A STORY which follows a hot air balloon in a runaway romantic comedy by a Worcestershire author has been shortlisted for Romantic Novel of the Year.

Fiona Walker, who lives between Worcester and Droitwich, is one of thirty finalists for the prestigious award, which comes with a £5,000 prize, and one of six in the Romantic Comedy Novel category, which requires entries to be consistently humorous or amusing and comes with an elegant star-shaped trophy.

Her book, The Summer Wedding, published by Little, Brown is about Iris Devonshire, who is fed up with fighting the forces of evil in pointy ears and marrying handsome stuntman, Dougie Everett, will surely liberate her from a life of typecast as the nation's fantasy adventure action heroine. But when their wedding is hijacked by a runaway air balloon, Iris soon learns that love is a force equally worth fighting for.

Ms Walker said she loved writing weddings into books as they were the perfect comedy backdrop.

She said: "I'm very honoured to be shortlisted for the Romantic Comedy Novel award, It';s wonderful to celebrate the laughter that's so inseparable from love."

The winners will be announced on Monday, March 17, at Whitehall Place in London.

For more information about the author and her works, visit fionawalker.com.