It's a flaming arrow. It is a part of the story.
The red fletching is difficult to see against the black, the shaft doesn't appear between the letters, and the flame obscures the arrowhead. That said, I realised immediately it was an arrow, but some readers may not in the half-second scrutiny they give any cover.
Love the new font for the main title! I think the author name and sub-line need to pop more - as it is they look really "dull" compared to the rest (same for the arrow feathery things). Getting much better!! Also the gray behind your title looks dull (flat?) compared to the dark black of the main cover...I think making the gray the same back as the rest may help. Do know, though, that I have about zero artistic ability...
I love what you've done with the title!
(I only spent less than a minute on it.. slapping your title onto a new image and typing out your name in bigger letters.. so I didn't do much..)
The flames throughout the lettering of your title and the arrow slightly visible within the flame really make it stand out!
I think you should add a light to bright yellow to the subtitle, something similar to the colour of the flames, but not too bright.
And a similar colour to your author name, but with a slight background/shadowing colour, as I've done.
Don't use the same method (flamey) in either the subtitle or your name though, you want the title to stand out the most!
Anyone with the surname Fletcher has an ancestor who made the feathery things.
Danny - I really really like what you did tot he main title. I wonder what would happen if you omit the flames on the pointy end of the arrow? I'm not sure but it may balance better? It's progressing really nicely.
I like the new image and I really like the treatment you’ve given the title.
One thing you might want to play with is the placement of the title. Right now what really draws my eye is the image of the explosion and then, because we read down, my eyes move down the cover and rest on your name, which really stands out. So my question is, what do you really want people to focus on? If you are a well enough known author that your name is going to make people want to buy the book then it’s great but if you really want people to focus on your title then I would make your name less prominent. Your name have been a bit small on your first cover but I would put it in the same font as the title, make it no bigger than the subtitle and maybe play with the placement. For the title, maybe try moving the top of the photo above it and putting the title more in the center of the brightest part of the explosion. Also you might try the color and shadow you used for your name for the subtitle – that really pops.
I think you have really good elements here, I just think if you play with it more you can get them to work together instead of competing with each other. (sorry such a long reply)
I agree with some of what you're saying, but...
Whether you're an unknown, or millions of people know who you are. Your author name is your brand.
IMHO, it should stand out.
Also, I think the title should stay at the top, and not be moved. Especially not over the top of the image.
The only things that really need to change are the subtitle, that definitely needs to be clearer.
And the colouring of the author name.
Danny, if you want me to upload the original image, so you can start over with it, just gimme a shout and I'll post it.