The sun has become a 'red giant' and the world is hot and parched. In California, James and Lexie Deforio have three goals: to find food and water, to survive another day, and to protect their two children. When their home is abruptly robbed and burned to the ground, the family is forced to embark on a cross-country journey in search of safety and water.
Facing ruthless bandits, murderers, and some of the most extreme conditions they have ever encountered, they struggle to survive. When James is shot trying to help another family, Lexie and her children set out on a harrowing journey to save him. Finding temporary safety in the abandoned Ohio salt mines deep under Lake Erie, they appear to have found a new home. But, like everything on their journey, not all is as it seems.
"Branham is an adept writer, and the world he has created is thoroughly planned and well-executed...the relentless pacing of this story, which rarely pauses from the action or relishes in the monotony of life after civilization's breakdown, keeps the reader engaged throughout. By placing an entire family at the center of his novel, the author makes every challenge feel that much more dangerous. The book concludes with a brief excerpt from a forthcoming sequel, so hopefully readers can expect more adventures in Branham's fearsome wasteland. A fast-paced post-apocalyptic tale of survival and family." Kirkus Reviews.
"Parched holds several surprises; not the least of which is its ultimate direction. Readers used to the typical linear progression of many apocalyptic reads will find something unique and special in Parched: highly recommended for any who want a powerful thriller with a strong environmental message." Midwest Book Review--Diane Donovan, Editor/Senior Reviewer.
"There is a constant urgency and energy in the writing that makes it difficult to put down. The most powerful parts of this story are when the lines of morality begin to blur in the family's quest for survival. This resilient family always seems to be running away from something, narrowly escaping danger, and eking by to survive - it was exhausting just reading about their life on the run! At its core, Parched is about hope and survival against all odds, and the personal demons we must face when our bodies and minds are pushed to the limit. However, the underlying message is that the bonds of family, morality, and humanity can be bent, but never broken." Self-Publishing Review, 4 stars.
"The story is taut and inventive and Branham makes some bold narrative choices, the stakes are high and no one is safe. With shifts in perspective each character is made sympathetic and three dimensional. PARCHED sets the stage for a suspenseful saga with well-crafted characters and numerous conflicts yet to be resolved." Indie Reader 4 Stars.
"The novel presents a deeply intriguing scenario, and Branham's writing serves it well. Parched is likely to appeal to fans of AMC's The Walking Dead, as it creates a similar scenario where no one is safe. Readers who reach the book's cliffhanger ending are likely to want more; Branham promises two sequels that carry the family's quest to fruition." BlueInk Review.
"A gripping thriller that vividly and creatively brings the potential terrors of climate change to life, Parched is an engaging and immensely believable novel that captivated me with every twist and turn of its plot." Jacky Donovan, author of Amazon bestseller Simon Ships Out: How One Brave, Stray Cat Became a Worldwide Hero.
"This riveting post-apocalyptic novel is a gift of a read, suspenseful with surprising twists and turns." Cinda Adams Brooks, author of Heartprints of Africa.