Author Cheryl Grey Bostrom joins us this week to chat about her debut, Sugar Birds

Author Name: Cheryl Grey Bostrom

Book Title: Sugar Birds

Book Genre: Literary (Upmarket) Fiction – (Coming-of Age, Nature)

Release Date: August 3, 2021

Publisher: She Writes Press

Welcome to The Spotlight, Cheryl! Please tell us about Sugar Birds.

When young Aggie accidentally lights a tragic fire, she hides in rugged Pacific Northwest forest where no one can find her—including smart, mercurial Celia and two irresistible young men: one brilliant and autistic; the other, dangerous. 

An evocative coming-of-age story about personal wilderness, trust, and the search for forgiveness. 

Fill in the blank: Readers who liked _____(Book Title)____will also like Sugar Birds.

This is a fun one to answer!  Advance reviewers from across the US have said the book reminds them of Where the Crawdads SingThe Snow Child, The Hunger Games, My Side of the Mountain, The Scent Keeper, The Great Alone and even Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Big shoes to fill, but I’m grateful for any likenesses they see.

What sparked the idea for this book?

Five years ago, I wrote a sketch about a girl escaping a PNW fire. I thought that was the end of it, but that little girl wouldn’t stay on the page. She began awakening me at night, as did childhood memories of how my sister and I climbed sixty and seventy feet into ancient firs on our grandparents’ land, often escaping our ill, angry mother. Where adults failed us, the wilds of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula raised us, taught us, nourished us. Even showed us the character of God. In Sugar Birds, I wanted to tap that setting and those interactions as the characters search for, and find, their ways through heartache.

Are you working on a new project? Please tell us about it.

Yes! I’ve begun a sequel to Sugar Birds, the bulk of which takes place thirty years later in Washington State’s Palouse country. Readers will be reunited with some of Sugar Birds’s favorite characters in another suspenseful, layered, nature novel.

What are your interests outside of reading and writing?

There’s little I enjoy more than hiking with my camera in hand, looking for magical or moody intersects of light with landscapes and wildlife—including birds. Especially birds. I’ve learned to keep my eyes and perception tuned to the outdoors, where nature photography informs my writing and offers endless illustrations of interior emotional and spiritual landscapes.

Where can readers find you?

I’d love to have them join me TODAY at

Sugar Birds’s Virtual Launch,  where I’ll be chatting with award-winning author Maggie Wallem Rowe

August 3, 2021— 5:00 pm, Pacific Time.

Sponsored by Village Books, Bellingham WA

For the event link and more info go to any one of these sites:


FaceBook: Cheryl Grey Bostrom or Author Cheryl Grey Bostrom (page)

Twitter: @cheryl_bostrom

LinkedIn: Cheryl Grey Bostrom

Thank you, Cheryl! Sugar Birds is out TODAY.

Northwest Washington State, 1985

For years, Harris Hayes has taught his daughter, Aggie, the ways of the northern woods. So when her mother’s depression worsens, Harris shows the girl how to find and sketch the nests of wild birds as an antidote to sadness. Aggie is in a tree far overhead when her unpredictable mother spots her and forbids her to climb. Angry, the ten-year-old accidentally lights a tragic fire, then flees downriver. She lands her boat near untamed forest, where she hides among the trees and creatures she considers her only friends—determined to remain undiscovered.

A search party gathers by Aggie’s empty boat hours after Celia, fresh off the plane from Houston, arrives at her grandmother’s nearby farm. Hurting from her parents’ breakup, she also plans to run. But when she joins the hunt for Aggie, she meets two irresistible young men who compel her to stay. One is autistic; the other, dangerous.

Perfect for fans The Scent Keeper, The Snow Child, and The Great Alone, Sugar Birds immerses readers in a layered, evocative coming-of-age story set in the breathtaking natural world where characters encounter the mending power of forgiveness—for themselves and for those who have failed them.


For most of her life, Pacific Northwest naturalist, photographer, and award-winning author Cheryl Grey Bostrom, M.A., has lived in the rural and wild lands that infuse her writing. Her essays, photos and poetry have appeared in a variety of publications, including The American Scientific Affiliation’s God and Nature Magazine, for which she’s a regular photo essayist. A member of the Redbud Writers Guild, she has also authored two nonfiction books. This is her first novel.