New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author

J.F.PennOxford educated, British born J.F.Penn has traveled the world in her study of religion and psychology. She brings these obsessions as well as a love for thrillers and an interest in the supernatural to her writing.

Her fast-paced ARKANE thrillers weave together historical artifacts, secret societies, global locations, violence, a kick-ass protagonist and a hint of the supernatural.

One Day In Budapest is a chilling view of a possible future as Eastern Europe embraces right-wing nationalism. It also features in Deadly Dozen, a box-set of thrillers that hit the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller lists in March 2014.

Desecration is a crime thriller that delves into the world of body modification, corpse art and teratology.

A Thousand Fiendish Angels, a short story collection based on Dante’s Inferno, includes a dark tale with homage to H.P.Lovecraft, a post-apocalyptic rescue mission and a quest into the Arctic north.

As seen at:



DesecrationDeath isn’t always the end.

LONDON. When the body of a young heiress is found within the Royal College of Surgeons, Detective Sergeant Jamie Brooke is assigned to the case. An antique ivory figurine found beside the body is the only lead and she enlists Blake Daniel, a reluctant clairvoyant, to help her discover the message it holds.

When personal tragedy strikes, Jamie finds her own life entwining with the morbid fascinations of the anatomists, and she must race against time to stop them claiming another victim.

As Jamie and Blake delve into a macabre world of grave robbery, body modification, and the genetic engineering of monsters, they must fight to keep their sanity, and their lives.

Bestsellers in Thriller and Action/ Adventure

Pentecost, Prophecy, Exodus and One Day In Budapest are available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon and all online bookstores. The first three are also available in audiobook format.

Pentecost, ARKANE #1

pentecost j.f.pennA power kept secret for 2000 years. A woman who stands to lose everything.

India. When a nun is burned alive on the sacred ghats of Varanasi, and the stone she carried is stolen, an international hunt is triggered for the relics of the early church.

Forged in the fire and blood of martyrs, the Pentecost stones have been handed down through generations of Keepers who kept their power and locations secret.

Until now.

The Keepers are being murdered, the stones stolen by those who would use them for evil in a world transformed by religious fundamentalism.

Click here to read more or buy now

Prophecy, ARKANE #2

prophecy j.f.pennThe prophecy in Revelation declares that a quarter of the world must die and now a shadowy organization has the ability to fulfill these words. Can one woman stop the abomination before it’s too late?

From the catacombs of Paris to the skeletal ossuaries of Sicily and the Czech Republic, Morgan Sierra and Jake Timber must find the Devil’s Bible and stop the curse being released into the world before one in four are destroyed in the coming holocaust. Because in just seven days, the final curse will be spoken and the prophecy will be fulfilled.

Click here to read more or buy now

Exodus, ARKANE #3

Exodus, an ARKANE thriller by J.F.PennA desperate race to find the Ark of the Covenant – and save the world from a devastating Holy War.

Cairo, Egypt. When the curator of the Museum of Antiquities is slaughtered in a horrific ritual by a group wearing the masks of Ancient Egyptian deities, local authorities ask for help from ARKANE, the agency tasked with investigating religious and paranormal events. Then, in Washington DC, a decapitated Arab body is discovered. The head is placed on the replica Ark of the Covenant along with a chilling message that warns of a terrifying escalation of violence in the Middle East.

ARKANE agent, British-Israeli psychologist Dr Morgan Sierra, must race against time to uncover the real Ark – aware that her nemesis, the vicious mercenary Natasha, is also in the hunt and out for bloody revenge. Morgan travels across Egypt and Jordan, retracing the steps of the Biblical Exodus and following a trail of clues that takes her into the mists of history – and mortal danger…

Click here to read more or buy now

One Day In Budapest

One Day In BudapestA relic, stolen from the heart of an ancient city.
An echo of nationalist violence not seen since the dark days of the Second World War.

Budapest, Hungary. When a priest is murdered at the Basilica of St Stephen and the Holy Right relic is stolen, the ultra-nationalist Eröszak party calls for retribution and anti-Semitic violence erupts in the city.

Dr Morgan Sierra, psychologist and ARKANE agent, finds herself trapped inside the synagogue with Zoltan Fischer, a Hungarian Jewish security advisor. As the terrorism escalates, Morgan and Zoltan must race against time to find the Holy Right and expose the conspiracy, before blood is spilled again on the streets of Budapest.

One Day In Budapest is a chilling view of a possible future as Eastern Europe embraces right-wing Thousand Fiendish Angelsnationalism. A conspiracy thriller for fans of Daniel Silva, where religion and politics intersect.

Click here to read more or buy now.

A Thousand Fiendish Angels

Three short stories on the edges of horror, thriller and the occult. Inspired by Dante’s Inferno, and linked by a book of human skin passed down through generations.


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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri Durand July 1, 2012 at 4:58 am

Am loving your ARKANE series, can’t wait for the third one. Keep them coming :)


Joanna Penn July 1, 2012 at 9:21 am

Thanks so much Terri – I’m glad you’re enjoying them. Exodus is almost into 2nd draft :)


Pam Smith July 19, 2012 at 10:35 am

I have just finished both your books. They were fantastic – the best read I have had for a long time.
When is the next one being released?? I can’t wait.


Joanna Penn July 19, 2012 at 10:39 am

Hi Pam,
Thanks so much for your kind comments – I’m so glad you enjoyed the books!
If you haven’t already, you can sign up here for notification of the Exodus release. I am expecting it to be later this year.
Thanks, Joanna


Jane August 17, 2012 at 12:38 am

Joanna, I absolutely LOVE your books. I am anxiously awaiting the next one. The way you mix historical facts into the fiction of your stories is fascinating to me. Hurry up and get the next one ready……I am tingling with anticipation!!!!


Joanna Penn August 17, 2012 at 8:05 am

Thanks so much Jane! I’m so glad you enjoy the factual stuff, it’s what fascinates me too. What’s amazing is how fact seems to support the fiction :)


Bill August 25, 2012 at 1:40 am

So I just read Pentecost and Prophesy back-to-back in a few days. I really enjoyed them both. As a fan of Rollins and Berry, you are right there with them. Now, not to put te pressure on, but when is the next ARKNE book coming out. Thanks for the entertainment.


Joanna Penn August 25, 2012 at 10:17 am

Thanks so much Bill. I’m glad you loved the books. I was planning to have Exodus out in October but because the first two are with an agent and we’re looking at traditional publishers, it may be delayed. Either way, Exodus is definitely coming … it focuses around the hunt for the Ark of the Covenant as the Middle East counts down to a religious war … and then the next one will be set in Spain and focus around Kabbalah. If you sign up for the newsletter then you’ll be notified when they are released! Thanks again for your support.


Kathy Leo October 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Hi Joanna,

Just finished both books! Great reads…looking forward to Exodus! I too love to read historical fiction especially about secret societies and ancient civilization…you put it perfectly, ancient mystery, modern thrill!


Joanna Penn October 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm

Thanks Kathy – it seems we share some obsessions! I’ll let you know when Exodus is ready to go :)


Darlene Auger November 16, 2012 at 12:55 am

Have read both “Prophecy” and “Pentecost.” Can’t wait to read “Exodus.” It sounds really good. I couldn’t put them down once I started reading. The only bad part was coming to the end. Will definitely read them again.


Joanna Penn November 16, 2012 at 8:02 am

Thanks Darlene, I’m so glad you enjoyed the books – Exodus coming soon!


Philip January 6, 2013 at 8:41 am

Just finished Exodus and it was your best yet, I can’t wait to read your next project. You are one of my favourite authors and I read about one book a week so I am very fussy with my reading selection.
Hope you have a nice break after the release of Exodus but don’t be to long as I am counting the days till your next novel.
PS I love the arkane characters so I hope you are not planning on killing them off too soon.

Philip Redford


Joanna Penn January 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Thanks Philip, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the books and I value the time you spend reading them! I definitely have a rough plan for 7 in the ARKANE series, so don’t worry, no major character deaths as yet … minor characters, perhaps! I am also writing a new series with a slightly different focus so I hope you’ll find that just as engaging. Thanks, Joanna


Chris borszcz January 8, 2013 at 7:39 am

Joanne, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your arcane serIes. James Rollins is one of if not my most favorite author and I have to say he has strong competion coming from you. On November 2, I lost the love of my life, 42 years of marriage, and Parkinson’s took him from me. The Lord and my children,grandchildren, family and friends have all been gracious in supporting me in this difficult time, but I love to read and a good writer like yourself helps to keep the loneliness at bay on these long winter nights! Please keep them coming as your characters become good friends Whom I can sit back and enjoysharing their adventures. Thanks again and God Bless! Chris Borszcz


Joanna Penn January 8, 2013 at 11:12 am

Thanks so much for your kind words Chris, and I love James Rollins too. He is one of my writing idols so I’m glad you find my books have a resonance with his. I’m so sorry about the loss of your husband, and I hope you can continue to find some solace in reading. I’ll be back with more in 2013!


John McQuiggan January 24, 2013 at 4:20 pm

As you are a new novelist Joanna, I’m a fairly new Kindle reader, or any type of book format for that matter :-) . At 64, until buying the kindle, The amount of books I’ve read over the years until this past year you could count on two hands. I’ve read all three in your Arkane series and have to say that I’m still looking for my niche’ in what I will favor reading. You will remain at the top of my list as you take the time to research and bring not only a fast paced story line to your writing but an educational fact filled history also. I will continue to read your books, (4 w/ 3 more ) in the works? I am going to sign up for future release notifications and look forward to your writings. The very best of luck for you and your friends and helpful relatives in your new career.

From across the pond,


Joanna Penn January 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Hi John, and thank you so much for reading my books, and I’m thrilled you have enjoyed them all so far. I shall have to speed up the writing to keep up with your new fiction habit! I’m glad you appreciate the research aspect of the books too as it makes my writing process so enjoyable. I love to weave in enough to make the story as real as possible.
P.S. I also love my Kindle and devour books on the device, it is so handy :) You might enjoy the James Rollins Sigma series as well. I love his books!


Darlene Auger January 24, 2013 at 11:49 pm

I have read all 3 books in the series they are just amazing. You can’t put it down once you start reading it. I love these books and Joanna’s writing is just amazing. I am looking forward to her next book. It can’t come out too soon like right now would be great. Anxiously waiting write quickly Joanna.


Joanna Penn January 28, 2013 at 11:43 am

Hi Darlene, thanks so much for your kind words. I’m thrilled you enjoy the books! I’ll be back into the ARKANE series soon, so you’ll have some more in mid 2013. Watch this space!


Myriam Gallardo February 6, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Thanks so much for your blog! I love The Creative Penn, and you are a source of inspiration, encouragement and great ideas.I’m working on overcoming my paralyzing terror of writing and finding your blog has been the definite trigger. Please keep up with the wonderful work!

All best,

BTW, I’ve read your next book will be set in Spain… that’s where I’m from and live, so if I might be of help… just ask! :)


Joanna Penn February 11, 2013 at 9:31 am

Thanks Myriam, I appreciate your offer and will let you know if I have any questions. ARKANE #4 will have scenes around Granada, Cordoba and Seville for sure :)


steve slark April 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm

I have now read all three books and have found the inner explorer in me stirred by the descriptions of the locations for the stories. Well written and constructed plots that have that cant put down quality .Well done


Debra Jarvis April 26, 2013 at 3:39 am

Hi Joanna
Congratulations on the Kobo promotion! Well Done You!!!
Kind regards, Debra
PS I also know you are very focused and disiplined, two very important keys to success.


Joanna Penn June 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Thanks Debra – it was a fun story series to create!


Rick Babcock May 23, 2013 at 2:08 am

Penticost was awesome. I rushed to download the next two in series.


Joanna Penn June 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Thanks Rick – I hope you enjoy the next 2 books as well :)


Candace June 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm

I’ve all three books in the ARKANE series and i’m now anxiously awaiting the fourth! These are great books. As a student of theology and Biblical studies, I’ve been fascinated with your treatment of the powers of darkness in the world and the hope that faith brings.


Joanna Penn June 4, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Thanks Candace – I’m so pleased that another Theologian appreciates the books!


yusuff June 18, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Dying to read the ARKANE series. My “appetite” ‘s been wetted already. Religion and Psychology have always been my areas of interest. Good to know someone’s touching on them adroitly. Good job, Joanna (gunning to be able to work my butt off too)


Joanna Penn August 8, 2013 at 9:31 am

Thanks Yusuff, and yes, religion and psychology are my obsessions!


Gabrielle July 7, 2013 at 1:01 am

I discovered your books through your excellent podcasts. While I’m not what I would call a “religious” person, I find them quite compelling and thoroughly captivating. Thanks for all your hard work and generosity in sharing your writing expertise and experiences with us fledglings!


Joanna Penn August 8, 2013 at 9:32 am

Thanks Gabrielle, and I am not religious either, but I consider myself spiritual and fascinated with all things not necessarily of this world :) All the best with your own writing.


Pat July 23, 2013 at 12:28 am

Started with Exodus. Really liked your style and the mixing of old and new. Will go back and read the first two.


Joanna Penn August 8, 2013 at 9:30 am

Thanks Pat – I’m so glad you’re enjoying the books!


Glenda Parker August 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

I just finished Prophecy and I wrote a review on my blog. I thought you might like to check it out.
I loved the book. I did write one for Amazon too.

Glenda Parker


Joanna Penn August 8, 2013 at 9:30 am

Thanks Glenda, and I really appreciate the review!


merryxmas August 15, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Hey I really enjoy your podcast. Just wanted to say thanks for doing these I have learned a good deal from them. Who does your covers? I really like the look of them and if you don’t mind me asking how much do you pay for them (ballpark figure)?


Cherry Apps August 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I have just finished A Day In Budapest. I loved it. I do hope that we will see Zoran in a future ARKANE adventure. Such wonderful history and details about Hungary and Budapest. Left my review for you on Amazon UK. Can’t wait for the next one. Many thanks Joanna.

Cherry Apps


Cherry Apps August 22, 2013 at 6:52 am

So sorry I meant to say One Day In Budapest .


Darlene August 22, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Joanna finished One Night in Budapest. Another fantastic edge of your seat book. Love it. When does your next book come out? Can’t wait for it to come out. Left a review on Amazon for Budapest. Thanks for another great read.


Joanna Penn August 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Thanks so much for your enthusiasm Darlene. I’ll get straight onto the next book :)


John McQuiggan September 9, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Dear Joanna,
Well, there you’ve done it again! You wetted my appetite for more Arkane. This one day adventure Novella just left me wanting more of your heroine’s adventures. I started with you as a novice reader last year, and will look forward to your future writings.

Best regards,
John from across the pond


Joanna Penn October 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Thanks John, I’m so glad you enjoy the series – more to come!


Jonathan Glass October 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I am now gutted because I have finished all three ARKANE novels and having found them very difficult to put down (well close iPad) once reading had commenced. Bravo to such a fantastically written series of books that draw you in and make the story so incredibly tangible. I must ask if and when will there be a fourth ARKANE book featuring Morgan and Jake. Don’t keep me waiting too long.


Joanna Penn October 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Hi Jon,

Thanks so much for the comment – I’m thrilled you enjoy the ARKANE books!
Did you know that there’s also an ARKANE novella, only recently released ‘One Day In Budapest’
Buy links here:
I hope you like it …
Morgan and Jake will be back in 2014 and heading to Spain … Thanks, Joanna


Katy November 10, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Just picked up your new book, Desecration. Looking forward to reading it.


Joanna Penn November 11, 2013 at 9:15 am

Thanks so much, Katy! I hope you enjoy it!


ray alicea November 14, 2013 at 12:30 am

just read “one night in budapest”…amazing…never a let down…you just can’t put it down!
thank you for another amazing book!


Joanna Penn November 26, 2013 at 9:37 am

Thanks Ray – it was fun to write :)


greg kerchhoff February 4, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Just finished reading One day in Budapest on Wattpad. I enjoyed immensely. I had other things to to today but they went bye the bye once I started. It had the breathless pace of a simon kernick thriller. Having visited Budapest several times to visit my dentist I was familear with many of the tourist sites but you managed to cast them in a modern sinister light. You’ve rekindled my interest in a genre that tom hanks acting almost killed. I’ll be reading the others in the series. Thanks Joanne.


Joanna Penn February 5, 2014 at 8:08 am

Thanks so much Greg – I’m thrilled you enjoyed Budapest, and I really enjoy Simon Kernick’s books, so am also flattered by the comparison :) I do hope you enjoy the other books in the series – and more to come!
(I really like blowing things up!)


Alex February 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm

I just read about you in Writer’s Digest magazine, and I thrilled to have found a female author who writers thrillers dealing with psychology and religion. I am a religious studies professor and cannot wait to start reading your books. Thanks so much!


Joanna Penn February 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Thanks Alex – you’ll find strands of psychology and religion in all the books! Pentecost has Carl Jung and The Red Book, Prophecy has Stanley Milgram, Exodus features Freud’s house in London. I hope you enjoy them all!


Bailey February 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Hi Joanna, I absolutely loved Desecration, and can’t wait until the next book!!! I read it in 3 days and it was the first book on my Kobo! Thank You and Keep up the amazing work. I am now starting the Arkane series :) Bailey Wagner


Joanna Penn February 20, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Thanks Bailey – I think you’ll find Morgan just as exciting as Jamie – and I am now into Delirium, so that might be ready when you’ve finished the ARKANE series so far!


Bob McMahon February 23, 2014 at 7:09 am

Thumbs up for the revised jacket art on Pentecost. It should engage some readers who browsed past the previous version. It will be interesting to hear if there is a boost in sales.


Joanna Penn February 24, 2014 at 10:15 am

Thanks Bob – I am getting the others done as well. I want to focus more on the characters than the themes, and I will be reporting on sales changes at some point on TheCreativePenn.com blog. I’m glad you enjoy the books!


Bob McMahon February 23, 2014 at 7:14 am

Why did you decide to change the cover art? By the way, I love your videos and interviews.


Joanna Penn April 15, 2014 at 11:52 am

Hi Bob, here’s the info on why I changed the covers: http://www.thecreativepenn.com/2014/03/11/changing-book-covers/
and I’m so glad you enjoy the videos!


Ray February 27, 2014 at 4:18 am

Just finished “Desecration”…a really intense book just like the ARKANE series…Once again, a riveting book that is hard to put down…great work!


Joanna Penn April 15, 2014 at 11:52 am

It was pretty intense to write, Ray! Delirium is coming soon …


Aanemi March 12, 2014 at 3:13 am

Hello Joanna,
I love getting your post, last issue was super, I was surprised that you picked a light colour, but found your story extremely interesting, many thanks for all your posts, you are a very clever girl.
Love and Blessings


Paul April 13, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Hi Joanna,
I just finished One Day in Budapest as part of the Deadly Dozen. What a great story! (And I just said so on Amazon and Goodreads). Now I have to find out what other adventures Morgan has in the ARKANE series.

Thanks for the “The Creative Penn” podcast, too – it’s a highlight of my week driving between home and work. You and your guests are quite interesting!

Best regards,



Joanna Penn April 15, 2014 at 11:53 am

Thanks so much for the reviews, Paul! and I am thrilled you discovered me in the Deadly Dozen. That was a fun collaboration. More to come in the ARKANE series … and I’m so glad you enjoy the podcast!


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