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Mrs. Lieutenant: A Women's Friendship Novel Kindle Edition

4 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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Length: 497 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


"I first became aware of this novel when it was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semi-finalist. I read it again more recently. As a former columnist for Stars and Stripes in Europe AND an Air Force wife of 30 years, I love Mrs.Lieutenant."

-- Bonnie Latino,  co-author of "Your Gift to Me"

From the Author

The novel MRS. LIEUTENANT took 38 years to be published.

The novel's saga started when I was a new Mrs. Lieutenant in May 1970 during the Vietnam War and right after the Kent State shootings.  The experience introduced me to the world of army wives that I would never have otherwise known.

About 20 years later and after I had started the Los Angeles Chapter of the national organization Sisters in Crime, I told the story of my military spouse experience to two female movie producers.  They were intrigued and optioned the story for a movie.

They eventually told me that Hollywood people did not "get" the movie concept and that I would have to first write a book.  By the time I wrote the first draft of the novel the producers had moved on.

For another 20 years or so I wrote and rewrote the novel.  (It had to be a novel rather than a nonfiction book to protect the people whose stories I wanted to tell.)  I created fictional characters and some fictional events for a more compelling story.

Many agents and publishers over the years turned the novel down.  But I felt strongly that there was a place for a novel about this slice of women's social history at the beginning of the women's movement in the United States.

When POD (print on demand) self-publishing became an option, I decided to self-publish MRS. LIEUTENANT.  At the same time I entered it in the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition. When the book was named a semifinalist of this competition, I felt vindicated for my 38-year belief in sharing this story.

At the same time I stumbled into blogging and social media for book marketing.  From that point on I dove into learning as much as possible about this brave new online world, and I co-founded an online marketing company with my younger daughter Yael K. Miller.

Now ebooks have opened up the self-publishing world even more -- and I'm engaged in publishing more fiction and nonfiction books via Kindle Direct Publishing.

Product Details

  • File Size: 5975 KB
  • Print Length: 497 pages
  • Publisher: Miller Mosaic, LLC (January 12, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 12, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0019V2HFK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #551,457 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author


(See her non-fiction books by Phyllis Z. Miller on Amazon at and her YA fiction book PINKY SWEAR by P. Z. Miller on Amazon at

Phyllis Zimbler Miller lives in Beverly Hills, California, and blogs on book-related topics at

She grew up in Elgin, Illinois, and majored in journalism at Michigan State University, where she met her future husband, Army ROTC cadet Mitchell R. Miller, on the State News editorial staff.

In May of 1970 Mitch went on active duty at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, and Phyllis tagged along with him. Her women's friendship novel MRS. LIEUTENANT is inspired by the nine weeks they spent at Ft. Knox.

From September 1970 to May 1972 Phyllis and Mitch were stationed in Munich, Germany, where Mitch served with the 18th Military Intelligence Battalion.

Phyllis eventually got a security clearance and worked as a civilian with the 66th MI Group. Her romantic suspense spy thriller CIA FALL GUY is partially based on knowledge she learned on this job (reports she typed went to the Munich office of the CIA).

After Mitch's military service, while living in Philadelphia, Phyllis was an editor and reporter for the Jewish Exponent before earning an M.B.A. at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Her Wharton experience is the starting point for her Los Angeles-based cozy mystery CAST THE FIRST STONE.

(Two short stories in TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE feature Rebecca Stone, the same protagonist as in CAST THE FIRST STONE. Both books include kosher recipes from Phyllis' 1992 Jewish holiday book SEASONS FOR CELEBRATION written with Rabbi Karen L. Fox.)

Phyllis and Mitch moved to Los Angeles in 1980, and Phyllis held positions at TigerAir and Max Factor. She then worked as a marketing consultant, and she was the founding president of the Los Angeles Chapter of Sisters in Crime.

(Mitch has been a tax lawyer in Beverly Hills for over 25 years -- see

In 2008 Phyllis co-founded an online marketing company at the same time she self-published her novel MRS. LIEUTENANT, which was selected as a 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist. Phyllis dove into the world of blogging, social media, and online book marketing.

Phyllis and Mitch have maintained an interest in military intelligence, and Mitch is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers and the U.S. Naval Institute while Phyllis is a member of the Military Writers Society of America. Together Phyllis and Mitch wrote the military thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS, an adaptation of two screenplays featuring the same protagonist.

Phyllis is a member of the Department of Defense's Bloggers Roundtable and frequently blogs about PTSD. Her short story SOLOMON'S JUSTICE was inspired by her visit to the Los Angeles County Veterans Court.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Phyllis Miller sent me this book after seeing my name on an Internet forum. I was a little concerned because many first novels are really amateurish, almost embarrassing to read.

But I really liked Mrs. Lieutenant. Miller is a writer. She knows how to set up her story and make the characters seem real. Her pacing was good: I didn't want to stop reading. The story arc was strong.

As I read, I was reminded of Rona Jaffe's classic, The best of everything, made into a movie that captured the 50s era career woman.

What Jaffe did for the college graduate in publishing, Miller does for the Vietnam era junior officer's wife.

Those women reminded me of my college classmates who married right out of college (even though they weren't all college grads). Women were expected to marry. They had uneasy relationships with their husbands. They worried about what to wear and what to cook. And they lived in those awful apartments! I visited friends with husbands in grad school, living in student housing and eating budget meals...very similar.

Miller captures the freshness and naiveté of those women, all transplanted to an environment that forced them to deal with new challenges. They met people who were really different from themselves in religion, values, child rearing styles and of course accents. They're so nervous when summoned to tea with the commanding officer and they wear gloves...gloves!

We didn't get too much insight into the men's days at Armor School in Fort Knox. They didn't seem to have homework and they didn't talk about getting uniforms ready and other details of their world.

As a survivor of that era, not married myself, I watched my friends grow into the Women's Movement just five years later.
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Comment 21 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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"Mrs. Lieutenant" presents the vivid, personal stories of four young wives as they learn to cope with military life, against the backdrop of America at war--both in Vietnam and at home--in 1970. The four "Mrs. Lieutenants" (they are defined by their husbands' roles) embark on their individual journeys into womanhood, providing us with an intimate, detailed perspective on one of our Nation's most dynamic, unsettling and influential eras.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Phyllis Zimbler Miller is an author with guts. She tackles the tough topics of race, religion and rank in her novel about four young rookie officers' wives in 1970 while the Vietnam War rages on. And don't forget about the "Rules." While men are dying in an unpopular war overseas, these four young women with very different backgrounds are thrown together into a world where white gloves and the right outfit are expected attire for the proper officer's wife. If only white gloves could protect Sharon, Kim, Wendy and Donna from the harsh realities of military life and the cruel dark places that sometimes exist in the human heart.

Although this story takes place almost 40 years ago, it is so relevant today. Rank still has its privileges, soldiers still die in battle, and some people still cling to outdated rules and old prejudices. Despite some of the unsavory aspects of military life, this novel captures how quickly friendships are made and how most military spouses learn the ropes quickly and are stronger women for it. "Mrs. Lieutenant" is well written and these four main characters will grab your heart and you will come to think of them as friends. You will care about them long after you've finished the last page and closed the book.

Kathleen M. Rodgers ~ author of the bestselling novel, THE FINAL SALUTE, #1 on Amazon's Top Rated War Fiction
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Format: Paperback
This is a very delightful reading about four women whose husbands are in officer training class down in Kentucky. The women themselves are four different individuals from different parts of the country. There's Sharon, the main character, from Chicago and Jewish and against the Vietnam war, but she supports her husband's decision to be enlisted as an officer. There is Kim, an orphan from the south, married to a votalile man and she has endured more life tragedies than a person should bear in one lifetime. There is Donna, a Puerto Rican who is an army brat and has seen the world through her father's deployment to different bases. She is happily married to her husband, even if he is a white man. Then there's Wendy, a Southern Black woman, faced the prejudices of being a black woman in the midst of the deep South.

Together these women became friends and bonded together during the six-week officer training course. Together, these women learned what it means to be an officer's wife in the midst of a traumatic turmoil that is racking the United States. Together, they faced personal trials and came through it knowing that friendships will endure.

This is a delightful reading from an author who is making her fictional novel debut. It is a quick read and an intense one. The characters' voices will linger long after the last page has been turned.

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Mrs. Lieutenant...a novel covering the Vietnam era was a great read for a wife that was cutting her teeth as a 2/Lts wife at that very time.

I loved the four wives and truly understand how they were able to come together and be part of each others lives because THAT IS WHAT MILITARY WIVES DO. They overcame race, religion and ethnic values which would not have happened in the civilian world. The four wives were thrown together because of the positions of their spouse and they became like family watching over and taking care of one another. There were very emotional parts in each wifes history and important topics were brought to the front.

In a unique way the author started every chapter with quotes from the guide book for the Lietunants Wives and there would also be a news bit from the day. That was facinating and brought back vivid memories a time some 40 plus years ago.

I read this novel very quickly stopping only briefly to discuss it with my husband. As a retired Army wife of 35 years I have recommended this novel to many people.
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I disagree with the Publisher's Weekly review
One wonders if some of the anonymous PW reviewers in this contest are recent college graduates with English Lit degrees - and not much else. What the PW reviewer of this particular manuscript doesn't comprehend is that the military isn't a job or even just a career - it's a WAY OF LIFE that Mrs.... Read More
Jan 23, 2008 by Bonnie Bartel Latino |  See all 4 posts
Sharon Gold Novel?
Let me explain. I had originally intended to write a sequel to MRS. LIEUTENANT, so I wanted a subtitle to identify the main character in both books. Later I decided not to write a sequel and thus changed the subtitle to "A Women's Friendship Novel."
Jun 10, 2015 by Phyllis Zimbler Miller |  See all 2 posts
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