The Slaughterhouse Secrets is the first novel I wrote to completion. After my first job at a dairy cattle veterinary practice I took a job as a veterinary inspector. The job had its benefits (steady paycheck, no on-call or emergency duty) but also it's drawbacks. Eventually those drawbacks outweighed the benefits and I moved on.
At this point I took time off between veterinary jobs to catch my breath from working so much (but still working on my farm) and dove back into writing. This book was the product.
Much like Jessica's job as a veterinary inspector, The Slaughterhouse Secrets swirled in chaos as it neared completion. First, my laptop with all my finished work was stolen from the library where I was putting the final touches to it. I had saved most of my notes and writing so I was able to salvage the book after some time.
Soon after this theft I was accepted into a somewhat prestigious writing conference in NYC. It was here I was first introduced to the brutality of another industry: the publishing business. I won't go into specifics here but I was blown away by the sophomoric and unprofessional behavior of one of the conference leaders.
After the book's completion, some former relationships were sifted from my life. I know there's a season for everything, including relationships, and like the seasons some will come to an end. I'll also mention here I did get some comments about "mid-life" crisis (even though I was only in my early 30's) about pursuing my writing. Something I'd been doing since my teens so I just shrugged it off.
Despite all these discomfiting events I persisted and I'm glad to say I'm currently working on a second book featuring Dr. Bergstrom. I have no firm deadline for this to be published but hoping to have it on bookshelves by fall of 2019.
DR. JESSICA BERGSTROM has job pressures--deadlines, a cranky boss and a meth-addled co-worker out to kill her. As a public health veterinarian at a meat packing plant she knew the place would be rough and dirty. What she didn't know was the depth of the corruption between industry and government.
As she fits the puzzle pieces of fraud, deception and crime together her job of inspecting cattle and beef sides slides into a dangerous career and a potentially life ending endeavor. With a little help from her friend, Shana, and her kid brother, Jay, Jessica digs through the layers of drug dealing, toxic meat processing and government bungling that serve up a lethal stew in small town Minnesota.
When she and Shana discover a local cop is in on the action the stakes become dangerous. When they stumble upon a secluded meth laboratory with a dying woman and her sick baby inside the lab it turns deadly. Will Jessica pay the ultimate price for her determination to bring the truth to light? Or will her wits and brains be enough to save her life?
A gripping suspense in the tradition of Tess Gerritsen, Christy Barritt and Alex Kava, The Slaughterhouse Secrets is the debut of Dr. Jessica Bergstrom, a smart and resourceful veterinarian thrust into a quagmire of corruption, crime and drug smuggling.