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Liberty #2

Treasure Me

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Finalist, 2012 Next Generation Indie Awards
"Highly recommended" by The Midwest Book Review

Welcome to Book Two of The Liberty Series, where love, friendship and family life arrive with a second chance in the most heartwarming circumstances.

Petty thief Birdie Kaminsky has arrived in Liberty, Ohio to steal a treasure hidden since the Civil War. She’s in possession of a charming clue passed down in her family for generations: Liberty safeguards the cherished heart.

The beautiful thief wants to go straight. She secretly admires the clue’s author, freedwoman Justice Postell, who rose above the horrors of slavery to build a new life in Ohio. According to family lore, Justice left South Carolina at the dawn of the Civil War. Heavy with child, she carried untold riches on her journey north. As Birdie searches for the treasure, she begins to believe a questionable part of the story: a tale of love between Justice and Lucas Postell, the French plantation owner who was Birdie’s ancestor.

If the stories are true, Justice bore a child with Lucas. Some of those black relatives might still live in town. Birdie can’t help but wonder if she’s found one—Liberty’s feisty matriarch, Theodora Hendricks, who packs a pistol and heartwarming stories about Justice. Birdie doesn’t know that an investigative reporter who has arrived in town will trip her up—as will her conscience when she begins to wonder if it’s possible to start a new life with stolen riches. Yet with each new clue she unearths, Birdie begins to discover a family history more precious than gems, a tradition of love richer than she could imagine.

The books of The Liberty Series work as stand-alone novels you may enjoy in any order. Look for the other books in the series: Second Chance Grill, The Impossible Wish, Four Wishes and The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge.

415 pages, Kindle Edition

First published April 21, 2011

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About the author

Christine Nolfi

24 books3,846 followers
Christine Nolfi is the award-winning and bestselling author of fifteen novels, including The Passing Storm, cited by Publishers Weekly as “Tautly plotted, expertly characterized, and genuinely riveting” and gold medal winner in general fiction, International Book Awards. Look for Christine’s 2022 release, A Brighter Flame.

Other works include The Road She Left Behind, a top book club pick by Working Mother and Parade magazines, and the award-winning Sweet Lake Series: Sweet Lake, The Comfort of Secrets, and The Season of Silver Linings.

Earlier works include Second Chance Grill, highly recommended by The Midwest Book Review and Treasure Me, recognized by the Next Generation Indie Awards and Put Your Heart in a Book Awards. The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge was cited by The Midwest Book Review as “Poignant and powerful, as much a saga of learning to survive, heal, and forgive as it is a chilling crime story, unforgettable to the very end.”

A native of Ohio, Christine now resides in South Carolina with her husband and their crazy wheaten terrier, Lucy. For more information, visit www.christinenolfi.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 186 reviews
Profile Image for E.L. Farris.
Author 3 books61 followers
July 25, 2013
Nolfi's Treasure Me is a quirky, fast-paced, fun mystery. I loved the main character, Birdie, who is a thief. A likable thief, if that makes any sense. Birdie made me smile from the first page to the final one.

The characterizations in Treasure Me are solid. Nolfi does a good job painting scenes realistically. The writing is crisp, unadorned, and technically proficient. I found myself rooting for Birdie and the other main character, Hugh, a down on his luck investigative reporter.

If you appreciate a well-written, romantic mystery, I highly recommend Treasure Me.

Author E.L. Farris
Profile Image for Wendy Hines.
1,322 reviews257 followers
January 16, 2012
Birdie is a thief, even though she wants to go legit. But she's carried a scrap of paper her mom gave her for years, a clue to a treasure. Birdie wants that treasure so she can afford to not be a thief. She arrives in Liberty, a very small town, and immediately go to the Second Chance Grill, a place she saw in the newspaper that was the home of the painting she was seeking. The painting is of Justice Postell, a freedwoman who went north years ago, carrying the baby of the plantation owner. The owner being Birdie's great-grandfather. Birdie figures that if she can find the portrait, it will give her the next clue to the big treasure.

Hugh is an investigative reporter who has a problem keeping his pants up. Getting fired because he misses so many deadlines seems to be things a bit more in perspective for him. His boss offers him a proposition - go to Liberty to follow up on a possible scam without a paycheck and if he can deliver the goods, he saves his job.

Hugh and Birdie arrive at the restaurant at the same time and both want the only available apartment in town. The proprieter bades them to share it, with Birdie waitressing to work off her share. They don't like it and they don't like each other, but there is something sizzling between then.

Birdie meets Theodora, an elderly woman who is a spitfire. She takes to Birdie immediately and shares her stories about Justice. Birdie is enraptured. She's always wanted a family. Her mom was a thief and her father in prison. Birdie also finds some new clues to the rubies while she is making new friends in the small town. She's never stayed long in any place, but she'd like to stay here. Unfortunately, she knows if she finds the rubies she has to leave.

Hugh is on to Birdie; he starts investigating her and knows her for a thief. He's angry at himself for wanting her but he can't help himself. He wants a relationship with Birdie, but she doesn't do long-term anything. It's just easier that way.

But when another reporter gets wind of Birdie and the rubies, things fly apart. Birdie is terrified of the townsfolk she has been pickpocketing as well as the disappointed looks on her friends faces. She thought she had trusted Hugh, perhaps loved him, but instead he breaks that trust.

With romance, buried treasure, suspense and drama, Treasure Me is fantastic! I read this book in one sitting as I couldn't put it down. I was drawn into the characters lives, relishing their every move. Great character development, excellent dialogue and a solid plot set the tone for this lively and entertaining tale. I felt sorry for them and I got angry with them and that is the mark of a great writer. I highly recommend Treasure Me! Loved,
Profile Image for Nancy Steinle gummel.
507 reviews87 followers
September 22, 2014
Treasure Me by Christine. Nolfi is a delightful story. It tells of second chances and hopes of redemption. Making friends and finding distant relatives. It tells the tale of a grifter named Birdie. Bring in a run down investigative reporter, Hugh. Mix the two together and you have a volatile effect. Birdie arrives in Liberty, Ohio on Lake Erie. She's seeking clues to a past relatives mysteries. Hugh is writing a follow up of a story he debited over a year ago about former cancer patient, Blossom. He thinks her dad is robbing the fund where donations to help her were set up. His career depends on the story. Finnegan who runs the Second Chance Grill hires her to help waitress and makes her share the apartment with Hugh. Then she meets Theodora who tells her wonderful tales about Justice, the freed slave who is Birdie's relative. See how Birdie's thievery is broadcaster to the world and how the townspeople react. See if aHugh and Birdie can share the truth about each other and how Theodora helps her.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,921 reviews35.4k followers
April 3, 2013
This is the 2nd book I've read by Christine Nolfi.

Nolfi is a wonderful storyteller!!!

"Treasure Me" was wildly entertaining!!!

If you enjoyed the movies: Mystic Pizza, --Romancing the Stone --
and the TV show Cheers --- You'll have a great time reading this gem!

Pure pleasure! (wonderful characters)
Profile Image for Jackie.
3,511 reviews113 followers
January 23, 2016
Goodreads Book Blurb

Petty thief Birdie Kaminsky has arrived in Liberty, Ohio to steal a treasure hidden since the Civil War. She’s in possession of a charming clue passed down in her family for generations: Liberty safeguards the cherished heart.

The beautiful thief wants to go straight. She secretly admires the clue’s author, freedwoman Justice Postell, who rose above the horrors of slavery to build a new life in Ohio. According to family lore, Justice left South Carolina at the dawn of the Civil War. Heavy with child, she carried untold riches on her journey north. As Birdie searches for the treasure, she begins to believe a questionable part of the story: a tale of love between Justice and Lucas Postell, the French plantation owner who was Birdie’s ancestor.

If the stories are true, Justice bore a child with Lucas. Some of those black relatives might still live in town. Birdie can’t help but wonder if she’s found one—Liberty’s feisty matriarch, Theodora Hendricks, who packs a pistol and heartwarming stories about Justice. Birdie doesn’t know that an investigative reporter who has arrived in town will trip her up—as will her conscience when she begins to wonder if it’s possible to start a new life with stolen riches. Yet with each new clue she unearths, Birdie begins to discover a family history more precious than gems, a tradition of love richer than she could imagine.

My Thoughts

In Treasure Me author Christine Nolfi has given us a story the likes of which I have not enjoyed since watching one of my favorite Michael J. Fox movies Doc Hollywood for the billionith time! Being born and raised in a small town is like being part of an overextended family of sorts and in this story Birdie Kaminsky finally gets a taste of that when she lands in Liberty Ohio. Birdie is chasing the dream of buried treasure that she has fostered since being told the tale by her mother about a former slave Justice Postell who was the lover of one of Birdie's ancestors and rumored to have been given riches to take north when she left the Carolinas and settled to build a new life for herself in Ohio...
Finding the treasure is not the only thing on Birdie's mind, she is also slowly learning to ignore her thieving impulses as she grows fond of the towns inhabitants and closer to the owner and other two waitresses at the Second Chance Grill.
While Birdie grapples with her newfound conscience she also forms a strong romantic attachment to Hugh Schaeffer the reporter who worms his way into her heart despite her better judgement.
Birdie also finds more than she bargains for when she discovers her true ancestry and a family she never thought she deserved... This is a very heartwarming story that allows us a glimpse into some of the attributes as well as the downfalls of living in a close knit community... The characters are richly drawn and in the case of Theodora downright true to life as the grandmother, sister, mother, best friend figure we all dream of having and rarely do!

There are many things going on in the story, several plot lines that interweave to keep you on your toes while you work them out in your mind. The main ones that stick out in my mind are these:
Will Birdie find the treasure she has come to Liberty for? Will it allow her to follow her dream of going legit and leaving behind her petty thievery to survive from day to day? Will she and Hugh have their HEA? Will Birdie end up behind bars once her past catches up with her?

Best advice from me to you is answer these questions for yourself by reading the book as soon as you can get your hands on a copy... You will not regret it as it will prove to you that a family is one you choose to love and who loves you right back whether they are blood related are not!

Recommended for fans of romance with sexual tension more than actual sex, fans of second chances and those who believe we all can be who we want to be if we work at it hard enough and have a little help along the way from those who believe in us and care enough to take a chance on us!

I have to disclose that this book was an e-arc copy submitted to me by the author for an honest review and that there is no other compensation from her or the publisher except for the review copy and my reading pleasure and enjoyment of the characters depicted in the story.
Profile Image for Kelly.
296 reviews1 follower
May 31, 2011

**EDIT** I reread this book after reading Second Chance Grill because visiting Liberty makes me very happy. I love this town and it's inhabitants.

I did not read the concept of this book before I started to read it. I just jumped in. It starts out with an introduction of sorts to Birdie, a thief of the pick-pocket variety, and one who wants to turn over a new leaf, on the right side of the law this time. She journeys to the small town of Liberty, Ohio. Don’t you love the name of this town? I just imagine 4th of Julys in a town like that. There’s a treasure there that’s been left behind by a family member as described in the concept above. The story of the treasure and starting life over in a small town is a little cliché for me. The REAL story here though is in the characters who are SO endearing. My personal favorite (and I would imagine this has been said before) is Theodora Hendricks, a woman after my own heart. People will say she totes a gun and a cell phone, but I’m telling you, her most powerful weapon is her stories. I cannot forget Finney either – just another character at the Second Chance Grill. And don’t you love THAT? The Second Chance Grill in Liberty, Ohio? C’mon. This is great stuff right?

There’s a love story going on between Birdie and Hugh and if sexual tension is your thing, then this book has it. Sometimes you might find yourself wanting to smack Hugh upside his male head because he’s so frustrating but the fact that I wanted to do that, told me that Ms. Nolfi hit her mark inside my reader’s heart. Without realizing when or how it happened, I was hooked. Great job, Ms. Nolfi. Great job.

I think I read somewhere that this was Book One in a trilogy but that Book Two is a prequel? I’m not sure on that but if there are more of these books, I want them and you should want them too! Run on over to Amazon and pick this up. It’s a heartfelt read about life in a small town and one that you will find yourself enjoying.

What I liked: The ladies of the Second Chance Grill (in fact, that could be the name of the next book). Or better yet call it, Liberty, Ohio and include the whole town. Enchanting. I want to pull up a glass of iced tea and sit down with them on a summer afternoon. I read an author interview from Ms. Nolfi and in it she said that she thought the message of the book was that family isn't something we're just born into. We have to create it and nurture it. Not only that but, and I'm going to quote here: "The people you choose to love, and who love you -- day in and day out -- are life's only treasure." I love that message. I don't know if that gift is life's *only* treasure, but it is definitely the best. Treasure Me is definitely one of those treasures. Read it and enjoy.

What I disliked: There were an awful lot of characters in this book to keep up with. Everyone plays their part, so I guess it’s okay, but somehow, I didn’t need that many to confuse me. I know this sounds silly considering I just said that the supporting characters were what I liked so much about the book but trust me when I say there were just a tad too many.
Profile Image for Donna McBroom-Theriot.
Author 1 book64 followers
July 10, 2011
I just finished reading Treasure Me and I am setting here trying to gather my thoughts. The book was written so that I felt I was one with the main character, Birdie. I felt her pain and her torment through each step of her journey.
I felt privileged to follow along with her as her family history came to life through the people she meets in Liberty. The book was full of loving, caring, and the occasional hard-to-love people (person). As you consume word after word, page after page, you forget that you are reading fiction. You begin loving Birdie and the quirky extended family she has found in the little town.
Birdie is a small time thief, a product of her upbringing. She longs to straighten out her life, but she finds life tough on the right side of the law. She arrives in Liberty with little more than a piece of old parchment that has been passed down from generation to generation. Birdie thinks the treasure to be found will somehow bring her the happiness she seeks. The one clue, on an old piece of parchment reads, “Liberty safeguards the cherished heart.”
We watch as the kind people of Liberty enter Birdie’s life and for the first time she begins to trust, and tries to leave her life of crime in the past. Things begin to unravel just as Birdie begins to think of Liberty as home. A newspaper reporter uncovers the secrets of her life and as her story begins to surface, helped along by an expose in the newspaper, Birdie must find a way to make amends for her thieving ways, and the town is prepared to make her pay.
Throughout the book, she finds additional clues to the buried treasure, only to find that someone has beaten her to it. That someone, Theodora, turns out to be her biggest champion. She is an interesting old character full of sarcasm and wit. We all would love to look into our past and find a rich and intriguing family story; a story of love and devotion and loyalty. When I finished the last page, I felt honored to have journeyed along with Birdie as she discovered her ancestral roots and found the gift of love from unexpected family.
You expect a happy ending, and that is what you receive, but there are unpredicted loops and detours along the way that sneak up behind you unexpectedly.
This is a wonderful heartwarming story and in the end, you find that Liberty truly does safe guard a cherished heart. To give any more of the storyline away, would ruin the book. And, this book needs to tell its own story. this book needs to be read.
Profile Image for Melodie.
589 reviews64 followers
October 31, 2013
This was a terrific read for me. Oddball characters abound in the small town of Liberty Ohio. And they are about to have their lives turned upside down with the arrival of Birdie Kaminsky. Birdie is a thief by trade. She has blown into town to try to find hidden treasure that she believes will help her go straight.
What she doesn't count on are the complications of a nosy but sexy reporter and the fact that she actually begins to like all those people she had just days ago considered easy marks. There are twist and turns throughout the book. While a lively read it is a bit predictable at times.I don't hold that against it.I enjoyed the adventure,the romance and the mystery.It was just what I was in the mood for.
Profile Image for Terri.
1,354 reviews374 followers
September 26, 2014
Birdie is a con artist and a thief. She is getting tired of the life as well and decides to go to Liberty OH where legend says, her ancestor went in search of a new life as a free woman. AND that she was given a treasure to help her start that life. Birdie wants to follow the clues and find a fresh start.

Hugh is a journalist whose career is on its last legs since he can't keep his life together. His one chance is to go dig into a story that he reported on before with great success.

Their paths cross and is it possible for them to overcome their pasts and be together?

I really enjoyed this book, it was a fun read with some great characters, history and small town charm and angst. Not to mention, a little bit of mystery and love.
Profile Image for Casee Marie.
177 reviews32 followers
June 2, 2011
A finalist in the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards, Treasure Me is a fusion of mystery, romance and history that bounds from the Women’s Fiction genre into unfathomable depths. It’s a triumphant novel that sparks with warmth and honesty, brimming with emotion and leaving the reader with the genuine satisfaction of a remarkable reading experience. I consider myself uniquely fortunate to have had the opportunity to know it. In case it wasn’t obvious, this review will be something of a rave. I truly loved this book!

...read the full review at my blog, plus a Q&A with the author!
Profile Image for Bette Crosby.
Author 35 books2,173 followers
January 19, 2013
I Loved it! This is a fun read with quirky characters throughout, but an underlying story that has depth, mystery and romance. Although it is set in Ohio, it has the flavor and feel of Southern Fiction. The story takes any number of twists and turns and just when you think you know what will happen, it changes direction. Behind the mystery of the hidden treasure is a delightfully sweet romance. I not only recommend this book, I've already loaded the prequel onto my Kindle.
October 5, 2022

Birdie, a young thief traveled to Liberty, Ohio to find a treasure her great great grandfather had given to a freed slave who he loved. Justice was the slave who studied and became a judge. In Liberty Birdie met a newspaper reporter and her life was turned upside down.
Profile Image for Laurie.
617 reviews129 followers
July 22, 2011
Her mother a beautiful, wanted con artist and her father in jail, more often than not, due to his thieving ways, Birdie has obvious deep-rooted trust issues. On her own since she was sixteen, Birdie dreams of going straight and settling down; tired of the nomadic life her illicit vocation demands.

Hugh arrives in Liberty intent upon scooping a scandalous story in order to save his faltering career. Haunted by his past, Hugh is an expert when it comes to turning on the charm while simultaneously keeping a discreet distance between himself and others.

Following an elusive clue that tells of a hidden family treasure, Birdie arrives in Liberty the same day as Hugh. She hopes to find out what became of a freed slave named Justice, who seems to be an ancestor. Birdie longs to feel connected, to find relatives who are not tarnished by criminal tendencies and thieving inclinations. Hugh, likewise, is chased by his own demons. With his life in shreds, his reputation pummeled, Liberty may be a last chance at salvation. In Liberty, fate throws Birdie and Hugh together unexpectedly, much to the chagrin of both. As each of them strives gallantly to maintain their personal space and keep cherished secrets safe, they find themselves engaged, instead, in a halting quest to transform expectations and embrace a brighter future.

Birdie and Hugh are complicated personalities that do not fit any standard protagonistic mold, yet both have many likable traits, as well. I was captivated, held hostage, as the story progressed. There is humor and heartbreak in this well-edited story of a young woman searching the past hoping for a connection that will be powerful enough to derail an otherwise lonely and bleak future. About the last thing an accomplished thief needs is to have a journalist poking around and living practically in her coat pocket, yet that is the situation in which Birdie finds herself. This book, like its characters, defies easy categorization. It is a tale of mystery, a treasure hunt, an unveiling of interracial philandering and love in past generations, and an exploration of small-town dynamics. Mostly, though, it is a journey of self-discovery, and of finding unexpected courage, resilience, friends, and acceptance for two lost souls who somehow manage to trump the odds and make us cheer.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
Profile Image for Jessica.
261 reviews12 followers
November 13, 2011
I really enjoyed this feel-good story! It was a fast and easy read and kept me entertained the entire book!

Birdie is a thief and is searching for a family treasure. She meets Hugh, a reporter while trying to find the family heirloom in Ohio. They must share the only rental in town and so Birdie has a hard time hiding her secrets.

I loved Birdie's character! She was sassy and really just wanted to have a normal a.k.a. legal life. I loved reading about how Birdie was beginning to learn to trust people and trying to make amends for the life she led. Birdie is really a good person and wants to show people that side of herself.

I wasn't crazy about Hugh right away. He was so confusing with first warming up to Birdie and then being angry with her but I guess that's what helped provide the tension in their relationship.

My favorite characters were the ladies from the Second Chance Grill. Theodora was so much fun and fiesty! I loved that she carried a pistol around with her and she really wasn't afraid of anything! They kept me entertained and I want to read more about them for sure!

I thought the mystery and all the history in the book was amazing! It kept me guessing and was completely entertaining the entire book!

This book captivates you from the beginning and you fall in love with each and every character and the town of Liberty. It is a fast and easy read that makes you feel good when you finish it. I think this would make a great Christmas present for those who love mysteries and chick lit!

Profile Image for Frederick Brooke.
Author 11 books429 followers
June 23, 2012
It didn't take long before the heroine of this book, Birdie Kaminski, had a lock on my heart. A small time thief raised by a con-artist mother, Birdie has grown up to be a quick-fingered pickpocket living by her wits, going hungry at times, but always keeping her feelings safely bottled up deep inside.

Birdie is on a quest to find a treasure stash that is part of the family legend. She's convinced that if she can only find the jewels, she'll have enough money to go straight. That's how she ends up in the small town of Liberty, Ohio, where the clues lead her, and where she finds a kind of home waiting tables at the Second Chance Cafe.

Enter Hugh Schaeffer, investigative reporter for the Akron Register, who's on a 9-year tailspin involving wine and women and has been given one last chance by his editor. Hugh's assignment also takes him to Liberty, Ohio, and the stage is set for these two beaten down characters to meet.

The dialogue sizzles in this book. The plot is totally original, involving a story that dates back to the Civil War. The setting is this lovely little town with its cafe, its town green where Christmas trees are sold, and its eccentric old denizens, like Theodora Hendricks, who carries a pistol around with her and isn't afraid to use it.

Treasure Me achieves a perfect balance between its marvellously flawed characters, its intricate plot and its sparkling dialogue. Forget all your cares, turn off your telephone, and surrender to the potent charms of Treasure Me. This is a book that will remind you why you love to read.
Profile Image for Sarah (Workaday Reads).
1,073 reviews96 followers
August 1, 2011
Birdie is a thief on a mission to find a family heirloom dating back to the Civil War. She has only a single clue to start from as she searches in Liberty, Ohio. As she digs around, she starts to create a life for herself: a straight, legal life with friends. It's not something she's ever had, and she's not sure how to handle it. Is the treasure she is looking for a priceless heirloom, or the new life she is discovering?

Based on the summary, I expected the treasure hunt to be a big part of the story. It wasn't, but I wasn't disappointed. The focus is really on the characters, and the history of Birdie's family. It was an unexpected treat.

This is a story full of lovable characters. I loved Birdie. She is a feisty woman with sad background. Her desire to have a "real" life is commendable, even if she isn't sure how to do it. Theodora is awesome. A sassy, gun-packing elderly lady who speaks her mind. You have to love a character like that.

Hugh wasn't my favourite love interest. He felt a little flat to me, but I can't deny the sizzle between he and Birdie. This may have been a clean read, but the sexual tension was thick. This was a great romance story that built so slowly it was tortuous. In a good way, of course.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It had romance, a treasure hunt, and a great moral about being able to start over. It was very heartwarming and humourous. I loved it, and can't wait for the next book featuring The Second Chance Grill.
Profile Image for Caren ~ the misfit geek.
185 reviews32 followers
March 18, 2013
This book was an absolute pleasure to read. It is a charming tale of hidden treasure and new beginnings. The story was engaging and very entertaining. It was hard for me to put down. I was always wanting to read “just one more chapter.”

I was enchanted by the small town of Liberty, Ohio and its wonderfully quirky residents. I fell in love with the town and, most of all, The Second Chance Grill. It was great how Ms. Nolfi weaved the history of the town into the story. The sexual tension between Birdie and Hugh added an interesting dimension to the story as a whole.

I absolutely loved all of the characters. From the skillet-wielding Finney to the gun-toting Theodora, the quirky cast of characters was great fun to read about. Of course the main character, Birdie Kaminsky, captured my heart from the outset. I loved witnessing her transformation as the story progressed. In the end, she finds a treasure far more precious than what she set out to find.

I would absolutely recommend this book. Christine Nolfi is an immensely talented storyteller and this book is just one example of her talent.
Profile Image for Cindy.
950 reviews32 followers
April 19, 2013
This book grabbed me from the very beginning. The story is about Birdie who goes to the small town of Liberty with a clue looking for hidden treasure. She has had a very hard life with a father in prison and her mother is a con artist who used Birdie in her scams while she was growing up. At 16, Birdie goes out on her own making money as a pickpocket.

In Liberty, Birdie gets a job as a waitress while searching for the treasure with plans to start a new honest life when she finds it. Then she meets people that she becomes friends with and realizes there are actually people that can be trusted, unlike her own parents.

I truly enjoyed this well written story and loved the characters. The author brought everything to life so much that I am ready to move to the town! :) I feel as if I know everyone there.

If you like a book that is heart warming, a bit of a mystery, humorous, some romance and an all around excellent read... pick this one. I loved it and look forward to reading more from this author!
Profile Image for Elaine.
17 reviews4 followers
September 2, 2015
I'm not going to give you a synopsis of the plot, as many already have. I will leave you with my impressions.

What a marvelous book! The characters aren't just well-developed, they are complex and quirky and appealing. The story captures you - you want to know what will happen next. I found myself becoming invested in the people I was reading about... wanting to know them better.

It is a fun, yet poignant book; at one point I found myself laughing out loud while still wiping tears from the previous scene. Exquisitely written.

Although this is the first book in the Liberty series, it is set after "Second Hand Cafe", and I preferred to read the two books in chronological order. The book can stand alone, but character development continues in later books, and reading the series is well worth it.
Profile Image for Naomi.
4,682 reviews138 followers
January 29, 2013
Read my full review @ http://bit.ly/VtQZzY

My rating: 3.5 Stars

My opinion: I loved the story of Birdie Kaminski. It was such a fun story. My problem is that it had way too much romance in it almost to the point that it became a distraction to the story and popped its' head up at really inopportune moments rather than a support. I thought there were moments that it actually seemed inappropriate or forced to have a romantic reference, especially as the story was flowing along so beautifully.

Living in a small town, Liberty, OH had all the small town quirky, down to earth characters that I love reading about. Ms. Nolfi also did a spectacular job at weaving the "past" Liberty in with the present "Liberty".
Profile Image for Melissa.
99 reviews26 followers
October 18, 2013
I really enjoyed this book. It had a nice mystery and interesting characters. Birdie comes to Liberty in search of treasure and meets all kinds of people who touch her life in amazing ways. I loved seeing this story unfold and found myself cheering for Birdie. This book did have a few steamy descriptions which I could have done without, but the story itself was wonderful. I would definitely recommend this story of redemption and new beginnings.
Profile Image for Karen.
576 reviews20 followers
September 23, 2014
When I first started reading this book, I had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least, and hooked from page one! The humor and the various characters in Liberty really added to the storyline. This book has a little bit of everything in it: a treasure hunt, history, romance, a hot guy, quirky women, unexpected twists and turns and a great ending. I had fun reading this and will start book 2 in this series... Now!
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
1,067 reviews27 followers
July 12, 2013
This was a fun read! I enjoyed the interesting characters, especially Theodora. She was the most quirky of all of them. I loved the Justice storyline and Birdy's quest. And I especially enjoyed the ending. Great book.
Profile Image for Fran.
Author 44 books122 followers
July 13, 2012
Treasure Me: Christine Nolfi

Parents are supposed to be our role models teaching us morals, values that children are supposed to emulate and mirror themselves after. But, Birdie Kaminsky has chosen a path that although following in her mother’s exact footsteps is not exactly one that most of us would consider virtuous. Birdie is great at what she does. She’s an outstanding first class petty thief who happens to excel in shoplifting, pick pocketing and general thievery as well as being a proficient art, that is con artist. But, in spite of these virtues she manages to endear herself and captivate the admiration and love of those she encounters. We meet out star thief as she is trying to after taking a wallet with 400 dollars in cash. With the help of new neighbors considered close friends she manages to escape unscathed but not before they fund her some more cash to tide her over for her long road trip. But, where will our heroine go? What is her plan? A newspaper article set these events in motion as she leaves and sets off for Liberty, Ohio believing that she will find a hidden treasure dating back to the Civil War and belonging to one of her long lost relatives. A single portrait of Justice Postell on the all of the Second Chance Grill would provide some clues and answers she hopes to find this treasure. But, first she has to overcome some major obstacles.

Arriving in town she finds the Second Chance Grill hoping to find the portrait and a place to stay. This is where the fun really begins but first we need to meet the man who would be a huge thorn in her side or maybe something more. Hugh Schaeffer is an investigative reporter whose editor has had enough of his dalliances, lack of meeting deadlines and Hugh in general. Despite that fact that he’s put the paper on the map many times, he fires him. But, Hugh is smart, clever and crafty when he convinces the editor to keep him on to uncover the dirt about something happening in Liberty. The only catch is he won’t get paid until he comes up with the information. Anthony Perini’s daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia and donations have been pouring in even after she has been cleared of the illness. For some reason Hugh feels that the money is being used to fund Anthony’s trips and other things. Blossom the young girl in question is quite crafty in her own right manipulating people to do what she wants, giving her babysitter a hard time and thinking she ruled the world.

Meet Birdie as she tries to find a room to stay in as she collides with Huge who claims it belongs to him. The dialogue that ensures is hysterical and the dilemma faced by Finney, the cook to decide who gets the room will make you not only smile well: Read it to appreciate how clever she was in creating the solution. Added into the story is the fact that both Birdie and Hugh can feel the inner tension when they are close together and the sparks begin to fly as they learn their temporary fate, which is to share the room.

As we get to know Blossom a little better we learn more about her past, the maid’s or babysitter’s family a revelation is made connecting Birdie. But, while this is all going on our Birdie searches the portrait and finds a hidden yellow parchment that would later prove to be another clue. Wondering if her relative Lucas Postell had sent these hidden treasures with Justice would start a chain of events that would involve many more people in this town. When Birdie goes back and gets caught taking something else Hugh decides to learn more about her and what he finds out will definitely help him keep her in line. Or will it? They say confession is good for the soul so will telling him about her past that he has already uncovered make it easier for her to find the treasure?

Enter Theodora Hendricks friends with Landon Williams the father of Meade the caregiver for Blossom. As events unravel and information is uncovered you learn the link between him and Birdie’s mother Wish and why he is so bent on finding out more about Birdie and hoping to get Wish who not only swindled him but many others along the way including her own daughter. Back in Liberty Hugh still flustered after his close encounter with Birdie, as she seems to be getting under his skin. Checking the net he learned more about what Blossom’s father appeared to be doing with the donation sites and hoping to create a huge story for the Akron Register. Trying to deal with this story and Birdie would lead them both to a tapestry in a storeroom with another clue or lines of poetry. Reenter Theodora Hendricks who appears to have the answers to many of her questions and proceeds to give her some history lessons that you will have to read for yourself because some lesson are worth learning on your own. But, what would you do if you found out that part of the treasure was rubies? Would you find a way to return it Justice’s ancestors or would you keep it for yourself and try and find more?

Lives intertwine when Birdie triggers off Landon’s memory and he recounts for his daughter his time with her mother Wish. Theodora seems to like Birdie and for some reason wants to help her. But, when the truth about the websites is revealed the reader will be surprised at Blossom’s father’s reaction and what he does will surprise you even more. When Theodora introduces Birdie to Meade and her father one photograph will tie it all together but will Birdie allow them to know the connection and when they reveal what happened to Cat she does not even flinch. Stories intertwined, lessons that are to be learned and one woman in the middle of it all. Would Birdie understand what Theodora was trying to tell her when she admits the truth about Justice? Was she making it up or was she trying to let her know she knew more about her than she was letting on? What about Hugh? Would he protect when his ex-boss wanted everyone to learn about Birdie? But, when the truth comes to light what happens will prove the loyalty that some families will show and the influence one woman has to protect one young girl that never had a chance growing up. With a town that is ready to flog her and Meade who wants her to disappear what will the final result be? Can a petty thief redeem herself? Can anyone forgive her for living on the edge because she had no choice or did she? What about Hugh? What about the story that broke in the paper? Author Christine Nolfi once again pens a story that brings to light what happens when a young child suffers the abuse at the hands of adults and the end result is not always what it seems. Characters that you will either hate or love but are so vividly described. One young woman with sass, feisty and full of spunk that you have to love, and an ending that will definitely surprise the reader that you won’t see coming.

Just how everything ties to together you will have to learn for yourself. Forgiveness is hard and many lies, truths and deceits are revealed. Some truths will change the lives of many, a town that will have to decide whether they can forgive one young girl’s past and deal with her in the present. What does happen to the rubies and who winds up with them? What secrets does Landon that will shock the reader and many living in Liberty reveal? Where will this go next? I guess when the author writes the next chapter for those living in Liberty we will find out. Treasure Me: Is the treasure the jewels, the clues, the tapestry or the love that some might find which is more valuable than rubies?

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Profile Image for Jude.
77 reviews
May 31, 2015
Treasure Me is the romantically framed story of a petty thief’s journey towards self-discovery. Birdie Kaminsky has travelled to Liberty, Ohio with nothing more than a slip of paper, which she hopes will be her ticket to a new life. The paper, a note passed down through generations in her family, alludes to the whereabouts of a secret treasure, hidden since the Civil War. Unbeknownst to Birdie, Liberty holds a treasure far greater than mere riches. Nolfi introduces the reader to a complicated world of desire, love, realisation and second chances.
The first thing that struck me about Nolfi’s writing is the vibrancy of her characters. Each character is presented with their own individual traits and a well-rounded personality: Birdie Kaminsky, a sassy, petty thief with violet eyes; Finney, the hot-headed cook, always ready to swing her skillet if someone annoys her; and feisty Theodore, forever reaching into her handbag to retrieve her gun. Too many overly prominent characters can sometimes make for a rather confusing storyline. However, Nolfi’s masterful grasp of the third person omniscient narrative style provides a comprehensive view of each character, to the effect that the reader can identify each character purely from their individual mannerisms.
I feel the book has a lot more to offer than an average romance novel, while still encapsulating all that which makes a good romance satisfying. At the very core of the novel is the relationship between Birdie and newspaper reporter Hugh, a chemical attraction which has been simmering since they first laid eyes on each other. Interestingly, I only began to realise how attractive both Birdie and Hugh were once they met. It is through Hugh that Nolfi first takes the time to fully describe Birdie, and vice versa.
While there is obvious sexual tension between Birdie and Hugh from the onset, the relationship itself is built up slowly throughout the book, allowing the ending to be all the more rewarding. While Birdie and Hugh are clearly attracted to one another, and flirt like wildfire, they do try and resist one another, both realising their relationship would not work. I feel that romance within a novel works best when there is more actual romance and less sex. So many contemporary authors dive into sexual encounters almost instantly, which makes for quite an unsatisfying read. Birdie and Hugh dodge each other for so long that the reader is practically praying for them to get together.
There are several overarching themes within Nolfi’s book, the first and possibly the most evident being progression. Birdie is first portrayed as living a sad, bleak existence as a small-time crook, slipping from place to place, never getting to know anyone and always finding herself on a bus to somewhere new:
“She pressed her face to the window and blew out a breath. A moist haze settled over the countryside reflected through the glass. Sunlight pooled in orange puddles beneath the hills as the blue of night bled into the horizon. It would be dark soon, and her muscles were leaden with exhaustion.”
As the book draws on, more details about Birdie begin to emerge as Hugh takes the time to try and discover more about the mysterious girl who has appeared, seemingly without reason, in Liberty. Once Birdie’s tragic past is revealed, so too is Hugh’s desire to protect the girl and attempt to make Birdie trust him:
“Birdie managed to lift her head to regard him. The truth knocked around in her throat, trying to get out. But it was professional suicide for a petty thief to trust a newspaper reporter.”
Drawing on the theme of progression is that of hope, encapsulated in the character of freed slave Justice Postell, or rather her memory. Justice serves as the beacon of hope guiding Birdie towards a better life. Birdie craves what justice had, not in the form of riches but, without realising it, in the chance to start afresh.
“Justice overcame impossible odds to reach the north and build a new life. Did Birdie dream of escaping the shackles of a world with nothing but the criminal arts to guide her?”
Justice is the woman that Birdie looks up to, the only thing close to a role model that she has ever had. On her journey, Birdie begins to realise that she is more like Justice than she originally thought and her initial fears that she was cut from the same stone as her mother begin to fade away.
Perhaps the most important vein running through Nolfi’s work is concealed within the novel’s central setting, the Second Chance Grill. Nolfi’s overarching theme is that of second chances, being able to escape from the life that seems written for you. Justice Postell was able to break away from the shackles of slavery, and this very fact echoes in the lives of so many characters in the book. Liberty offers Birdie the second chance at life she so desperately craves, but also gives new meaning to the lives of Hugh and the many other characters whose lives are affected by Birdie’s arrival in the small town.
Finally, Nolfi presents the reader with the true meaning of treasure. Birdie travels to Liberty in search of riches but what she finds is so much more precious. For what seems like the first time in her life Birdie is loved. Not only does Liberty offer her the second chance she needed, but family and friends, who treasure her in return:
“You are a treasure, child. Bad-mouthed and sassy and more fun than a woman my age ought to have. But there it is”
The town and the people, new and old, are the real treasures, just as the clue suggested: “Liberty safeguards the cherished heart.”
On the whole, I very much enjoyed my first encounter with Nolfi’s work. I expected Treasure Me to be a very soft, romantic love story, but found it to be so much more. Nolfi gives the reader a well-paced and exciting storyline, which is far from being a traditional romance novel. Nolfi’s writing style is free flowing and easy to read, making this a perfect novel to relax with.
Originally posted on Jade the Obscure
Profile Image for Jeanne Maliner.
93 reviews1 follower
July 2, 2017
Another amazing story by Christine Nolfi. Clearly this author loves telling tales that delight the heart and keep one fascinated the entire way through the book. One shouldn't miss reading this series. The small town vibe is true to form and gives one insight into the lives of people who live there and people who land there and cannot bring themselves to leave. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
189 reviews
August 25, 2011
Treasure Me was a lovely combination of a mystery, treasure hunt, love story, and one woman’s quest to find her place in the world. Birdie makes her living as a pickpocket and has a very shallow existence. She has no real family or friends and rarely stays in once place long enough for anyone to get to know her. She travels to the small town of Liberty on a journey to find treasure that family lore says is hidden there. What she doesn’t expect to find is a group of friends who truly care about her and are willing to take her under their wing, no matter how rough around the edges she is.

This novel was a bit slow to get going and it wasn’t until about a third of the way though that the story really picked up. I didn’t care much for Birdie at the beginning of the novel. She wasn’t a very likeable character and it was difficult to sympathize with someone who is constantly picking pockets, lying and closing herself off to the possibility of any real relationships. Birdie had a wall up around her that was nearly impenetrable. About a third of the way into the book though she started to grow and develop some compassion for the people she was living with in Liberty.

“In the past, skirting the truth has been easy. Since arriving
in Liberty, her conscience had risen from a deep slumber.
Something in the water was getting to her. Or the people were
Whatever it was, she didn’t relish lying, even if there was
no other choice.”

“In an unexpected way, she experienced a sense of welcome
every time she arrived. For the first time in memory, her
presence in a room mattered to someone. It mattered to the
three women of The Second Chance [grill].”

Treasure Me was so much more than a book about a thief looking for the score of her lifetime. As much as Birdie was on a treasure hunt she was also on a journey to create a life for herself that she could be happy living. She did not necessarily wish to be a thief and did not believe was she was doing in life was right, she simply did not know any other way to live. Through the friendships she made in Liberty, Birdie was able to realize that she was worth being loved and cherished and that strength was what she needed to live the kind of life that she had only dreamed of. The characters that Nolfi created were fantastically written and had so much depth to them it was hard to believe this was a fictional story.

I absolutely loved the intertwined family histories that Nolfi wrote of and for me this was much more exciting than the treasure hunt that Birdie was on. Theodora was my favourite character in the novel. She was fiery, kind and patient and was not the sort of person to give a lecture. She took the time to help Birdie figure out the answers to her bigger questions and was always there to support her, however unconventional her methods may have been.

The love story was a little predictable but it was fun and light and a perfect compliment the other more difficult aspects of the novel. For someone like Birdie who never had anything go easy in her life, it was nice that she was able to find love and acceptance without too much complication.

Treasure Me was a relatively light and sweet read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. At first the mystery/treasure hunt aspect had me wondering how much of a connection I would be able to make with the characters. I was so happy to discover that more than just a journey for riches, Treasure Me was about one woman’s journey to finding happiness and fulfillment in her life.

I received a free copy of Treasure Me from the author (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Sharon.
847 reviews
June 18, 2011

Treasure Me was kindly provided to me by the author, Christine Nolfi

**Contains possible spoilers**

Birdie Kaminsky is a petty thief in search of a score that could set her up for life and hopefully lead her down the path of straight and narrow; she is the by-product of criminal parents, her mother is wanted by the FBI and her father is serving time in prison so everything she knows has been ingrained since she was a child, being a thief is all she knows how to do and it is something she does well.

Hugh Shaeffer is trying to resurrect a failing career as an investigative journalist when he lands in Liberty, Ohio to research suspected laundered funds from an article and a family he has worked on and with previously.

When Birdie & Hugh arrive in Liberty there is only one apartment available for rent so they end up as reluctant room-mates yet are instantly attracted to one another. Little do they know what both their quests hold in store for them.

Treasure Me had me engaged from the very first page, the twists and turns held my interest; it was like a puzzle which needed to be put back together. The mystery, history and the search for the rubies was fascinating; I originally set out to read a few chapters but literally couldn’t put the book down; it is a wonderful story of finding love and redemption.

I loved Birdie and her quick witted responses and sarcasm, I enjoyed how she mentioned vegetables when she was thinking sweet memories, and it was a nice touch. I really felt for her and the life she has had to lead, it was her own choice but she seemed to sincerely want to stop what she was doing so she could settle down and have a nice life.

Hugh at times confused me, he seemed to run hot and cold – one minute he wanted Birdie the next he was angry at her, I couldn’t quite grasp whether he wanted her sexually or romantically, he betrayed her trust by not only going to a PI rather than questioning her himself but he also went to his editor with her story; whether to protect her or not it was still betrayal. The only thing he seemed noble with was his want to help her rehabilitate and start over. I certainly would have made him work harder for love and affection.

The Second Chance Grill team, Blossom and feisty little Theodora were absolutely wonderful; I loved them all as characters. Each played a part in the overall story and fit perfectly. I would have never have guessed the outcome!

The only thing I found to be a tad too much were the number of characters; I found myself at times having to stop and think about who was who but I got through and each played their own important role.

I love Ms Nolfi’s descriptive writing style, it is fabulous and fun and her mystery and romantic tidbits kept me riveted, she weaved complex yet relatable characters into a wonderful story; I loved the town of Liberty, they all stuck together and supported each other.

I enjoyed my foray into Ms. Nolfi’s work and I can see myself reading her again in the future.
Profile Image for LindyLouMac.
857 reviews61 followers
September 13, 2011
After a slow start I was glad I continued.
I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to reading and if an author approaches me I am usually happy to take them up on any offers to receive a copy of their novel in return for an honest and unbiased review. It is no surprise to me that recently more and more of the requests I have been receiving are with regards to ebooks. This is fine with me unless there turns out to be a problem with formatting, as happened to me with this title. I am not at all technical so have to rely on the author knowing what he or she is doing, if I just tell them which devices we have available!
I had liked the sound of Christine Nolfi’s debut novel and did in fact enjoy it in the end after this very frustrating start. It was not only proving difficult to get into the story as the characters were introduced but due to some initial formatting problems chunks were missing from the end of the first few chapters! Thanks to the patience of the author with my technical inabilities, as neither of us were really sure what was happening, she certainly had no problems prior to mine, it was sorted. Frustrations behind me I found my self settling into the story which is very readable. Do not expect a great literary work but an easy read that will hold your attention if you let yourself get beyond the first fifty pages.
The two main characters are Birdie and Hugh whose paths cross in the town of Liberty, Ohio Birdie is a small time thief in search of family history in the form of an heirloom which she hopes will be valuable enough to enable her to give up her life of crime and settle down. Hugh is a failing journalist is in town to write an expose about a local family. There is immediate sexual tension between the two of them and despite the fact they both claim to be looking for no more than a casual fling it is soon obvious they are are starting to care for one another.
Without giving any more away I can say that by the end of the story, I felt I was beginning to know quite well the little town of Liberty and its inhabitants. I would have preferred I think though to have had the story related just by the two protagonists. Although I do understand why the author probably felt some things needed explaining from a different point of view at times. The ending is predictably a little clichéd but to be expected with this style of contemporary fiction.
If this sounds like your style then it is worth reading. I would not have chosen to read this myself had the author not approached me to do so, but I am glad
she did.

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