Don't know if the treasure is still out there to be claimed, but what I found leads me to Maine (ME).

Starting with the description of the prize on page 3, I used what I call a "2-by-2" (thank you, MenageriE creator ;^) to get results. Sorry if you don't like to anagram, but when you get answers as shorts as "I APPLE" for the first sentence, I tend to get twitchy. Basically, the method words this way:

1) Find all words with Doubled Letters (2) like the word "biTTer"
2) Take 1 letter from that set.
3) Take the two outer leters by each side (by the 2) resulting in a three letter bunch ("ITE")
4) Group according to punctuation marks. (like a period)
5) Split words like "thE Earth" are treated the same way as a single word. ("HEA")
6) In case of a word lie 'mINNIe", you take "MINE", with the outer double counting for a letter the same as the inner double.
7) Anagram the goups bounded by periods, question marks, etc.

It should be noted that at least in "Golden Apple Tale", the letter "B" can be read aloud as "BE", and in one specific case involving the US map, you have a section which says "on on on" as part of the answer. This did not make sense to me until I saw the 2 page map, and got the hint I was to look "On 3" -- which lead me to the "III" symbol on the state of Maine, another confirmer.

Haven't gotten a tighter radius than that, but I thought long-time devotees should know. Next, when I get my books back, perhaps I shall try this method on "Fandango" or "The Secret"

-Cat (recently out of the hospital in snowy Massachusetts)