#NewBook: In the Shadow of Rainbows by Selma Martin @SelmaWrites #Poetry #BookReview

Hi everyone! Today, it gives me great pleasure to host author and longtime online friend, Selma Martin, who has released her debut book of poetry! I’ll let you meet Selma and hear all about her fab new book >>>

Hi everyone, Selma here! It’s such a pleasure to visit with you all today. [It’s so lovely to have you over to visit!]

Harmony and friends, I waited almost my whole life for this moment, and once I found enough courage, I worked on it for months, and earlier, when I sent out my June newsletter to my dear subscribers, my fingers took over and wrote:

“Pen pal, I assign you the custodian of my secret
If I were to expire tomorrow
I want you to tell the world that this girl is on fire!”

Well, that’s just how this ordinary woman feels right now. But I tell you, this fire is unwieldy; not going in the direction I want it to go. (In fact, I am at a loss on how to proceed … shhh, don’t tell anyone).

Still, I peppered my initial words by adding: I’ll confide in you, something I’ve been keeping under wraps for around nine months. Now, please don’t think me vain (“vainglorious, I’m just a little euphorious” ~Ogden Nash); if I die tomorrow, the last nine months will go down with me as the best nine months of my writing life.

Sure, I’ve had euphoric moments like this on and off while I explored novel writing and the month-long elation of National Poetry Writing Month, but nothing that amounts to nine consecutive months. So much so that, as far as I’m concerned, I have accomplished what I set out to do. And the fact that this intense feeling of excitement, happiness, and triumph has prevailed for so long tells me that I’m in the right place right now. [Every fellow writer here can relate to this, Selma! Welcome to the club 😁]

“I know there is no straight road,
no straight road in this world.
Only a giant labyrinth of
intersecting crossroads.”
~ Federico Garcia Lorca

Nine months of writing poetry with a purpose bigger than myself—I cannot wait to share it with you! We are about to give birth to a book of poetry.

Whether or not my poems are top-notch is yet to be seen by a discerning public audience. But my editor seems to like them—not superlative, but okay. Hehe. And her suggestions and edits are making me look better than I am. Wait and see! *wink* [Folks, you can see my glowing review at the bottom of Selma’s post! 🥳]

Along with the revelation of this secret, I assign you the custodian of my fate. I entrust you with the words that have ripened inside me and burst me into bloom—the words I want to send gliding in hopes that you, too, burst into bloom.

Like a Shaman, I close my eyes
and reach out to you
across the miles
hoping you hold my hand.

And now, here I am with you, dear Harmony and friends, sharing with an audience far greater than my puny newsletter list that has been the greatest joy I tap into once monthly.

My New Book Launches on Sunday, July 15th, 2023! 

Universal Purchase Link:  a-fwd.com/asin=B0CB5PLMB6

And what is it I’ve accomplished and set out to do?
I assembled all the little poems that have lived within me for so long, put them side by side where they can interact with each other, and soon, with their new wings, they will soar to places they have never been before. This collection is a great accomplishment for someone who hoards memories, loves shadows, and has written a collection of songs of presence based on the shadows of memories (she sees). Thanks for sharing my words.

— An extract (excerpt) from one of the poems in In the Shadow of Rainbows:

Golden Durability

Patched up here and there with gold alloy to
preserve malleability, Mom’s bracelet keeps the markers.

She wore that bracelet everywhere, and I
cannot remember a time when it didn’t dangle on her wrist.

To the chagrin of the others, who wished
it melted and reformed, I inherited the artifact.

What kind of abrupt movement cut through the
heavy-duty set hinges to become unchained from its source?

If gold is so precious, why does it break?
And what makes one want to reform it to erase the markers?

I inhale the gold band and slide my hand
in to sense what Mom suffered. I pretend it’s her wrist I kiss.




In this dazzling debut poetry collection of over 60 carefully selected poems, author Selma Martin points the way to the beauty in the everyday, the shadow of the rainbow, and the silver lining at the edge of every cloud.

Favouring lyrical forms, and revelling in rhymes and musical language, the individual poems in this collection harmonise together in symphonic splendour to form an enlightening and delightful whole.



Selma Martin is a retired English teacher with 20 years of teaching children ESL. She believes in people’s goodness and in finding balance in simple living. She lives in Japan with her husband.
Selma once self-published a short story:  In 2017, Selma enrolled in her first short story writing competition with a welcoming online community of writers. She practiced earnestly there and had the honor of mingling with seasoned Writers and newcomers like herself.

In 2018, she participated in a networking course–offered by that online community–whose final lesson was to publish a story on Amazon. After many failed attempts, she completed the course and, with “a lot of help” from her new friends, self-published her short story, “Wanted: Husband/Handyman,” in 2019.


Later, collaborating with her peers, she published “Wanted: Husband/Handyman” (again) in Once Upon A Story: A Short Fiction Anthology.

Selma became engrossed with poetry in 2021 when, looking for ways to curb her wordy sentences, someone suggested she try poetry. It was love at first sight. She joined her first Tanka Tuesday with Colleen Chesebro and got her feet wet with her first National Poetry Writing Month. She has participated in NaPoWriMo for three years in a row.

Selma feels she has arrived at her first major crossroad and hopes to continue galumphing in poetry for a long time to come.

You can find Selma on:



And/Or join her once-a-month PenPal newsletter.

Now you’ve heard all about these poems and their origins from Selma, here’s my review of this wonderful debut collection …


A wonderful debut collection of Soul-felt poetry.

Many thanks to the author for a free ARC PDF of this book.


At the end of the author’s note on what she wants her poems to do, poet Selma Martin introduces us to the theme with a beautiful and moving poem, which I feel sets the tone for the rest of the book perfectly …

‘the wind disguised from me | the cry of the river | you won’t hear it either | unless you climb the bank | the poem disguised itself from me | it hid in burrows | and places I wouldn’t go looking: | inside shadows, whispers and echoes | until one day I saw rainbows on my eyelashes | — come with me, I’ll help you find your poem…’

Also from the introduction, I love this line:

‘… through wet eyelashes and learning to stand under the sun just so, I marveled at the rainbows that settled on my watery eyes.’

Below are some of my favourite poems and extracts from those poetic lines …

From Confess: ‘Don’t look at me that way, like a blank white page waiting, imploring I succumb and confess.’

And …

From Kindled Echoes: ‘Richest are the echoes | of whispers at half-light | which make for good bedfellows | that in the dark, ignite.’

And …

From Poetry: ‘… for in nature, the poet exists

I’d love to share more of these gems, but you’ll have to read it for yourself as I’ll end up quoting most of the book if I don’t stop here!

In addition to the pull quotes, I especially loved the poems … You Know Her, The Sea, Could it Be?, Failure, Ebb and Flow. Again, I could go on and on.

As you may have guessed, In the Shadow of Rainbows by Selma Martin—a debut collection of poetry at that—gets 5 rainbow stars from me. If you love inspirational poetry which takes a real look at life, you’ll love this book. You can also find more of Selma’s poetry on her website: selmamartin.com


NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book

Universal Purchase Link:


34 Comments on “#NewBook: In the Shadow of Rainbows by Selma Martin @SelmaWrites #Poetry #BookReview

  1. Thanks for introducing us to Selma and her book. I’m going to add it to my TBR. Congrats to Selma! Hugs <3

  2. The word that keeps coming back to me to describe this collection of poems: exquisite. I leave each page inspired, soothed, and thankful that Selma shared her soul.

    • That’s fantastic! Lovely to see you, Kymber. Hope all’s well. Hugs 🤗💕🙂

    • Thanks so much, dearest Kymber. Your words are music to my ears. I hope you find YOUR poem in the collection. Blessings.

    • Yve. You sweet one. I saw what you did on Twitter. 🥹 I appreciate your lovely words and support. Blessings dear Yvie.

    • John, you’re tops. And you even shared this on Twitter. Aww thanks from the bottom of my ‘chocolate cookie’ ((I know you’ll understand this))
      I bless you, John. Eat more cookies 🍪… xo

  3. Congrats, Selma:) So happy for you. I am with Harmony this is a great poetry collection.
    Thanks for hosting, Harmony!

    • Thanks so much for your lovely presence in my life, sweet Denise. I bless you for all you’re doing for me. I know I’m not alone. Bless you. Xoxo

  4. Harmony, you caring soul. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I bless you and wish you miracles xoxo

    • I loved the poetry! You’re most welcome, Selma. Hugs and much success 🤗💕🙂

    • Aww, Annette. I’m so happy to see you here too. I bless you for all the support you give me as I try to walk the path you and Harmony know well. Blessings, dear one. I wish you miracles.

    • Poetry lover, Hello. And thanks for reading this interview & review by one of the most generous and gifted poets around. I appreciate you and bless you. I wish you miracles too. Xoxo

  5. Any author can live on a good review for months Harmony, I guess this one may keep Selma for years. I know from whence I speaqk on this as even ten years after some kind reviews I can still recaqll words that kindly rrefuse to die in my memory.
    I wish Selma every luck with her first book and hope it’s success will breed brothers and sisters to create a family for her and discerning readers.
    Huge Hugs to you as always.

    • Hello David. Thanks so much for the comment. For sure, Harmony’s generosity has no bounds. She’s one sweet soul. Her words will stay with me for years to come. Thanks for the well wishes for my success. I will remember you too. Blessings, David. I wish you miracles.

    • Thanks so much for your wonderful words. Huge hugs, David 🤗💕🙂