Two very savvy Booklikes colleagues guessed correctly that the author in my last post was Susan Howatch. The photos were taken in 1974 at a signing party for the release of her (then) new novel, Cashelmara.
Ms. Howatch is noted for her expansive historical fiction and has amassed an amazing list of books since that picture was taken.
High-five to: http://nitchslapd.booklikes.com/ and http://cplesley.booklikes.com/ for their answers. Considering how knowledgeable they are you might want to visit their blogs for some more great info on books!
As soon as I stop sneezing from the dust on my old photo albums I'll post some more oldies but goodies about authors from "back in the day."
Susan Howatch at B. Dalton Booksellers, Paramus Park, NJ, 1974