So I turned to the one friend I know who does professional cover design. She's cool and sweet, and right now she even has a holiday discount for any work you might hire her to do. Go check out some of her work at SketcherGirlStudios, and if you are considering some cover design or other art needs, write to Vic Caswell and find out just how nice she is.
Now here are two options she came up with amazingly fast, as in just a couple of hours, from the artwork I sent her. She's willing to make any changes needed, but you can see just from these that they are far better than the examples I managed on my own.
I like the way my name appears in the one with the borders (single border and a double border), but I'm leaning towards liking the one without borders better. What are your thoughts?