10 fun facts about Beautiful Illusion you didn't know

Did you know:

1. Leah was given her name because it began with the letter ‘L’. In my earlier books, all my leading female characters’ names started with the letter ‘L’.

2. Brennan’s name was inspired from the movie Step Brothers. Although, my Brennan resembles, in no way, shape, or form, the Brennan from that movie.

3. In the first rumblings of inspiration for the plot, Leah was going to fall in love with a ghost who would eventually be restored as a human man. But you can imagine the difficulties for a writer to make that believable. Not that my task wasn’t difficult enough with the coma story-line I did end up writing about.

4. The original title for Beautiful Illusion was Patients—as the leading couple met while patients in a hospital. I’m so glad now my publisher made me brainstorm another name. Beautiful Illusion is perfect.

5. The story is set in Brisbane, which was my hometown at the time. The Gold Coast Hinterland, where Brennan’s parents have their farm, is a place I visited often with my husband, and I believe is one of the most magical, gorgeous places in Australia.

6. Brennan’s mother is Kerri, which is the name of my aunt. And Jack, Brennan’s father, is my late grandfather’s name.

7. The tall skyscraper the characters’ describe during their boat ride along the Brisbane River is the building I once worked in as an accountant when I first moved to Brisbane.

8. The original story was about fifteen thousand words longer and had an alternative ending (if you want to know what this alternative ending is, contact me here via my website and I’ll send it to you).

9. The original story was written before the time of smart phones and I had to change this detail in my later revisions to bring the story up to date.

10. Leah’s irrational belief that she was going to die by the age of thirty was one of my own irrational fears. Seven years on, I can safely say it wasn’t a prophetic fear.


A beautiful, spiritual story about a woman who meets the man of her dreams — and then wakes up... The last thing Leah thought she’d get out of a shocking car accident was the perfect boyfriend. But there was Brennan in the hospital bed next to hers — equal parts charm, cheek, and chocolate. Their relationship, their love, her life, is almost too good to be true. Then, to Leah’s horror, she discovers that it is. Her new life with Brennan is only a fabrication of her injured mind — a coma dream that ends when she wakes up. Struggling with injuries and grieving for a man that never existed, Leah battles to put her life back together. But a series of coincidences hint that for some people, love can transcend all barriers and achieve the impossible. Praise for BEAUTIFUL ILLUSION: 'Underdown offers interesting coincidences and unexplained end rather realistic and tender. The romantic in me appreciated that love is stronger than anything!' — New Books On My Shelves 'Underdown has penned an enchanting, fantastic tale of a love that shouldn’t exist but somehow does.' — Penny Dreadful

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