New York Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author

JF Penn grand lodgeOxford 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, global locations, a kick-ass protagonist and a hint of the supernatural. Described by readers as a female Indiana Jones meets The Da Vinci Code.

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.

The London Psychic Series features British detective Jamie Brooke alongside reluctant psychic Blake Daniel, as they solve dark crimes around London. Described by readers as ‘Stephen King meets PD James.’

 ARKANE Thrillers


ARKANE Books x 7The ARKANE Thrillers can be enjoyed individually, or in order:

Stone of Fire #1

Crypt of Bone #2

Ark of Blood #3

One Day In Budapest #4

Day of the Vikings #5

Gates of Hell #6

One Day in New York #7

Available in print, ebook and audiobook formats.

 London Psychic Series

Desecration and Delirium 3DDesecration #1. Death isn’t always the end.

Delirium #2. “Those who the Gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”

“One of the most original mystery/thrillers that I’ve read in a long while. Its topic of life and death, soul and body is harrowing and poignant, shocking and profound.” David Morrell, New York Times bestselling author of Murder as a Fine Art and author of over 40 novels

“A riveting exploration of the dark side of the human heart” 
New York Times Bestselling Author CJ Lyons

“In a book which takes the reader on a journey to hell and back, J.F. Penn demonstrates her huge talent for conveying the depths of human depravity.” 
Amazon UK #1 Bestseller, Rachel Abbott

Thousand Fiendish AngelsA Thousand Fiendish Angels.

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


J.F.Penn has featured in:

As Seen On_060114



If you enjoyed this article, please share it!


  1. Terri Durand says

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

  2. Pam Smith says

    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 says

      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

  3. Jane says

    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 says

      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 :)

  4. Bill says

    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 says

      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.

  5. Kathy Leo says

    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 says

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

  6. Darlene Auger says

    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.

  7. Philip says

    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 says

      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

  8. Chris borszcz says

    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 says

      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!

  9. John McQuiggan says

    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 says

      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!

  10. Darlene Auger says

    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 says

      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!

  11. Myriam Gallardo says

    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 says

      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 :)

  12. steve slark says

    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

  13. says

    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.

  14. Candace says

    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 says

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

  15. says

    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)

  16. says

    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 says

      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.

  17. Pat says

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

  18. says

    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

  19. merryxmas says

    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)?

  20. Cherry Apps says

    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

  21. Darlene says

    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.

  22. John McQuiggan says

    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

  23. Jonathan Glass says

    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 says

      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

  24. greg kerchhoff says

    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 says

      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!)

  25. Alex says

    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 says

      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!

  26. Bailey says

    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 says

      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!

  27. Bob McMahon says

    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 says

      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 blog. I’m glad you enjoy the books!

  28. says

    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!

  29. Aanemi says

    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

  30. Paul says

    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 says

      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!

  31. Jamie Jones says

    Loved your book “Desecration”. Very involved, and very well written. Look forward to reading more of your books.

    • Joanna Penn says

      Thanks Jamie – Desecration was a tough one to write, but rewarding too. Delirium is on its way!

  32. Nitta says

    Just purchased the Day of the Vikings.
    From iBooks Store
    It is really really good,
    Great book.
    worth every penny and more :)
    Thank you .

    • Joanna Penn says

      Thanks Nitta, I’m thrilled you enjoyed Vikings – it was super fun to write as well :)

  33. Nita Lucas says

    Dear Joanna

    Thank you for the “launch special ” pricing.

    I got the Delirium :) from amazon kindle .
    Can’t wait
    Just gotta finish the Vikings first :)

  34. says

    Joanna –

    I confess I only recently learned about your books when I watched a video you did about using Scrivener in your writing. After that I headed over to Amazon and downloaded Pentecost – just to check it out.

    Well, I started Pentecost yesterday and finished it this morning. Wow!! An amazing story that had me up in the middle of the night to read just a little more. As you can imagine, I already have Prophesy waiting on my Kindle.

    Since I was just a little girl, reading has been my ultimate escape. I’m glad now to be escaping into the intriguing world of Morgan Sierra and ARKANE.

    Thanks for your amazing stories – and for your insights into writing on Scrivener!

    A new fan,

    • Joanna Penn says

      Thanks so much for giving my fiction a go, Karen – and I am thrilled that you enjoy the stories! Thanks for your support :)

  35. John McQuiggan says

    Just finished Dilirium Joanne. Very interesting second psycho thriller on mental illness and treatments over several hundred years. I was really appreciative of your personal experiences and , of course, your educational experiences in Psychology. You’ve woven a laymans’ understanding of the darkside of generational treatment of the mentaly ill. In your notes it was refreshing to see your personal expeiences that I and many others don’t find far fetched and can empathise with :-). Mine would be you aiming at me comming the opposite way while I was on my Harley :-). Not unheard of today with all the cell phone and texting.
    Have you had chance to look at David S Brody’s “Cabal of the Westford Knight” Templars in America series? Close to home where I lived in Lawrence, Mass. before moving to New Hampshire. It would be right up you alley with theology.
    Hope to see more from you in the future. Maybe a revisit to Arkane.

    John, from across the pond

    • Joanna Penn says

      Hi John. Thanks so much for your kind words and I’m thrilled that you understand some of my personal experiences. I hesitated to share them, but I think any kind of honesty does help get rid of the stigma. I’ll have a look at the books you mentioned :) Thanks, Joanna

  36. Gregor Macmillan says

    I have just read Pentecost and it was a great read. Though I did find one very small mistake, Brighton is on the south coast of England and faces on to the English channel and not the ocean. Though I enjoyed the book so much that I purchased the box set for my kindle.

  37. says

    I have just read your books in the wrong order :)).I read The day of the Viking first. I have just down loaded all the rest of the series.I am a big fan of Rollins,Marianni ect and have read dozens of paranormal thrillers.I think I am going to put you with my favorite writers.I will let you know when I finish the first one mags