Janet Dailey, 69, whose books have sold more than 325 million copies worldwide, died Saturday at her home in the music resort town of Branson, Mo. No cause of death was given, but the family said she died peacefully.
Born and raised in Iowa, she moved to Branson in 1978 with her husband, Bill Dailey, who was credited with helping build the town into a music mecca.
Her novels included the Americana series - 50 books, one set in each state. Her website lists 155 works, including single novels and short-story collections.
A fixture on best-seller lists, Ms. Dailey saw her books translated into 19 languages. Her latest, Merry Christmas, Cowboy, ranked 13th on Publishers Weekly's adult mass-market best-seller list in early October.
Her career hit a rough spot in 1997 when she was sued for copyright infringement by another best-selling author, Nora Roberts. She admitted that two of her novels - 1991's Aspen Gold and 1996's Notorious - contained ideas and passages borrowed from Roberts' works.
Ms. Dailey apologized in 1997, saying the plagiarism occurred when her husband was undergoing cancer surgery and she was under immense stress. The suit was settled out of court in 1998 for an undisclosed sum.