VOICES of the 21st Century: Resilient Women Who Rise and Make a Difference is a collaborative anthology of 40 women authors who survive and thrive and make waves (see REVIEWS below) — now an international best seller.

“The Answer is To Be!” is co-author Karen J. Watson’s heart journey – Video Interview with Karen J. Watson by publisher Gail Watson (11 mins.).

Meet the authors on video: March 2021 Launch part (45 mins, see 3.08 minute mark). See Heart Blog for posts about the heart and caregivers and heart community.

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–$17 PRINT COPY of Voices of the 21st Century: Resilient Women Who Rise and Make a Difference: $17 each (+ postage of $5 if required, in Canada) – on Amazon.ca it costs $21.49 (+ delivery if not a Prime member)

–$15 BULK RATE & EARLY BIRD RATE: Buy 2+ books @$15 each (+ postage if required). Buy extras to give as gifts, donate a copy, treat a friend.

–$1 off if you bought the E-VERSION or if you sign up for my Heart Blog

–BOOK CLUBS – See “Book Club Conversations Starters” at the end of the book (see bulk rate above)



Raw, real, revealing, writer Karen J. Watson’s answer to the big question of how and who to become after her risky open-heart surgery is unapologetic and fierce. Both beautiful and ballsy, “The Answer is to Be” nails with precision the stark reality and resilience one woman accepts to keep in the present, and moving beyond the haunting high-stakes medical operation that threatened to take her life and identity. — Sylvie Hill, writer, poet, educator

Feeling alone and powerless? Reviewed in Canada on February 20, 2021. Verified Purchase, I feel a little less lonely having read the stories of these amazing women. Refusing to be defined by circumstance, they bare their souls to reveal their triumphant journeys toward their right to exist, to live life on their own terms and to happiness. They share unreservedly as a good friend would.

For example, Karen Watson’s “The Answer Is to Be!” is an eye-opener into courage. She does not let a threatening, ever-present heart condition overshadow the life experiences that are her birthright, all the while arming herself against its eventual assault. [Sorry. No spoilers from me about how it ends.] Feeling alone and powerless? You have forty resilient sisters who will show you that you are not. —Eva B., 5.0 out of 5 stars 

The Answer is To Be: Rising above what the Fates hand out, Reviewed in Canada on February 12, 2021. Verified Purchase, After reading how Karen Watson’s shattered heart was patched up in grueling surgery: “The Answer Is To Be!” I realized that Hamlet’s question works well as a framing device for these women’s voices. Women’s lives can indeed be overwhelmed by the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” The stories here show that it’s possible to rise above what the fates hand out. While many of the pieces seem prescriptive to me, it’s high time we hear from a lot of women – along with their ways of weathering the “sea of troubles.”

The ones I prefer, like Watson’s “Answer” and “Poster Child of Failure” by Carolyn Byrd, admit life’s complexity, writing it into a quirkier perspective that allows life “to be” – an often grievously demanding, yet still beautiful partnering. — Amazon Miranda, 4.0 out of 5 stars 

I read your piece a couple of days ago now.  What a long time to carry the burden of believing that you could die any time.  I mean, it’s true for all of us, but most don’t have an immediate threat like yours so never think about it.  Sunlight and shadows – casting a pall but making you appreciate each day? So glad you made it! — Carmel Suttor

Recovery, Reviewed in Canada on February 13, 2021. Verified Purchase, Gail Watson: Voices of the 21st Century: Resilient Women who rise and make a Difference — In the summer of 2020 I felt it necessary to write to a very gifted woman who had been obliged to undergo emergency cardiac surgery because of the stress caused by a vicious and demented campaign of harassment. At the same time, and from personal experience, I was able to assure her that once she had regained physical strength and recovered from the psychological shock of the operation, life could certainly offer new and fascinating directions. I contacted her because, decades previously, I had been part of the institution where she had been located when subjected to that vicious campaign and I was staggered that the events she described took place so many years later, in the 21st century.

I had thought that such protracted jealous hostility belonged to the past. Of course, and unfortunately, I was mistaken. As the contributions in this book make very clear, such things have not died out. Destructive verbal and physical violence are very much with us, as is also benevolent physical violence. And make no mistake about it, surgery, including benevolent life-saving surgery, is life-threatening physical violence.

Hence the anger and the complex psychological reactions so eloquently described by Karen J. Watson in her reflective contribution on her experiences following heart surgery. The frank description is highly illuminating. All persons who know they will have to undergo surgery, or who are recovering from surgery, will benefit from such awareness and from having partners to support them. And, I repeat, after trauma, life can and does offer new and fascinating directions. It is this which links the diverse chapters of this revealing book. — Robert Gould, 5.0 out of 5 stars

See more at Goodreads.com reviews ; Amazon.ca reviews (Canada and international); Amazon.com reviews (U.S.)

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