Karen Tintori is a writer and journalist. She graduated from Wayne State University in Detroit, where she majored in journalism, covered the campus for the New York Times and met her future husband over typewriters at the student newspaper. Karen is active in the Jewish community and in Italian genealogy. She has visited Italy numerous times, is studying Italian and holds dual American and Italian citizenship. She lives in Michigan with her husband and one of their two sons. Visit her website here.
THE ILLUMINATION, with Jill Gregory (2009)
It gleamed up at her like a small golden egg encrusted with jewels of lapis lazuli, carnelian, and jasper. The classic eye, one of the most ancient symbols of protection.
Natalie Landau, a museum curator with an expertise in Mesopotamian protective amulets and magical beliefs, has received a puzzling gift from her sister Dana--a necklace with a blue evil eye pendant on it. The Evil Eye is a symbol of protection common throughout the world, with a history connecting it to many religions.
When Natalie learns Dana was murdered only hours after sending the gift, she begins to think her evil eye amulet had something to do with her sister’s death. As she races to discover the origin of the pendant, Natalie is sucked into an international battle between powerful religious factions, each battling for the eye, which turns out to be far more valuable—and far more powerful--than she could ever imagine.
“The intrigue is high. The excitement is palpable. The story is priceless. Combining mysticism, history, and fanaticism, this is one thriller that's simply impossible to put down until you've reached the ending - breathless and so well satisfied. Tintori and Gregory are first rate story tellers!”—M.J. Rose, international bestselling author of The Memorist
“Jill Gregory and Karen Tintori return with another extraordinary thriller after their outstanding The Book of Names. Their new novel, The Illumination, skillfully weaves history, ancient art, dark legend and religious fanaticism into a story of high-stakes terror and international intrigue. The excitement stays at a high pitch from the opening scene at the looted Iraqi National Museum to the final sensational twist. A page-turner. extraordinaire.”—New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston, co-author of The Monster of Florence and The Wheel of Darkness
“Stirring and imaginative. A tense, intelligent, and surprising thrill. Drum tight in execution, fueled by imagination, the plot is as sharp as a broken shard of glass. If you like your tales loaded with intrigue, treachery, and a wealth of secrets you're going to love The Ilumination.”—New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry, author of The Charlemagne Pursuit and The Templar Legacy
Jill Gregory is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of more than thirty historical and contemporary novels and has been honored with the Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as with back-to-back Reviewer’s Choice awards for Best Western Historical Romance. Her books have been published in more than twenty-four countries. Jill grew up in Chicago and received her bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Illinois. An animal lover, Jill loves long walks, reading, hot tea on a winter’s day, and the company of friends. She lives in Michigan with her husband, and enjoys her home overlooking the woods where the deer, rabbits, squirrels, and an occasional owl or hawk come out to play.
Rights: St. Martin’s, World
UNTO THE DAUGHTERS (2007)
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.
“Tintori's poignant memoir of the recent discovery of her great-aunt's murder deeply underscores her Sicilian culture's troubling subjugation of its women. Tintori (Trapped: The 1909 Cherry Mine Disaster) recounts how in 1993 her aunt and mother reluctantly told her of an obliterated name from her great-grandfather's passport to America. Gradually Tintori discovers the fate of the missing youngest daughter, Francesca, by working backward in time to when the Costa family first made its way to Detroit from Corleone, Sicily, in 1914. The family settled into comfort in Little Sicily: the girls enjoyed scant education and were married off early, while the boys worked at the Ford factory and ran with rum-runner gangs. Although her sister Josie made a successful love match, Francesca pined for the barber's son, but was forcibly engaged at 16 to a scion of the Mafiosi in order to better her family's fortunes. Francesca eloped, to the family's dishonor, and was probably murdered (shackled, dismembered and thrown in the waters of Belle Isle) by her brothers when she dared to return. Because of her family's wall of silence, Tintori finds no sense of catharsis here, only a harrowing tale of sorrow and shame. ”—Publishers Weekly
"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
"Switching back and forth between rural Sicily and early 20th century Detroit, 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. In exploring her own family's secret history, Karen Tintori gives voice not just to her victimized aunt but to all Italian-American daughters and wives silenced by the power of omerta. Half gripping true-crime story, half moving family memoir, Unto the Daughters is both fascinating and frightening, packed with telling details and obscure folklore that help bring the suffocating world of a Mafia family to life.."—Eleni N. Gage, author of North of Ithak
Rights: St. Martin’s, North America
THE BOOK OF WORDS, with Jill Gregory (2007)
Within each generation, there are thirty-six righteous souls. Their lives hold the key to the fate of the world. Now someone wants them dead.
When a childhood tragedy comes back to haunt Professor David Shepherd, he finds himself in possession of knowledge that holds the world in a delicate balance. He uncovers the Book of Names—an ancient text originating with the biblical Adam, and thought lost to history forever. By Kabbalistic tradition, the book contains the names of each generation’s thirty-six righteous souls—the Hidden Ones—by whose merits alone the world continues to exist. Legend holds that if all thirty-six Hidden Ones were eliminated, the world would meet its end.
When the Hidden Ones start dying of unnatural causes, the world grows increasingly unstable: war in Afghanistan, massive flooding in New York, brutal terrorist attacks in Melbourne, a tanker explosion in Iran. David finds himself battling against the Gnoseos, a secret religious sect whose goal is to destroy the world by eliminating all of the righteous souls. David’s involvement quickly turns personal when his stepdaughter’s name is discovered to be one of the endangered. With the help of a brilliant and beautiful Israeli ancient texts expert, David races to decipher the traditions of the Kabbalah to save the righteous souls, his stepdaughter, and perhaps the world.
"An intelligent suspense thriller that combines the Kabbalah, tarot and the forces of good and evil into a tense murder mystery . . .The Book of Names self-assuredly fulfils the requirements of the religious thriller."—The Economist
“Intricately plotted historical suspense . . . an intriguing synthesis of Jewish mysticism and modern murder mystery. A swift, intelligent thriller.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Gregory and Tintori('s) intriguing premise...helps separate this tale from garden-variety religious thrillers. And where others have tried and usually failed, the authors give succinct explanations of the principles of kabbalah and Gnosticism, both complex and often misunderstood. Compulsively readable."—Booklist
"Relentless and riveting, The Book of Names speeds you across continents and centuries in the ultimate seductive read. From fascinating characters to real-life legends, this debut ranks as unforgettable."—Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Spymaster
"The Book of Names grabs you on page one and doesn't let you go. Weaving together the Kabbala, the tarot, and the forces of good and evil, this chilling thriller has a self-assured voice and all the right elements to make for a nonstop, nail-biting read."—M. J. Rose, author of the international bestseller The Venus Fix
"Convincing characters and a rapidly moving plot combine to create an enjoyable religious thriller…."—Library Journal