Mj Roë (AKA MJ Bachman)



Was it Love? Or Was it Paris?

Reminiscent of E.M. Forster’s  A  Room  With  A  View.

A light historical romance set in post-war France.

 Paris 1950.  The country is still reeling from the horrors of the Second World War.  Jacquie, an American Exchange student experiencing her junior year abroad, fights falling in love with handsome, irresistible Georges-Henri who has been damaged physically and emotionally by what he has been through.



 (first time writing as MJ BACHMAN)

Readers’ comments:

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I have enjoyed all your books, but this one was a page turner. Thanks for writing it.”

“I picked up “Was it Love or Was it Paris” from the local author showcase shelf at the downtown library, and had trouble putting it down. Typically, I can “skip the middle” of a longish novel, but this one kept drawing me back in. I hope to spend part of next spring in Paris, and will be looking for some of the landscapes and bookshops described in the book.” 

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MJ’s award-winning Seven Turns Trilogy

The Seven Turns of the Snail’s Shell, The Blue Amulet, and As Darker Grow the Shadows

The first, The Seven Turns of the Snail’s Shell, was published in 2009 and is a romantic adventure filled with suspense. The story takes place primarily in Paris in the late 1990s.  It follows Anna, an American writer, and her French lover who has a Corsican connection. The novel won awards at both the Paris and Los Angeles Book Festivals in 2010.


I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up this book. But it sure wasn’t what I found. This is far more than a frilly love story, this is a blast of culture with all sorts of twists and turns that leave the reader almost dizzy, but in a good way. If nothing else, this would make excellent assigned-reading for a French Culture Course.

Perhaps more than anything else, this story is driven by the hopes and dreams of a young woman. Anna is a complicated creature, as are we all, and this makes her such an endearing character to follow. Her thoughts, her insights, her feelings, all are laid bare for the reader to study, to empathize, sympathize, love, hate, what have you. And let’s not forget CC, the heartthrob doctor tossed into the middle of a truly bizarre chain of events that will change his life, and the lives of those around him, forever. CC is not the poster-boy for the studly and lovable man one might find in cookie cutter romance. In fact, he’s sometimes a jerk, selfish, uncertain, and although these might turn the reader off to him, instead, it makes him inimitably human, someone real, flawed, but with the capacity for tenderness and a man with an ocean of passion.

But a dark ribbon runs through this cheery story, one of suspense, old grudges, mystery, and conspiracy. These are compelling drivers of the plot, forcing the two protagonists together and shaping their lives in ways that keep the reader guessing right up until the end. And ESPECIALLY the end. Roë brings us to the brink, and the brink is where we finish.

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The second novel in the trilogy titled The Blue Amulet was published in 2012. It is a love story with an intriguing thriller twist set against the scintillating Mediterranean landscape of southern France.  The Blue Amulet placed runner up at the 2013 Los Angeles Book Festival. 

From a review of THE BLUE AMULET 2016

After reading Roë’s debut novel The Seven Turns of the Snail Shell I was massively surprised when I started The Blue Amulet. This is no romance novel, it’s a wild ride from start to finish. The love story that seems to be coming along at the beginning soon gives way to a darker tale of blood feuds and danger. This book is a page-turner that grips you from the get-go. I can’t remember the last time I read a book so quickly. It pulls the reader along into a winding, suspenseful narrative with ease.

Anna and CC return in this sequel to Roë’s original novel, and are just as, if not more, engaging than before. Anna, full of sorrow, conflicted, distraught, has to make decision after decision about what is right for her and her new family. CC, worn-down, hopeful, determined, must seek to salvage both his relationship with Anna and the danger that surrounds them both.

This is a hard book to put down. With every twist and turn of events the reader is left wanting more, wanting to know what is around the next bend. Roë wonderfully executes a brilliant thriller that sails through every expectation with flying colors.

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The third book in the trilogy, As Darker Grow the Shadows – A Novel of the French Resistance, was published in 2014. The story begins in 1939 as France is bracing for war.  Diamanté, who ties the other characters and stories together in all three novels, leaves his native Corsica to join his brother in Marseilles, and the two are soon drawn into the clandestine activities of the French Resistance.  It is a story of the remarkable spirit of a young man coming of age amid the agony of war.  As Darker Grow the Shadows received Honorable Mention at the 2014 London Book Festival and was a finalist in Historical Fiction at the 2015 IAN Book of the Year Awards.

From an editorial review of As Darker Grow the Shadows 2014

I loved this book! As Darker Grow the Shadows is truly original in its depiction of the French Resistance–its love stories, its battle scenes, its characters, and its settings never veer into the melodramatic, overdone, or derivative. The characters feel very real–conflicted, damaged, imperfect, and yet they soldier on.                    

London.Digital.Badge2014.HMLABF.DigBadge2011-12HM2015 Finalist IAN

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