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Stone of Fire (ARKANE Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

J.F. Penn
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (346 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A power kept secret for 2000 years. A woman who stands to lose everything.

** From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author J.F.Penn **

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, STONE OF FIRE is a fast-paced, action-packed thriller that explores the edges of faith against a backdrop of early Christian history, archaeology and psychology.

"fast-paced, with shades of Dan Brown and James Rollins"

Bestselling action-adventure author David Wood

"a clever fast-paced tale from Christian myth and mysticism"

"the stuff that movie producers drool over"

Bestselling supernatural thriller author Jeff Bennington

˃˃˃ The bestselling ARKANE series of books in order:

Stone of Fire #1 - previously published as Pentecost

Crypt of Bone #2 - previously published as Prophecy

Ark of Blood #3 - previously published as Exodus

One Day In Budapest #4

Day of the Vikings #5

Gates of Hell #6

One Day in New York #7

˃˃˃ Other books by J.F.Penn

Desecration, London Psychic #1

Delirium, London Psychic #2

A Thousand Fiendish Angels - Short stories inspired by Dante's Inferno.

˃˃˃ Want more adventure? Download a free book:

If you love an action-packed conspiracy thriller, download a sample or buy STONE OF FIRE now.

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I am passionate about religion, psychology and travel so I wanted to weave these aspects into Pentecost. I also love kick-ass, action adventure books and movies so the pace of the book needed to move just as fast.

The idea for the Pentecost stones came from a visit to Venice where there is a huge golden mural in one of the domes of St Mark's Basilica showing the Holy Spirit descending at Pentecost. I love Venice and was there in the floods, so the scene set there came quickly. I wanted to have a book about a religious mystery that could be plausible and set in the modern day, but that also investigated what became of the Apostles, as well as weaving in my fascinations with Carl Jung and modern psychology. I found some amazing links that prove fact is stranger than fiction.

I studied the early church during my Masters degree but revisited the research in order to find out where the bones of the Apostles are kept in the present day. This search took me from India and Iran in the east, through Israel, Spain, Italy, Tunisia and eventually over to the USA. I have visited many of the locations myself as travel is an immense passion of mine. I also enjoy describing fascinating settings and believe the location should be just as interesting to the reader as the action and characters.

Dr Morgan Sierra is indeed my alter-ego. I am an experience-junkie and the adventures I send her on are such stuff as dreams are made on. I hope you enjoy the vicarious ride as much as I have done.

About the Author

J.F. Penn has a Masters degree in Theology from the University of Oxford, Mansfield College. She combines her passion for religion and psychology with kick-ass action-adventure in her novels.

J.F.Penn loves action-adventure thrillers and cites as writing inspirations James Rollins, Steve Berry, Andy McDermott, Matthew Reilly, Clive Cussler as well as Dan Brown.

Penn loves scuba diving, traveling with her backpack, Pinot Noir, reading in the hammock and constant change.

Product Details

  • File Size: 609 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: The Creative Penn (January 2, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JHYA6A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,334 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
126 of 133 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am a HUGE fan of Joanna Penn's The Creative Penn website and have been looking forward to her debut thriller novel, Pentecost. I purchased both the paperback and Kindle editions and don't regret a single penny spent.

However, I have a few disclaimers to put out before I continue my review: I am an editor (so I notice mistakes a bit too easily, but inevitably there will be one in this review), and I am an aspiring novelist (which forces me to study other novels for plot, characterization, technique, etc. rather than simply reading for the enjoyability of it).

Pentecost is a solid fiction debut from Penn. It's supposed to be a religious thriller along the lines of Dan Brown's Da Vinci code, but I found the style and pacing had more in common with the Indiana Jones and National Treasure mystery adventure genre. Pentecost takes readers on a global trip from India to England, from Italy to Tunisia, from Iran to the US.

After the resurrection of Jesus, the 11 remaining Apostles took 12 stones (later used to cast lots for Judas's replacement) from the tomb of Jesus as a symbol of their brotherhood. After the ascension of Jesus into heaven, these stones were empowered by God through fire at the first Pentecost in which all manner of wonderful signs and miracles occurred. After Pentecost, the 12 Apostles scattered throughout the world, taking the stones with them and passing them on to Keepers for preservation.

Now some 2000 years later, the day of Pentecost is fast approaching along with a meteor shower that hasn't been seen on earth since the first Pentecost. A mysterious group named Thanatos (that may have some link to Nazis during Hitler's heyday) wants to gather all the stones together for evil and usher in a religious war.
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77 of 87 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Holes June 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book opened with a great scene. The vivid description really had me hooked. But in the end, there were just too many holes in this story to make this a good book.

Why is it that Morgan is able to figure out the one and only hiding place of nearly every stone, yet she is stumped by the only riddle most laymen can answer 3 pages before she does (Who is the father?)?
Why doesn't Morgan, at least once, have to deal with authorities when she's in the middle of mayhem?
Why doesn't Morgan INSIST that ARKANE (I'm supposed to take a name like ARCANE seriously?) and Marvin get Robert's cell phone location and sic the US authorities on this guy from the get-go?
Why does Morgan feel she can trust Jake, a total stranger who breaks a promise before they've known each other an hour?
And speaking of trust. Why do monks feel comfortable turning over holy relics they are charged with keeping safe to a total stranger, on the basis of a 2 minute conversation?
Why is it OK to kill strangers to save the lives of your own family?
Am I the only one who read this book that questions Morgan's possession of all the stones she finds? There was a loose explanation about this arrangement making Morgan more comfortable toward the end of the book. But she carries them around with her? This woman is supposed to be smart.
Why is David, and his alcohol struggle, so richly described, when he is then dropped from the story altogether?
Why does the author assume that the average reader is familiar enough with Biosphere construction and layout that it's safe to skimp on the description, making the finale difficult to follow?
Why doesn't the author find a better way for our heroes to escape than -SPOILER ALERT- the antagonist stops paying attention to them?
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great thriller January 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Pentecost by Joanna Penn is a religious thriller and a damn good one. Penn is a non-fiction writer, blogger and public speaker who has turned her hand to fiction and this is her first novel. It's a great achievement. A long time fan of thrillers, you can see Penn's passion for the genre in every part of this book.

Morgan Sierra is a great character - a real female hero without being contrived or cliched. The ARKANE group is a great invention, with a solid history making them very believable. The novel races around the world and Penn's research in location and religious mythology is clear, with every aspect of the plot considered and fleshed out in fine detail. The pace is high, the stakes are higher and very quickly we care about Morgan, her family and whether or not she'll succeed.

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 and a cut above a lot of stuff out there. Penn tells us there are more Morgan Sierra books on the horizon and I'm glad. If she's started out this strong, I'm excited to see where she goes next.
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A nonsensical plot April 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had high hopes for this book. However, it went down hill fast. The character descriptions were shallow and for the most part pretty cookie cutter. The main characters solve centuries old mysteries with a few hours of thought. A western intelligence agency travels by private company plane into Iran with no problem. The main characters enter a christian church and steal a pentacost stone evading Iranian police and security with ease. They kill two people and fly out of the country like they are on a commercial flight leaving JFK??? Oh and by the way one of the people on the plane is ex-Israeli military. This chapter alone is unbelievable beyond belief. The author just has things happen with no rational explanations. I know this is a work of fiction.....but there has to be some level of believability.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent for a debut novel.
I'm a huge fan of JF Penn, and I appreciate the debut novel for what it is: a solid intro into a great series. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Book Monster
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 12 days ago by Richard Apodaca
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Easy reading; kept you interested
Published 25 days ago by Sunny
4.0 out of 5 stars A well written thriller
Although I found this novel too much like a travel guide through places of theological and cultural interest, fans of novels like Th deVinci code will enjoy it.
Published 26 days ago by Michael Parker
4.0 out of 5 stars Author Penn has a very good handle upon writing what people want to...
I don't usually read books from this genre, but tried and it was interesting. The only downfall - solving the 'mystery' within seven days. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Roger Kenworthy
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I thought the violence was a little too much
Published 1 month ago by janice Lipscomb
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Enough
The book was a little slow for my tastes, but it was good enough for me to want to finish it and I went ahead and bought the box set. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Noralyn Deborah Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend this book
The premise the this book was, in my opinion, quite unique and fascinating. The biblical background and basis for the story was especially attention getting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Richard Flannigan
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much description, too little action
i purchased the audio book but was only able to get to the part were they get the stone from the monk. This is nearing the halfway point yet not much has happened. Read more
Published 1 month ago by L. Brown
1.0 out of 5 stars great name, stupid book
Maybe one of the worst books i have ever read. Do not waste your time or money. I wish someone had told me this to me.
Published 1 month ago by Alex
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More About the Author

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of thrillers with a supernatural edge

Oxford 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.

The London Psychic Series features British detective Jamie Brooke alongside psychic researcher Blake Daniel, as they solve dark crimes around London.

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