"The legendary 1998 season, when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire competed to break Roger Maris’ home run record, serves as an impeccable backdrop for This Dark Road to Mercy, the sophomore novel by North Carolina author Wiley Cash." So wrote Max Miller in his review for Xpress — read it here: http://avl.mx/04c. When sisters Easter and Ruby Quillby are left in foster care after their mother dies of a drug overdose, their absent father, a former minor league baseball player, kidnaps the girls to provide them with the family life he signed away years before." Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville hosts a ticketed luncheon with the author on Friday, Jan. 31, at noon. blueridgebooksnc.com. Cash reads at Malaprop's the same day, at 7 p.m. Free. malaprops.com.