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Holly Caste

Holly is a contemporary romance author.  Lover of all things steamy and angsty— you’re sure to get your fill of these in her books! She also likes to have an underlying message in all of her stories, bringing awareness to bigger issues that are close to her heart.

When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her eating an unhealthy amount of bread and cheese, rocking out to emo music or hanging with her loved ones.

Rae and Miles met on the worst day of their lives.

They shared a kiss goodbye

And never saw each other again.

Ten years later and fresh out of rehab, Rae’s starting over in a new town, Golden Bay Beach. With a cynical outlook on life, her only two goals are to stay sober and escape the past.

However, running away from the memory that haunts her becomes difficult to do when she crosses paths with Miles. With his sunny disposition and charming personality, he’s the complete opposite of Rae—but that only lures them closer to one another.

As the two reconnect over their tragic history, Miles becomes intent on showing Rae that the stars aligned for them to have another chance at life together. Slowly but surely, Miles chips away at Rae’s armor. Through their steam and banter comes vulnerability and healing.

Until ultimately, Rae is left with the decision of creating a new life with Miles or staying trapped in the pain of the past.

Excerpt from Anything Rae Touches

“Do you trust me?” Miles asks for the second time this evening.

The answer is yes, more than anyone I’ve ever met—even if I don’t know him that well. I trusted him then and I trust him now.

Even though I don’t want to trust him.

“Yeah,” I begrudgingly answer.

“Good. So, lose the clothes,” he demands with a smirk on his face. Glaring at him, I slowly kick off my shoes. He chuckles. “Don’t worry, I’ll be a perfect gentleman and turn around to give you privacy.” He does as he says, facing the ocean while I stand in back of him.

Then, he drops his boxers and I stare at the perfect bare-ass in the moonlight.

Slipping out of my jeans, I then wiggle my thong down to the cool sand. Miles obnoxiously whistles an upbeat tune as I strip down to nothing.

“I’m done,” I state.

Keeping his word, his attention remains focused ahead when he holds out his hand for me. My heart beats a little faster as I walk up next to him and clasp my hand in his.

Tingles shoot up my spine. The rush of being next to him—touching him, building and building and building until—

“You ready?” he asks in a deep, soft voice.

“I guess?”


The wind is almost knocked out of me as he rushes us forward—running to the water. We run as fast as we can, my pulse racing along with our feet.

Running, running, running until ice water hits my toes. I don’t even have time to react as his strength on my hand tightens as we keep moving deeper into the water. It feels like little icicles slicing up my skin, but holy fuck does it wake me up.

“Oh, shit that’s cold!” Miles screams over the sound of the waves. 

“I told you!” I yell back. In one swift motion, I release Miles’ hand and cup my other, pushing it against the current so that the water smacks him square in the face.

Miles is stunned, completely caught off-guard. 

He spits out some water. “Did you just splash me?” he asks, droplets of water dripping down from his hair.

I chuckle, liking the fact that my image of him being perfect was easily washed away by the sea. “Maybe.”

“Oh, you’re gonna be sorry for that!”

A blast of coldness is thrusted in my face and now I’m the one getting sucker-punched by the water.

I go back at him and we get in a full-blown splash fight as if we were in the seventh grade. The sound of my own shrieks and laughter vibrates against my bones—a strange but blissful feeling spiraling through me.

Miles suddenly stops. “That right there.” He points at me. “Is the most beautiful sound I’ve ever heard.”

If I rolled my eyes any harder they’d be glued to the back of my head. “Oh god, stop with the lines.”

“It’s not a line, Rae, I mean it.” He swims closer. “When’s the last time you laughed that hard?”

As I tread water, I try to recall the last time I experienced more than just a light chuckle. My brows drawn in as I begin to frown. “I don’t know.”

“Exactly. You needed this.” He spreads his arms wide above the ocean, reaching out to the vast sea. I scoff at his comment but don’t respond. “Admit it, you’re having fun.”

I shake my head no, but a smile threatens my lips. 

Miles floats nearer, his face lighting up with joy when he realizes he might be right. “Yes, you are, Rae.” Miles inches closer. My heart pounds faster. “Wanna know how I can tell?”


He lifts his hand and his long finger carefully brushes over my lips. The motion is gentle and leisurely as if he’s taking his time to memorize the outline.

Sparks go off in my chest.

A tornado of heat swirls around my insides the same time chills dance across my skin. 

My breath stutters against his finger.

“Because you’re trying not to smile right now,” Miles states, letting his arm drop away from me. I blink a few times, taking a second to process his comment. “Am I correct? Are you having fun with me?”

“I’m having… a not horrible time.”

There’s a rumble of chuckling in his throat. “I think that’s the best I’ll get, so I’ll take it.”

“Good.” I lift my chin upward. “You don’t have another choice.”

In an effort to calm down my pulse, I create some space between us. Spinning away from him, I take a deep inhale, admiring the dark blue ocean. Hoping the chill of the water will cool down the fire that Miles lit inside me.

Drifting forward, the salty water leads me into the openness, as I take some time for myself.

I let it wash over me, again and again. Cleansing my body and spirit. I become lost in its vastness. The darkness of the sky and ocean meld together, becoming one.

Shutting my eyelids, I let the motion of the sea take control, offering me relief. The ache in my bones for years on end lessens as I let nature offer me new life.

For the first time since being at Golden Bay, I feel a sense of freshness pumping through my veins. Maybe this is the kind of life my parents hope for me. The one where all my worries can drift off to sea.

Running my hand over my hair to smooth it out, I open my eyes, glancing at Miles. He’s watching me intently, with a look of adoration.

  “You don’t have to stare at me, you know,” I tell him.

“I want to make sure you’re safe,” Miles says. His words flow through me like honey, settling around my core.

The idea of safety is foreign to me. Although, the last time I felt any semblance of it was in his arms.

Without realizing, my body swam me over to him. And despite the invisible string yanking me closer, I say, “I don’t need you to keep me safe.”

Miles smirks and my gaze fixates on his lips. He has no idea that the image of this—us, standing face to face in the darkness, has been my form of comfort.

Our naked bodies naturally draw nearer. My foot brushes against his bare leg and innocent act makes my mind picture very impure images.

My shoulders rise and drop quickly as it gets harder to breathe the more Miles invades my space. 

Miles tucks a stray strand of hair around my ear, then tenderly cups my cheek. “I want to keep you safe, Rae.”

Q&A With Holly Caste

Since I was a child, writing has always been a form of therapy for me. I never had the dream of becoming an author or pursuing it as a career because I only wrote for myself, as a creative way to let my thoughts and feelings out. I would only write poems and short stories, but in 2020 I had an idea for a book. With a lot of spare time on my hands, due to being stuck in my house because of lockdown, I decided to sit down and give writing a novel a chance. I’m so incredibly thankful that I actually went through with it because I found a new love and passion! The creative tap is on a constant flow and I haven’t stopped getting book ideas since! (If only I could find the time to write them all, now that the world opened up and I’m juggling a bunch of different things!)

The reader/author world has been extremely welcoming—I’m so grateful to have a home here!

Chaotic! I write whenever I can—which is usually late at night, after my daughter goes to bed. I tend to get sparks of inspiration as I’m falling asleep or driving, so my notes app is filled with random sentences and scenes.

I wish I had a more exciting answer, but when I’m not writing, I’m spending time with my loved ones. It’s what gives me the most joy. Everyone has hectic schedules (myself included), so any time I get to spend in their company is meaningful to me.

I don’t celebrate when I’m finished writing a book because it doesn’t feel “done” until it’s published.

When I send ARCs out and when my books are officially published, me and my husband crack open some liquor and have a dance party in our living room!

The way the main characters meet (Rae & Miles) is unique. The idea came to me as I was drifting off to sleep about a year ago. I had been going back and forth on whether or not to write it but the scene kept coming to life in my mind, so I decided to take a leap of faith and write the book!

Nope! My other two books (Blurry Messes & Messy Love) are heavily based off people in my life. For this book, I wanted to create these characters from scratch.

The most challenging part of writing Anything Rae Touches is the scene that initially popped into my head, which prompted me to write the book. It’s a traumatic scene and writing/rereading/revising became emotionally draining at times.

The dynamic between Rae and Miles was really fun to play around with. The banter between them, their uninhibited spice, having Miles get under Rae’s skin in a playful way, and having Rae lower her armor for only Miles were all exciting to create!

I study her, from her fingertips down to her toes, noticing every glimmer of who she is. The ink that’s on her skin, the scars that tell a story.

Rae is walking art.

The very heart and soul of the definition:

To disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed.

And my tortured mind finds solace in her arms.

My first thought was Miles because he’s book boyfriend material. However, as I sat with the question, I’d have to say Rae. She’s one of my favorite characters I’ve ever written. I don’t think I’d say anything to her, just hug her. Or maybe paint with her.

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