Janelle Taylor

Life before Writing

Janelle Diane Williams was born June 28, 1944, in Athens, Georgia. She graduated from Athens High School in 1962 and 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. Then Taylor decided to further her education. She trained to be a Medical Research Technologist at the Medical College of Georgia from 1977 through 1979 and immediately began to further her studies at Augusta State University from 1980-1981.

A Zebra Books Romance Sensation

Janelle Taylor began writing in 1977 after hearing an inspiring quote from Kathleen Woodiwiss on “The Today Show.” She would withdraw from Augusta State University after selling her first two novels to become full-time author.

Taylor’s first book, Savage Ecstasy, was published in 1981 by Zebra publishers. 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 and would be the first in a series of nine novels about Alisha and Gray Eagle and their progeny.

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

Taylor would produce one to two books every year, quickly becoming Zebra’s biggest selling author. Her passionate love stories and skill for storytelling struck a chord with readers hungry for passionate romances. Other books outside her Ecstasy series included Love Me With Fury, Golden Torment, and Destiny’s Temptress.

Although Taylor would be most well-known for her many novels depicting romances Native American heroes and heroines, 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 her Harlequin American Romance Valley of Fire.

In 1986 Taylor would publish Moondust and Madness with Bantam books. The story was a science fantasy romance about an alien who comes to Earth to spirit away the heroine to his own galaxy. This was a revolutionary romance, in a time where paranormal themes and romance rarely mixed. Taylor would write three more space romances to complete the series.

Another series Janelle Taylor penned was the fantasy series of Viking Princess Alysa and her lover, then later husband, Gavin. Bantam would also publish the first entry, the unique romance, 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 were the artists who designed covers for her books. Walter Popp famously did the artwork for her first few books. Then artists like Elaine Gignilliat, the ubiquitous 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.

Life and Legacy

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.

Some of Janelle Taylor’s most recent books include By Candlelight, Someday Soon, Lakota Dawn, and Lakota Winds. She has also contributed to other books, including The Leukemia Society Cookbook, Christmas Rendezvous, and Summer Love. She would later co-host the QVC/TV Romance Book Club Show.

Janelle 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 include induction into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame.

Since her first book publication 40 years ago, Taylor has written over 50 books with 60 million copies in print. She is best known for her Gray Eagle series and Lakota, Moondust, and Lakota Skies novels. Her books have been translated into 50 different languages.

Book Reviews:

Series Backlist:

Grey Eagle

  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)

Saars

  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

Kiss

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

Lakota

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

Novel Backlist:

  • 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)
  • Cant 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)

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