Twenty years ago, Ray Campbell, now a cautious risk-management consultant, was a well-intentioned aid worker dedicated to improving conditions in Lubanda, a newly independent African country. He is forced to reconsider that year of living dangerously when a friend from his time in Lubanda is found murdered in a New York alley. Signs suggest that this most recent tragedy is rooted in the far more distant one of Martine Aubert, the only woman Ray ever truly loved and whose fate he’d sealed in a moment of grievous error:
Twelve years ago Matthew "the Rocket" Rising had it all. Married to his high school sweetheart and one of the winningest quarterbacks in the history of college football, he was the number one NFL draft pick. But on the night of the draft, he plummeted from the pinnacle of esteem. Falsely accused of a heinous crime with irrefutable evidence, it seemed in an instant all was lost--his reputation, his career, his freedom, and most devastatingly, the love of his life.
From the author of Fight Club, the classic portrait of the damaged contemporary male psyche, now comes this novel about the apocalyptic marketing possibilities of female pleasure. Sisters will be doing it for themselves. And doing it. And doing it. And doing it some more . . .
Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies.
Dispatched to fill potholes on the highways of Iraq, the platoon works to assure safe passage for citizens and military personnel. Their mission lacks the glory of the infantry, but in a war where every pothole contains a hidden bomb, road repair brings its own danger. Lieutenant Donavan leads the platoon, painfully aware of his shortcomings and isolated by his rank. Doc Pleasant, the medic, joined for opportunity, but finds his pride undone as he watches friends die. And there’s Kateb, known to the Americans as Dodge, an Iraqi interpreter whose love of American culture—from hip-hop to the dog-eared copy of Huck Finnhe carries—is matched only by his disdain for what Americans are doing to his country. Returning home, they exchange one set of decisions and repercussions for another, struggling to find a place in a world that no longer knows them.
From one of the most daring voices in urban fiction comes a sexy new novel about a modern-day Foxy Brown who goes undercover in a dangerous quest for revenge. Naeema "Queen" Cole takes care of herself. From the death of her parents when she was just eleven years old to when she found herself pregnant and alone at sixteen, Naeema has had to make her own way in the world. She gave up her son for adoption and became an apprentice at a barber shop, making just enough money to pay the bills and get high. She tried being a wife, but ultimately found that she and Tank, now her ex-husband, are better friends and occasional lovers than partners. Naeema prefers to be on her own; no responsibilities, no rules. But the sudden and brutal murder of Brandon, the son she never knew, forces Naeema to reconsider the way she has lived her life.
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it's been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply -- but that almost seems besides the point now. Two days before they're supposed to visit Neal's family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can't go. She's a TV writer, and something's come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her -- Neal is always a little upset with Georgie -- but she doesn't expect to him to pack up the kids and go home without her. When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she's finally done it. If she's ruined everything. That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It's not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she's been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts.
In life you never get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate. A business empire worth ten billion dollars. This is the tantalizing offer made by Vinay Mohan Acharya, one of India's richest men, to Sapna Sinha, a simple salesgirl in an electronics store in downtown Delhi. She can be the next CEO of his incredibly huge and profitable company. There is only one catch--she needs to pass seven tests from the "textbook of life." Thus begins the most challenging journey Sapna has ever undertaken, one that will take her from her swanky showroom to the heat and dust of India's backstreets and villages.
When Hollywood heartthrob Steven Weller pulls Maddy Freed out of obscurity for a starring part in his newest, Oscar-worthy film, she feels her career roaring onto the express track. Steven's professional attention soon turns personal as they are thrown together amid Europe's Old World charm, and Maddy allows herself to tumble headlong into a fairytale romance with the world's most eligible bachelor. She knows there's no truth to the gay rumors that have followed him for years.
Dan works at a bookstore in a deadly dull shopping mall where nothing ever happens. He's an angsty emo-kid who sells mid-list books to mid-list people for the minimum wage. He hates his job. Rhoda has dragged her babysitting charge to the mall so she can meet her dealer and score some coke. Now the kid's run off, and she has two hours to find him. She hates her life. Rhoda bullies Dan into helping her search, but as they explore the neon-lit corridors behind the mall, disturbing text messages lure them into the bowels of the building, where old mannequins are stored in grave-like piles and raw sewage drips off the ceiling. The only escape is down, and before long Dan and Rhoda are trapped in a service lift listening to head-splitting musak. Worst of all, the lift's not stopping at the bottom floor. Plummeting into the earth, Dan and Rhoda enter a sinister underworld that mirrors their worst fears.