Shortly after being published, this Slater author’s book has received 5-star ratings and already has a sequel in the works.

Bette Maybee of Slater recently penned her first published book, "Phoenix: The Rising." The young adult novel is a fictional tale of the rebirth of the Phoenix in Mono Lake, California, and the Nephalims’ attempts to prevent the Phoenix’s rebirth in order to claim immortality. As part of their attempts to identify the Phoenix, the Nephalim seek any 17-year-old with green eyes and red hair, including Julie Mason, with the intent to kill them. Spun in with the Nephalims’ hunt is a romance story between Mason and Eli Sullivan, the Phoenix.

When Maybee finished the book last year, she submitted it directly to several publishers to see if any would publish it. Her book was chosen as the launching title for Evernight Teen, a publishing company who was looking to begin their line of teen books. "Phoenix: The Rising" was published Jan. 10 and has since become the top-selling book on Evernight Teen’s website.

"It’s an honor for me," Maybee said of her book being chosen as the launching title.

During the approximately eight months Maybee spent writing the book, she said she most enjoyed developing the characters who make up the story. One character, Lucy, is added toward the middle of the story line. Maybee hinted that Lucy struggles with an internal conflict, but only those who read the novel will find out what the struggle entails.

"It’s exciting because the audience may hate her, but end up loving her," Maybee said.

While some authors make an outline for a story they are writing and stick to it throughout the writing process, Maybee takes a different approach. She knew how she wanted the story to end and had some ideas for what should happen to get to the ending point, but she did not follow her original outline. Letting the characters and their dialogue guide her through the writing process made it that much more fun.

"I knew where I wanted to go, but the road there is not always straight," Maybee said.

Fans of the "Twilight" series will enjoy this book, Maybee said, because of its paranormal qualities and romantic story-line. Maybee also added a few "Stephen King-worthy scenes" that she says make the novel that much more intriguing. Many who have read the book and left comments on various sites where the book is sold have said they hope there is a sequel. Maybee said she is trying to decide whether or not she should focus on writing the sequel, or continue work on the second of her "The Tip Top Cafe" romance series.

"The Tip Top Cafe" was the first book she wrote and is currently in submission. She plans on writing four books in the series, which will evolve around events from her childhood. While based off her childhood, the series will be fictionalized and not an autobiography.

She got the inspiration to write her first book while reading the Twilight series with her daughter four years ago. Maybee came to the part in the series where first loves were being discussed, and it reminded her of a letter she received from her first love. She dug the 33-year-old letter out of the drawer where she keeps it and let her daughter read it so she could experience what a first love was like. After reading the letter, Maybee’s daughter encouraged her to write a story about it.

"I got that inspiration from her and realized what I had been missing," Maybee said of the push to get her writing.

Maybee has always enjoyed writing and the language arts. She served as a language arts and creative writing teacher before taking on her current role as Assistant to the Chair of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Iowa State University. She now spends evenings and weekends writing and blogging from her home in Slater, where she lives with her husband, Tim, and one of their three children.

"Phoenix: The Rising" is available in either paperback or electronic formats on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, EvernightTeen.com, and other major distributor sites.