Media & Press
DeMode Magazine Feature and Interview
What We Reading: An Interview with S.F. Baumgartner
Read the full article recommending Buried Secrets, excerpt below:
Buried Secrets, by S.F. Baumgartner (2023)
In the realm of psychological and domestic suspense, S. F. Baumgartner's Buried Secrets emerges as a compelling tale, intertwining the nuances of Christian suspense. The novel centers around Dylan Roche, a 25-year-old grappling with the uncertainties of adulthood, further complicated by the recent death of his mother. His unassuming life is upended by the appearance of attorney Charles Townsend, a link to his mother's mysterious past, propelling Dylan on an introspective journey fraught with existential questions about his identity and lineage.
Baumgartner's narrative prowess is evident in the way the story swiftly captures the reader's attention, maintaining a taut grip through an intricate web of family secrets and deceit. The plot, rich with twists and turns, offers a labyrinthine journey through hidden corridors of familial ties and concealed truths.
The blend of suspense, familial intrigue, and spiritual undertones has resonated with a wide audience, establishing Buried Secrets as a promising opener to what could be an enthralling series. This novel not only satisfies the appetite of thriller aficionados but also posits Baumgartner as a notable voice in the genre, adept at weaving complex tales of suspense and human emotion.
Read the full article recommending Living Secrets, excerpt below:
Living Secrets (Mirror Estates Series Book 1), by S.F. Baumgartner (2023)
Lily Tso, a 22-year-old Hotel Guest Service Officer and orphan, discovers that her parents are alive and finds herself embroiled in a dangerous mission to save America from a bioterror threat. Overwhelmed by her sudden involvement in such a high-stakes operation and the prospect of meeting her biological parents, Lily teams up with an FBI Special Agent and a young tycoon.
As they work to prevent a catastrophic biological attack, they face opposition from unknown forces. With time running out, Lily must overcome these challenges to save her country and herself from impending doom.
This Christian thriller novel is a whirlwind of international espionage, blending intense action with a deep dive into political intrigue. While the book's rapid pacing and frequent perspective shifts require some initial adjustment, the compelling narrative, reminiscent of a dynamic Hollywood action movie, ultimately delivers a satisfyingly complex and engaging thriller experience.
Blog Post on Living Secrets below:
S. F. Baumgartner. Living Secrets. F.B. Publishing, 2023.
The author of Living Secrets seems to like people whose background becomes a surprise even to themselves. The two main characters of the novel both have learned that their parents are not who they thought they were. Dylan Roche of Florida discovers that he is the heir to a fortune that apparently was largely funded from the rackets. Lily Tso of Hong Kong learns that her birth parents, whom she had never met, were an international spy known as Phoenix and a man who is now a U. S. Senator.
Twenty-two year old Lily has a documents job in a Hong Kong hotel that is partly owned by Dylan’s family. Through Dylan she meets some people who want her to take some classified information from China to the United States. They tell her that she may finally meet her birth mother, someone she and the uncle who raised her thought was dead. To paraphrase Homer, that was the beginning of all her troubles.
Lily arrives with Dylan to Florida where they meet with some FBI agents including a father-son team. They make arrangements to meet both of Lily’s parents, but things do not go according to plan. There are so many people tailing other people it is almost hard to keep track of them. And it is certainly difficult to tell who the good guys are—if there are any. After all, Dylan has an aunt who is still with the criminal organization, and Lily’s mother has been operating as a spy for years. Whom is Phoenix spying for?
A criminal known as the Ghost seems to pulling the strings behind everything. We learn that Phoenix and Ghost know each other, too. There are also some Chinese spies and tong members. It gets complicated and interesting. The chapters are short, the action does not let up, and readers will be compelled to keep reading.
Oh, yeah, there is some kind of germ warfare going on as well. A deadly microbe originated in China, but some Chinese doctors have risked their own lives and reputations to try to get word of an antidote before it creates havoc in places that China considers rivals if not enemies. Hong Kong was where East and West met for a century. Are East and West still compatible there? Anywhere?
PRAISE FOR S.F. BAUMGARTNER
“The edge-of-your-seat plot will keep you guessing as it rockets through pages like Secretariat around the final turn at the Belmont Stakes.
Note that you may not want to start Living Secrets late at night. If you do, it'll have you on the edge of your seat into the wee hours! I read it cover-to-cover in one sitting”
—Reedsy Discovery Review
“The action and intrigue were very interesting and high octane, so fasten your seatbelts before you begin. This wild thriller will take you for the ride of your life”
─ Amazon Review
“There is a lot of action, a lot of suspense and I couldn’t put it down until I was finished.”
“This was a very intriguing story. It kept you on the edge of your seat. It was fast paced, and it had a lot of twists and turns.I can’t wait to see what is going to come next.”
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