Cover Reveal! The Meaning of Blood by Chuck Caruso

Cloud Lodge Books (CLB) are delighted to have Spine Magazine exclusively reveal the cover for The Meaning of Blood and Other Tales of Perversity, the latest offering by award-winning crime author Chuck Caruso. The evocative cover is courtesy of design studio LaBoca.


The Meaning of Blood is a collection of 16 tales of dark, transgressive fiction for fans of Chuck Palahniuk, Elmore Leonard, and Edgar Allan Poe, in which Caruso combines his deep roots in the American Gothic with his own contemporary sense of macabre humor. These stories range from crime thrillers to western noir to grotesque horror. Each twisted tale displays Caruso’s unique blend of wry prose, feverish storytelling, and tragically-flawed characters discovering that even the most innocent encounter can lead to death. Or sex. Or both.

The Meaning of Blood has already received praise from other authors writing in the same genre, including the following:

The Meaning of Blood screams (and I mean screams!) Edgar Allan Poe. Caruso is more than a Poe expert. He's practically Poe reincarnated, channeling the master's dark spirit to create stories that feel both ominously Gothic and totally fresh.” —Steve Hockensmith, author of the New York Times bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

“A lethal cocktail of hard-boiled noir, Gothic horror and more.” —Paul D. Brazill, author of Last Year’s Man and A Case of Noir.

When commissioning the cover in April 2018, CLB turned once again to LaBoca Studios, which has designed the majority of the press’s book covers since its inception. Specifically, LaBoca had developed a series of concept covers for CLB, one of which stood out as a good representation for the aesthetic of The Meaning Of Blood. The original concept had a white background and an androgynous couple locked in an embrace. Commenting on this choice, Scot Bendall, founder of LaBoca, stated, “I always had a soft spot for this design.” Bendall and LaBoca went on to brilliantly adapt the concept to The Meaning of Blood by drawing on imagery from the title story and using a black background to add the appropriate mood to this crossover collection, which has strong overtones from Gothic horror fiction.


When asked to comment about his impressions of the cover, author Chuck Caruso, a 19th Century Americanist and Edgar Allen Poe scholar, stated:

“I first became familiar with La Boca’s work through their movie poster for the reissue of The Third Man and the jacket design for The Teleportation Accident. Little could I have imagined that I’d be so blessed to have them design book jackets for my own work! I love how the cover for The Meaning of Blood and Other Tales of Perversity almost looks like a stained glass window, with swirling, clotting blood providing the deep red color. I especially appreciate the ambiguity in the connection between the two human figures. Is this an embrace or is it an act of violence? Could it possibly be both at the same time? These are the same questions I attempt to ask in my fiction.”


Cloud Lodge Books believes that this magnificent cover will captivate lovers of fine book cover art, as well as the target audience of those who fancy edgy crime fiction and horror.

Cloud Lodge Books will release the paperback version of The Meaning of Blood worldwide on November 21, 2018. The book will be made available in ebook and audiobook formats shortly thereafter.

Design Editor, Painter, Designer, Lifelong bibliophile.