Survivor Week: Don’t Be A Castaway - Foodie Survival Tips + Giveaway/Scavenger Hunt!

Hi everyone! Welcome to day 4 in the Survivor Week creative tour for The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson. This event was pulled together by the ever amazing Sarah from The YA Book Traveler and it consists of Island-themed survival  posts and a giveaway & scavenger hunt to win fun prize packs! I am so excited for The Sandcastle Empire (it's going to be a movie!!!) and I hope you guys enjoy my post & follow the rest of the tour. Have fun scavenging!

The Sandcastle Empire
by Kayla Olson
YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian
June 6th, 2017 from HarperTeen
When all hope is gone, how do you survive?
Before the war, Eden’s life was easy—air conditioning, ice cream, long days at the beach. Then the revolution happened, and everything changed.
Now a powerful group called the Wolfpack controls the earth and its resources. Eden has lost everything to them. They killed her family and her friends, destroyed her home, and imprisoned her. But Eden refuses to die by their hands. She knows the coordinates to the only neutral ground left in the world, a place called Sanctuary Island, and she is desperate to escape to its shores.
Eden finally reaches the island and meets others resistant to the Wolves—but the solace is short-lived when one of Eden’s new friends goes missing. Braving the jungle in search of their lost ally, they quickly discover Sanctuary is filled with lethal traps and an enemy they never expected.
This island might be deadlier than the world Eden left behind, but surviving it is the only thing that stands between her and freedom.
Add to Goodreads |Film + foreign news: here
Don't Be A Castaway ~ Foodie Survival Tips

Disclaimer: Gifs source from Cast Away movie by 20th Century Fox
Have you ever thought about what you'd do in the off-chance you suddenly found yourself stranded on a deserted Island? I have, constantly, ever since I watched Cast Away with Tom Hanks and his whole experience on that Island. There is seriously so many things to learn from the movie, but today I want to focus on what I think is the most crucial for your survival if ever found alone on an Island -- FOOD. That's right, you need your energy to keep working hard if you are set on escaping your new prison. You could last a few days perfectly fine, but with all the added stress and things to get done, don't you think you'd be best off with a satisfied stomach? Yup, think so too. Let's get started!

First of all, find water.

You can go days without food but you can't last long without drinking water. Sea water is not an option, so you'll have to go into the trees/jungle and find either a stream or small forms of condensation in leaves that are left behind by rain. Be careful to check the water before you drink though, don't want to accidentally drink something bad. Best to boil it if possible!

Now that we are all set with water, you need to look for sharp objects. It could be from junk washing ashore (if any), or sharp rocks.

The purpose of the sharp object is to help make a spear to go fishing which is the most obvious source of food when stranded.

 Fishing with a makeshift spear is no easy feat, so it might take you a few times (or forever) to catch any seafood. Just hang in there and you might see results! Stick to small fish and crabs though, much safer to eat.

But uh oh, depending on how hungry and desperate you are, some fish/seafood might not taste good raw.

So it's time to build a fire!

No matches? No flint? That's too bad, but guess what? Tom Hanks' method in Cast Away is legit (although the slowest and hardest of all). Rub two pieces of dry wood together with vigor and the friction will char the piece of wood so you will quickly have to place dry grass on it so it catches on fire. I've seen this work personally (my family grew up in ranches and they did this sort of thing). Striking rocks together might also work as flint.

Once the nest of dry grass catches on fire, keep adding more dry grass and dry pieces of wood until you become a fire lord!

Oh, to create more smoke just add green leaves and wood. It'll serve as a signal for your rescue too. But why do we need a fire for food? Because you'll want to cook your food here! Stick your seafood in sticks and roast them over the fire. It'll taste better! And also, with your fire you'll be able to boil your water to eliminate bacteria. It's best to do this ALWAYS. You don't want to get sick. You can do this with coconut shells, but first we have to find them...

There they are! Make sure to climb the coconut tree or somehow bring the coconuts down and DON'T get the coconuts that are already on the ground. Those are surely all dried up and you want to be able to drink the coconut water which will provide you with several nutrients and prevent dehydration. It's also quite tasty! :D

But first we need to know how to open coconuts. Like so:

Hahah just kidding! Couldn't resist. Unless you do have this skill??? Color me impressed.

But really, desperate method #1:

Not that great if you ask me. Chances are you will crack it open and all the coconut water will leak out.

Method #2

Grab a pointy rock and place it on the coconut's line while smashing it with another rock. It will crack it right in the middle, but be quick so you don't spill the water. Now enjoy great coconut water and the fruity goodness! This will keep you full and enough to keep you alive (in case you weren't lucky with the fish).

And coconut shells will also be useful to gather water and boil over the fire. Win-win!!!

Other fruits/food to search for:

- Bananas
- Kiwis
- Berries
- Seaweed

These are excellent for you, especially paired up together.

But be careful with a few berries and seaweed though, they can cause food poisoning. First rub them over your arm or lips to see if it doesn't irritate your skin. If it does, then it means it's not good for you and best find something else. Also DO NOT eat mushrooms. Most of them are poisonous. Better not risk it.

And if all this fails and you are dying from hunger then... *gulps*

But I'm sure it won't come to that! You've got this.

I hope. 

Dun dun duuuuun.


Tour Schedule: 

Follow the tour to check out more great content & join the scavenger hunt!
Monday 5/8: The YA Book Traveler Guest Post & Trailer
Tuesday 5/9: No Bent Spines Dystopian Dream Treehouse
Wednesday 5/10: BookCrushin – Deserted but not Illiterate – Books I Would Want on a Deserted Island
Thursday 5/11: The Reader and the Chef – Don’t Be a Castaway: Foodie Survival Tips
Friday 5/12: YA Wednesdays – Q & A with Kayla Olson
Saturday 5/13: Booknerd Addict – I’m a Survivor! Fashion Post
Sunday 5/14: Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Glamping – Island Beauty Regimens

Giveaway & Scavenger Hunt!

Main Giveaway Prize #1

Signed ARC of THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE (can be personalized upon request) // write. read. repeat. tote bag // signed+personalized postcard // Anna Tovar print that reads "some things take time" // sprout bookmarks // TSE swag, including wolf sticker + wolf temporary tattoo—I drew the wolf myself! // ingredient kit to make cayenne-cinnamon-marshmallow hot chocolate (packaged in a test tube!), one of Eden's favorite treats from before the war // {plant + tray not included} US Only

Scavenger Hunt Prize: Prize #2

How to win: A scavenger hunt requires you to find all the clues! Each day of this tour will have a quote card and in order to be entered to win this amazing prize, simply share the graphics each day (7 total!) on social media with the hashtag #SurviveTheEmpire. Make sure you share all 7 graphics. 

This is day 4 graphic:

The prize: copy of SECOND SIGHT, one of my favorite books on writing and revising, signed by author/editor Cheryl B. Klein // pre-order of THE SANDCASTLE EMPIRE (represented here by second post card) // write. read. repeat. tote bag // signed+personalized post card // Anna Tovar print that reads "some things take time" // sprout bookmarks // TSE swag, including wolf sticker + wolf temporary tattoo—I drew the wolf myself! // ingredient kit to make cayenne-cinnamon-marshmallow hot chocolate (packaged in a test tube!), one of Eden's favorite treats from before the war // {plant + tray not included}


About Kayla Olson

Kayla Olson lives in Texas, and can usually be found in near proximity to black coffee, the darkest chocolate, Scrivener, and an army of Sharpie highlighters. 


  1. Oooo what a fun post! I really enjoyed this one :D And this book sounds interesting :) Thanks for the lovely post and giveaway!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

  2. Ohh! Lovely. This is interesting. Thanks for sharing! ������ this will be on my tbr pile. ;)

  3. Bahaha!!! Omg this post is so thorough all if I ever get stranded in the island I will make sure to remember all your tips. I love the movie castaway it was so horrible when Wilson got drifted away. I'm not saying I cried but I'm just saying it was pretty intense. Lol oh who am I kidding I bawled like a baby lol. This is an amazing post Melissa, it was fun and informative. Happy reading đŸ˜˜ xoxo

  4. This book interesting! Thank you for hosting this giveaway!

  5. Amazing post, wow! Thanks for hosting. :)