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Books

State of the City

In this much-anticipated sequel to Playing With Fire, Trillium, Oregon and its city manager face a new and even more formidable adversary. Ben Cromarty is caught in the crossfire, trying to protect his staff from a vindictive council member as the city faces a series of attacks, mounted by powerful interest groups and a state government eager to do their bidding. 

Playing With Fire

 

It rains a lot in Trillium, Oregon, but not enough to douse the political, personal and literal fires that surround the man in the hot seat, Ben Cromarty, Trilliums city manager. A suburb of Portland in the shadow of the snowy Cascades, Trillium has come a long way from its sleepy days as a sawmill town. The population is bursting. High-tech businesses are moving in. And the citizens are getting cantankerous.


A proposal to reorganize the fire department quickly escalates beyond a dry policy debate. It divides the community, pitting council members against each other, the firefighters against the city, and business against business.In the middle of it all is Ben Cromarty, struggling to keep the city from consuming itself and to keep his job. 

The Hunter

 

A wildlife photographer, fed up with the killing and destruction caused by poachers, transfers his skill in shooting a camera to shooting a sniper rifle.

The hunter becomes the prey as law enforcement agencies struggle to track him down. Julio Escobar and Rose Bloom, two young detectives with the major crimes task force, find themselves building both a professional and personal relationship in their pursuit of the vigilante. But their resolve is weakened when the suspect appears to save the life of a game warden.


The backdrop to the chase is the majestic Gifford Pinchot National Forest, spanning 1.3 million acres bounded by the Columbia River and the Cascade peaks of Mt. St. Helems, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Rainier.

Neocache

Neocache is the account of a mixture of geocaching and cyber intelligence that goes horribly wrong.

From Neocache:


…You can find all of this for yourself if you Google my name (go ahead and try it). But what you probably won’t find is any mention of the neocache website, or any reference to nuclear missile silos. All of that has been wiped clean, as if it never happened.


There’s a story behind that, as you might guess. It may take some time to tell, but the guards here tell me I have all the time in the world…


Prayer Chain

 

Strange things are happening in the small town of Cedar Creek. A patient barely escapes having the wrong surgery performed, happily married couples split up, unusual illnesses strike, and through it all the weather is terrible, even by the standards of the Oregon Cascades. Nancy McKay owns a café in the town, and through conversations with her customers, she starts to put the pieces of the puzzle together. She discovers that–in a game of real-life telephone—the prayer requests of a local church’s congregation are becoming garbled as they pass from one person to the next, and the people at the end of the chain are praying for the wrong things.


Nancy’s investigation turns from mere curiosity to horror as her own family is pulled into the nightmare. Her search for answers becomes a desperate race to break the prayer chain. And the answer to the most troubling question—how could God allow bad things to happen as a result of prayer?—leads to an unexpected answer that changes her life.

Nonfiction Books

The Human Side of Budgeting: Budget Games and How to End Them

 

Most current books on government budgeting focus on the policy process for making budget decisions. They also focus almost exclusively on the federal budget. The Human Side of Budgeting instead approaches the budget from a local government management point of view, and makes the case that traditional budget systems work against almost everything we know about good management (i.e., that most of our employees are not, in fact, lazy and stupid).


The Human Side of Budgeting was written both for pre-career students of public management as well as more senior managers who wonder why their budgeting systems produce such pathological behavior in their staff and governing bodies.

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