'Courting Greta' comes to Healdsburg

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The beginning of love is awkward enough. But add two social misfits and the results can be disastrous.  Find out more Thursday evening at a book release party for "Courting Greta."

The book is about Samuel Cooke, a skinny, crippled computer genius who has never been the subject of a romantic encounter. Seeking out a drastic change in his life, Samuel ends his successful career as a computer programmer to become a computer teacher at Healdsburg High.

That's where he meets gym coach, Greta Cassamajor, better known as “Cass,” who strongly resembles Coach Shannon "The Beast" Beiste from "Glee."

Cass is avoided by everyone at the school, teachers and students. She’s an ox of a woman, as large as Samuel is scrawny. Her temper is easily provoked. She appears to have no friends, though she is loyal to keeping her team on the winning side. Right from the start, Samuel is warned by colleagues and students to stay out of her way. But something about Cass intrigues him enough to pursue this hard-to-please woman.

Author Ramsey Hootman, a Healdsburg native, spins a story of two people generally ignored by society and makes them so endearing you can't help but fall in love with them. In her debut novel, Hootman brings secrets and past betrayals to the surface. Each character eventually shares the reasons they keep others at bay. And through the course of the book, Hootman paints the portrait of a perfect love that has blossomed from imperfections.

Some of the highlights:

- Ramsey Hootman is the pen name of Nikki Biggers. Watch for a brief appearance.

- The town of Healdsburg serves as the story's backdrop, with cameos for town favorites like the Future Farmers parade and festival.

- Much of the action takes place at Healdsburg High.

“Courting Greta's” official release is this week. To celebrate, Hootman will appear at a Book Release Reading and Reception from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 20,  at the Christopher Hill Gallery, 326 Healdsburg Ave. The event is free and includes sparkling cider and gourmet cupcakes from Moustache Baked Goods.

For more information, visit


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