janelle taylor

Janelle Taylor

Janelle Taylor
Janelle Taylor

A Romance Pioneer

Janelle Taylor was a pioneer in the early years of the historical romance for the Zebra romance imprint. Her Native American romances sold millions and made her a superstar in the genre.

Savage Co

Life Before Writing

Janelle Taylor, nee Janelle Diane Williams, was born June 28, 1944, in Athens, Georgia. She graduated from Athens High School in 1962. Then she spent the next three years as an orthodontic nurse in Athens.

In 1965, she married Michael Taylor. Two daughters, Angela and Alisha, were the happy results of their marriage.

From 1969 through 1972, Taylor worked as an orthodontic nurse. Later Taylor decided to further her education. She decided to train to be a Medical Research Technologist at the Medical College of Georgia. She attended school from 1977 through 1979 then went on to further her studies at Augusta State University from 1980 to 1981.


Janelle Taylor: A Zebra Romance Sensation

Taylor began writing in 1977. She was inspired after watching Kathleen Woodiwiss on “The Today Show.” Taylor withdrew from Augusta State University after her first two novels were bestsellers. She would then focus on becoming a full-time author.

Taylor published her first book, Savage Ecstasy, in 1981 with Kensington publishers for the Zebra imprint. The hefty romance told the tale of a white frontierswoman named Alisha Sinclair and her Native American warrior lover, Gray Eagle. The book was a smash hit. Savage Ecstasy was to be the first in a series of nine novels about Alisha and Gray Eagle and their progeny.

Savage Ecstasy Popp
Savage Ecstasy, Janelle Taylor, Zebra, 1981, Walter Popp cover art

Taylor would produce one to two books every year. Soon, she became Zebra’s biggest-selling author. Her passionate love stories and storytelling skills struck a chord with readers hungry for passionate romances. Other books outside her Ecstasy series include Love Me With FuryGolden Tormentand Destiny’s Temptress.

Although Taylor was most well-known for her Native American romance novels, she would also branch out into other genres.

More Than Zebra’s Bestselling Author

In 1984 she would make a brief foray into category romance with the Harlequin American Romance Valley of Fire.

Later in 1986, Taylor would publish Moondust and Madness with Bantam books. This was one of the earliest science-fiction romances. The plot is about an alien who comes to Earth searching for the heroine to bring her to his own galaxy.

Moondust and Madness was a revolutionary book. It was written in a time when paranormal themes and romance rarely mixed. Taylor would write three more space romances to complete the series.

Another popular Taylor series was the fantasy books about Viking Princess Alysa and her lover, Gavin. Bantam would also publish them, beginning with Wild is My Love.

wild is my love
Wild is My Love, Janelle Taylor, Bantam, 1987, Elaine Gignilliat cover art

A surefire sign that Taylor was one of the genre’s superstars was her book covers. Walter Popp created the artwork for her first few books. Then artists like Elaine Gignilliat, Pino, and Janelle’s friend Elaine Duillo would paint many gorgeous covers for her books.

Into the 21st century, Taylor would write more Native American-themed romances. She also ventured into writing romantic suspense and contemporary romances.

Where is Janelle Taylor Now?

Taylor is active with charity work and was even featured on the cover of Diabetes Forecast in February of 1998.

She is semi-retired and living in Georgia with her husband. Still active, she enjoys hiking, riding bikes, and watching their grandchildren play sports.

Taylor lives in the country on seventy-nine acres of woods and pasture with a lake and a catfish pond. She writes her novels in a Spanish cottage that overlooks a five-acre lake, a working water mill, a gazebo, and a covered bridge. Taylor has said she is working on a new mystery series.

She has also contributed to other books, including The Leukemia Society CookbookChristmas Rendezvous, and Summer Love. She would later co-host the QVC/TV Romance Book Club Show.

In the 2000s, Taylor branched into writing contemporary romances as well as suspense-thrillers.

watching amanda taylor

Janelle Taylor’s Legacy

Some of Janelle Taylor’s most recent books include By CandlelightSomeday SoonLakota Dawn, and Lakota Winds.

Taylor is a New York Times Bestselling Author, having made The New York Times Bestseller List eight times. Taylor’s works have also been featured ten times on the “1 million +” bestseller’s list at “Publisher’s Weekly.”

Among her many accolades includes her induction into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame.

Since Janelle Taylor’s first book publication 40 years ago, she has written over 50 books with 60 million copies in print. She is best known for her Gray Eagle/Ecstasy series and Lakota, Moondust, and Lakota Skies novels.

Her books have been translated into 50 different languages.

Sweet Savage Flame Book Reviews

Janelle Taylor Backlist


Grey Eagle/Ecstasy

  1. Savage Ecstasy (1982)
  2. Defiant Ecstasy (1982)
  3. Forbidden Ecstasy (1982)
  4. Brazen Ecstasy (1983)
  5. Tender Ecstasy (1983)
  6. Stolen Ecstasy (1985)
  7. Bittersweet Ecstasy (1987)
  8. Forever Ecstasy (1991)
  9. Savage Conquest (1985)

Western Wind

  1. First Love, Wild Love (1984)
  2. Passions Wild and Free (1988)
  3. Kiss of the Night Wind (1989)
  4. Follow the Wind (1990)
  5. Chase the Wind (1994)
  6. Wild Winds (1997)

Native American Duo

  1. Sweet Savage Heart (1986)
  2. Destiny Mine (1995)

Southern Historical

  1. Destiny’s Temptress (1986)
  2. Promise Me Forever (1991)
  3. Midnight Secrets (1992)


  1. Moondust and Madness (1986)
  2. Stardust and Shadows (1992)
  3. Starlight and Splendor (1994)
  4. Moonbeams and Magic (1995)

Viking Fantasy

  1. Wild Is My Love (1987)
  2. Wild Sweet Promise (1989) aka The Last Viking Queen


  • #1 Kiss of the Night Wind (1989)
  • #2 Kiss of the Christmas Wind (1991)


  • #1 Lakota Winds (1997)
  • #2 Lakota Dawn (1999)
  • #3 Lakota Flower (2003)

Single Issue Novels

  • Love Me with Fury (1983)
  • Golden Torment (1984)
  • Valley of Fire (1984)
  • Savage Bondage (1985)
  • Fortunes Flames (1988)
  • Whispered Kisses (1990)
  • Taking Chances (1993)
  • Anything for Love (1995)
  • Defiant Hearts (1996)
  • Love with a Stranger (1996)
  • By Candlelight (1997)
  • Someday Soon (1998)
  • Not Without You (2000)
  • Can’t Stop Loving You (2001)
  • In Too Deep (2001)
  • Night Moves (2002)
  • Don’t Go Home (2003)
  • Dying to Marry (2004)
  • Watching Amanda (2005)
  • Haunting Olivia (2006)
  • Shadowing Ivy (2007)
  • Cherokee Storm (2010)
  • Necessary Evil (2013)
  • Fourth & One (2014)

Janelle Taylor Covers


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