Karen Mccombie - Author

About the Author

Karen McCombie grew up in Aberdeen, Scotland, where she learnt to walk at an angle of 45 degrees against the biting north wind. Her hobbies were drawing, keeping scrapbooks, writing short stories and wearing thermal underwear (except for the three days in summer when it was warm). Her primary-school teacher, Miss Thompson, once told Karen that she should be an author when she grew up. Karen thinks Miss Thompson was only trying to be nice, but is very, very glad she turned out to be right.

As an adult, Karen studied graphic design and communication, before landing a job as a trainee magazine journalist at a Scottish publisher. A few years later, she packed up all her worldly possessions and cat, Cecy, and headed to London for a job with teen magazine Just 17. She worked for several other magazines - including Sugar - before she thought about trying to write a book. She still lives in London, writing books for a living (hurray!), surrounded by cats as well as a husband, who likes to type silly lines into her stories when she's not looking. Karen and her husband have a lovely little daughter called Milly, who thinks her mum's job is to make Playdough cookies.

As an artist, Karen is the author of the best-selling Ally's World series, as well as the Stella Etc. books and Marshmallow Magic and the Wild Rose Rouge. She's also written several books for older teens, including My Funny Valentine and In Sarah's Shadow. Karen loves writing and her fattest cat, Bysshe, loves to watch her writing. The only problem is, he likes to get right up close, and often the keyboard disappears under folds of ginger fur as Bysshe settles himself down for a purr and a stare.

Featured books by Karen Mccombie

Other books by Karen Mccombie

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Gremlins and Pesky Guests

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Gremlins and Pesky Guests

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/08/2018

When a flood closes the village school, Lulu invites the staff and pupils to come and join them at St Grizzle's. Dani and her friends can't believe their bad luck - it was awful enough bumping into Spencer and his cronies in the village but now they've got to share lessons with them. Before long pupils are clashing with pupils, there are pranks aplenty and even the teachers aren't getting along. Rehearsals get underway for the school show but with tempers fraying it's soon looking like a big failure. Determined that the show will go on, Lulu calls on Dani and co, as the oldest children in the school, to set a good example and make friends. But with Spencer up to his usual tricks, can the two rival groups put aside their differences long enough to turn a disaster into a triumph? This warm, funny series based in the maddest of mad boarding schools, is perfect for fans of SCARLET AND IVY and A MURDER MOST UNLADYLIKE. Fizzing with mayhem - Sally Morris, The Daily Mail

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Geeks and Tag-along Zombies

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Geeks and Tag-along Zombies

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2018

When Arch turns up at St Grizzle's, Dani is delighted to introduce her best friend to her new classmates. But she soon discovers that mixing her old life with her new one isn't quite as easy as she'd imagined. And Arch isn't the only new pupil - there's also super-smart Boudicca, who barely says a word to anyone. It's only when she meets Arch that she perks up and takes to following him everywhere he goes. Then she disappears. With the help of Granny Viv, it's up to Dani and Arch to find Boudicca ... and unravel the truth about this shy tag-along zombie. This warm, funny series based in the maddest of mad boarding schools, is perfect for fans of SCARLET AND IVY and A MURDER MOST UNLADYLIKE.

The Mystery Of Me

The Mystery Of Me

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/07/2017

Ketty was technically dead for two minutes and thirty-nine seconds according to the doctors who saved her. She's on the mend yet can't remember anything about her life before the accident. But people are treating her really weirdly and Ketty just can't shake the feeling that something is terribly wrong. When her new friend Otis reveals that pre-crash Ketty was a spiteful bully, she faces a tough decision. What kind of person can she be now? Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Ghosts and Runaway Grannies

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Ghosts and Runaway Grannies

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2017

When local schools are asked to make a film showcasing the surrounding area, Dani and the rest of St Grizzle's set to work. But Spencer and his mates at the village school are determined to sabotage the work of the smelly Grizzlers. To Dani's surprise, help comes in the form of Granny Viv who has secretly taken up residence in the school's tree house with Downboy the dog. Together they come up with the perfect ghostly video ... but will Granny Viv be able to stay once the competition's over?

The Pearl in the Attic

The Pearl in the Attic

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2017

When Scarlet's grandma goes into a retirement home, she must sort through her belongings in the cramped flat above a shop in Crouch End, north London. Here Scarlet comes across a real treasure: a novel that Gran wrote, imagining the life of a girl just like Scarlet, who once upon a time lived in the flat and worked in a cake shop downstairs. But as Scarlet reads about Ruby's life in Victorian London, she begins to realise this is no piece of fiction - Ruby was real! A real life, facing real danger - and a mystery that unravels to the present day.

Oxford Reading Tree All Stars: Oxford Level 10: Stanley Stone Rocks!

Oxford Reading Tree All Stars: Oxford Level 10: Stanley Stone Rocks!

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/02/2017

Frank is shy and worried about making friends at his new school. He finds a special stone, and names it Stanley. But what will Frank's new classmates think of Stanley Stone? Oxford Reading Tree All Stars is an engaging chapter fiction series which combines age-appropriate content with imaginative stories, perfect for inspiring and stretching able infants. The series develops comprehension skills and provides a wide variety of fiction topics and styles, alongside illustrations that aid understanding. All the books in this series are carefully levelled, so it's easy to match every child to the right book - one which will develop their reading skills and fuel their love of reading. Help with children's reading development is also available at www.oxfordowl.co.uk.

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Goats and Random Boys

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Goats and Random Boys

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/01/2017

When Dani's mum gets the chance to study penguins in the Antarctic, she decides the best place for eleven-year-old Dani is a strict girls' boarding school where - uh-oh! - students wear smart uniforms that includes SKIRTS! Having failed to change Mum's mind, Dani finds herself having to say goodbye to Granny Viv, her dog Downboy and best friend Arch. But when they arrive at St Grizelda's it seems that there's been some drastic changes; gone are the uniforms and the rules, and in are chaos, anarchy and, er, goats. Surely Mum's not going to leave her at the mercy of a crazy head-butting goat, a bunch of eight-year-olds masquerading as mutant goblins and a head teacher wearing a crown of picnic cutlery? But as a homesick Dani waits for Mum to make alternative arrangements, the madness of St Grizzle's begins to warm Dani's heart... With a definite whiff of St Trinian's about it, St Grizzle's is a laugh-out-loud middle grade read by best-selling author Karen McCombie, perfect for fans of A Murder Most Unladylike and Scarlet and Ivy.

The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall

The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2016

Ellis is losing track of time... Following her mother's marriage to a famous rock star, Ellis moves to a crumbling old mansion in the wilds of Scotland. Far away from her friends and familiarity, she finds waves of anxiety rolling in and threatening to capsize her. But when she finds herself whisked back to the world of 1912 where she meets lonely servant girl Flora, Ellis finally feels like she's home. But living in the past might not be as perfect as it seems... and is there more to hope for in the present than she first thought? A stunning new novel from much-loved author Karen McCombie, The Whispers of Wilderwood Hall will take you from the heart of the highlands to the top deck of the Titanic.

The OMG Blog

The OMG Blog

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/04/2016

Four 'good' girls meet in detention and are encouraged to take part in a school blogging competition together. Ideas are few and far between but then they realise they have one BIG thing in common and the project is born - the '(O)ur (M) ums - (G)rrr' Blog. As they pour out frustrations and niggles online, the blog gets more and more popular. But will the mums find them out? Bang-on-trend story from a hugely popular and successful author.

The Black Bull Band 14/Ruby

The Black Bull Band 14/Ruby

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/01/2016

When Flora dreams of happiness, she doesn't expect to be thrown on to the back of a great, black bull! But as Flora and the bull travel from glen to glen, is the silent beast all that he seems? Ruby/Band 14 books give increasing opportunities for children to develop their skills of inference and deduction. Text type: A traditional tale Curriculum links: English: fairy stories, myths and legends; books from other cultures and traditions

Catching Falling Stars

Catching Falling Stars

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2015

It's 1940. Gloria and her little brother have been evacuated to the countryside to get away from the dangers of the Blitz in London. But their new home isn't as friendly as they'd hoped. The woman they're living with, Miss Saunders, is strict, severe and an outcast in the village. And the local children and other evacuees are equally unwelcoming and mocking. But Gloria quickly learns that nothing is ever as it seems in this strange new place. As possible friends turn out to be enemies, and once sworn enemies might be the best possible friends, Gloria finally realizes that believing first impressions could mean missing out on the friendships that can last a lifetime.

Running from the Rainbow

Running from the Rainbow

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2015

Rosie Roberts has a secret. So when she moves to a new school, she's desperate not to draw too much attention to herself. But things aren't so easy when your Mum is the popular new teacher everyone is talking about...Heartfelt drama, perfect for tweens. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+

Candy Girl

Candy Girl

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2015

Dixie's landed a dream work experience placement at Candy magazine. But rather than interviewing celebs and mingling with models, Dixie spends all her time making tea! And then the problem page editor makes her read all the letters from readers. Worse still, Dixie finds a letter from her own sister. What will she do? Heartfelt drama, perfect for tweens. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+

Honey and Me

Honey and Me

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/04/2015

Things haven't been great for Kirsten recently - she's had to start at a new school where she doesn't know anybody, and home hasn't been a great place to be either with Mum and Dad arguing all the time. At least she has her old friend Honey to talkto. But her new friends have lots of questions about Honey...and her older brother Finn might just spill the beans about this special friend! Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+

Life According to... Alice B. Lovely

Life According to... Alice B. Lovely

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2015

Edie Evans is sick of being treated like a kid. And she doesn't, repeat, doesn't need a babysitter! And then along comes the strange, the shy, the captivating Alice B. Lovely. But is she too good to be true?

Angels Like Me (Angels Next Door Book 3)

Angels Like Me (Angels Next Door Book 3)

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2015

Angels Like Me is the third title in the enchanting and magical friendship series from bestselling author Karen McCombie that began with Angels Next Door. Riley's best friends, the Angelo sisters, are special. Sparkly, strange and full of secrets . . Life at home is tricky for Riley Roberts. She misses her mum and wants to learn more about her. But Dad is as secretive as ever. She hopes the sisters can work their magic and help her find out the truth. But Riley is about to discover something more magical than she could have imagined - something that could bring her closer to her mum and answer her questions at last. About the author: Bestselling author Karen McCombie trained as a magazine journalist in her native Scotland before moving to London. After several years working on teen favourites Just 17 and Sugar, she turned to fiction, with her first series, Ally's World, becoming an instant success. In total she's had more than 70 books published and translated around the world, and more than a million books sold. Karen lives in North London with her very Scottish husband Tom, her sunshiney daughter Milly, a demented cat called Dizzy and Biscuit, the button-obsessed hamster. Angels Like Me is the third title in her Angels Next Door series. www.karenmccombie.com Also available: Angels Next Door (book 1) Angels In Training (book 2) Angels Like Me (book 3)

The Girl With The Sunshine Smile

The Girl With The Sunshine Smile

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/09/2014

Warm and wise tale about new families. Everyone comments on Meg's sunny smile, and she's put it to good use as a model for her mum's range of bridesmaids' dresses at wedding fairs. It's always been just Meg and Mum, but then Mum meets Danny and is swept off her feet - right onto a grotty old river barge. Soon Meg is discovering the 'joys' of river living in a house full of boys, and there's not much call for her sunshine smile...Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+

The Girl Who Wasn't There

The Girl Who Wasn't There

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2014

A brand new story of friendship and ghostly mystery from one of the best-loved UK writers for girls. Maisie's dad has a new job as live-in caretaker of a Victorian secondary school. Finding it hard to make friends, things change when Maisie tells her new classmates about something strange she saw the night before - a girl's face in the window of a gothic tower. The girls tell Maisie about the ghost of a Victorian pupil rumoured to wander the corridors. One particular student called Kat seems captivated by what Maisie has seen, and - both feeling like outsiders - they quickly become close. One night, though, Maisie comes across a tin box full of photos and notes. It's plainly decades old, and, squinting at the photos - belonged to a smiling girl who looks exactly like Kat...

Angels in Training (Angels Next Door Book 2)

Angels in Training (Angels Next Door Book 2)

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2014

The second book in the gorgeous new magical friendship series, Angels Next Door, by bestselling author Karen McCombie Riley's life has changed a lot since she discovered the Angelos sister's secret. You see her new neighbours are a little bit . . . magical. They know things that no-one else does and that's why she thinks they can help her find out about mum. But just as she's about to get some answers, mysterious events start happening at school. As things get stranger and stranger, Riley begins to suspect that they're the only ones who can work out what or who is behind them. Who are these new girls and what's with all the glitter? 'A wonderful, funny, heart-warming and comforting tale . . . will be a success with female readers aged 9 and upwards' The School Librarian About the author: Bestselling author Karen McCombie trained as a magazine journalist in her native Scotland before moving to London. After several years working on teen favourites Just 17 and Sugar, she turned to fiction, with her first series, Ally's World, becoming an instant success. In total she's had more than 70 books published and translated around the world, and more than a million books sold. Karen lives in North London with her very Scottish husband Tom, her sunshiney daughter Milly, a demented cat called Dizzy and Biscuit, the button-obsessed hamster. Also available: Angels Next Door, Angels in Training and don't miss Angels Like Me

You Me and Thing: The Great Expanding Guinea Pig & Beware of the Snowblobs!

You Me and Thing: The Great Expanding Guinea Pig & Beware of the Snowblobs!

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/01/2014

Two great books in one, featuring magic, mix-ups and muddles! Join Ruby, Jackson and Thing on not one but two great adventures in this brilliant bumper book. See what havoc Thing causes when Ruby and Jackson sneak it along on a trip to the petting zoo in The Great Expanding Guinea Pig. And, in a seasonal spectacular, Thing helps Ruby and Jackson defeat some nasty bullies in Beware of the Snowblobs!

You, Me and Thing 4: The Mummy That Went Moo

You, Me and Thing 4: The Mummy That Went Moo

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/04/2013

Want to know a secret? There is something very, very strange living in the trees behind my house. If you tiptoe slowwwwly and quietly (ssh!) to the bottom of my garden, you might hear it rustling and rootling and 'peh!'ing in the dark undergrowth, on the other side of the low stone wall. And if you peek over the wall - holding your breath - there's a chance youcould spot two saucer-round eyes blinking out of a strangely squareopening in the tree roots . . . Ruby and Jackson get the surprise of their lives when they discover a Thing living at the bottom of their gardens. But Thing is cute, and funny, even if sometimes whenit upset it gets a bit ARRGHH! And that's when the trouble starts. Like the time Ruby and Jackson sneak Thing along with them on a school trip to the museum. In case you're wondering, it goes very, badly wrong . . . !

Indie Kidd: My (Most Excellent) Pet Project

Indie Kidd: My (Most Excellent) Pet Project

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2008

Animal advice, short stories and furry facts abound in this fun compendium of pets, starring the lovable Indie Kidd. Indie Kidd is potty about pets - her school project is crawling with them! Pore over these crazy pages for Indie's animal advice, stories of her pets, plus freaky facts about creatures great and small. Did you know that alligators have a food radar in their cheeks? That a group of hippos is known as a bloat ? Then get your paws on this amazing digest for the animal-mad!

Angels Next Door (Angels Next Door Book 1)

Angels Next Door (Angels Next Door Book 1)

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/05/2006

Angels Next Door is a gorgeous new magical friendship series for 8+ readers by bestselling author, Karen McCombie. Riley's best friend has gone away forever and Lauren 'Queen of Everything' Mayhew is making school a nightmare. It looks like Riley's on her own, until the three Angelos Sisters move in next door. Her new neighbours are . . . different. Colourful and sparkly, they stand out. It's not just their names or how they dress - there's something magical about them. And since they arrived there have been loads of strange coincidences. Who are these new girls and what's with all the glitter? 'A wonderful, funny, heart-warming and comforting tale . . . will be a success with female readers aged 9 and upwards' The School Librarian About the author: Bestselling author Karen McCombie trained as a magazine journalist in her native Scotland before moving to London. After several years working on teen favourites Just 17 and Sugar, she turned to fiction, with her first series, Ally's World, becoming an instant success. In total she's had more than 70 books published and translated around the world, and more than a million books sold. Karen lives in North London with her very Scottish husband Tom, her sunshiney daughter Milly, a demented cat called Dizzy and Biscuit, the button-obsessed hamster.

In Sarah's Shadow

In Sarah's Shadow

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/04/2006

Sisters - one of the closest relationships in the world? Megan and Sarah wouldn't agree... MEGAN'S STORY: Megan is constantly in her big sister's shadow. Prettier, smarter, funnier, Sarah has it all; the adoration of their parents, a great group of friends, talent, and - of course - Conor. Megan struggles to retain her identity as she tries to turn the tables on her lucky, gifted sibling. But is the pecking order ever going to change? SARAH'S STORY: Now we see the sisterly relationship from Sarah's point of view, and slowly, it begins to dawn on the reader that things are not quite as they seem. Could it be that Megan's perspective is not quite as accurate as originally perceived?

In Sarah's Shadow

In Sarah's Shadow

Author: Karen Mccombie Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2003

Sisters - one of the closest relationships in the world? Megan and Sarah wouldn't agree... MEGAN'S STORY: Megan is constantly in her big sister's shadow. Prettier, smarter, funnier, Sarah has it all; the adoration of their parents, a great group of friends, talent, and - of course - Conor. Megan struggles to retain her identity as she tries to turn the tables on her lucky, gifted sibling. But is the pecking order ever going to change? SARAH'S STORY: Now we see the sisterly relationship from Sarah's point of view, and slowly, it begins to dawn on the reader that things are not quite as they seem. Could it be that Megan's perspective is not quite as accurate as originally perceived?

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