New To You: Trail of Dead by Melissa F. Olson (Prize)

July 8, 2013 | News!!, Interviews, New to You Books | 12 comments

Trail of Dead, urban fantasy novel Trail of Dead, an urban fantasy, by Melissa F. Olson .

What is Trail of Dead about?

Trail of Dead is the sequel to Dead Spots. Both novels feature Scarlett Bernard, a young woman in Los Angeles with the ability to “null” supernatural powers. If a vampire or werewolf gets too close to her, they become human again. Witches can’t perform even the mildest charm. Scarlett makes a living cleaning up the crime scenes that are left when supernatural forces go haywire in the city, so she finds herself in some sticky situations. Trail of Dead follows Scarlett as she tracks her old mentor, now a vampire murdering witches in the city.

What type of reader would your book appeal to most?

Fans of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, science fiction (magic in Scarlett’s world is heavily tied to evolutionary principles), women’s fiction, etc.

Who is the main character? What does he or she want or what is his or her biggest struggle to over come?

Scarlett is trying to track down her former mentor, a woman who killed Scarlett’s parents so she could worm her way into the null’s life. She is also trying to deal with the guilt she feels over her parents’ death, and resolve her feelings for two very different men.

What movies or other books would you compare Trail of Dead to and why?

If I were organizing a book store, I would shelve this with Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series, Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series, and perhaps Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse novels. I think all of those series share a similar taste for action and intricate worldbuilding, with some romance and humor thrown in. I’ve tried to do that with my books as well.

What plot line drives the story?

The hunt for Scarlett’s mentor, Olivia, and the attempt to figure out what she’s up to. Olivia is working with an accomplice who seems to have her own agenda and plan for Scarlett.

How is your book different than other books in the same genre?

Scarlett’s power is unusual, because in a sense she doesn’t have any. Scarlett is the absence of power. It’s like there is a sphere around her, and within that aura all magic ceases to exist. This greatly affects the supernatural characters in her life. Scarlett is a tough, strong female character, but she’s also dealing with a lot of guilt and confusion because of what Olivia has done to her.

Does your book have romance in it? If so how important is it to the story?

It does have a love triangle, continued over from Dead Spots. The love triangle is a subplot in this novel, rather than the main storyline, but it will be recurring in the series.

Is Trail of Dead part of a series? If so what are the other books (in order) in the series and will there be more?

Yes: Dead Spots is the first, Trail of Dead is the second. The series will continue with a third book, and hopefully more.

If your book is part of a series, should readers read the books in order?

That would be ideal, especially because Trail of Dead’s story really picks up where Dead Spots leaves off. But readers who choose to start with the sequel shouldn’t have any trouble picking up the storylines or characters. The series follows the main character, Scarlett Bernard, as she finds her place in both the supernatural world and the regular one. There will be an overarcing plotline throughout the series, but it’s very important to me that each novel stand on its own as well.

Prize alert!!

Melissa is giving away a signed copy of Trail of Dead to one reader. Limited to the United States and Canada. For a chance to win, just post a comment below by Wednesday, July 31st, 2013.

Readers can get Trail of Dead at and in select bookstores across the country. Nook and Kindle versions are available as well.

Buy it now at: Amazon

Where to find Melissa:

Web Site



  1. Nora-Adrienne

    Crime Scene cleaner, Supernatural Null, what’s not to love about this book. I wish my local libraries would be smart enough to have put this series on the shelf, but of course they all know better then the people who actually want to read the book. LOL

    I’d love to win that copy of the book for my already burgeoning bookshelves.

  2. Trisha Marrero

    I love to read, its the only way I get to really escape the day to day. I found Dead Spots on Kindle and absolutely fell in love with the characters and whole world of the book. I really appreciate how the main character comes from a damaged stand point and not like the perfect women in other books. Scarlet is so relatable to me, we all have been broken at some point and it really is how we decide to deal with our background that moves us forward. So after I finished reading Dead Spots I immediately went to amazon to look for part 2! And that was Saturday night… I couldn’t put my phone away… had to find out what happened. And again couldn’t believe how fantastic the book really was, it was even better than book 1. And now that I have just finished Trail Of The Dead, I immediately go to your website to see when book 3 will be released! And wound my way here… but I’m glad I did because I get a chance to really thank and appreciate an amazing author for a really great reading experience. Thank you.
    And if there is in anyway I can know when a book 3 will be released? I can’t wait!

  3. SharonS

    love the idea behind this series. This is a new to me author. Thanks for the heads up!

  4. Sandyg265

    Sounds good. I like the idea of a Null.

  5. Janie McGaugh

    Sounds like a great premise; I’d love to read it!

  6. orchid7

    I’d love a chance to try out this series- it looks good!

  7. ValS

    I read a lot of paranormal. I am always looking for something new. This definitely fits the bill.

  8. Ashley E

    I adore Patricia Briggs, so if you say I’m going to love this as well, who am I to protest?! LOL Count me in!

  9. Kimberley Coover

    This is a new author, thanks so much for introducing to me. I love the premise of this series. I have added these books to my tbr list.

    thanks for the giveaway!

  10. Caroline Toye

    Just read the first book, so this is going to the top of my TBR pile. Yay!!!

  11. Paige Krekeler

    I’m new to this series and have just picked up the first book. I would love to win the second one.

  12. Lori

    And the winner is… Caroline Toye! Congrats, Caroline. :)