Apr 292017


Like many literary fiction novels, The Fifth Floor tells a story that transcends time.

We’ve all heard of mental illness and mental health conditions, but there may be some confusion about the difference between the two terms. To clarify, according to National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), “a mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood.”

A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event: “Genetics, environment and lifestyle influence whether someone develops a mental health condition. A stressful job or home life makes some people more susceptible, as do traumatic life events like being the victim of a crime.”

Although The Fifth Floor takes place in the 1980s, the mental health issues that afflict the characters are much like the afflictions of teens today. According to NAMI, “…half of mental health conditions begin by age 14, and 75% of mental health conditions develop by age 24.”

In my opinion, NAMI’s data on mental health lends itself to a realization that our basic emotional needs are craving attention.

Could the problem partly be the stigma associated with mental health conditions that might prevent kids and adults from seeking help?

NAMI and MHA (Mental Health of America) are working diligently to educate people with hope of our country someday becoming a stigma-free nation.

The Fifth Floor and Just Like Ziggy were written with a similar vision.

Though both novels are written in literary fiction, Anna’s journey has a realistic feel relating to readers of all ages, regardless of the decade; a glimpse into a story that transcends time. Through Anna’s thoughts and internal dialogue, readers experience first-hand a gut-wrenching struggle of a girl’s journey, her secretive past, and the people who hope to save her.

Mar 162017

Career Day at Batavia High School was a success. I never imagined a room full of eager teens wanting to learn what it looks like to be an author. Students wanted a behind the scenes look at writing fiction novels, publishing, and choosing a career in the writing field. A few students have already started their own fiction novels and are hopeful of having their work published in the future.

Bottom Line: It was fantastic to see so many creative young adults ready to explore so many options.

I was honored to be part of such a wonderful experience.

Amazing job, Batavia High School!

Feb 162017

For all my fans out there in Good Reads who have added Just Like Ziggy to their to-read list. First, and most importantly, thank you. And second, Just Like Ziggy is only $0.99 now through Friday, February 17. Click here for your 99 cent eBook.

Feb 052017

Why a Super Bowl Freebie? Hmmm…the best way to explain it is this. I’m married to a football coach, so unless the house catches fire and flames engulf the TV, my husband will be home watching the Super Bowl–his eyes glued to our oversized screen. In all fairness, the same goes for most Americans. Who wouldn’t love viewing million dollar commercials and feasting on a spread of fattening appetizers?

I love the excitement as much as the next fan, and I too will be watching the game, but please understand, I am inundated with football year round. My husband’s work doesn’t end with the football season. Nope! Championships end and the new season begins tomorrow. There is tape to watch, stats to record, calls to be made, spring practices, summer camps, fall workouts, and so on and so on…SO for this Super Bowl Sunday, I might have other things to do between the commercials breaks and half time show, like enjoy a good book.

And that’s why The Fifth Floor is free on Super Bowl Sunday. For all of you who would rather be doing something other than watching the game. Grab your eReader (and some of those appetizers) and enjoy this free eBook.

Happy Reading!


Jan 302017

When I first started writing, I never imagined that I would be asked to be a guest author at book clubs. Quite honestly, just the thought of meeting with a group of people who had read my book was so intimidating that I actually considered declining the first book club invitation I received. Thank goodness I didn’t make that mistake. I have met so many wonderful people and have been greeted with such hospitality.

It has also been interesting to see all the different ways book clubs are managed. Some groups plan their reads for the year while others choose the new book at each meeting. Some groups have prepared questions, others let questions roll–one leading to the next. A definite common thread, without a doubt,  is the food, drink, and fun. Thank you to all who have invited me into their lives.






Dec 272016

Dear Reader,

Today, Dec. 27 through Thursday, Dec. 29, The Fifth Floor is free. Visit Amazon and download The Fifth Floor, pour yourself a glass of wine or a mug of hot cocoa, and let the reading and relaxing being. Happy Early New Year!

Warmest Regards,
Julie Oleszek


Dec 152016

hot-coffee-for-postTypically, on a day this cold, I would be drinking my Yoli Passion Tea while working from home, cozy in my home while Bo sleeps near my desk. But today, I’m enjoying a latte at a favorite cafe of mine and working on my third novel. Stay warm!

Dec 132016

“We stuff ourselves with bite-size hot dogs or ham slices spread with cream cheese and rolled around pickles then cut into bite-size pieces. The table is flowing with cupcakes and cookies, nuts and tangerines. I eat the cutout cookies of Santa and Christmas trees topped with white icing and sprinkled with red and green sugar. The rest of the year we’re stuck eating dinners with no desserts. Saturdays being the worst—liver and onions—but not tonight because tonight is Christmas Eve, and we eat everything we possibly can.” Excerpt from The Fifth Floor 

family-of-7-on-christmasAs Christmas draws near, I find myself enjoying memories like this when I was a young child. The days seemed so long back then, like Christmas would never come. And then, it was upon us.

Looking back, as I seem to do quite often at Christmastime, the explosion of excitement and wrapping paper being torn from boxes was only the beginning of a very early Christmas morning. Soon the sounds of a pogo stick in the basement, a Slinky descending the stairs, and the whistling of a battery operated train could be heard as toys were put to immediate use.

There were very few years when all my siblings celebrated Christmas morning together under one roof, but it’s those years I cherish most. This holiday season, I hope you and your family create wonderful memories. Have a very Merry Christmas.

Nov 282016

Trying to think of the perfect gift for friends, family, co-workers, teachers, and sweet-hearts? How about the gift of reading a great book (or two)?

Ebooks make for great gifts. The Fifth Floor and Just Like Ziggy are on Amazon today for only $1.99 each.  Have it electronically delivered any day, any time–even Christmas Day!

Hope this makes your holiday season brighten with simplicity.