Interview & Giveaway: We Shall Not Shatter by Elaine Stock

Hello dear readers & Happy Monday! Today on the blog I am super excited to be hosting Author Elaine Stock, who is currently on a Blog Tour for We Shall Not Shatter! It's been getting great reviews so far and I hope you enjoy getting to know Elaine. Be sure to enter the giveaway below for a copy of the book + a $15 Amazon gift card!

Hello Elaine and welcome to Passages to the Past! Thanks so much for stopping by today to talk about We Shall Not Shatter!

Thank you, Amy, for hosting me on your lovely blog and for all of your support behind We Shall Not Shatter.

To begin, can you please tell us a little about yourself and your writing?

It’s so funny, but I must share that, at least for me, it’s easier to write a 300-something page novel than it is to talk about myself… Ever since I could recall, I’ve enjoyed creating stories. I’m sure having a mother who always read novels—while she wasn’t taking me weekly to the library—and an aunt who loved to orally tell stories deeply influenced my love of storytelling. In fact, during my school years, while others my age did kid-like pastimes, I enjoyed staying home and writing. Although I jumped from hobby writing to wanting to write for publication in my late 20s, it took several decades, navigating around “life,” to become a published author. After a false start in the romance genre, I did publish in Inspirational Fiction, though I discovered that I just didn’t have the right voice or interest to pursue it. Having devoured many historical fiction novels, and with We Shall Not Shatter’s premise brewing to the point of having to share it, I (carefully) leapt into the historical fiction genre, blended with women’s fiction, and know now that this is my true writing-home.

What inspired you to write We Shall Not Shatter?

There are a lot of mysteries in my family, due to unfortunate circumstances such as the passing of my grandfather before my father was born. Sadly, with his death, also went the answers to much of my roots. What I knew was that my grandfather was one of a handful of siblings that accompanied his parents when they emigrated from Brzeziny Poland, arriving at Ellis Island on July 4, 1914 and permitted into the country the next day. He arrived on one of the last passenger ships allowed to cross the Atlantic before WWI broke out… makes me shudder to think what might have happened if my family remained behind in Poland. That said, though my grandfather was able to hear, he had several deaf siblings. At that time, deafness was seen by many countries as a liability and a socio-economic risk to those already living in the country. Fortunately, the younger deaf children circumvented the health inspections that likely would have rejected them. However, the oldest child who was deaf—my great aunt who was a young teen—wasn’t permitted into the country and remained in Brzeziny where, as a Jew and deaf and deemed as sub-human by the Nazis, she perished in the Holocaust, along with older relatives.

My great aunt inspired my character Aanya, though Aanya is totally fictional. My novel is not autobiographical, but instead is my attempt at a tribute to what Brzeziny had once been like, as well as to the strong spirit of my family.

What would you like readers to take away from reading We Shall Not Shatter?

I hope the story uplifts and encourages readers to cling to their hope and determination to persevere during troubling times, that family and friendship is precious, and to make a good home wherever life places you.

What was your favorite scene to write?

I have two, actually. First, is when Artur learns of Aanya’s deafness. And without giving it away (no peeking!), the very ending. Oh, I also enjoyed writing Zofia’s encounter with a stranger while she sailed on the St. Louis.

What was the most difficult scene to write?

While I can’t really say “difficult,” I will admit to getting teary-eyed through some of what my characters had to experience by both the hands of what they thought were once good people and by the Nazi hands.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

Definitely a pantser! In the past, whenever I tried to outline and plot my stories, they failed miserably. I think it’s because I like to have the story and its characters dictate to me what direction it should go. For me, it’s just more fun that way.

What has been your greatest challenge as a writer? Have you been able to overcome it?

Research. I was too intimidated by it. Although writing contemporary fiction does call for research, historical fiction demands researched accuracy that many fiction readers look forward to reading—and they know when something is amiss. I had thought wrongly that this research would overwhelm me and it kept me away for too many years of writing the genre that I loved reading. Lesson learned: make my research fun! And, it is.

Who are your writing inspirations?

I’m not so sure I have author inspirations so much as having learned from these two: Danielle Steele’s earlier novels and Jodi Picoult. Both have taught me some distinct techniques, Ms. Steele on the art of storytelling and structure, and Ms. Picoult on packing a punch in characters’ emotions and timing it within sentence placement.

What was the first historical novel you read?

I’m not sure of the very first historical novel I read, but I will say that John Jakes’ The Bastard series (Kent Family Chronicles) hooked me solidly on historical fiction.

What are three things people may not know about you?

I sense that people often misjudge my quietness and aloofness to “having an attitude,” but rather, I’m a big introvert. Yet, get me around books and the topic of writing, and I’m flying a kite high in the air and can’t stop. LOL. I am not a fashionista, much preferring baggy pants and a sweatshirt. And, I love classical music and show tunes (because I also love watching movie musicals).

What appeals to you most about your chosen genre?

Life is a mystery full of so much good battling against so much bad, and at any given moment throughout the day, both worldwide and within one’s own personal life. I’ve learned so much about this thing called life and how others have not only survived but thrived from reading both historical fiction and non-fiction that I’ve benefitted from. I’m an optimistic person by heart and hope I can encourage others to thrive as well.

What historical time period do you gravitate towards the most with your personal reading?

Easy answer: WWII. There’s something extraordinary about the resilience of humankind against the backdrop of the opposite—evil—that I find encouraging and can apply in my everyday life.

What do you like to do when you aren't writing?

In addition to reading, I enjoy walking (living in a rural area has some advantages!), discovering new independent bookstores and cafes, and exploring quaint towns with my husband.

Lastly, what are you working on next?

I just wrapped up Book 2 of the Resilient Women of WWII, Our Daughters’ Last Hope, which will release on September 19th of 2022 and am writing Book 3, When We Disappeared.

I can't wait for that one! Thank you for stopping by today, Elaine!


We Shall Not Shatter by Elaine Stock

Publication Date: May 15, 2022
Amsterdam Publishers

Genre: Historical Fiction

An unforgettable story of friendship, family and hope as two courageous young women face one of history’s most horrific tragedies.

Brzeziny, Poland, 1939 Zofia’s comfortable-lifestyle overturns when her husband, Jabez, who monitors Nazi activity, has gone missing. Rather than fleeing the country with her young son, as she had promised Jabez who is fearing retaliation, she decides to stay. She cannot possibly leave her friend, Aanya. Since their childhood they have amazed fellow Brzeziners that it does not matter that Aanya is Jewish and deaf, and that Zofia is Catholic and hearing. Now, more than ever with war looming, Zofia will do whatever is necessary to protect her family and Aanya.

As both love and war approach their Polish town, Zofia and Aanya must make choices that will change the meaning of family, home, and their precious friendship. The journey, decisions and the no-going-back consequences the women face will either help them to survive—or not—as Hitler’s Third Reich revs up its control of the world.

Inspired by the author’s paternal heritage from Brzeziny, this is a heartbreaking yet beautiful story of two women who are determined to remain united in friendship and to live freely despite the odds.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Look for the Audio Book of all 3 books of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy to be released by Tantor Media, part of Recorded Books. They will be sold in both downloadable Digital formats, as well as CD audiobooks and will be sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, independent bookstores, and most any other of your favorite venues.


"For anyone who loved 'All the Light We Cannot See' by Anthony Doerr, this is another beautiful journey of not just one woman's story through the turbulent times of Nazi Germany, but two. A story which will touch your heart, and perhaps bring a few tears to wipe away, showing how love does indeed break barriers and sees beyond human labels and disabilities. You will absolutely fall in love with Zofia and Aanya, and how strong friendships were forged in the heat of oppression from Hitler's Germany despite their different faiths."
-- Historical Fiction Company

"Drawing from her own family's history, author Elaine Stock has created a compelling story of enduring friendship, heart wrenching sacrifice, and resilient strength. While set during one of the darkest moments on history's stage, We Shall Not Shatter's themes—conveyed through characters who will inhabit your heart—have much to say to readers in today's world, too."
— Carrie Schmidt,

"Elaine Stock's novel, We Shall Not Shatter, the first of a promised trilogy, Resilient Women of WWII, is a poignant and heartfelt tale of perseverance, of friendship across boundaries, of making families in different ways, of horror and of healing. In the characters of Zofia and Aanya, and the families they make and lose in their native Poland, the barbarities of war, the added peril of Aanya's deafness, and their harrowing escape, the story is offset by the plot strands of Christians helping Jews, Germans helping Poles, hearing people cherishing the strength of the deaf, and the deaf healing others. This is a story not only of resilience, but of the victory of love and friendship over pain and suffering."
— Barbara Stark-Nemon, author of the award-winning novels, Even in Darkness and Hard Cider, Speech-language therapist and Teacher Consultant for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

"We Shall Not Shatter is a compelling novel, inspired by real-life events in Brzeziny, Poland that so dramatically changed the fortunes of both a close-knit Jewish family and a Catholic family during the Hitler years. Elaine Stock's poignant narrative charts the despair, confusion and sheer will to survive during this terrible period in modern European history. This is a story that oozes tragedy, hope, love and courage in the face of adversity."
— Ron Vincent, author of The House on Thrömerstrasse: A Story of Rebirth and Renewal in the Wake of the Holocaust

"The story and its characters will linger in the reader’s heart for days... perhaps forever."
— Patricia Bradley, Author of the Logan Point Series, Memphis Cold Case Novels, Natchez Trace Park Ranger Series

"We Shall Not Shatter takes readers on a rare journey of life-tested relationships and uncompromising courage. Stock brilliantly creates a time and place that is terrible and heartbreaking only to reveal the beauty that awaits on the other side of devastation. This story will stay with you long after the last page is turned."
— London Clarke, #1 Amazon bestselling author of Wildfell and The Meadows

About the Author


Elaine Stock writes Historical Fiction, exploring home, family and friendships throughout time. She enjoys creating stories showing how all faiths, races, and belief systems are interconnected and need each other.

Elaine’s grandparents, on both sides of her family, narrowly escaped World War II by immigrating from Poland and Austria to the US. Fascinated by the strong will of people to overcome the horrors from this era, she wrote We Shall Not Shatter, Book 1 of the Resilient Women of WWII Trilogy inspired by her deaf great aunt who was left behind as a teenager in Poland and perished in the Holocaust, while her other deaf siblings were permitted to enter the US when their young ages helped them to circumvent medically-revealing exams. Other extended family members also remained in Poland to lose their lives in the Holocaust.

Although multi-published in award-winning Inspirational Fiction, and a past blogger and online magazine contributor, Elaine now pens novels for the General reading audience. She is a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association and The Historical Novel Society. Born in Brooklyn, New York, she has now been living in upstate, rural New York with her husband for more years than her stint as a city gal. She enjoys long walks down country roads, visiting New England towns, and of course, a good book.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | BookBub | Amazon

Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, May 15
Review at Dive Into a Good Book

Tuesday, May 17
Review at Novels Alive
Review at A Baker’s Perspective

Friday, May 20
Review at Girl Who Reads

Monday, May 23
Interview at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, May 31
Review at Reader_ceygo.


Enter to win a copy of We Shall Not Shetter + a $15 Amazon Gift Card!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on May 31st. You must be 18 or older to enter.

We Shall Not Shatter

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