Amazing Amazon rankings

Amazon’s Best Sellers rankings shot up overnight for the collaborative memoir Exoneree front cover-1by Uriah Courtney with Glenda Faye Mathes.

Uriah and I began communicating almost four years ago, and the book was published in December by the Cascade imprint of Wipf and Stock Publishers.

Here’s how the March 30, 2018, rankings compared with the previous day:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Math has never been my strong point, but even I can see that’s an exponential increase in one day. Praise God! May Exoneree reach everyone who needs to hear its message and touch many hearts!


Exoneree available!

book in handMy collaborative memoir with Uriah Courtney about his wrongful conviction, incarceration, and subsequent exoneration is now available. Such a thrill to finally hold the physical copy of the book in my hand this week!

What if America’s judicial system, designed to protect the innocent, convicts the wrong man and sends him to prison? Uriah Courtney was incarcerated over eight years–for a crime he did not commit. But God set him free–spiritually and physically–to a new life inside his heart and outside razor wire.

Exoneree relates how badly the judicial system can go wrong, but how intensely a dedicated few seek justice. It depicts God’s protection amid the horrors of incarceration. And while it shows dark depravity, it shines with divine transformation.

A sensitive man who loved the outdoors and his family, Uriah viewed life imprisonment as a death sentence. Yet God worked through this trauma to bring him new life. Uriah’s transparent narrative transcends most jailhouse conversion accounts, as he confesses how becoming a Christian helped him cope in some ways but didn’t solve every problem.

Uriah-GlendaEven after his release and exoneration through God’s providence and the efforts of the California Innocence Project, Uriah faced unexpected challenges. In his warm and personable voice, Uriah describes how focusing on Christ helps him to continue overcoming the bitterness and anger often associated with trauma.

And that’s a story everyone needs to read.

Exoneree can be purchased directly from the publisher, Wipf and Stock, on their website. Amazon offers paperback and Kindle versions.




Uriah Courtney, Exoneree

Glenda-UriahAnnouncing…[drum roll] a new Facebook page for the memoir project I’m working on with Uriah Courtney.

Uriah is a high-profile exoneree who was wrongfully convicted and incarcerated more than eight years for a sexual assault he did not commit. Sentenced to life in prison, he eventually was released after new DNA testing conclusively matched another man, a registered sex offender who lived with three miles of the crime scene at the time.

The California Innocence Project (CIP) took on Uriah’s case and worked with law enforcement and other organizations to obtain the new testing. CIP efforts secured Uriah’s release and his subsequent exoneration. CIP has supported and encouraged Uriah in amazing ways. They’ve posted his story, pictures, and videos of his release and his emotional reunion with his son. Because the wrong conviction was a sexual assault against a minor, Uriah was not permitted contact with his son while he was incarcerated. His son was two-years-old when Uriah was arrested. He was ten when Uriah finally hugged him again.

Uriah-GlendaLast spring, I interviewed Uriah and wrote an article about him for Christian Renewal. After that, we both felt compelled to share Uriah’s story with a wider reading audience by writing his memoir. Uriah began sending me chunks of memories, which I started organizing and crafting into chapters. Through a series of amazing providences, I flew to San Diego last fall to meet him and work with him in person for a few days.

Since then, we’ve moved forward on the project and have sought publishing avenues. Both of these aspects remain works in progress, but we trust God will provide exactly the right publisher and editor in his perfect timing. We’re aiming at an August manuscript completion date.

And we’re already promoting the memoir, particularly through the Facebook page. Check it out! You’ll find more pictures of Uriah and our time together in San Diego. When you visit the Uriah Courtney, Exoneree page, be sure to “like” it. We do.

“Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A memoir…of sorts” by Ian Cron (book review)

Whose interest would not be piqued by Ian Morgan Cron ‘s uniquely titled Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A memoir…of sorts? Once you’ve read this gritty literary work, you realize how aptly that title captures content. Jesus is the primary mover in a memoir that describes the author’s lack of a relationship with an alcoholic father who somehow managed to work successfully and secretly for the CIA.

Many modern memoirists confess self-destructive behaviors and describe abusive relationships, but Cron places successive negative revelations on the unbreakable cord of God’s grace. Because he was raised as a Roman Catholic and eventually became an Episcopal priest, that grace comes to him most acutely in the Eucharist, which he calls “the string on which the pearls of my life’s experiences, burnished white and dirty gray, have been strung” (p. 248).

At his first communion, Cron cried because he was a kid who “was hungry and thirsty for God, who longed to be full”; he portrays the presiding bishop’s “gesture of blessing,” extended singularly to him, as a “long and enduring” rope tied around his waist that kept him anchored to the grace of Jesus through the blinding blizzard of his youth (p. 45).

Cron’s realistic depictions of depravity are gritty because they are both coarse and courageous. His literary skill shines in smooth prose that flows above dark depths, past dangerous rocks, and into the calm light of Christ’s love.

Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A memoir…of sorts
by Ian Morgan Cron
© 2011 by Ian Morgan Cron
Thomas Nelson: Nashville, TN, 257 pp.