HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH
Fresh and often hysterically funny,
this story also has a solid emotional core. Heroine Kira's first-person perspective keeps it all real for the reader -- despite some of the outlandish goings-on.
While sorting items for sale in the costume shop of the failing dinner theater she works for, stage manager Kira Franklin finds a lamp -- a prop from an old production of Kismet, perhaps? But when Kira polishes it, a genie named Teel pops out. Initially skeptical, Kira becomes an instant believer when she wishes for the dream job that's eluded her -- and gets it. But working at the prestigious Landmark Stage has its downside. The director of the show-in-progress is a megalomaniac, and Kira's other wishes go horribly wrong. There's only one person keeping her sane -- John McRae, the show's set designer. But even John might not be around when Kira finally sorts out her life once and for all! (MIRA, Oct., 416 pp., $13.95)