Dedicated to Mary Patricia
"It promised to be a gorgeous day."—THE TERRANOVAS: A War Family

Need a break from stuff? Looking for some exciting twists and turns in your life?

Searching for a little mystery and love? Got a hankering for the good old days?

And now there are four…

Hi, my name is Valentine Cardinale, and welcome. I’d like to tell you a little bit about four novels I wrote, starting with my latest, Breakaway. If you’d like to put aside your troubles and let someone else slug it out for a change, this mystery might be just what you're looking for. I know I enjoyed writing it.

Breakaway is the story of people in search of new meaning in their lives, even if they have to collide with the status quo to attain it. Father Richard Bianchi is looking for a little peace and quiet in a rented house in New Jersey while he reflects on whether he should continue his ministry or get married. Two days after moving in, he meets Dana Dvorak, a teenager with at least a half dozen issues. The star on an all-boys hockey team with dreams of playing for the New York Rangers someday, she lives with her father, Eddie, who’s divorced. He doesn’t think much of hockey or girls playing it. At the same time, he's deeply troubled by what’s going on in government today and wants to do something to change it. When Eddie is mysteriously abducted from his home one night, he becomes the center of a nail-biting search led by a tenacious detective and one very curious priest.

My third novel, One More Dance, is a story of love, loss, family, and the search for one bad character hell bent on murder. I call it a romantic mystery. At a wedding in Italy, Julian Case, a realtor and widower, meets Alegra Rossini, a university professor and single mom, and is struck by her beauty and grace. On the way home to the States, he’s already making plans to see her again. But when Julian enters his home, he discovers his son has been savagely attacked and left for dead. Believing that whoever beat the young man into a coma may come back to finish the job, Julian puts his life on hold to join the investigation. Can a father unlock the secret connection and find his son’s attacker? Will Julian and Alegra lose their chance at new love? Can they weather the storm and let romance into their lives for one more dance?

Both Breakaway and One More Dance are published by Outskirts Press, Inc. in Parker. Colorado. Copies can be ordered through booksellers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and independent bookstores or by contacting Outskirts Press, Inc. (888-672- 6657 or E-book versions, from Kindle and Nook, are also available.

For an easy way to order my books, tap the Amazon icon here.

In The West Side Kidmy second novel, Lorne Bennett, a movie star, is suspected of killing his wife and fleeing after leaving his baby daughter with his wife's sister. Now, twenty-two years later, he's still on the run, the prime suspect in a notorious cold case. His daughter, Laura, now a young woman and living in New York City, has become so consumed with learning as much as she can about her parents and what happened the night her mother was murdered, she starts investigating the case herself. Slowly, the pieces start coming together, but the more she knows, the more her life and the lives of others are endangered.

The West Side Kid won a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in the mystery category (2010) from the North American Bookdealers Exchange (NABE). The Midwest Book Review called the book "an entertaining thriller, and highly recommended reading." Reader Views said it's "definitely imaginative and engaging, with a fast-moving story, wild twists and turns, and an interesting ending." The Foreword Clarion Review concluded that "Cardinale's fast-paced and imaginative twists and turns should keep his fans asking for more." And The Sacramento Book Review thought The West Side Kid is "a well-written novel with plenty to recommend. While it is a mystery story, it is also the search for meaning and roots . . . a quick and enjoyable read." 

Speaking of roots, my first novel, The Terranovas: A War Family, was inspired in part by my life growing up in New York City. When the story begins, it's the height of World War II, but Anna and Arturo Terranova, who recently came to America from Italy, and their four children have high hopes as they move into a five-room flat in a colorful, working-class section of Manhattan's West Side. They are finally coming together as a family. Then suddenly the war, which seemed so far away, comes crashing into their lives and changes them in a tragic and profound way. It won't be the last time this warm, loving family is tested by forces beyond their control. Again and again, they are caught up in armed conflict, right up to the present time. Will war destroy their dreams? Can the power of family and togetherness overcome the destructive and divisive forces of war and terrorism?

The Terranovas: A War Family received both Editor's Choice and Reader's Choice designations from the publisher and won First Prize, Published Fiction, in the Arizona Authors Association's 2005 Literary Contest. The book was described in a Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book Awards competition as "exceptionally well-written" and "a model for telling a family historical (saga) story in different viewpoints." And Kirkus Reviews said "the strength of the narrative lies in the well-drawn characters and their personal struggles with the sweeping cultural and historical changes surrounding them."  

Both The Terranovas: A War Family and The West Side Kid are published by iUniverse, Inc., Bloominington, Indiana. Copies are available from the publisher ( or 1-800-288-4677), bookstores, or on-line retailers. (See the Order page.)

Finally, I hope you find this site useful and enjoyable. If you have a comment or two, I'd love to hear from you. (See Contact page.)  And thanks for stopping by.