New Book Alert: Bertie’s Book of Spooky Wonders

My reclusive writer friend Ocelot Emerson will be publishing a middle grade novel, Bertie’s Book of Spooky Wonders, on October 15, 2019. Here’s a blurb:

Twelve-year-old Bertie Blount is great at causing trouble. When she’s forced to leave behind her dad and friends in North Carolina so her mom can marry the most boring optometrist in the world, Bertie has a chance at a fresh start.

But when Bertie arrives in Pennsylvania, she doesn’t just bring trouble; she brings disaster. In a moment of anger, Bertie unwittingly triggers an accident that puts her future stepbrother in a coma.

Broken and desperate to make things right, Bertie prays for a miracle. Instead, the universe gives her a pair of supernatural sunglasses, a wise-cracking doppelganger, and a terrifying ghost that sends Bertie on a dangerous mission to find the one thing that just might save her stepbrother’s life.


Chapter 1 excerpt:

I was dead.

Not literally, not dead-dead. I just told her, while gazing out my window at the bleak, dark, and unfamiliar surroundings, that I felt dead inside.

My mom said, “Remember when you insisted that I give you a heads-up if you got too morbid? Heads-up, kiddo.”

“Don’t you want to know why I feel this inner deadness?” I asked.

“Pretty sure I already do, Bertie,” she said.

We had been driving for nine hours. Nearly all that time, Mom wore a freakish perma-smile. I sat beside her, Leon resting on my lap. My small and beloved and extremely lazy rescue dog farted so often, I practically needed a Hazmat suit.

Sound like your kind of book? Here are some ordering links:

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     IndieBound

About the author:

Ocelot Emerson is the freakish result of a mad scientist’s experiment gone horribly wrong. Born half magnificent cat, half malicious human, Ocie escaped from the secret International Prison For Wayward Creatures, and into a deep dark woods, only to be captured by a pack of ravenous ghost wolves. In a stroke of good fortune, the Great Spirit Wolves set aside their natural disdain for all things feline and accepted the cat person into their pack, where they taught Ocie how to hunt and tell bizarre yet heartwarming tales. Bertie’s Book of Spooky Wonders is Ocelot’s first novel aimed at feral and phenomenally gifted children. That means you, kid!

Official author photo:

PhotoFunia-1563472652 copy

Wolf Boy ebook and paperback

My debut novel and graphic novel Wolf Boy is now available as a Kindle ebook and as a paperback with a new cover. The story is about a teenaged boy who uses comic book art to help heal his broken family. Art by Brendon and Brian Fraim. $4.99 ebook/$14.99 paperback. If you read my first book I hope you enjoy it.

The three-page prologue is available here:

“Sad, surprising, and sweet.” — Tampa Tribune

020_kuhl_0307336964_art_r1 copy 2       e-book front cover copy


Hank’s Big Day is here!


Hank’s Big Day: The Story Of a Bug (Random House/Schwartz & Wade) is a story about a brave pill bug who goes on a risky journey to meet up with his best friend, a girl named Amelia. The girl and the bug have adventures together, then it’s time for Hank to go home. Perfect for nap time and bedtime reading.

A Kirkus and Chicago Public Library Best Picture Book of 2016

“Lovely and inviting.”Publisher’s Weekly* (starred review)

“An eye-catching picture book with an intrepid little hero.” – Booklist* (starred review)

“Excellent layout, text, and illustrations make for a thoroughly satisfying story.”Kirkus Reviews* (starred review)

“This charming, positive book revels in unusual friendships and the value of imagination.”BookPage.

“A lively suburban romp that captures the essence of friendship and play, with text and thoughtful details that are interspersed evenly enough to hold the attention of younger readers.”School Library Journal

Hank’s Big Day is a Junior Library Guild selection.

Here is sample art by Chuck Groenink. Can you find Hank?


If you are interested in ordering a copy, here are some links:


Great Ball of Light Wins Best Book Award

My newest children’s novel Great Ball of Light has won the best children’s book of the year award from The Society of Midland Authors. I’d like to thank the judges for this wonderful honor, and of course Atheneum Books For Young Readers for publishing my novel. The story is about a brother and sister who capture a ball of light during a storm and use its powers of reanimation to bring about family healing. An excerpt is available here. I think this story could make a great family movie, if anyone in Hollywood is interested. The book is available in hardcover and paperback (only $7.99). Here’s the link to the Amazon page.