Perhaps this is it… thank you all for your numerous comments and for your encouragement. I really appreciate it.
This is the latest version of the cover:
I realize there is no way that I am going to please everybody. But this is probably as close as I can get to considering all of the best suggestions I received. Let me know if this is yet another step above the last version of this cover. Did the tweaks work? (Items changed: Font, coloring on font, edges of font, leading characters emphasized, sword position adjusted slightly, drop shadows added to top of page items (shadow to left and up), drop shadow added to author name (shadow to right and down), drop shadow added to sword for depth (I love the fact that the drop shadow on the sword is solid for the hilt, and then somewhat clear for the blade and pommel crystal).
Let me know what you think.