Honor Willsie Morrow was an Iowa native with a love of history. She spent ten years researching Abraham Lincoln and produced the Great Captain trilogy -- "Forever Free" (1927), "With Malice Toward None" (1928) and "The Last Full Measure" (1930). She wrote Western stories and for "Collier's" and "Harper's Weekly," and was editor of a women's magazine called "The Delineator" from 1914 to 1919.
In "The Heart of the Desert," the subject is inter-racial romance. Ruth Clifford has come to the desert seeking a cure for her melancholia. She meets Kut-Le, an educated Indian, and a friendship blossoms when he saves her from a tarantula. He offers to take her into the desert and cure her, but racial prejudice forces her to reject him and state they are not to meet again. He kidnaps her instead, taking her to the desert to effect a cure, while a posse is formed to find her. Will the ending be the triumph of love over prejudice, or the tragedy of loss and death due to misunderstanding?