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STARLING pocket watches have a time-travel romance backstory – the STARLING novella. A man and a woman 60 years apart in age meet accidentally. Jeff is a medical school student who meets Allisandra as she is suffering a heart attack. Before she dies, she stuffs a vintage pocket watch into Jeff’s coat. He later realizes the special watch enables him to time travel and find Allisandra when she is his age.

They fall in love, and embark on an adventure, and time travel together to find five other watches — each with its own special power — whilst being pursued by Hinky, the creator of the pocket watches.

Each watch story teaches life skills to the reader of this steampunk book, that can be used for self improvement. For example, the Rewind watch teaches the power of yoga’s Ujjayi breathing technique to reflect on your past decisions and get a do-over in life. Yet, there’s no time for Jeff and Allisandra to sit still as they race to beat Hinky to the watches.

Hinky’s goal is to retrieve all six pocket watches. He can then control everyone in the world by harnessing the combined power of the watches. If Hinky succeeds, Jeff and Allisandra will not be able to fall in love.

Jeff Thompson is a medical student who took a break from school after his mother’s recent death. Allisandra comes into his life as an 85-year-old woman and gives him the Memories watch. This watch transports him back in time to find Allisandra and the adventures of a lifetime.

Hinky Tonk is the inventor of the pocket watches. He is very old but never ages — the mystical stones in the watches take care of that. A narcissist, Hinky would prefer to be in control of his destiny. He is brought to madness by the voice he hears when handling the watches.

Allisandra Benli comes of age after World War II. Her survival skills hide an elegant and sophisticated ability to design clothes, a deep historical knowledge of the region, and the vitality that leads people to be more than themselves. She expected a quiet life until she meets time-traveler Jeff.