Holi-Gay Gift Guide: 'BOYSTOWN' Season 4

Wed. December 16, 2015 7:40 AM by Anthony Morgano

boystown season four cover

photo credit // jake biondi

The last-minute shopper’s guide to fabulous local gifts

This year's lack of snow is no excuse to skip Christmas, but if you're smart and skipped the mayhem of Black Friday you're probably still searching for that perfect gift for your best friend, boss, lover, partner or still-closeted gay uncle. Afraid to enter the crowds gathering at Watertower Place and along the Mag Mile? Or perhaps you've just been spending hours standing in front of displays at Macy's wondering "do they actually NEED that? does ANYONE?" Never fear, because until Christmas, ChicagoPride.com will help you last-minute shoppers find the perfect, local queer gift for everyone on your list!

For all the readers and lovers of scandal in your life, pick of the recently released Season Four of Chicago author Jakie Biondi's hit series "BOYSTOWN," which hit the shelves on November 13. Following the lives of some sexy men (and women) in Chicago's own gayborhood, "BOYSTOWN" is a TV-soap-style-series that promises steamy love scenes, plot twists and all the drama of the author's favorite primetime serials.

The series was initially released in installments online, chapter by chapter, with Biondi taking into account the feedback of his fans to help shape the world of "BOYSTOWN." Enthusiastic readers from across the globe wrote in and petitioned Biondi to release the stories more quickly, unable to wait to find out what happened next. In 2013, the first ten episodes (as the chapters are called) were released in book form as "BOYSTOWN Season One," with Seasons Two and Three coming in July of 2014 and May of 2015, respectively.

"As far as twists and turns go, I'm not one to give anything away," Biondi told ChicagoPride.com when we inquired about Season Four. "No spoilers here. In Season Four, readers will discover who survives the fire at the end of Season Three -- and who doesn't."

Readers can also look forward to learning the identity of the fourth Mancini brother and who shot Derek Mancini. Season Four also introduces three intriguing new characters: Dr. Mateo Martinez ("readers may recognize the last name," Biondi teased), his son Hugo Martinez and Kevin Adam Mirando, the series' first Asian character.

"All three of the characters play integral roles in the Season Four story lines. They are connected to several of the series' main characters and bring about some important changes to relationships and plots," Biondi said. "The new book is filled with the twists and turns that BOYSTOWN readers have come to love. And, of course, Season Four ends with even more exciting cliffhangers."

The last two Seasons have also seen Biondi "pay it forward" in a unique way: by featuring local artists that dot the real Boystown scene in the series, adding another layer of authenticity to the Chicago-based author's vivid stories. The concept began after singer Amy Armstrong started giving out "BOYSTOWN" books at her shows. Wanting to do something in return, Biondi talked about featuring her in his book as his "way of sharing her incredible heart and talent with the diverse 'BOYSTOWN' audience."

Biondi began identifying other local performers who had been supportive, adding Steve Grand and a local trio Whiskey & Cherries to Season Three and singer Chadwick Stadt to Season Four. Biondi also continues to work with his team of sexy men who grace the covers of the BOYSTOWN books, each representing a character in the series. Many of these "faces of 'BOYSTOWN'" were chosen by fan votes and are still discussed by fans via the author's very active social media presence.

"Honestly, the best part about BOYSTOWN for me has been the incredible people that I have had the good fortune to meet," Biondi said. "From the BOYSTOWN boys to the TV producers I am working with to the fans themselves -- everyone has been so incredibly kind and supportive."

Biondi is also currently working with two television producers, Weston Mueller and Gabe Fiscale, to bring the series, which reads like a primetime soap -- think "Dallas" or "Revenge" -- to living rooms and laptops everywhere.

"Weston and Gabe are as passionate about the series as I am -- and they have a fantastic vision for BOYSTOWN on TV," Biondi told ChicagoPride.com. "They understand BOYSTOWN's characters, storylines, and audience. The three of us are working together to bring BOYSTOWN to television as soon as possible and I'm excited to report that an agreement is in the works. If all goes well, the BOYSTOWN TV series will begin production in early 2016. I wish I could say more about BOYSTOWN's transition to television but stay tuned -- I hope to be able to share even more news in the very near future!"

So whether you're shopping for an old fan or a prospective new one (four books?! you'll be covered on gifts til next Christmas!), Jake Biondi's "BOYSTOWN" series will look great wrapped under your tree. Seasons One through Four of "BOYSTOWN" are available at bookstores across the country as well as online at amazon.com, bn.com and on iTunes in book and e-book form. Biondi especially encourages fans to pick up "BOYSTOWN" and Boystown's own Unabridged Bookstore, 3521 N Broadway, where autographed copies are available. For more information, check out www.JakeBiondi.com, and look for Season 5 (which is already in the works) on June 1, 2016.

Related: Holi-Gay Gift Guide: The Gayme (A Social Lubricant)