Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Karen Tintori  

Pen Name: Jillian Karr (co-authored books with Jill Gregory), Karen Katz


Audience: Adult;

Born: September 1, 1948 in East Lansing, Michigan

-- Website --
-- Wikipedia --
-- Karen Tintori on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Karen wrote about the Cherry Mine Disaster in Cherry, Illinois - the worst mine fire in US history.

Biographical and Professional Information

Karen Tintori is the non-fiction pen name of Karen Katz, a multi-published author of both fiction and non-fiction. ''Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster'' is her first solo book. Under the pen name Jillian Karr, she co-authored ''Something Borrowed, Something Blue'', which was turned into a two-hour movie of the week for CBS Television. A second Jillian Karr novel is entitled ''Catch Me if You Can''. The authors' first collaboration was ''What Does Being Jewish Mean?'' Her book ''Unto the Daughters: Love, Honor and Death in a Sicilian Family'', is a non-fiction book that centers on a long-held secret in her mother's family. Karen graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, where she majored in journalism and covered the campus for the New York Times. She was an assistant editor on the ''FTD FLORIST'' Magazine and had a successful career in public relations before she began writing books.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

What Does Being Jewish Mean?: Read-Aloud Responses to Questions Jewish Children Ask About History, Culture, and Religion
ISBN: 0743254139

Touchstone. 2003

Is everything in the Bible true?
Why are there bad people in the world? Can't God stop them?
Why do I need to learn to read, write, and speak Hebrew?
Why do we fast on Yom Kippur?
Where do we go after we die?

This classic reference—updated for the 21st century—provides answers to more than 180 questions that Jewish children most frequently ask about their faith. The authors cover not only the basics of Jewish belief, custom, and practice but also the kinds of questions that arise from the unique way that children view the world, such as "Will the Messiah have superpowers like Batman or Superman?" And perhaps most important for our time, What Does Being Jewish Mean? tackles the knotty philosophical questions that often leave parents stumped for quick and appropriate responses.

Something Borrowed, Something Blue
ISBN: 0747246696

Headline Book Publishing. 1995

Catch Me If You Can (G K Hall Large Print Book Series)
ISBN: 0783882300

G K Hall & Co. 1997

Contemporary RomanceLarge Print EditionThree strong women, bound by friendship, betrayed by love, struggling not just to survive, but to win! Nora RobertsMiss America has vanished and photographer Cat Hansen refuses to sit and wait for someone to find her missing sister. Charging blindly into harms way, Cat locks horns and hearts with a dangerously desirable undercover government agent. In the meantime, Meg Hansen is embarking on a daring escape that leaves her stranded and vulnerable on a desert island with an intriguing and mesmerizing man with a secret . . . *Suggestive

Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster
ISBN: 0743421957

Atria Books. 2003

A gripping account of the worst coal mine fire in US history—the 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster that claimed the lives of 259 men. "Drawing on diaries, letters, written accounts of survivors and testimony from the coroner's inquest...Tintori's engaging prose keeps readers on the edge" (Publishers Weekly).

Inspired by a refrain of her girlhood—"Your grandfather survived the Cherry Mine disaster"—Karen Tintori began a search for her family's role in the harrowing tragedy of 1909. She uncovered the stories of victims, survivors, widows, orphans, townspeople, firefighters, reporters, and mine owners, and wove them together to pen Trapped, a riveting account of the tragic day that would inspire America's first worker's compensation laws and hasten much-needed child labor reform.

On a Saturday morning in November of 1909, four hundred and eighty men went down into the mines as they had countless times before. But a fire erupted in the mineshaft that day and soon burned out of control. By nightfall, more than half the men would either be dead or trapped as officials sealed the mine in an attempt to contain the blaze. Miraculously, twenty men would emerge one week later, but not before the Cherry Mine disaster went down in history as the worst ever coal mine fire in the US—and not before all the treachery and heroism of mankind were revealed.

The Book of Names: A Novel
ISBN: 0312354738

St. Martin's Paperbacks. 2008

In each generation, there are thirty-six righteous souls who hold the world in fragile balance…

When fifteen were killed, Mt. Vesuvius erupted.

The elimination of eighteen triggered the Inquisition.

Other deaths led to natural disasters across the globe—even world wars.

Now that there are only three left, the question is:


With the world hurtling toward destruction, it’s up to one man to put an end to the cycle...and save those whose identities remain hidden in THE BOOK OF NAMES

Unto the Daughters: The Legacy of an Honor Killing in a Sicilian-American Family
ISBN: 0312334648

St. Martin's Griffin. 2008

"Nearly every family has a skeleton in its closet, an ancestor who "sins" against custom and tradition and pays a double price. Karen Tintori refused to allow the truth to remain forgotten. This is a book for anyone who shares the conviction that all history, in the end, is family history."--Frank Viviano, author of Blood Washes Blood and Dispatches from the Pacific Century

"Many books are called ‘page-turners' by reviewers, but this one will truly have you glued to the turning pages for hours."-- Comunes of Italy Magazine

"Unto the Daughters reads like a nonfiction version of the film Godfather II--if it had been told from the point of view of a female Corleone."--Eleni N. Gage, author of North of Ithaka

Karen Tintori thought she knew her family tree. Her grandmother Josie had immigrated from Sicily with her parents at the turn of the century. They settled in Detroit, and with Josie's eight siblings, worked to create a home for themselves away from the poverty and servitude of the old country. Their descendants were proud Italian-Americans.

But Josie had a sister that nobody spoke of. Her name was Frances, and at age sixteen, she fell in love with a young barber. Her father wanted her to marry an older don in the neighborhood mafia--a marriage that would give his sons a leg up in the mob. But Frances eloped with her barber. And when she returned a married woman, her father and brothers killed her for it. Her family then erased her from its collective memory. Even 80 years and two generations later, Frances and her death were not spoken of, her name was erased from the family genealogy, her pictures burned, and her memory suppressed.

Unto the Daughters is a historical mystery and family story that unwraps the many layers of family, honor, memory, and fear to find an honor killing in turn of the century Detroit.

"Many books are called ‘page-turners' by reviewers, but this one will truly have you glued to the turning pages for hours. It's a must read for anyone researching their Italian ancestry."-- Comunes of Italy Magazine
KAREN TINTORI is a writer and journalist who lives in Michigan with her family. Karen's books include Trapped, a 2002 Chicago Tribune favorite book, and The Book of Names (co-author), among others. Visit her website at:

The Illumination: A Novel
ISBN: 0312365268

St. Martin's Paperbacks. 2009

A pendant that gleams like a small golden egg encrusted with jewels of lapis lazuli, carnelian, and jasper. It’s the classic evil eye—a symbol of protection common throughout the world, with a history connecting it to many religions.

Natalie Landau, a museum curator and expert on Mesopotamian protective amulets and magical beliefs.

Natalie’s sister, Dana—murdered just hours after sending the gift. Does the evil eye have something to do with her death?

As Natalie races to discover the origin of the pendant, she is sucked into an international battle between powerful religious and government factions, each battling for the eye, which turns out to be far more valuable—and far more powerful—than she could ever imagine…


Karen was honored at the 2004 Illinois Authors Book Fair sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book and the Illinois State Library in Springfield, Illinois.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

, for author appearances and other professional business, please contact Karen's agent - Sally Wofford-Girand Sally Wofford-Girand Literary Agency Brickhouse Literary Agents 80 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1101-03 New York, NY 10011 212-675-5556 phone 212-675-1381 fax