Thirty-year-old Avery Krause, as she tells us in her own pretty appealing way, is a ""frizzy-haired, washed-out princess looking for a prince."" An on-the-air radio producer in a small, German-settled town near San Antonio, Avery is not exactly without company. There's her cabin-hideaway affair with the married mayor of San Antonio (""a throwback to an earlier era""); her buddy Otto, a Mexican cemetery custodian who doubles as a German-accented radio announcer; and, of course, her widowed mother, who's busy culminating a family feud by moving Mr. Krause's body out of the Krause family plot. But a prince is what Avery requires, even though she's determined not to become a hausfrau for anyone, not even for Gruene Albrech (real name: Billy Wayne Williams), a highly serious Czech-Texan writer who's a guest on her show. In the super-cautious, no-commitments relationship between Avery and Billy, author Hearon is gamely trying to hop-step through that big post-sexual revolution question--are there ""no alternatives to nookie with a public official and making pfeffernuss cookies in the kitchen?""--and it's the least satisfying element in the book. (""We can't be immigrants forever. . . sooner or later we have to become settlers,"" Avery concludes.) But when rather faceless Billy is offstage, things in and around the authentic locale are swell: a needle to local TV at its flashy tackiest; the radio debut of militant Queen Esther of the Mission Baptist Church; Avery's public revenge on her slimy mayor. Hearon (Hannah's House, Now and Another Time) is best when letting her light, wry touch find its own level, and that's precisely what she does through most of this loosely likable celebration of eccentricity and independence.