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West soars to the top of the charts

On September 20, Ellie West released her book "Soar: How to rise above the turbulence and watch your dreams take flight" on Amazon. The book skyrocketed to the top of nine Amazon Bestseller Categories within a short time.

West hit the number one spot in Journal Writing, Spiritual Growth, Travel Writing, Journaling, Aviation & Nautical Biographies & Memoirs, Women's Personal Spiritual Growth, Travel Biographies and Memoirs, and Biographies, Reference & Collections.

West said it was exciting to watch the ratings the day she launched the book and was able to screenshot the Bestseller tag in different categories as the Amazon ratings change hourly.

"I am still slightly stunned and surprised that I hit so many Bestseller categories. It has been a humbling experience as I wrote the book for my daughter and two granddaughters as a legacy builder," West said.

A regular contributor to the Three Forks Voice with her Coaches Corner column, several people told her over the years to write a book because of her daily journal, but she never felt she was good enough until the start of her growth journey in 2018.

"Once the seed was planted that I would write my book, I had to come up with a title. Of course, that took some time. I conferred with an author friend, and we began to toss some ideas around because of what I do for a living. I knew it had to be a strong title with a great subtitle," she said.

"Soar: How to rise above the turbulence and watch your dreams take flight" takes readers on a journey through West's life through flight. With 40 years as a flight attendant, the book gives a brief history of the mergers she has been through, the hiring process she experienced, a turbulent marriage, a new relationship, some of her most memorable trips, and some passengers and crew stories. It also details how she navigated through the turbulence of 2020 and where she is today.

According to West, when she began to write her story, she had to break through very limiting beliefs to where she could sit down and actually write.

"I started writing my book in March of 2021, and I would write and then put it away, then write some more and put it away as it brought up many hurts. On the flip side, though, it brought much healing to my heart," said West. "Once I saw what I wrote, I deleted much of it. Writing it out and then deleting it was an excellent way to release some of my limiting beliefs. I knew I had a story to share, and someone needed to hear it."

Once she neared the completion of her manuscript, West admits she had no idea where to go from there.

"I was fortunate to have found a three-month course on self-publishing your book. It was an investment, but it was what I needed to push me to completion. I now had the knowledge and guidance to self-publish. The most challenging aspect of writing my book, aside from all the hours involved in editing and formatting, is how to self-publish, and how do you become a Bestseller? My goal was to get the Bestseller tag, even if it was for the weekend. I now have it," West said.

Wanting to retain all the rights to her story was the top factor in her decision to self-publish.

"I did not want anyone to change my voice in my story. As I shared my story, I wanted to be genuine, vulnerable, and authentic. I believe that is how we relate to each other. We need to be transparent to connect with the heart," West said.

Born and raised in Helena, West comes from a large family of five brothers and two sisters. Her deep Montana roots include her grandfather, who built and owned the original LaHood Park near Cardwell.

"He loved hospitality and serving others just like I do," she said.

During her first flight, a trip to visit her aunt and uncle in California, West watched the stewardesses closely.

"I remember thinking, that is what I want to do," said West. "In the many changing seasons of my life, I have experienced turbulence, smooth air, and some rough landings throughout my 42 years in the airline industry. I have learned that what you do with those seasons is what you become. We are here on purpose for a purpose, and we all have an opportunity to rise above the turbulence and watch our dreams take flight.

"Soar: How to rise above the turbulence and watch your dreams take flight" can be purchased on Kindle at

West added the paperback, and the hardback will be coming out soon.