Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Leisha Kelly  

Pen Name: L.A. Kelly


Born: 1963 in Quincy, Illinois

Died: January 25, 2011

-- Website --
-- Leisha Kelly on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Kelly was born in Quincy, Illinois and currently resides in Clayton, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Kelly home-schools her two children and is a youth minister at her family's church.On January 25, 2011, Leisha and her son, Justice, were killed in a traffic accident. The following information came from the Obituary in the Quincy Herald-Whig: '''CLAYTON, Ill.''' -- Leisha A. Kelly, 47, and Justice I. Kelly, 16, both of Clayton, died Tuesday (Jan. 25, 2011) as the result of a traffic accident. Leisha was born July 1, 1963, a daughter of Raymond and Ellen Scheuermann. She married K.J. Kelly on June 23, 1993. He survives. Justice was born Dec. 26, 1994, a son of K.J. and Leisha Scheuermann Kelly. Mrs. Kelly was an accomplished author, penning 11 published novels. She also took great pride in homeschooling her children, and was a full-time mother who cherished the time she spent with her family. Leisha and Justice were members of the Glory Worship Center in Clayton where Leisha was active as a board member, youth leader, worship team member and with children's ministry. She also was privileged to serve the community as a trustee on the Clayton Library Board, an especially happy honor for her because the library was so important to her as she was growing up. Justice just completed a building at the Glory Worship Center as part of his Eagle Scout project and had just achieved his Eagle rank on Jan. 13, 2011, with Camp Point's Troop No. 41. He was very creative and artistic. Survivors include Leisha's husband and Justice's father, K.J. Kelly of Clayton; a daughter and sister, Hosanna Kelly of Clayton; Leisha's mother, Ellen Scheuermann of Camp Point; Leisha's sisters, Sue Drake and Carla (Dan) Steinbeck; Leisha's brothers, Grant (Renate') Scheuermann, Eric (Karen) Scheuermann and Sean (Michelle) Scheuermann; and Leisha's sister-in-law, Myrna Scheuermann. They are also survived by many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. They were preceded in death by Leisha's father and Justice's grandfather, Raymond E. Scheuermann, and Leisha's brother and Justice's uncle, Curtis Scheuermann. '''MEMORIALS''': Glory Worship Center in Clayton. '''ARRANGEMENTS''': Hamilton Funeral Home, Clayton. '''WEBSITE''': [] Condolences may be expressed online at [].

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Julia's Hope (The Wortham Family Series #1)
ISBN: 080075820X

Revell. 2002

Like countless others in 1931, Samuel Wortham lost his job. And he lost his wife's inheritance, their home, and much of his self-respect. Samuel, his wife, Julia, and their two young children hitchhike from Pennsylvania to Illinois in hope of work. Caught on the road by a sudden storm, the Worthams take shelter in an abandoned farmhouse out of desperation.

Feeling oddly at home, Julia insists on finding the owner of the property, despite Samuel's objections, and asks for permission to stay. The owner is Emma Graham, a woman in her eighties who longs for home but can no longer live by herself. Emma and the Worthams work out a plan to live there together and restore the farm. Samuel struggles with not being able to provide for his family, and Julia and the kids confront unpleasant surprises when a busybody neighbor turns against them.

Julia's Hope is an endearing story of faith and faithfulness as Emma teaches the Worthams to live fully, give generously, and love unconditionally. She insists that the family grow where they are planted, like the garden they tend, and each member of the family is forever changed by her wisdom.

Emma's Gift (The Wortham Family Series #2)
ISBN: 0800758579

Revell. 2003

In Leisha Kelly's well-received novel, Julia's Hope, Samuel and Julia Wortham and their two children charmed readers as they found shelter in the home-and heart-of a grandmotherly woman named Emma Graham.
Now, in Emma's Gift, the Wortham family is struck down by the deaths of two close friends, including their neighbor Wilametta Hammond, just days before Christmas 1931. Wila is the mother of ten children and the glue that holds the family together. In his grief, her husband, George, ignores the children and has no will to live. Sam and Julia step in to help, but how can they manage ten extra children when they barely have enough for themselves? Can George overcome his grief and become the father his children need? And if Emma's nephew takes ownership of her land, will the Worthams be allowed to stay?
Masterfully told from the perspective of both Samuel and Julia, Emma's Gift is an unforgettable story of God's faithfulness and peace and of the seasons of life that shape each of us.

Katie's Dream (The Wortham Family Series #3)
ISBN: 0800759109

Revell. 2004

Praise for Julia's Hope:
"Thewriting is beautifully desriptive without being overdone. Overall, Kelly's smooth voice and well-crafted writing keep the pages turning."--Publishers Weekly

Praise for Emma's Gift
"Kelly's second novel features a gritty, authentic realism as well as a haunting, beautiful mood that enables readers to feel the characters' pain and rejoice when they overcome life's heartaches."--Library Journal

The Fourth of July delivers more than just the local display of fireworks for Samuel and Julia Wortham. They return from the festivities in Dearing, Illinois, to find Samuel's borther Edward, out of prison and on their doorstep. Surprise turns to shock and confusion as Edward introduces a young girl named Katie and declares that Samuel is her father.

Samuel maintains his innocence and cannot understand why his brother would make up such a story, Julia struggles to believe Samuel's declarations of faithfulness, and Edward delights in antagonizing his brother. Katie just dreams of finding a home.

This page-turner will keep Kelly fans and new readers alike on the edge ot their seats until the very end.

Rorey's Secret (Country Road Chronicles #1)
ISBN: 0786286199

Thorndike Pr. 2006

In the fall of 1938, two Illinois farming families--the Worthams and the Hammonds--find their faith tested when the Hammonds' farm is threatened by a raging fire.

Rachel's Prayer (Country Road Chronicles #2)
ISBN: 0800759869

Revell. 2006

The Wortham family has been tested through hard times of injury, illness, and loss. But with the world on the brink of war, they are about to be tested again. And this time, they'll face the ultimate test: one of courage and survival. Just days after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Robert Wortham and Willy Hammond enlist. As they head off to fight, their families are left behind to deal with fears of what lies ahead for their beloved brothers and sons. Armed with their faith in God and a bold prayer from Robert's girlfriend, Rachel, the Worthams and Hammonds can only hope for peace, strength, and a greater understanding of God amidst this cruel conflict that could forever change the future of both families. The continuing story of the Wortham family and book 2 in the Country Road Chronicles, Rachel's Prayer is a powerful saga of courage and faith during the Second World War.

Till Morning Is Nigh (Country Road Chronicles #3)
ISBN: 0800718879

Revell. 2007

It is December of 1932, just one year after the Worthams and the Hammonds lost Wilametta Hammond and Emma Graham in one terrible night. The Christmas spirit seems largely absent again this year. George Hammond has disappeared, and Julia Wortham's house is filled to overflowing with the Hammond children, several of whom are coming down with a mysterious illness. As Christmas nears, the children's homemade nativity scene takes on a life of its own, bringing comfort in the midst of uncertainty and hard times. This heartfelt novella lets readers share Christmas with the Worthams and the Hammonds and discover the strength of faith, love, and family.

Sarah's Promise (Country Road Chronicles #4)
ISBN: 0800759877

Revell. 2008

Frank Hammond makes a wintry journey of over two hundred miles to help his brother and look into a job offer he hopes will be the new beginning he is searching for. But all Sarah wants is to make a home as close as possible to the farms where they were raised. Why would Frank even consider moving so far away? As Frank strives to make a new start in a fresh location, he comes face-to-face with his own handicaps and a new-found call of God. At the same time, Sarah struggles for the faith to fulfill her own promise to trust God, and Frank, no matter what the circumstances. With their wedding date approaching, Sarah must come to terms with her doubts and misgivings while Frank finds that a gesture of kindness to strangers has opened a surprising door of renewed hope. Leisha Kelly fans will thrill to see the unfolding love story of Frank and Sarah, a fitting conclusion to the Wortham and Hammond saga.

The House on Malcolm Street
ISBN: 0800733282

Revell. 2010

It is the autumn of 1920 and Leah Breckenridge is desperate to find a way to provide for her young daughter. After losing her husband and infant son in an accident, she is angry at God and fearful about the future. Finding refuge in a boardinghouse run by her late husband's aunt, Leah's heart begins the slow process of mending. Is it the people who surround her--or perhaps this very house--that reach into her heart with healing?

Delightful, realistic characters and skilled writing make The House on Malcolm Street a treasure. Leisha Kelly's fans and new readers alike will find this simple story about the complexities of life an engrossing read.

Tahn: A Novel
ISBN: 0800759990

Revell. 2005

In a dark, medieval land, good and evil battle it out. Trapped between his master's evil commands and his persistent conscience that tells him to do otherwise, Tahn Dorn finds himself in a twisting plot that threatens not only his life but also that of the lovely Netta. After kidnapping Netta from the comfort of her home and burning her castle to the ground, Tahn realizes he can't turn her over to Samis, his evil master, as was originally intended. But as Tahn launches a plan to outwit Samis, he realizes he must also face the evils within himself. Here, compelling characters deal with the real-life struggles of redemption and forgiveness. It's good versus evil in a way you've never experienced before. A note from the author: "I knew as I was writing Tahn that the story could not end until certain choices were made. Love or self-guarded preservation? Forgiveness or bitter hate? It is my hope that readers will think about such choices in their own lives. I hope they remember Tahn and see past the surface of the next person they meet. I hope they see a potential hero in every lost and wayward child and pray accordingly. Then Tahn and I will have done our jobs."

Return to Alastair: A Novel
ISBN: 0800731166

Revell. 2006

Once a feared mercenary, Tahn Dorn has abandoned his old ways and is building a new life. But his heart is still heavy. Haunted by confusing dreams and uncertain of his growing attraction to Netta Trilett, Tahn knows he must come to terms with his past before he can look to the future. And that means returning to his birthplace of Alastair--a journey he knows will not be easy. And so begins Tahn's search for truth, where he encounters old adversaries, deadly threats, a long-lost sister, and the distrust of an entire town. Return to Alastair is the continuing tale of an unlikely hero who must learn the power of forgiving others--and forgiving himself--in order to accept the love of a good lady.

The Scarlet Trefoil: A Novel
ISBN: 0800731565

Revell. 2007

The Trilett family and friends prepare for the joyous celebration of Tahn and Netta's wedding. Returning from a party in her honor, Netta is kidnapped, and her coachman and escorts are found murdered. It looks like the work of bandits, but Tahn is secretly sent a message that Netta will be released if he will present himself in trade. Tahn believes that his murderously jealous cousin, Baron Lionel Trent, is responsible for the villainy. The baron would surely kill Tahn given the chance, just to eliminate the possibility of a rival heir. But Tahn chooses to go to the assigned meeting place anyway, alone as ordered, in hopes of securing Netta's release. Will he succeed in rescuing his bride? Or will Tahn and Netta forever miss their chance at happiness?