Love of travel, history, and big dogs is the secret to success for THE LADY’S GUIDE TO PETTICOATS AND PIRACY

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The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings #2)

by Mackenzi Lee


A fiery young heroine is determined to study medicine in a world that tells her women can’t do such things. (Old Firehouse Books)


Don’t tell me women are not the stuff of heroes. – Qiu Jin

A highly dowered girl was faced by a great venture, a great quest. The life before her was an uncharted sea. She had to find herself, to find her way, to find her work. – Margaret Todd, MD, The Life of Sophia Jex-Blake


In this highly anticipated sequel to best-selling The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, Felicity Montague has return to England with two goals in mind: avoid the marriage proposal of a love-struck suitor and enroll in medical school.

However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrator, who see men as the sole guardians of science. A small window of hope opens after Felicity meets a mysterious young woman and they embark on a perilous quest from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic. (Jacket cover and Goodreads).

A great story of friendship, adventure, and defying the patriarchy. (Old Firehouse Books)

What’s Different

(1) An intensely determined, flawed protagonist who shuns societal expectations of women. (2) A few LGBTQ+ characters who are as complex as anyone you’d meet in real life. No wonder the Chicago Tribune said the author’s “prose crackles with wit, playful description, and social relevance.

What’s Awesome

Not only is Felicity a trailblazing feminist in the 1700s, she contends with two other women characters (one who is a person of color) who, like her, are unapologetically themselves.

Kirkus Reviews praised the novel: “Austen, Wilde, and Indiana Jones converge in this deliciously anachronistic bonbon.”

This Best-Selling Author’s Secret

Mackenzi Lee writes what she knows and loves: history, travel, and dogs. She traveled throughout Europe in the middle of earning her bachelor’s degree in history. Her passion for these topics is obvious in the novel’s settings and period details that make the story come alive. The Author’s Note is a special treat for readers interested in learning more about women in medicine, naturalism, and piracy in the 18th century.

On The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, she told “I wanted to write a genre entry – I love love love historical adventure stories and I wanted to write a trope-y, kind of silly and self-aware one, but I wanted to write a story featuring characters who don’t usually get to be the main characters of historical adventures. I honestly wrote the book just for fun – something I didn’t think anyone would read, it would just be for myself.” (“NYTimes Best-Selling Author Mackenzi Lee ’14MFA Talks Upcoming Projects,” Jan. 28, 2019)

Also, she grew up in a family whose favorite dog is the Saint Bernard (as she mentioned in her Oct. 5 visit to Old Firehouse Books; see photos below), and her new puppy, Queenie, is a Saint Bernard. Who else but a lover of large dogs could write the following passage?

Excerpt from Chapter Seven

The dog bounds over to me and presses his head into my knees with such enthusiasm that I promptly sit down again on the sofa, which only delights him further, for it makes my face more accessible to his mouth. He leaps at me with what I guess from his tail and perked ears is joy at the prospect of a new friend, but he’s overly zealous and comes at me with his enormous jaws gaping wide. I shriek without meaning to, though in my defense, what rational being wouldn’t when approached by an open mouth in which your whole head could fit?

“Maximum, down! Off, get off her! Max, come here!”

The dog is wrangled off me, our only connection the long strings of drool that run between his mouth and my shoulders.

Author Bio

Mackenzi Lee loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She calls Boston home, where she (until recently) worked as an independent bookstore manager and pets every dog she meets.

Katherine Valdez writes award-winning microfiction as KatValdezWriter at, and will launch in the spring. Check out the Call for Essays! Deadline: Feb. 28.

Read no-spoilers posts about books and movies at Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, Receive about two posts per month directly to your inbox by typing your email address in the Follow box. Watch for the confirmation email to complete the process.

Say howdy to Katherine on Instagram and Twitter @KatValdezWriter and at and

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