Love in a Carry-On Bag

Love in a Carry-On Bag

by Sadeqa Johnson

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Love in a Carry-On Bag by Sadeqa Johnson

Can a long distance love affair really survive?

Erica Shaw spends her week babysitting the country's bestselling authors for one of the top publishing companies in New York City. But on Friday nights she escapes to D.C., where her sexy-lipped musician boyfriend, Warren Prince, works and performs. Their connection is fierce, and the couple promises to never miss a weekend together. But when real life walks in--an overbearing father, an alcoholic mother, office politics, and a lucrative job contract--the couple starts unraveling at the seam. Tempers flare, violence breaks, while new lovers eagerly wait in the wings--to claim both of them.

Drenched in the perils of passion and the sweet-sounds of jazz, Johnson dives deep into the world of ambition and the stumbling blocks of family. Clever, fast-paced and sexy, Love in a Carry-On Bag is a modern day love story that marks the healing power of forgiveness and begs the question, how much baggage is really too heavy to carry.

2012 USA Best Book Award for African-American Fiction
2013 Phillis Wheatley Award for Best Fiction
2013 OOSA Best Book Award for Fiction
Black Expressions Book Club Alternate selection for May 2012

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013925700
Publisher: 12th Street Press
Publication date: 03/06/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 362,768
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Sadeqa Johnson, a former public relations manager, spent several years working with well-known authors such as JK Rowling, Bebe Moore Campbell, Amy Tan and Bishop TD Jakes before becoming an author herself. Her debut novel, Love in a Carry-on Bag, is the recipient of the 2013 Phillis Wheatley award for Best Fiction. She is the author of Second House From the Corner and And Then There Was Me which were both hailed by Essence magazine. She has received the Black Pearl Magazine Author of the Year award for 2017.

Johnson teaches a writing workshop called Pens Up, Fears Down! in Richmond, VA. She is a motivational speaker, half marathon runner, sometimes yogi, wife and mother of three wonderful children.

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Love in a Carry-on Bag 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Shannon9090 More than 1 year ago
I just finished the book and I couldn't put it down. I actually went to the premier book party at Cecil's Jazz Club and purchased it with an autograph copy. The author, Sadeqa Johnson was so kind and sweet, during her Q&A discussion she really inspired me with her personal story about what she went through to write this book. I really related to the characters Erica and Warren and how the author captured the depths of their love while battling the elements of having a long distance relationship. It was a truly great read and I hope she writes a sequel - I want to read more about them.
Laeljeanne More than 1 year ago
Erica excels as a publicist in NYC. Her love Warren is under contract in DC, while pursuing his true love of jazz whenever he can. They vow their weekends to each other in good faith, but family and work overspill their boundaries. Erica’s alcoholic mother is an emotional vampire, constantly requesting her time and money. Warren’s father is an emotionally inaccessible, strict disciplinarian, whose second marriage exposes a family secret that rips Warren out of time and space. As Erica tries to move up the ladder in her company, special projects snatch her away from her special time with Warren, who renews his contract in DC without discussing it with her. He breaks up with her, setting Erica on a downward spiral. She confronts her mother about her childhood, prompting her mother to reveal her own tragic background. She and Warren must come to terms with the families that they have and find their way back to each other. This is so much more than a long-distance romance novel. Both main characters are well-developed, complex individuals placed in impossible situations with no clear resolutions. They learn more about their families than they wanted to know, but this helps them to evolve and move toward each other. I was fortunate to receive a digital copy of this wonderful book in a giveaway.
Sealy327 More than 1 year ago
A movie watching book. It is a mixed of "Love and Basketball" and "Love Jones" with a sliver of "Mo Better Blues". When you pay attention to her play on words you will understand how this book will stand the test of time. To be her first novel it was beautifully written and made me an instant fan. She earned and deserved the 2013 Phillis Wheatley award for Best Fiction.
MinoltaWhite More than 1 year ago
Love in a Carry on bag was the book of the month for my bookclub. I was excited to read this novel especially after all of the wonderful reviews. Erica is a publicist for a literary agency in the big apple and in between trying to climb the corporate ladder, she 's trying to maintain a relationship with her beau Warren. Warren is a sports fan whom splits his time between his office cubicle and pursing his passion in music. Immediately when you begin the novel the author drops you into the urgency of Erica getting to her man and seeing his performance. The novel gives you an immediate sexy low key vibes of a sexual nature. I could hear the jazz flowing in the background helping to create the scenes. Right off the back I felt like it was 1999 and I was watching a classic rom comedy. The characters come off as flawed but human. The author paints a portrait of the trials, tribulations, and sacrifices we make to keep love constant in our lives. I could relate to Erica and Warren love for each other in the crisp yet sensual way they made love and thought of each in the distance. This novel stands against the rest because the author paints a powerful picture of pathology and how we our parents choices impact our lives. I was moved by Erica's devotion to her mother. However, I rooted for her to stand up and get her mother the help she needed. You saw the opposite with Warren and his relationship with his father. I want give too much of the plot away but the author did a great job. There are only a few things that I did not like about this novel. I felt over informed with all of the back story. For too many chapters I felt like the author rambled on too long. The book is forty three chapters long...geesh! The chapters are short but I felt like the author stretched the story for way too long. It was as if she didn't delete anything from the first draft. The dialogue was too lengthy at times and the reference to real world facts was a snooze fest. Sometimes while reading I felt like the book lacked the pace of a good read. The little drama that Erica and Warren experienced were over by the next chapter. I hated when they argued, especially when Warren curses. The arguments were trivial and petty. But, I felt like the author was did a poor job trying to create a dramatic scene. Even in moments of weakness like Warren smoking made me wonder like why was this important. I almost wanted one of them to go off in the deep end and never return. There wasn't enough punch for me to want to finish. This was a slow read overall. The ending was plausible and suffices to the expectations of a typical love story. Overall, this book was beautifully written, descriptive, and has all the makings love two people fighting for love despite the distance. Good read w/o fireworks! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book! She is an excellent author. Her descriptions of her characters and how she described what was happening made the story come to life for me. I am an avid reader and can sometimes predict what's coming next but she slipped some surprises as the story unfolded that made me say What?! This book is reall good! I didn't want to put it down waiting to see what was going to happen next. I hope one day she will write about this love affair. Somebody needs to write the screen play! I rate this book a 5 star. It is a must read for those who like a good story with just enough suspense to make you say "oh my goodness."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book and recommend women to read this book. This book is a example of how important communication is with the person you love.
natzac2012 More than 1 year ago
You have to keep up with this read because she is always on the move. I am one that tries to predict the next outcome and was not allowed that luxury in this book. It keeps you reading to and if I say anymore I will give it away. It is hot and sexy and you will get caught up in what the characters will do next. I couldn't put it down!!
Deatri More than 1 year ago
Good book. This title was selected by my book club, and I’d like to thank them for introducing me to Sadeqa’s work. I’d gone into this book thinking it was a romance. It wasn’t, but that’s not a bad thing. I enjoyed watching Erica grow as a person and she and Warren grow as a couple. At times the plot dragged, but overall this was a good book. I’ll be looking for Sadeqa’s future works. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a modern love story, this is the book fir you. I couldn't put it down. Great read but an exciting new author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
beachlover20855 More than 1 year ago
There is nothing like the delectable pleasure of getting lost in a book. Sadeqa Johnson’s beguiling debut novel, Love in a Carry-On Bag, is a soulful portrait of a modern relationship. Career-minded Erica Shaw is an upcoming publicist at a first-rate, New York publishing firm, who is determined to break the cycle of women in her family who rely on welfare programs for survival. Warren Phillips is a talented software developer by day, and a gifted jazz musician after hours. Shortly after meeting, at a jazz club in New York, Erica and Warren became an item – she is his muse, and he is her rock. Not wanting to skip a beat in their relationship, when Warren signs on to a potentially lucrative software project in Washington, D.C., the couple vows to spend every weekend together. But, as other life events keep interrupting their vow – an uncaring alcoholic mother, pressing weekend business commitments, a secretive hardhearted father – the relationship feels the wear and tear the distance puts between them. The question neither wants to face – is their love strong enough to carry all of the additional baggage? Johnson pulls the reader in at the beginning with fairy tale flair peppered with heartbreaking realism, and does not let them go until the last page. Her language is hauntingly intimate underlying the couple’s passion, “The music soaked into Erica’s pores, as she stored him up like she did every weekend; his scent sound, and touch. It was the only way she made it through the week without him.” One of the book’s strengths is the journey and growth of the characters as individuals and through their relationship. Each will have to confront deep hidden emotions from the past to understand who they are in the present. From Erica’s need to be in control to Warren’s grieving for his mother are all lessons in exposing one’s self to vulnerability which is the precursor to the necessary sweetness of love. I enjoyed how the characters came alive and stole my heart. But, it is the music that you will hear in your head and heart while reading that elevates this book beyond the ordinary. Sensuous, fun, dramatic, serious, sweet, and sophisticated this love story will leave readers breathless and cheering for love to conquer all, but also wondering if the fuzzy edges of truth will stand up to the test of time. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy a first-class love story. This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Reviewed by Beverly APOOO Literary Book Review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OOSABookClub More than 1 year ago
Erica Shaw and Warren Prince are in love. The proof is the care that they give to their relationship as well as how they spend their time together. Unfortunately for these two love birds, Erica lives in New York and Warren lives in D.C. So how can you make love at a distance? Keep the weekends hot and spicy while accumulating frequent miles. It seems that they are coping, though they are both still tense from time to time. Their love is enough to make it work, isn’t it? Erica, a publicist, often finds herself babysitting an eclectic group of authors. Sometimes this cuts into her special time for her and Warren. Though she’s committed to making their love work, Erica is dependent to a fault and bent on climbing the corporate ladder. When you add her family drama to the already shortened weekends, soon Erica is skipping her weekend love. Warren is a musician at heart, but he works a 9 to 5 in order to pay the bills. As an artist, he’s conflicted because he would love nothing more than to be a full-time musician. It just so happens his job, that pays him very well, is in D.C. While he’s 100% invested in them, he hates having to share his time with Erica’s work. Things get more trying as he learns of his father’s upcoming nuptials. With so much baggage between them, can Erica and Warren make their love last? LOVE IN A CARRY-ON BAG by Sedeqa Johnson seduces readers from page one. You find yourself enjoying the uniqueness of Erica and Warren’s relationship. The music not only takes you back in time, but it helps to further lull you into the pages as you come to understand what’s ailing them as individuals and their relationship. I’m not into ‘typical’ romance books, but I am definitely a sucker for love. This is a book worthy of a recommendation. I’m looking forward to seeing what Johnson offers readers next. Reviewed by Crystal 4.5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You can find love in a carry-on bag. Come check out Erica & Warren's love story. Great debut novel by an awesome author. "Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it. Anger is bad, dump it. Memories are sweet, cherish them."
EP1 More than 1 year ago
I'm usuall a sci-fi, mystery, suspense genre type of reader. However, this novel was amazing! Sadeqa shows that good writing crosses over all genres! This novel weaves a story that draws you in, just as the love story does to the main characters. Can not wait until the next book from Ms. Johnson. She will definitely be in my reading rotation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DIA7979 More than 1 year ago
Sadeqa did an outstanding job on her debut novel. She grasp your attention from page one and it is definitely a page turner. Reading this novel should give anyone hope that love is in the air waiting to be pulled down. The connection between Warren and Erica is a once and a lifetime love. They were soul mates and needed each other to make it through the day. For this to be Sadeqa’s first novel she has out done herself, I cannot wait until her next book hits the shelves.
MzD263 More than 1 year ago
This a must have read. It's hard to believe the Sadeqa is a freshman author, the way she make each character flow and how easy it was to become that character. She wakens every sense from love to dirty-low down let's break-out the vaseline and fight. Bravo Sadeqa on your first novel Bravo!!!! Can't wait for partII, or another book.
Embrownny More than 1 year ago
I usually read a lot of mysteries and thrillers, so this was the first love story I've read in a few years. My attention was captured from the beginning and it was pace very well. At times I found myself talking to the characters because they were so relatable. The passion between Erica and Warren is pretty hot, but Sadeqa has a way of writing that just takes you to the edge and lets your imagination do the rest. I found myself wanting to be in love again.
aambcreviews More than 1 year ago
Sadeqa Johnson has given us a sweet love story - Love in a Carry-on Bag. Erica and Warren have managed to balance their long distance relationship for over a year. They have not missed a weekend together, spending either in New York or Washington, DC until Erica's job responsibilities increase. Erica is an up and coming professional at a publishing company. Erica battles demons from her childhood stemming from her parents' divorce, while climbing the corporate ladder. Warren, torn between his love for music and the guaranteed income of a 9-to-5, is tormented by the death of his mother and the demands of his father. When the burden of Erica's needy, alcoholic mother, Warren's knowledge of his father's infidelity, Erica's demanding job, and Warren's naivety of his co-workers seduction come to a head, Warren reaches his boiling point and breaks up with Erica. Both are miserable without each other. After sleepless nights, unanswered phone calls, and a widening gap of uncertainty, the couple gradually drifts apart. However, in the spirit of a true love story, there is a happy ending. Both Erica and Warren mend the relationships with their parents. Warren recognizes music as his calling and Erica seizes the opportunity to be her own boss. Most importantly, the two pledge their love to each other, embracing the changes, ups and downs that occur in a relationship. Johnson certainly has a way with words. She successfully fused jazz, style, and a plethora of emotions together to create line after line of genius. Her experience in the industry is evident and has served her well with this, her first novel. Natasha R. Hines AAMBC Reviewer