The Grand Island native authored Roses from Angels, a young adult fiction novel that she describes as “a paranormal/supernatural love story.” The novel is about coping with death, both on Earth and in Heaven, and learning to move on. It explores the unbreakable bond between sisters, as well as overcoming the many obstacles life offers.
Ruszkowski’s labor of literary love took five years to complete, having commenced while she was still a sophomore at Grand Island High School. She said she spent numerous nights and summer days writing in various locations, including the NU library, the break room at Wegmans, where she works, and at home.
“My passion for writing spans way back to when I was just 10 years old,” said Ruszkowski, who is also minoring in international studies at NU. “In fifth grade, I was assigned to write a simple story for a project – I ended up writing a 58-page novella (which I still have!). I was shy as a child and found there was something empowering about writing, something that kept me going and begging for more. I was always eager to learn more about the publishing industry and ventured into many different genres and styles before writing Roses from Angels.”
Released in December under the pen name Rachael Marie – “My last name is too long,” Ruszkowski joked – the book is available in paperback and Kindle version from Amazon.
“Roses from Angels will always hold a special place in my heart, and not just because it was the first book I completely finished writing,” explained Ruszkowski. “Elements from my own life inspired me to write the book, especially the bond I share with my triplet sisters, Kelsey and Katelyn. I also lost my grandma at a young age and had to attempt to understand death as just a child. My family taught me to cherish the memories I shared with her and to continue to make her proud.
“Roses from Angels shows people that their loved ones still look after them, even after they’re gone. The story explores both sides of death: one from Heaven and the other from Earth. The two main characters go on a journey of love, acceptance, and discovery to embrace the ever-present beauty life, and even death, have to offer.”