What's up next for Sarah Palin, the former Alaska Governor, regarding the 2012 presidential election?

Palin came into prominence when she was selected by John McCain to be his vice-presidential candidate in 2008. She has now associated herself with the Tea Party movement in the U.S.

She hasn't explicitly announced her candidacy for the 2012 presidential race so far, but has visited a number of primary states over recent months. But a new book about Sarah Palin makes shocking allegations that could jeopardize the Tea Party politician's political aspirations.

The book, titled The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin, written by Joe McGinniss and due out later this month, seeks to get the true picture of Palin's past.

McGinnis, a journalist who has written biographies of Ted Kennedy and Richard Nixon, makes a number of allegations in the book, including one that Palin had an affair with ex-NBA player Glen Rice, according to a preview in the National Enquirer.

Rice, who led Michigan to a national championship in 1989, was in Alaska for a college basketball tournament and allegedly hooked up with Palin who was then a TV sports reporter. The book claims the tryst happened only nine months before Palin married her husband.

The book also claims that Palin was seen snorting cocaine off the top of a 55-gallon drum while snowmobiling with her husband and friends and that she smoked marijuana with a professor while at Mat-Su College in Alaska.

The book apparently quotes a Palin family friend as alleging that Palin's husband, Todd, also used cocaine and that he was on the end of the straw plenty.

In addition, the book has made the claim that Palin was very public about having a fetish for African-American men during that time. The book goes on to claim that years later, Sarah had a six month affair with one of her husband's snowmobile dealership business partner, Brad Hanson. When poor Todd discovered the affair, he ended the business deal.

McGinniss initially went to Alaska to do a story on Palin for Portfolio magazine, but ended up netting a book deal about the controversial conservative.

Palin strongly opposed McGinniss moving next door to her and posted on her Facebook at the time, Wonder what kind of material he'll gather while overlooking Piper's bedroom, my little garden, and the family's swimming hole?

At this stage, we don't know if the claims are each specifically true, of course. But we do know at this point that Palin's political career -- considered by some to be nearing a run for the Republican presidential nomination -- has probably peaked, and is heading downward.

The claims made in journalist Joe McGinniss's highly-anticipated book could be devastating for Palin's political ambitions and her carefully constructed image as a model working mother and defender of homespun family values.

So where does this leave Sarah Palin's political career?