cover reveal


I’m so excited to share the stunning cover design for my contemporary romance, The Muse Next Door, which releases May 30, 2023 from Winding Road Stories.

A sweet, enemies-to-lovers, small-town romance, this endearing tale will keep you smiling and turning the pages until the very end.

Isn’t she a beaut?

Want more deets about the book? Here is the official book blurb:

Newly divorced gallery owner Willow Fitzpatrick has a second chance at love in an online fling with a famous Spanish artist—the great Domingo Rodriguez. When noisy construction interrupts her pined-for ping, Willow meets Austin Miles—the burly, blue-eyed ex-contractor remodeling his coffee shop next door.

Willow’s new neighbor grates on her nerves, until Austin’s handsome handyman skills come to her rescue. Still, she refuses to fall for this gentle giant. She’s saving herself for her Spanish artist, who has finally agreed to hold a show at her humble gallery.

Domingo’s flamboyant arrival coincides with the return of Austin’s high school crush—and now Willow can’t source the flutter in her chest. If she can’t sort out her true feelings soon, it may be too late.

Be sure to pop over to Amazon and preorder on May 16! Or, if you’re super eager, ARCs are available now in exchange for an honest review. DM me to inquire. 🙂

Cover Reveal–Boy Released

The long-awaited sequel to BOY ON HOLD drops August 3, 2021. BOY RELEASED follows the story of the Trout family, ten years after tragedy changed their lives forever–when Tyler is released from rehab and Hen is about to inherit millions from Miss Sally’s estate.

A thrilling mystery that definitely can be enjoyed on its own, I started writing the sequel six months after Boy on Hold launched. I can’t wait to share this story with you!

I tell students when I visit schools that before books become books, they’re just really long documents. Like, a big stack of paper. Seeing cover art for the first time always makes it feel real. And closer to that gratifying feeling of holding that book in my hands.

For this book, I tried something different for its cover reveal. In hopes to generate excitement, I phased out posts to engage my readers in a fun way.

First, people guessed what color the cover would be.

BLACK got the most votes by far, with BLUE a close second.

But the winning color is RED.
Hmmmm. That made me wonder.
Do readers hope it’s black?
Is red too aggressive?

Next, I posted various “puzzle pieces” of the cover, giving a teaser sneak peek. Did it work or just annoy people, who knows?

Okay, okay. Enough nonsense. It’s only fun until it’s not anymore. Here’s the whole shebang, folks. Hope it was worth the wait. (I, for one, am psyched about the design!)

BOY RELEASED by JD Spero launches August 3!


In a popular resort town in the Adirondacks, the busy summer season has just begun when an unwelcome visitor arrives at Marcella Trout’s new venture—Blue Palms Motel.

Tyler alone witnesses her brutal attack. Soon, he becomes the only suspect. As the investigation tries to unlock the secrets tangled in Tyler’s troubled mind, the Trouts must confront the disturbing reality of his mental illness. Is Tyler once again a criminal, or will he become a hero?

In this thrilling follow up to award-winning Boy on Hold, ten years have passed since the horrific murder of Sally Hubbard. Tyler is released from psychiatric rehab and Hen, now seventeen, will soon inherit the wealthy Hubbard estate. But just as the Trouts look toward a brighter future, tragedy knocks on their door…

Concerto — Cover Reveal!

It’s finally here! Concerto, the spell-binding sequel to Forte, will launch December 1, 2017 — less than two weeks away! It’s been a whirlwind of a year. Lots of hours and lots of love poured into this project. I’m so proud to work with Xchyler Publishing once again to get this out into the world. And today, I’m thrilled to share the final cover design.

Concerto, Book 2 of YA fantasy series - Forte - releases Dec 1

Concerto, Book 2 of Forte series, releases Dec 1

What’s it about? 

Samantha McGovern sacrificed her magic to save her home town. Finally, after more than two years, stirrings within her whisper of a reawakening. However, nothing can offset the misery of parting with her boyfriend. How can she keep Jason when he’s moved on to college life, but she’s still trapped in high school for another year?

In Boston, Sami’s new friends help her rediscover her power, and, reunited with an old crush, he now seems into her. Sami struggles to ignore the intoxicating charms of Miles Eichen, but with Jason’s increasing distance, it feels like a losing battle.

When her strange visions begin to come true, Sami discovers a new purpose to her magic—magic stronger than she could ever imagine. Millions of lives are in danger, and only she has the power to foil a great evil. However, it will take a different kind of magic to repair the rift between her and Jason.

Cover reveal YA fantasy series CONCERTO releases Dec 1

Full spread – Back and Front – CONCERTO Cover Reveal!


New release by Xchyler Publishing — the 2nd in the KINGDOM CITY dystopian thriller series.

Kingdom City by Ben Ireland

The gripping sequel to KINGDOM CITY: RESURRECTION


About Author Ben Ireland

Ben Ireland

Ben churns out his prose from his home in Southeast Texas, where he lives with his wife and three children, and works in IT. When he isn’t writing, he’s either thinking about writing, or he’s driving his wife insane talking about his novel ideas. His work has appeared in two X-anthologies: “Kissed a Snake” in A Dash of Madness: a Thriller Anthology (July 2013), and “Fairykin” in Moments in Millennia: a Fantasy Anthology(January 2014). His first novel, Kingdom City: Resurrection was published in February 2014.

Countdown to LAUNCH!

A month from today, on July 25, 2015, my second novel — FORTE — will make its way into the world, officially.

JD Spero's FORTE cover


It will be my first novel launched by a legit publisher, Xchyler Publishing. After starting the book nearly 4 years ago, I’m ridiculously eager to see it in print. In November of 2014 I signed with Xchyler after a friend who did publicity for them urged me to submit. As I mentioned in my blog post — It Takes a Village — I was hesitant, sure I would once again self-publish. I had gone through multiple revisions and alternate titles, hired 2 content editors on my own, and enlisted my trusty line editor to start the final touches when Xchyler’s offer came through.

Many have asked specifics about what it’s like to work with a team of editors in a publishing house. Let me give some examples.

Before we actually started work on the story, the team filled out a manuscript assessment, answering questions like: What is the major dramatic question and how is it answered? What are the strengths of the author’s voice? Weakness? What is the major conflict? How is it resolved? Strength/weaknesses of protagonist/antagonist… The list goes on.

I filled out a detailed character timeline to show how events overlap, even before the time in which the book is set. I wrote a detailed backstory about the Mom character — details that never made it into the book but indirectly helped make Mom’s character more realistic. My editors came at me with dozens of smart questions about how the story worked, revealing gaps or inconsistencies. After explaining how the magic and prophecy works, my editor had me back up and spell it out more clearly for the reader. That called for a new chapter.

Then I got to work revising.

After content revision, I uploaded each chapter individually to our shared Google drive.  For each chapter, my content editor and I had a back and forth dialogue in track changes. She pushed me. Hard.

When my content editor felt it was ready, she’d hand off the chapter to our line editor. Then, my line editor and I had the same back and forth track changes dialogue to polish each line.

At some point during the process, our editor-in-chief advised me to consider changing the title. Once we decided on FORTE — the title came to me in the shower! — our designer created my gorgeous cover. And my editor-in-chief perfected the ever-important blurb.

JD Spero_Bookmark_front-2

New bookmarks!

JD Spero_Bookmark_back-2

Author deets on other side!

When my line editor felt it was ready, it went on to the editor-in-chief for final approval. From there, it went to our proofer. Occasionally, I would be asked to change a line or something small, but mostly, my work was done. And I kind of missed it. Actually, I missed it a lot. From there, it went to our formatter, etc. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands.

Meanwhile, I got to work on the marketing plan. I worked on my press kit, contacted local papers and magazines, and reached out to some industry contacts to find ARC reviewers. I ordered new bookmarks and business cards, working with our awesome designer (same who did the cover).

JD Spero card front

My new business card – front!

books on back of business cards

My books featured on back of my new cards

Thus, July 25 will be a day to celebrate — FORTE’s book birthday — for years to come. And will add to the endless celebration already in my life in late July. This year, my youngest turns 5 July 23, my book launches July 25, our 12 year anniversary is July 26, and my oldest turns 10 July 27, and my official launch party is July 28. Bring on the champagne!


Stay tuned for details about the online blog tour. Also we have some cool launch events that should be super fun.

July 28, 2015 — Official launch party at Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga, NY

August 28, 2015 — Reading and signing at Jabberwocky Bookshop, Newburyport, MA

September 17, 2015 — Book club, Glens Falls, NY

November 19, 2015 — Authors & Artists at Samantha’s Cafe in Glens Falls, NY

See you there!