Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Please Read - For Charity's Sake!

The Gravy Queen

By Cheryl, Crystal, Leo and L. Joel

Durrant and William Cryer



It was a delight to have the opportunity to read The Gravy Queen: A Tribute to Veleen Durrant! This is the first book produced by Piggy Ink (Poets Inking for the Global Good, You-knighted – All proceeds from the purchase of this book will go directly to Foyer de Sion, an orphanage in Haiti (


The Gravy Queen is highlighted from the front to the back cover. How? Well, picture mounds of mashed potato clouds with gobs of gravy raining all over them and that will begin the image. Look on the back cover to see pictures of the children and read about Crystal’s trips to Haiti, before and after the death of her beloved mother. Inside, the gravy really starts pouring as each of the authors share their love through poetry, stories, and pictures. An extra special surprise is a number of recipes right from her kitchen.


So, who is The Gravy Queen? She was a woman loved by the authors—Cheryl, Crystal, Leo and L. Joel Durrant, and William Cryer. Additionally, seven of Veleen’s thirty-five grandchildren were adopted from the Foyer de Sion orphanage. She and her husband hosted an annual reunion for families associated with Foyer de Sion and played a large part in helping to raise funds for this orphanage. How about a sample from various poems!


“...So sit beside me on this mountain chair,

and dip your spoons into the evening air,

and savor what the Gravy Queen prepared—

the savory spuds and gravy gleaming there. (p. 2)


“...Thus began the reign of the Gravy Queen

And never was a fatter kingdom seen.” (p. 8)


            And then a little Christmas Fudge? (recipe – p. 9)


“You call...?


--And like the breath of a sneeze,

I leave my shadow on the wall

And find you--” (p. 19)



painting our imaginations

from an overturned paint bucket

with shades of Agatha Christie...” (p. 28)


And from her husband:


“Signs of spring begin to temper the loss...

But my roses remain dormant.

Rose canes with huge thorns forbid touch,

When will my rose blossom again

With her color and fragrance?”


You will find love, faith, joy, glorious tributes, good-eating recipes and most of all, the beautiful memories that The Gravy Queen gave to her family and so many others. Clearly, this woman’s introduction to words, to reading, has made a major impact on her family, as each speaks poetically and in prose to describe this woman who meant so much to so many. The book is very well designed both inside and out, using print styles, colors and interesting designs to enhance and please the eye.


This review of The Gravy Queen is contributed to benefit the children of Foyer de Sion, whose motto is “Hope gives Life.” (back cover) I wholeheartedly recommend this book for not only its beauty but also as the first project of Poets Inking for the Global Good, You-knighted


G. A. Bixler Independent Professional Book Reviewer



  1. Sounds interesting, and it is definitely for a good cause.


  2. Thanks Dan...This is just the first they are doing...the charity, I gather will change for every book!