I love Phillip Phillips ... he's just too adorable for words. I've been listening to a lot of his album this week, and really - he reminds me a lot of the love interest I'm writing. So ... yeah ... inspiration :)
My manuscript is set in 1800s Italy, so I've had to do a lot of research into the subject. One of my favorite sources of little known facts, smells, and sights is Pictures from Italy, a travelogue by Charles Dickens. I suggest if you're setting your book in a foreign setting (and can't quite make it there) - try looking at pictures books, tour books, etc. Google can only get you so far!
Just watched a (very disturbing) episode of Criminal Minds last night. It was one we had DVR'd months ago, but I knew immediately where it was going ... considering it had a similar element to my manuscript! Living marionettes FTW :)