurst was a notable stage driver in California and Nevada in the mid-1800s, though no one knew she was a woman until after her death. She wore an eye patch and could spit tobacco and shoot a gun like any man of the west. Her story intrigued me. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to write a female stage driver?”

That’s how The Stage Driver’s Daughter came to be.

Winnifred Morgan, the heroine, spends most of her childhood in the driver’s seat of a stage coach beside her pa, learning all he knew. When he is killed suddenly, Winnie has no one left. So, she forsakes her dress and bonnet for boots and trousers and turns to what she knows: driving a coach, and not through civilized, populated roads – No. Where is the fun in that? She takes on the perilous mining routes in Nevada, and does it better than anyone else, too.

When she begins conveying treasure boxes for Wells Fargo Express, they hire a shotgun guard named Benjamin Sharpe to ride with her. Wouldn’t you know, she fights her growing attraction to him as they face many a highwayman on those dusty, dangerous roads.
But a secret surfaces, something her pa took to his grave, and those who seek it are coming after Winnie… You’ll have to read it to find out what happens when they do!
The Stage Driver’s Daughter is available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited here.
To celebrate the book’s release one week ago, I’d love to give a paperback copy away here today.

I’ll pick a random winner from the comments to this post. Tell me your favorite way to travel, and why.

Thanks for having me, and I hope to see some of you on Facebook or my newsletter!







Guest Blogger
Updated: October 14, 2019 — 3:56 pm


  1. Hi Krystal, the book sounds like an exciting read. It’s definitely going on my TRL. I love being in a car and looking at everything Found me. As a passenger of course. ? But for speed I’d go by train. No planes for me anymore.

    1. Hi Carol. That’s great you enjoy car trips. Can you read in the car without getting sick? I always get a lot of reading done when we travel.

  2. Book sounds Great. I prefer to travel by Car as you can enjoy the scenery and stop as often as you like.
    Have a Wonderful Day!! Smile Jesus loves You!!

  3. I prefer traveling by truck because it is so comfortable and has seat Warmers! Isn’t that pathetic! Seat warmers and leather seats are a pretty sweet combo. Plus, I love getting to know America this way. So thankful for our journeys camping. Your book sounds great! And I will love getting to know you as an author!

    1. Thanks Kathy! Seat warmers sound wonderful, especially with chill mornings we’ve been getting. Thanks for commenting.

  4. I travel by anything depending on the circumstances. I love the sounds of the book.

  5. I prefer to travel by car and watch the country side along the way. I usually don’t travel very far anymore. Your book sounds really good and would love to read it.

  6. by vehicle to see the sights of course = by plane if a destination outing is planned (wedding, etc)

  7. My favorite way to travel is by car, so I can see the sights. If time is of the essence, then by plane.

  8. What a great book! I love to travel by car. I love road trips!

  9. We travel by plane to get to some faraway places, but then we rent a car to thoroughly explore the area.

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    I like traveling by car so you can see the scenery and find new places to stop and check out.

  11. We travel by truck it’s comfy and plenty of room. Plus we love antiques so I we stumble across something we can’t live without, it rides back home with us. Ha ha!!
    Thanks for visiting!

    1. Sounds like you have it all figured out! Haha

    2. Oh Tonya … you and I would get along real good! I love antiquing and used bookstores!

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    I can’t imagine traveling in a Stage Coach. Your book sounds awesome! I’d love the opportunity to read your book. A giveaway is an awesome way to find a new author to add to my go-to authors list!

    1. Thanks Stephanie. I know, stage coach travel sounds awful.

  13. Fly if it is far and road trips are wonderful.

  14. I enjoy car travel as long as it is relaxing and we stop and explore. I love seeing new and interesting places.

  15. Flying to far flung places is necessary and tiring but what I enjoy greatly is the old fashioned trip by car.

  16. Great post, Krystal! I love to travel and want to do some train trips one summer!

    1. Thanks, Kit. That would be fun! I have only ridden city trains – a cross-country train would be a new experience.

  17. I can’t even imagine travel in a stagecoach. Dirty, dusty, bumpy, slow, long, elbow to elbow with other passengers. Kind of line coach on airlines today! We bought an RV years ago so that our dog and grandkids could easily go with us and so that I had a bathroom available whenever I wanted it. It was fun and served its purpose, but now my favorite way to travel is through my books. Thanks for the chance to win.

    1. I’ll bet you’ve got some great memories doing that!

  18. Whenever I read about riding in stagecoaches, I think of the bruises the riders must have had at the end of their trip. I can’t imagine being the driver and handling those horse on a full out run. Charley must have been quite a girl! BTW, we have a Charlie AND she is quite a girl. 🙂 This books looks like it’s going to be a real treat. Looking forward to reading it.

    1. I like that name for a girl. Thanks, Rosie.

  19. Your book sounds fun. I’m going to have to add it to my list. I can’t imagine having to travel by stagecoach. It sounds miserable. My favorite way is by car so I can enjoy the sights and fun side trips along the way, time permitting.

  20. I love road trips in my minivan. Can pack a lot of the amenities.

    At Knott’s Berry Farm, I was able to ride the stagecoach twice. It was fine for a ride, but I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to ride it for a trip.

  21. This looks so neat! I have only traveled by car so I guess car. 😉

  22. Hi it is a pleasure to have you here today. Wow but this sounds like a fascinating book. On my list now. I love traveling by car. I can see so much, stop when I want to, and let my imagination fly. We have had so many adventures by car. I know our kids have them also.

  23. Hi, your book sounds like a very good read. How uncomfortable and how dusty those stage coach rides must have been. I would love to read it. My favorite way to travel is by car, i don’t drive so my husband drives, so I get to see everything better than he does. I would love to go on a train trip one day, I have been on trains before , but it has been a while, so hopefully one day I will get to do it again. Thanks for the chance. Have a Great weekend. Thank you so much for sharing the information about the stage coaches and introducing us to your book.

  24. I remember seeing a story on tv about Charlie Parkhurst, probably on Death Valley Days. How uncomfortable it must have been to travel by stagecoach. It’s road tripping for us unless time doesn’t allow it. Then we fly and rent a car.

    1. I would have loved to see it. She must have been quite the independent woman.

  25. Your book sounds sooo good!! My favorite way to travel is by car, that way, I can stop whenever something interesting catches my eye!! I’ve found some really great places that way!

    1. It seems like a lot of the best stops are the ones that are unplanned, doesn’t it?

  26. I prefer to drive when we travel. It gives us the flexibility to go where we want, take our time, and see what we would like. This year we took a long planned trip to Alaska from Tennessee, there. and back. We left May 4 and hit flooding, snow, sleet, freezing fog, thunderstorms, and tornadoes (luckily to the north and south of us). That was all the first week. I can’t imagine having to deal with that in a wagon or a stagecoach. We did take a train from Seattle to Vancouver, did a cruise – land tour of Alaska, then flew back to Seattle. We picked up our RV and headed back to Alaska. It waster first big trip with the RV and it is a convenient way to travel. The cost of gas wasn’t appreciated, but the flexibility was nice. We were gone 2 1/2 months and covered 13,000 miles in the RV. In all honesty, I wasn’t ready to go home. Especially when we found 7 to 8 foot tall weeds in all our gardens and flower beds. I look forward to read THE STAGE DRIVER’S DAUGHTER. It will be interesting seeing the trips through her eyes. I have taken a short ride in a stage coach and ridden in several different types of wagons. Rough, dusty, and not the least bit comfortable. OK for the experience, but I certainly wouldn’t want to travel cross country in them. Have traveled cross country with dogs, cats, an elderly aunt and kids 8 times or so. No picnic even with cars. Got trapped in a blizzard our first trip. I don’t know if we would have all made it (or still be on speaking terms) if it had been in a wagon or stage.

  27. I love to fly! I don’t mind traveling by car as long as I’m not driving.

    The Stage Driver’s Daughter sounds like an epic adventure. I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Thank you for the interesting post!

  28. I like traveling by car. You can stop whenever you want, or change your route if you change your mind.

  29. Wow! Your books sounds Awesome, a woman stage driver….will add it to my TBR list.
    I enjoying traveling by car. So I can stop whenever I like to see what is interesting in that area. I use to travel by plane, however; since I am now retired I can take my time since I don’t have a time schedule. A lot of stuff going on now on the planes.

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