Romance-writer Hufford subtitles her hard-cover debut ""A Novel of Friendship and Healing,"" and adds an avalanche of trendy New Age paraphernalia to the routine melodrama and posh of commercial women's fiction. Krantz with a crystal best describes the result. It's hardly surprising that Annie Berger, one of two heroines here, has turned to crystallography: she's riddled with cancer as the novel kicks off, and, besides, she's always been a little mystically-inclined. Back in the 60's, she latched on to Vera Spencer because their birthdays fall on the same date. and the vibes between them were very strong But in the 20-odd years since then, the two women have moved apart, with Annie marrying an artist, Morris Finklestein, and managing his waning career through obstreperousness and the perpetuation of pathological lies. Vera has disappointed her by abandoning photography to become art director at Vogue, and settling into marriage with ""television's sexiest villain,"" Al Marcello. But when Vera learns that Al has had an affair, her life begins to fall apart. So she flees to Block Island, the site of Annie's summer home, and after some tense moments the two grow close again. Vera convinces a resistant Annie to go under the surgeon's knife, and Annie fends off a blackmailer who has photos of Vera in the heat of a passionate one-night stand. In the end, Annie regains enough strength to to fly off to Tibet, leaving Vera her $20,000 crystal. A strange brew--intended, of course, to moisten the eyes. But few will find themselves moved by the all-too-predictable turns in these two friends' lives.