Travel to romance & mystery

A post Maili wrote a month or so ago about exotic locales in romances got me nostalgic for some of the “travelogue romances” of yore. Now, granted there were some good points made during that discussion about the difference between stories about visitors and actual natives of various locations but I still have fond memories of some of the old series romances that featured these types of stories.

Journey To LovePrime examples of this sub-genre are the books written by author Glenna Finley. Although a lot of Finley’s contemporary books do take place in the Pacific Northwest, many of them are scattered all over the globe. So, since I have what amounts to an original numbered set of her paperbacks from Signet New American Library – a collection of them that I’ve reread many times over the years, I might add – I thought it would be fun to list both the books and their far-flung locales. Keep in mind that these stories are of the “stop at the bedroom door” variety of romance during the height of the so-called bodice ripper era but that doesn’t mean nothing at all happens in them. Well, not all of them anyway. It simply isn’t shown. Nor are they at all bad as romances. I wouldn’t’ve kept them all these years if they were. They also have a decidedly romance plus mystery/suspense leaning. In fact, I’d say the entire point of Finley’s books was for a lighter romance/mystery mix.

Oh, yes, her inspiration? Here’s the author blurb that was at the end of all the books:

About the Author

    Glenna Finley is a native of Washington State. She earned her degree from Stanford University in Russian Studies and in Speech and Dramatic Arts, with emphasis on radio.
After a stint in radio and publicity work in Seattle, she went to New York City to work for NBC as a producer in its international division. In addition, she worked with the “March of Time” and Life magazine.
As a producer, she had her own show about activities in Manhattan, a show that was broadcast to England. The programs were similar to those of the “Voice of America.”
Though her life in New York was exciting, she eventually returned to the Northwest where she married. She loves to travel, and draws heavily on her travels and experiences for the novels that have been published. Her books for NAL have sold several million copies.

That said here’s the list of paperbacks I have with first printing date and locales:

  1. Journey to Love (1970-08) cruise across the Pacific Ocean that starts in Honolulu, Hawaii, with stops in Singapore, Manila, and Hong Kong before returning to Hawaii
  2. Love’s Hidden Fire (1971-01) Washington state ranch
  3. Treasure of the Heart (1971-06) freighter tour of Mediterranean Sea ports
  4. Love Lies North (1972-01) Alaskan hunting lodge
  5. Bridal Affair (1972-05) Oregon coast
  6. Kiss a Stranger (1972-09) inspection of castle in Wales turns into a trip across southern England
  7. Love in Danger (1973-01) starting in Paris, France, passing through Spain and ending up in, I think, Portugal
  8. When Love Speaks (1973-05) ranch near Tucson, Arizona
  9. The Romantic Spirit (1973-08) San Francisco & Carmel, California
  10. Surrender, My Love (1974-01) Morocco
  11. A Promising Affair (1974-04) starts and ends in London, England with a trip through Scotland
  12. Love’s Magic Spell (1974-08) New Orleans, Louisiana
  13. The Reluctant Maiden (1975-01) Mexico City, Mexico
  14. The Captured Heart (1975-08) Hawaiian Islands
  15. Holiday for Love (1976-03) cruise from Long Beach, California, down the coast of Mexico, Colombia, and Peru
  16. Love for a Rogue (1976-08) Oregon’s Rogue River
  17. Storm of Desire (1977-02) Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
  18. Dare to Love (1977-06) from Helsinki, Finland to Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Russia, by ship then by air to Copenhagen, Denmark
  19. To Catch a Bride (1977-11) San Diego, California & Tijuana, Mexico
  20. Master of Love (1978-04) Madeira Island, Portugal, by plane to Malta, by ferry to Alexandria, Egypt & by car to Cairo, Egypt
  21. Beware My Heart (1978-08) lodge on slope of Mt. Rainier, Washington state
  22. The Marriage Merger (1978-12) Los Angeles, California, then by airplane to Okinawa and a cruise by freighter to Sumatra and Singapore
  23. Wildfire of Love (1979-04) Alaska in the shadow of Mt. McKinley
  24. Timed for Love (1979-08) New York, New York (Manhattan to be precise)
  25. Love’s Temptation (1979-12) resort at Jackson Lake, Wyoming
  26. Stateroom for Two (1980-04) barge canal cruise through Holland (referred to more properly today as the Netherlands)
  27. Affairs of Love (1980-09) in and around London, England
  28. Midnight Encounter (1981) New Orleans & Virgin Islands
  29. Return Engagement (1981-11) Santa Fe, New Mexico
  30. One Way to Love (1982-03) Palm Springs, California
  31. Taken by Storm (1982-09) Cornwall, England (southwestern coastal tip)
  32. A Business Affair (1983-03) Oregon coast
  33. Wanted for Love (1983-09) Bermuda
  34. A Weekend for Love (1984-06) Washington state coast
  35. Love’s Waiting Game (1985-01) Idaho lodge
  36. A Touch of Love (1985-05) London, England
  37. Diamonds for My Love (1986-04) Dallas, Texas
  38. Secret of Love (1987-07) a cruise on the Danube River from Passau, Germany, to Budapest, Hungary

I’ve also found these listed as being her books:

  • Death Strikes Out (1957)
  • Career Wife (1964)
  • Nurse Pro Tem (1967)
  • A Tycoon for Ann (1968)
  • Young Lions (1974-01)
  • The Marrying Kind (1989-07)
  • Island Rendezvous (1990-09)
  • Stowaway for Love (1992-05)
  • The Temporary Bride (1993-08)

The last four definitely sound like her titles and I’ve always suspected she released a few books I missed at the end of her Signet run but I’m still working on confirming those earlier titles. In particular Young Lions seems out of place. The curious thing is that I’ve found a couple of those earlier 1960 paperbacks titles listed for sale on eBay for $10 or more and they appear to be either Harlequin or Mills & Boon type books. I’ll keep digging.

All this does raise some interesting questions though. What happened to this author? Not just her books but her. Definitely one for the where is she now? file. Anyone have information to add?

Related Posts:

  • Juliet Flesch

    Most if not all of the works of Australian romance writers are written with an international readership in mind and show many of the characteristics of the travelogue. The short category romance is,of course, limited in how much description it can give of the environment, but many vividly evoke a landscape and customs unfamiliar to readers outside Australia.

    Other writers, among them many successful British Mills & Boon authors, have travelled to Australia and their novels provide a different insight into the sights and sounds of the country.

    Isobel Chace, Jessica Hart, Gladys Fullbrook and Anne Hampson have all written books set in Australia. Australians such as Lucy Walker, Marion Lennox, Lilian Darcy, Meredith Webber and Ann Charlton have all provided vivid descriptions of their homeland.

    At the risk of being overly self-referential, my book “From Australia with Love: a History of Modern Australian Popular Romance Novels” (Fremantle: Curtin University Books, 2004) covers much of this in the chapter entitled The Beetroot in the Burger.

  • Bev(BB)

    I’ve read a smattering of romances set in Austrailia over the years. Most of them categories. Probably all of them, come to think of it. And, yeah, they did a great job on the travelogue aspect now that you mention it, Juliet. 😉

  • Pingback: Ten Nights of Love: Glenna Finley « Bev's Books()

  • Faye Perkins

    I am currently reading my second Glenna Finley novel and decided to do a little research on the author, curious as to why so little is online regarding Glenna Finley (Witte). I did find the following information on a library database. I have not compared it with the information you have posted on your blog.

    Glenna Finley Witte travelled throughout the world researching settings and plots for her novels.

    Family: Born June 12, 1925, in Puyallup, WA; daughter of John Ford (a biologist) and Gladys de F. (Winters) Finley; married Donald Macleod Witte (a corporation official), May 19, 1951 (died March 19, 1987); children: Duncan. Education: Stanford University, B.A. (cum laude), 1945. Religion: Episcopalian. Memberships: Romance Writers of America, Free-lancers Association, Women’s University Club, Stanford Club. Addresses: Home: P.O. Box 866182, Plano, TX 75086. Agent: Ann Elmo Agency, Inc., 52 Vanderbilt Ave., New York, NY 10017.

    National Broadcasting Co., New York City, producer in International Division, 1945-47; Time, Inc., New York City, member of Staff, Life (magazine), news bureau, 1947, film librarian for “March of Time,” 1948-50; publicity and copywriter in Seattle, WA, 1950-51; free-lance writer, currently under contract with New American Library, Signet Books Division.

    Under name Glenna Finley:
    Death Strikes Out, Arcadia House, 1957.
    Career Wife, Arcadia House, 1964.
    Nurse Pro Tem, Arcadia House, 1967.
    A Tycoon for Ann, Lancer, 1968.

    Journey to Love, 1970.
    Love’s Hidden Fire, 1971.
    Treasure of the Heart, 1971.
    Love Lies North, 1972.
    Bridal Affair, 1972.
    Kiss a Stranger, 1972.
    Love in Danger, 1973.
    When Love Speaks, 1973.
    The Romantic Spirit, 1973.
    Surrender My Love, 1974.
    A Promising Affair, 1974.
    Love’s Magic Spell, 1974.
    The Reluctant Maiden, 1975.
    The Captured Heart, 1975.
    Holiday for Love, 1976.
    Love for a Rogue, 1976.
    Storm of Desire, 1977.
    Dare to Love, 1977.
    To Catch a Bride, 1977.
    Master of Love, 1978.
    Beware My Heart, 1978.
    The Marriage Merger, 1978.
    Wildfire of Love, 1979.
    Timed for Love, 1979.
    Love’s Temptation, 1979.
    Stateroom for Two, 1980.
    Affairs of Love, 1980.
    Midnight Encounter, 1981.
    Return Engagement, 1981.
    Taken by Storm, 1982.
    One Way to Love, 1982.
    A Business Affair, 1983.
    Wanted for Love, 1983.
    A Weekend for Love, 1984.
    Love’s Waiting Game, 1985.
    A Touch of Love, 1985.
    Diamonds for My Love, 1986.
    Secret of Love, 1987.

    Authors in the News, Volume 1, Gale, 1976.

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 17, 1974.

    Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2010. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Gale, 2010.

  • Cindy Roberts

    I miss Glenna’s books. They are among my favorites & I have almost all them as well. I remember the joy of wandering into Pickwicks & finding a new Glenna Finley on the shelves. My favorite is the one set in Helsinki, Dare To Love. If you find out she has written those last 4, I’ll have to start looking for them.

  • Judy Plazyk

    Found this topic when I typed a search: “What happened to Glenna Finley?” I, too, miss her books, for it seems she just stopped writing. Of her 47 books, I have 41, and can tell you with certainty that The Marrying Kind and Island Rendezvous (from your list) are indeed hers. I, too, thought Young Lions seemed out of place and I have not been able to locate it. The 4 earliest titles (Death Strikes Out through A Tycoon for Ann) are available from sources ranging from Amazon to eBay but are a bit pricey. I’m hoping to find them at a thrift store or estate sale some day. The last two titles (Stowaway for Love and The Temporary Bride) frequently appear on eBay.

    By the way, Love’s Hidden Fire (my all-time favorite Finley) also takes place in London.

  • Melanie

    I found a book of her’s at a library book sale and decided to research her. Just thought you would like to know that I traced her to her current location in Charlotte, NC. She does appear to still be living…and is 87 years old.

  • Roseanne Wilkins

    Glenna Finley Witte was an inspiration for my own books, Tangled Hearts: An LDS Novel and Hidden in the Heart: An LDS Novel. I loved her writing style. I hunted down Mrs. Witte using the internet and was able to talk to her a couple of years ago. She is an awe-inspiring person, but wasn’t interested in writing an autobiography. Given her wonderful novels, I would dearly love to add her autobiography to my collection of her books. She was just as delightful to talk to on the phone as you would imagine she would be. I have a letter from her I’ve filed away as well. I didn’t get a lot of information from her and didn’t hear from her last year when I sent out a card. I’m hoping she’s in good health, but it’s very hard to find any information on her.

  • Lori Mulligan Davis

    Thanks so much for hunting Glenna Finley down, everyone! I’d love to know more about her now. I began to love her books in the 1970’s, when my roommate brought her books to college. Without doubt my favorite is A Promising Affair. Have parts of it memorized, I’d bet. I’m trying to remember which one had a veterinarian who shyly accuses the girl that he had no idea she cared for him because she spent more time with the animals than with him. I think (but am not sure if) it this was one of the cruise ship books.