Blog Tour Guest Post & Giveaway: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper

Welcome to my tour stop for Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper. Kendall is stopping by today to talk about some of the research for Salt & Storm. Read on down to check it out and you can read my review here.

Salt & Storm
by Kendall Kulper
YA Historical, Paranormal
Hardcover416 Pages
September 23rd 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


A sweeping historical romance about a witch who foresees her own murder--and the one boy who can help change her future.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Roe wants only to take her rightful place as the witch of Prince Island, making the charms that keep the island's whalers safe at sea, but her mother has forced her into a magic-free world of proper manners and respectability. When Avery dreams she's to be murdered, she knows time is running out to unlock her magic and save herself.

Avery finds an unexpected ally in a tattooed harpoon boy named Tane--a sailor with magic of his own, who moves Avery in ways she never expected. Becoming a witch might stop her murder and save her island from ruin, but Avery discovers her magic requires a sacrifice she never prepared for.


A Salt & Storm Reading List
 By Kendall Kulper

I pretty much lived in the library while writing SALT & STORM, and books made up the cornerstone of my research. If you’re looking for more about the lives of whale men and the women they left behind, here are some of my favorite books on the subject:

Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America – Eric Jay Dolan
Probably the single-most-useful book on my shelf, Leviathan is the definitive history of American whaling. I loved it because it managed to answer all my most basic questions, but it was also full of amazing stories about the incredibly dangerous and brutal lives of whale men, who had to deal with starvation, loneliness, boredom, and the threat of attack by natives and pirates—not to mention the harrowing whale hunts themselves. Whale journeys lasted on average two to three years, paid pennies, and often had startlingly high mortality rates, but there were still men who’d rather be out on the sea than anywhere else in the world. Their stories are nothing short of amazing.

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex – Nathaniel Philbrick
Most people don’t realize that the story of Moby Dick was actually based off a real attack by a whale on a whale ship in the early nineteenth century. The Essex set sail from Nantucket in 1819 and was sunk by a massive sperm whale a year later. Much of the crew died, but some managed to survive, in truly horrific conditions, for over 90 days. It’s an incredible story captured brilliantly by Nathaniel Philbrick (whose pop histories make for great nonfiction thrillers). Top tip! If you decide to get this book on audiotape, I would recommend you not then drive halfway across the country in an extremely uncomfortable U-Haul with the sun beating down on you and nothing around but empty cornfields and signs that say “Next Rest Area: 80 Miles.” That water bottle is going to start looking pretty empty pretty fast.

Two Years Before the Mast – Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
Published in 1840, Richard Henry Dana Jr.’s journal of his time on a merchant ship is one of the best first-hand accounts of life as a sailor in the nineteenth century. Dana was a Boston blueblood who decided to take a job as a working sailor after his poor eyesight forced him to drop out of college, and his journal is full of fascinating and thoughtful depictions of life on board, from the beauty of watching the world at the top of the masthead to the brutality of a captain needlessly beating a fellow sailor nearly to death (a practice that was entirely lawful). Dana later became an advocate for seamen and fugitive slaves, inspired by his time at sea.

The Hunted Whale – James McGuane
Lucky for me, there’s a wealth of paintings, artifacts, and implements left over from the heyday of the American whaling era, and some of the most beautiful and most interesting pieces are photographed and catalogued in The Hunted Whale. It was a great visual dictionary for me, with information on harpoons, ropes, and whaleboats, but also the colorful and beautiful works of art made by sailors at sea. I especially love the section on scrimshaw.

Captain Ahab Had a Wife: New England Women and the Whalefishery, 1720-1870 – Lisa Norling
Most histories of the whaling industry focus on the men involved: the sailors, captains, and ship owners who kept the business running. But in truth, these men left behind women who had to learn to be independent, capable, and self-reliant in a world where women were often taught to be anything but. Their stories are captured brilliantly in Lisa Norling’s book, which shows the communities these women built and ran and the strategies they created to cope with their husbands’ dangerous jobs, which often kept them apart for years. The wives, mothers, and daughters of these men often had to be just as strong if not stronger than their men, and I loved hearing more about this often-ignored side of history.

Moby Dick – Herman Melville
You didn’t think I’d get through a SALT & STORM reading list without Moby Dick, did you? And I know—I can hear the groans from here—but despite its bad reputation in 10th-grade English classes throughout the country, Moby Dick is full of sharp humor and thoughtful insight. If you like learning about the intricacies of whales and whaling, you’re in luck (Melville fills whole chapters with encyclopedic knowledge), but at its heart, it’s still a great story about fate, humanity, and ambition. Still not convinced? Get to a library and find yourself a copy with Rockwell Kent’s gorgeous woodcut illustrations, so at least you’ll have something pretty to keep you turning the pages.

About the Author

Kendall Kulper writes historical fiction with a fantasy twist for teen readers and knows more about nineteenth century whaling than she ever imagined. Her debut YA novel, SALT & STORM will be published by Little, Brown September 23, 2014. She graduated from Harvard University with a degree in history and literature in 2008 and spent several years as a journalist before deciding to write full-time. She grew up in the wilds of New Jersey and now lives in Boston with her husband and chronically-anxious Australian Shepherd mix, Abby.

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  1. I've been eyeing Salt & Storm since it hit Netgalley and am so happy that it's coming out into the world soon :)

  2. Just a couple more days! :)

  3. Teresa Danner Kander9/19/14, 10:51 AM

    I am so excited to read this book!

  4. Salt & Storm looks wonderful! But I'm afraid I'll have to pass on Moby Dick for now. I'll need a very special reading mood to get through that. ;)

  5. I hope you like it when you do. It wasn't what I was expecting. A very dark and desperate tale, but also very good.

  6. Me too. :) I do own a copy. I need to read it someday.

  7. Charlie Anderson9/19/14, 1:01 PM

    I have this book. I was lucky to get if from NetGalley. I am pretty excited to read it!

  8. Tracy Renee Snyder9/19/14, 1:29 PM

    love the book cover

  9. Tracy Renee Snyder9/19/14, 1:38 PM

    cover a little contradictory. When I saw it I thought it said "I love Robot"

  10. Tracy Renee Snyder9/19/14, 1:39 PM

    might want to read this one just because of the cover!!!! He is gorgeous

  11. Kim@superbookgrl13.blogspot.co9/19/14, 3:49 PM

    I want to read this:) It looks good!

  12. Lol! He is, actually. ;)

  13. I hope you like it. Just expect a somewhat heavy, but beautiful tale.

  14. It was. It was a heavier read, but full of so much emotion with some happy moments.

  15. Kim@superbookgrl13.blogspot.co9/19/14, 8:47 PM

    have you read it yet Tressa? it looks interesting:)

  16. I haven't, but I added this one to my tbr because the summary sounds interesting. I'm hoping it will be a good read. :)

  17. Rachelle Saylor9/19/14, 9:11 PM

    This book looks amazing! I cannot wait to read it!!! :)

  18. I hope you enjoy it when you do!

  19. I love this cover and this sounds so good. I love stories about witches! Great review :)

  20. I have had this on my TBR pile for a while. I am loving the cover of this book :)

  21. Nicole Krutz9/20/14, 4:56 AM

    Looks like a great book, i love historical books!

  22. Way to go!! Just a few more hours...

  23. I think you'd like this one. :)

  24. I like it too and it definitely fits the book.

  25. Glad you liked this one, the reviews are all over the place. I've had it for awhile but I just haven't gotten around to it, but hopefully soon. Great review! ~Pam

  26. I think you would like it, Pam. It was such a unique story, although fairly bitter and dark, but it worked for me.

  27. Katie Watkins9/21/14, 7:25 PM

    It's totally crazy how you can stay up late and still deal with life! I try, but I'm always so exhausted--I usually get up at 5:15 to get my exercise in before I deal with getting the kids to school and life, church, books, etc. :)

  28. I used to do 5 am after my third kid was born, but I can't do that anymore. I think the fourth one must have did me in. Lol! I get up late, but tomorrow I start getting up at 6. See, that's why I can stay up later. :)


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