Pentecost. An ARKANE Thriller #1

Republished as Stone of Fire, April 2015. Same book, different title and cover.

Stone of FireA 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.

Oxford University psychologist Morgan Sierra is forced into the search when her sister and niece are held hostage. She is helped by Jake Timber from the mysterious ARKANE, a British government agency specializing in paranormal and religious experience. Morgan must risk her own life to save her family, but will she ultimately be betrayed?

From ancient Christian sites in Spain, Italy and Israel to the far reaches of Iran and Tunisia, Morgan and Jake must track down the stones through the myths of the early church in a race against time before a new Pentecost is summoned, this time powered by the fires of evil.

The first in the ARKANE series, PENTECOST is a fast-paced thriller that explores the edges of faith against a backdrop of early Christian history, archaeology and psychology.

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Pentecost on Goodreads (for reviews)

Book Trailer

Research for Pentecost


Pentecost is Rated 4 **** Bestseller in Action-Adventure and Religious Fiction with 140+ reviews

“If you enjoy a fast-paced thriller that brings an intriguing mix of history and fiction, then Pentecost by Joanna Penn should be on your list of “must reads”. Review by CG Lawrence

“This book has elements that will appeal to all thriller fans – there’s a bit of Indiana Jones, a bit of Wilbur Smith, a bit of Dan Brown and a lot of Joanna Penn and I have no hesitation in recommending it. It’s a rollicking good read..” Review by Alan Baxter

“Penn has a gift for describing the various cathedrals, basilicas, and lands that Morgan and Jake journey to, making the setting vibrant and alive throughout the book. Penn is also a master at weaving in religious information throughout the story that push the plot along. The pacing of the story is unparalleled …” Review by Melanie Hawthorne

“The most awesome book I have read in a long time. A page turner from the beginning to the end. Even the authors note is interesting.” Review by Sharon Flood

“I happen to love books with religious themes. I couldn’t put down Dan Brown’s books. I couldn’t put this book down either. A strong woman, a lot of action, and unfamiliar religious history hooked me. I knew nothing about the religious background behind this story and I found it very interesting. If you love action, and esoteric religious history, you will really like this book.” Review by Janis Friesler

“Joanna Penn hooked me immediately with her understanding of church history, and geography and historical documentation. PENTECOST is more than a fictional pleasure read; it is the stuff that movie producers drool over, keeping them up at night wondering why they hadn’t thought of such an intriguing premise.” Review by Jeff Bennington

“Mix history, fast-action and fiction together and you get Joanna Penn’s debut novel, Pentecost. Each page prompts you to turn to the next one, making it difficult for you to put this book down. This thriller is set in the Christian history that most are familiar with, but takes a new look at it through the author’s creative and intriguing fiction that is woven throughout the story.” Review by Tony Eldridge

“Intriguing, Dramatic, Suspenseful…these are the first words that come to mind when recalling Joanna’s Pentecost. This book has been compared to Dan Brown and Indiana Jones. However, as I read it I was reminded of two of my favorite authors, Sidney Sheldon and Dean Koontz, despite the different genres they all write in.” Review by Cynthia Tucker

“If you like Indiana Jones action, a Lora Croft style heroine and a mystery steeped in Christian myth and mysticism, then Pentecost is the book for you.Full of fast-paced action this book hits the ground running from the beginning.” Review by Virginia Ripple

More Reviews

Book Review: Pentecost – Werner Meyer

Review of Pentecost by Seeley James “Joanna Penn achieves what Steve Berry dreams of, a thriller that takes the reader deep into remote locations, ancient myths, and local histories with a passionate, compelling voice. Where Steve Berry’s passages read like a travelogue, Ms. Penn flows like the informed adventure with an enthusiastic guide. No doubt this is due to her Masters in Theology and her love of psychology. ”

Review by Stephanie Fishman “Pentecost is a visually descriptive thriller that brings not only characters to life but locations and history as they are seamlessly woven into the storyline … some of the locations are not only real but have been visited by the author. It definitely shines through in her writing. She has a talent for sharing what the surroundings look like, describing even the tiniest detail of the books on a shelf in a college office or the look and feel of a religious icon. She must have an eye for visual art because she was able to clearly and creatively share the nuances of several pieces brilliantly in written form.”

Review by Pen and Muse, Kristen Jett. “If a female Indiana Jones met THE DA VINCI CODE, you’d get PENTECOST.”


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  1. says


    I just bought PENTECOST and it’s downloading to my Kindle. I am looking forward to a rapid fire read this weekend out here in California. Buying one book is the least I can do, after everything I have learned from your site. Thanks!


  2. William Marks says

    I’m only on page 63, having shamelessly purchased this for 0.00 on Amazon. You’ve got me hooked, the book is fantastic and I’ll be buying everything you produce from now on. Your marketing strategy is working. Keep up the great work.

  3. Madeline Margraves says

    Could you list your books in order of being published. Have not read any and I want to start in order.

  4. says

    Hello Joanna,

    I just heard you today on the Sell More Books podcast and I appreciated the advice you gave about self-publishing. I decided to bookmark your website and I just downloaded Pentecost on my Kindle. I’m a novelist and book review blogger. I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing Pentecost for my blog.


  5. geoff says

    Downloaded the free ebook directly from your website and am really looking forward to reading it. I’m sure I’ll be hooked.