‘Whiskey Love’ debut

Local author to sign books at Linda’s Hallmark

  • Former West Knox County resident Joy Smith holds her debut novel, “Whiskey Love,” which she will be selling and signing from noon to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3, in Linda’s Hallmark in Village Green shopping center. - Photos submitted

A former area educator and Bearden High School graduate has had a long-held dream come true, which she will share with the Farragut and West Knox County community Saturday, Dec. 3.

Joy Smith will be selling and signing her debut novel, “Whiskey Love,” (published by The Wild Rose Press), from noon to 2 p.m. in Linda’s Hallmark, Village Green shopping center.

Written under her pen name, Joy Allyson, the book is based in part on the life of a Tennessee woman, Louise Nelson, who inherited a whiskey distillery from her late husband. Smith’s fictional retelling has a younger heroine, Chloe Tanner, whose grandfather left her the distillery.

“It is set in the fictional town of Oak Hollow ... and (Chloe) has to fight to keep it from others who wish to take it over,” Smith said, noting she conducted numerous interviews with descendants of the real-life inspiration for her novel.

While this is Smith’s first published book, writing has long been her passion.

“I’ve always wanted to write, but really only had the time after I retired,” she said.

Her career as an educator took her from Knoxville — her last teaching assignment was at her high school alma mater — to Nashville, when she went to work for the Tennessee Department of Education in 2010.

Smith decided after retiring in 2015, she would write in the vein of what she enjoyed reading: historical romance.

“I wrote stories set in London and Paris, but they were rejected,” she said.

Then a friend advocated a more local and familiar placement.

“She suggested I write a book with whiskey making as the plot,” Smith recalled. “And I was able to set it in the 1890s, which is my favorite era.

“Our Scottish ancestors settled all over Tennessee, where they were able to take advantage of the natural filtration process that occurs over limestone, which took out the iron,” she added.

Smith visited seven distilleries to do research on the specifics of whiskey making.

Additionally, “Andy and Charlie Nelson, descendants of Louise Nelson, were also very helpful to me and shared a lot of information.”

Smith is working on a sequel, which will be set in the Prohibition era.

She and her BHS high school sweetheart, Hal Smith, currently live in Nolensville, where they are in close proximity to daughters, Farragut High School graduates Wren Smith Anderson and Ashley Smith Hinesley, their husbands and six grandchildren.

In addition to being able to purchase the book this Saturday at Linda’s Hallmark, “Whiskey Love” is available through Amazon and at Barnes & Noble bookstores.

For more information, visit Smith’s website, www.joyallyson.com or follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/joyallysonauthor.